View Full Version : So...UK huh?

2013-02-24, 09:42 AM
So due to many political and personal issues here in Greece, I think it's about time I get off the dead-end cart I'm in and try to actually do something meaningful or with a future. One of the options I'm presented with is moving to the UK [York, specifically] to live with my sister for a while before I get on my own feet.

As there's many British natives on this board, how hard or easy is it to get on your feet there? I basically have about two months before I either have to get back to Greece or rent a house on my own.

On the outset it seems like a tremendously difficult experience to me, but I'm hoping it'll smooth out with a job that actually pays.

Any opinions? My sister [living there for nearly 15 years] tells me that while it's hard, it's much easier to get a job there than it is here, and she's offering to even help me out for a while, but after that the real hard stuff begins.

Thanks for reading this mates :up:

2013-02-24, 10:08 AM
I think the hardest bit will be all the citizenship stuff and other immigration hoops we make people go through to get here these days. This might get tougher soon as there's something of a panic (generated by our oh-so wonderful tabloid press and thinly veiled racists like UKIP politicians) that we're going to flooded by Romanian immigrants once we open our borders to them next year.

We're a strange country. We seem to have a thing whereby we don't want Johnny Foreigner coming here and stealing our jobs ( a lot of this attitude is perplexing - there's normally more than enough work out there, but a lot of it stuff folk think is plainly beneath them. stupid people), yet when immigrants settle, we tend to find that actually , it does contribute something meaningful to our damp little island and actually enriches us as a nation. I think Polish is now the second most spoken language in the UK or something.

Political asylum seems to be the thing we most have a problem with. Anyone escaping persecution abroad just gets put in these massive detention centres for months or years on end. In a few notable cases, we might then let you settle, but then raid your house at the dead of night , snatch you all and send you all back from where you came from. But if you just want to look for work, that's ok.

For yourself, practical stuff like housing will be a lot easier if you'll be sharing with relatives to start off.

Rack 'n Ruin
2013-02-24, 10:14 AM
What sort of job would you be looking for? That will obviously make a difference to how easy it is to find one.

York is a lovely city. Not a bad place to live at all, I'd have thought. Great that you have family there already.

Sorry I can't help more. I've not got the experience of moving countries to know all the potential pitfalls. Is there anything in particular you are worried about?

EDIT: My girlfriend is German. She moved here nearly 6 years ago (shit - that long? Time flies...). As an EU citizen (like you) there weren't too many hoops to jump through. EU citizens have a right to reside anywhere within the EU, I believe. My GF did have some issues with the benefits people when she was between jobs temporarily, but nothing too major I think. Can't remember the details. Sorry. Opening a bank account as a new arrival was not easy. Many banks wouldn't do it. HSBC were great though, so if you get stuck, try them. No probs with registering with the NHS, or driving, etc. My GF started off at uni, then has had a few jobs before ending back at uni to train as a nurse. As with anyone, the blank spots on the CV were not helping, so before the first paid job came along she volunteered at charity shops, etc. Shows you're up for it, and all that.

Like I say, any particular questions?

2013-02-24, 10:14 AM
LOL no, I'm no criminal, it's just that with the way politics are right now it's quite possible for me to be on an endless hoop of dead-end jobs and just that. There's virtually zero opportunity for somebody to start on his own or find a starter level entry into any field. That's what I meant about political issues, heh.

I think that my sister couldn't even apply for citizenship until 5 years or so had passed, but that was a long time ago and I don't trust my memory.

So in reality, it's just that, me trying to make a new beginning that'll hopefully not come crashing down on me. Job, rent, commute and all that are what matters now.

2013-02-24, 10:19 AM
Double posting...

As for jobs, my sister informs me that it's relatively easy to get into a temp position at any office or even her university [when they have openings] and from there, provided I'm good at what I'm doing, I can apply for a more permanent job title. She also informed me that it's easy to get a job at a pub or something and look for something else while doing that. Their wages aren't that bad when compared to what I'm making here.

Generally speaking, anything that lets me practice my diploma with computers and multimedia at a very basic level would be ideal, even if it's a "mundane" office job, and I've got lots of skills behind the counter at coffee making. Not sure how that combination will help in the long road, but it certainly opens more doors.

