It’s funny the things that you miss being an ocean away from home. I literally stopped someone because they had a Tim Hortons mug! Some addictions run deep. Last week I shared a glimpse of my impression of living in London thus far, so this week I thought I would share some of the thoughts of others I’ve met along my way.
Laura Salvas, 25, graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto with a degree in broadcast journalism, she also happened to be the proud owner of the Tim Hortons mug.
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“I had never planned on working abroad, but my boyfriend was moving to England and asked me along,” she says “I felt this was the only chance I had to go gallivanting around the world before I need to start worrying about maternity leave and mortgage payments.”
Salvas says she didn’t want to see Europe on a 30-day bus tour, racing through everything. By staying in London she could explore at her own pace.
“I’ve been on holiday for over a year but have been paying it off as I go. Even though I’m working here I’m still a tourist and get to spend all my free time experiencing the ‘real’ London.”
Salvas has also been earning a living through temporary placements. Finding her dream job has been her biggest challenge.
“It was really easy to find a decent-paying job right away. Temping is big here and each time I’ve gone job searching I’ve found a job the next day.”
However finding work that is engaging, interesting and in one’s field of study isn’t easy.
“While my current job pays a decent wage it makes me want to throw myself in front of a train. All I do is type dictated letters all day. I feel like my mind is dissolving. My role requires no critical thinking or creativity: I don’t even have control over where I put the commas and usually where I am told to put them is incorrect!” she says, “So while it is easy to find a job, finding a job that doesn’t make me want to kill myself has proven difficult.”
On the other hand, people are less work-obsessed and take more holiday time than North Americans.
“It is expected that I may go away for a week or two. I feel a lot more freedom to take vacations without jeopardizing my job or making my boss hate me,” says Salvas.
How should one prepare if you’re about to work abroad? Roberts suggests getting a mobile phone, having your CV on hand and signing up for many temporary work agencies whilst looking for a more permanent position.
“If you just want a job that pays a decent salary, working as a temp is a great option.”