Adam Whitehouse, now Associate Director at Robert Walters, has a background in business management. This provided a firm base to move into finance and accounting recruitment on his arrival in the UK. Here, he shares his experiences in the UK recruitment industry, and why he’s becoming a British citizen – despite the lack of Cherry Ripes.
“I moved to the UK in August 2007. Having never been to Europe before, a key motivation was to travel and see Europe. The plan was always to settle here for at least seven years in order to naturalize and get a British passport – the last six years has flown by in a good way and I am starting the process of becoming a citizen.
“I have worked in recruitment in Australia, New Zealand, and now the UK, for more than eight years. The biggest difference in the industry between the countries is there is a much higher level of competition in the UK, and higher expectations in terms of corporate polish. There is also much more red tape for almost everything you need to do. It makes the UK market one of the most challenging in the world, as it is constantly changing. However, if you are successful in London, it proves you’re resilient and have developed a level of commerciality which will help you be successful wherever you next move on to.
“The market in London generally does move quite quickly but a key challenge for Australians is that the roles we do back home are normally broader than the roles in London, which are typically more specialized. This can make securing a role difficult. Expanding on your CV and detailing all your experience, rather than summarizing it is really important in reflecting your suitability for the role you want. Insurance industry experience is really hard to find, so anyone with it in Australia will be in high demand in London. Know more about Youth mobility scheme visa UK.
“More generally, I think Australians coming to the UK should prepare for a reality check – London is the big smoke, and it can certainly pitch some fast curve balls at you. Working long hours and transport (despite being very good in comparison to Australia) can be a barrier to meeting or catching up with people. Make sure to put yourself out there as much as possible, and you’ll be surprised how friendly people are. Most importantly, choosing a good flat and great people to live with makes a huge difference – particularly when you’ve left your support network half a world away.
“I miss the beaches, sun, BBQ’s, work-life balance of Australia and of course treats like Cherry Ripes and Wagon Wheels! But England has amazing theatre, culture and history, all of which are so accessible. You can go to great concerts, festivals, stage shows and international sporting events, without having to pay a fortune in travel as it is on your doorstep. What else? English pubs, food and wine – and people’s accents! The Scottish and Irish accents still intrigue me, even if you can’t understand what they are saying. Check out for UK London shared house.
“I’ll eat brunch out on a typical weekend – normally in an Aussie or Kiwi cafe as we do it best! Before I worked in recruitment I spent eight years managing small businesses, including managing a chain of ten cafes – so I know good coffee. My favourite cafes here are Artesian (Putney), Flat White (Soho), All Press Roastery (Shoreditch) and Caravan (Kings Cross). After brunch I’ll probably do some exercise – go for a run or a cycle along the Thames or in Richmond Park, near where I live in Putney. I try to get out of London at least one weekend a month – whether that is somewhere else in the UK or Europe. I love the South of France and Tuscany, though there are still lots of places I haven’t been to yet. That being said, nothing beats Primrose Hill on a sunny day, or a drink at Searcy’s bar at the top of the Gherkin or Madison Bar opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, looking at the panoramic views of iconic London”.
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