Rack 'n Ruin
2013-02-24, 10:48 AM
Yeah, you have good chances of finding a temp job or something in a pub/restaurant to get you started, I'd have thought. Once you're here, with an address and living expenses covered, I'd say it will be easier to plan the next step.

Good luck, and keep us updated on progress. :)

2013-02-24, 01:48 PM
If you go to an employment agency willing to do absolutely anything and your English and computing skills are good enough then you've got as good a chance of getting on your feet as anywhere else. Reed is one of the bigger general office work agencies, they'd be worth a try.
You'll have to do the dead-end circuit for a while unless you have an area of specialisation that's particularly in demand, but generally if you prove to the agency that you're willing to help them out when they need a body, they'll take care of you over the people who are "too good" for this and that.
York's a beautiful city. It's on the shortlist of places I'd live if I ever move back to England.

2013-02-24, 02:35 PM
Thankfully I've got a Proficiency certificate in British English and my computing skills aren't too shabby, so bar any people who'll speak too fast for my ears to comprehend at first I don't think I'll have many issues with communicating.

Not sure if military service applies for any benefits over other aspects at jobs, but I also have that. So between all the things we had to do in the military and working as a bus boy\waiter\barista at many shops I think I'll find no job [or at least, almost everything bar the most humanly possible demeaning of all] strange to me.

I believe the tough as hell steps would be the first few, opening up a bank account, working at the first few jobs and all that. The way it's presented to me is that if you're willing to work, there's more than enough places to live and get by, even if minimally at first.

electro girl
2013-02-24, 05:43 PM
I've lived in York for nearly 3 years now and its a nice enough place. It can be lacking in features of other cities such as certain shops and you will spend your weekends fighting past hordes of tourists. Decent music scene, mostly acoustic and a small but great contemporary art scene.

2013-02-24, 06:13 PM
Your English is certainly better than most native speakers here in the Midlands... although in common with a lot of primarily English-speaking countries, it might be worth Anglicising your first name for job applications. It's not particularly a case of virulent racism or xenophobia, more people being uncomfortable stumbling over names (not many have the classical education these days to recognise yours.) Denis or Dennis is the popular Western European form, I think.

There's very little recruitment in the sector I'm in, local government, but that does mean more reliance on temp agencies. And proficient bar staff are usually in demand everywhere, particularly any big towns/cities with younger populations.

2013-02-24, 10:43 PM
Whoop, lots of people in the UK here! Hope I can meet at least half of you for a cup of coffee once I'm settled there.

Agree about the name change, Dennis is the most common use. What I write on your packages is how I was called in military service, much more formal [in greek at least] and complete.

Sister helped me out with some common sense and geography issues, says Leeds in a big city [in comparison at least] and about 20-30 minutes train ride with trains every half hour all day long.

She also helped me out with more job agencies than Reed. Indeed.co.uk rings up about 2-3 jobs I can easily handle right now in York per page.

Barista-centered jobs are what I do now and have more training than needed, but like with Greece, they're the kind of job you do for a while and then move on to something serious. Or keep it for a part time thing, some evenings of the week. Nevertheless, with my calculations and the wages indeed.co.uk supplies, doing exactly what I do now will net me 9 times the money I make now per month.

Man that's ridiculous...how far the wages here have fallen!

2013-02-26, 09:06 AM
Like others have said, there are a lot of jobs out there if you're willing. There really is a lot of snobbery about certain jobs, from people with no reason to think they're better than anyone else. It sounds like you're keen to work and that's really the best thing to have under your belt.

inflatable dalek
2013-02-26, 11:28 AM
If you come, remember to bring some triple A batteries, apparently we've run out. [/topical satire]

As far as I'm aware, whilst there are some racists gits who hate everyone (who really should take their own advice and go back where they came from. Up their mother's ****s) I'm not aware of much in the way of specific dislike for the Greeks, I think it's a country we're generally pretty indifferent on so hopefully you wouldn't run into too much twatery (unless your sister has had different experiences).

Just remember that whilst York itself is a lovely civilised place, Yorkshire is basically the pub in An American Werewolf in London. My brother and sister in law have been living in the wilderness there at her latest RAF base for much of this year and apparently the cliché is no exaggeration, everyone is Brian Glover in a flat cap.

