HOW I FOUND A JOB IN LONDON
Some of you had asked me about how I found a job and I am writing a common post so that everyone can read it.
First of all, I came to UK for a genuine working holiday, not to earn money or anything. I already had an excellent job as a managing editor in India, but I was ready to start my own company, and 2009 was going to be my "resting and writing" year where I couldn concentrate on writing my books. Hence I was not really worried about getting an office job, which was good, since getting one in UK in 2009 is like winning a lottery. I was very clear that I only wanted a part time job which could enable me to just meet my living expenses, and also spend my remaining time writing or studying.
With this in my mind, I decided to be an au pair (a nanny) because it offered me the flexibility to study during the day time (when the kids were at school) and also because it took care of my room+board. And yes, I love kids and I infinitely prefer to do a childcare job than a supermarket job.. so I put up an ad at Gumtree.com and had several interviews before coming to UK...
I think I must be the only person who got a job within 5 days of landing in London.... But then I cheated - I had been job searching on the Net since November when I got my visa! And here I think is an excellent chance for FEMALES (sorry, guys, families prefer their nannies to be girls) who are coming to UK as a working holidaymaker. Big families are always looking for good au pairs, and if you are good with children and also good at multitasking, then you can apply to these jobs... most of the ads are at Gumtree website... you can check it out there..
It was terrible going to these interviews, though... I had to dress like an Arctic explorer, find the routes on the internet, blow up money on transport (which sucked, bcos I usually had to take 2 trains + 3 buses to get to the houses, London is BIG!), and meet each family with the same smile and answer the same questions. I also fell sick on those days (expect to fall sick in the first week of your arrival!), and had to cancel out of a few ones.
I had shortlisted 2 families on my list - the first one was ideal, as there was only one child to take of. Unfortunately, the family never contacted me after asking me to call them.
The second one was a family with 2 middle schoolers and I really liked them - it was a single parent family (no Dad) , which was perfect. But the next day, they said they had chosen another au pair based on references. Oh well.
The third was a family of five living in Richmond Park (BEAUTIFUL area), and really not on my list! But from the moment when the Mom picked me up at the bus stop till she dropped me back home (yes, she really did that! the others didn't), I had such a lovely time at their house. The Mom was really warm and Dad really didn't talk that much - my perfect combination of employers! - and the kids appeared to really like me, I was so content that I said then and there that I would be their au pair, lol.
So I got the job and have been working in Richmond for the past one month. My working hours are weekdays 7:30am to 9am, and 3pm to 7pm. I can take up any p/t work on my free hours, and apart from free room and food, I also get a pocket money every week. If you want to know what my job involves, how I spend my working day, you can read the post here - http://writerintransit.blogspot.com/2009/01/day-in-life-of-au-pair.html
So, girls, do consider the job of an au pair when you come to UK... I am not saying it is easy to get or even if it is a easy job (being responsible for children is never easy!), but it is an excellent way of spending your WH in UK, bcos all your living expenses like rent and food and bus pass is taken care of (since you live with the host family as their member), and you also get pocket money (usually 70-80 pounds a week, more if there are more children to take of) and extra pay if you work on school holidays. Anybody who want to take this route, email me and I can help you with extra info!