2013-02-26, 11:53 AM
I made the move here a few years ago, didn't have much difficulty on account of being born here. The delight at earning so much more in a low-paying job than you would back home is very valuable but it will only sustain you for a year or so.

I'll echo what Dalek said above and point out that places like York (and Leeds) are good to live in because they are used to transients and students and such. The atmosphere outside of cities like that is very different and weirdly bleak.

You'll also have to get a handle on the class system and how amazingly acceptable certain forms of bigotry are if there is a class element involved. You'll need to know the difference between a grammar and a comprehensive school and get a feel for which schools are evil, which changes depending on the individual you are speaking to.

2013-05-16, 10:59 PM
...and, nearly three months later, tomorrow is the flight day.

Very mixed feelings of sadness, nostalgia and eagerness all around me.

2013-05-17, 10:36 AM
Do you already have a plan or interview schedules for some jobs already prepared or will you land and see how to start?

I know the feeling, as I lived many years in different countries, but I at least knew that a job is already fixed and I have a return date. Nevertheless it was always hard to give up home and move completely away.
It was always involving tears....

So it must be much harder for you...

Best of luck to you, have a safe trip and next time you have a Brit IP when visiting the board !

2013-05-18, 10:38 AM
Land and see how it goes. So far it's just going rainy all day :lol:

I'll probably be a lot more secure and settled in during the week. There's horse racing in York these days so there's lots of people already, and the one pub I went in last evening was packed!! Thanks for your wishes brother, hope they do come all true!!!

Anybody can catch the northernrail and drop by for a visit at York? Looks like it'll be a long week ahead.

electro girl
2013-05-18, 10:25 PM
Race days in York are always a nightmare. Had a function room booked last night and race goers kept trying to gatecrash.

Anyway welcome to York there will be a ukulele festival in June.

2013-05-19, 07:41 PM
Thanks, had a walk around the city walls today.

Definitely less crowded than yesterday. Any good pubs with favourably rock/metal music? Been around 10-20 pubs and entered none, sadly.

Rack 'n Ruin
2013-05-19, 08:06 PM
Welcome to Blighty! Hope you settle in well. The walk round the walls is nice, isn't it?

Do you like trains? Or free stuff? The National Railway Museum should keep you busy for a few hours when it rains. Which will be anytime now. :)

Have you found the Travelling Man comic book shop yet? Should have things of interest.

inflatable dalek
2013-05-19, 08:09 PM
One of us, one of us, one of us.

electro girl
2013-05-19, 09:11 PM
Thanks, had a walk around the city walls today.

Definitely less crowded than yesterday. Any good pubs with favourably rock/metal music? Been around 10-20 pubs and entered none, sadly.

My favourite pub is The Habit on Goodram Gate but that's more acoustic, the rockiest pub/bar I know is Gibson Rock Cafe down Mickel Gate and its not badly priced but is a tad far from the city center. Other good places to drink are One Star Inn, The Royal Oak, Evil Eye (every cocktail under the sun but not cheap), House of Trembling Madness (great food), Dusk (cheap cocktails monday to thursday), Stone Roses (also good music) and Keystones (good priced food). I hope you like ales!

Also as Rack 'n' Ruin pointed out get to Traveling Man. If you're looking to buy Transformers you need to get the number 6 bus to Clifton Moor retail park as it has a Tesco and a Toys R Us (where I used to work). There is an Argos and a Fenwicks in the city center but they're very hit and miss.

I won't tell you anything about Willow, you'll have to experience that for yourself :lol:

2013-05-19, 10:11 PM
Yeah, went to the Travelling Man yesterday. Only thing of interest was "The road to woodbury" book. NO Transformers comics.

Where's the National Railway Museum? Is it in York? Could be worth a shot. Perhaps I'll hit the Dusk tomorrow with my sister, cheap cocktails will surely help lift my spirit!

So, Mickel Gate for the Gibson Rock Cafe, and then bus 6 to Clifton Moor retail park just to get a glimpse of some TFs, got it.

electro girl
2013-05-19, 10:49 PM
Yeah they're not great for Transformers comics there so I tend to pick them up when I'm in other cities. The railway museum is right near the train station. Dusk is easy to find as it's pretty central and close to the main square.