Friday, November 9, 2012

I Spy Friday with a twist.

You have probably noticed that my blog posts are usually filled with photos, but this one will be all about the words.  I have so much to say this Friday.  I hope you don't mind.

First and foremost...

From the bottom of my heart, Thank you. The sweet comments and encouragement that I've received about the new job have been overwhelming.

Both family and friends back home, friends on Facebook and Twitter, other bloggers and faithful readers have all been so sweet and encouraging.  I can't even tell you what it's meant to me. I've talked before about how sometimes I feel so disconnected going through this transition. But the love and support I've received has shown me again that I'm not disconnected.  Not at all.  And that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Especially when I picture you all doing the happy dance with me.  Fabulous dancers, you are!!

So, thank you.  

In case you are curious, here's little bit more about the job search and the new job.

Job searching can be pretty overwhelming especially in London.  I applied for probably 60+ jobs online.  Most of them came back with a quick reply that I was not selected for interview but no feedback as to why.  My resume (called a CV here) is not your typical resume and I knew that having no UK experience would be a challenge.  I just needed someone to give me a chance.

A majority of the jobs here are placed through recruiting agencies. I was called in for meetings with three of them.  They were all very friendly, professional and encouraging.  They each sent me job descriptions and put me on the shortlist to be presented to the clients for various jobs.  But, only the third one actually got me in for an interview.  And I haven't heard from the other two in weeks.

It is pretty amazing how it all worked out.  I was getting discouraged and thought it would be months before I got to work.  The third recruiter (my new favorite person) said he would present my CV for this specific job.  A few days later he contacted me that they would like an interview.  This was my first actual interview with a potential employer.

It was a pretty intense two-hour interview and I spent several days preparing. They even threw in some logic and numbers testing.  I was pretty nervous but also excited.  After looking at the job specifications and researching the organization, I knew this would be a great job.  After the interview with two of their management team, I really wanted this job.  And that is the last thing I said to them after our meeting. 

Then there was a loooooong weekend wait.  I'm not sure who was in more agony, me or TE.  I kept coming up with random things I'd done or said wrong in the interview. He had to listen to me all weekend.  To say I was distracted, is an understatement.  My mind was set on replay.
During the interview, I'm sure I came off as very American.  Of course, I think that's a great thing and exactly who I am, but I do acknowledge that it can be a little bit challenging in a different culture.  Americans tend to communicate in a way that is confident and direct, which can sometimes come off as brash to a more reserved Brit. I was afraid I had been too eager and might have been more like a Labrador puppy than an accountant.

But on Monday, I got the magic phone call!  The agent told me that they were impressed and excited to offer me the job.  Woohoo!

I actually burst into tears.  Can you imagine?  That is such a non-British thing to do.  The recruiter was actually very sweet about it, but still.  "There's no crying in accounting."

The next day, I sent the recruiter cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery just to reinforce the fact that "yes, I am Texan and completely daft when it comes to how things work in the London business world."  I stopped just short of wagging my tail and licking his face.  And apparently, in three years of recruiting, no one has ever sent him a thank you gift.  See.  Americans aren't that bad.  Cupcakes and puppies. 

And I am now working for a wonderful charity that provides housing and services to the homeless, those with disabilities and those in need.  I couldn't be more thrilled. 

A few other details, if you are interested.  I am here on a Spousal Visa which means that I'm eligible to work in the UK.  When I arrived, I applied for a National Insurance Number which is kind of like our US social security number.  The government uses it to collect employment taxes.  Taxes here are much higher than in the States, but there is no extra deduction for health insurance so it probably comes out about even.  I do have access to National Health Insurance which I haven't used yet. And... I get 5 weeks of vacation (called holiday) per year plus 8 bank holidays!  I've only ever had two weeks a year, but 4-5 weeks is pretty standard in the UK.  How cool is that?  I start on Tuesday!

There is one thing I'm a little concerned about since I'll be working full-time (besides where the heck dinner's gonna come from every night).  I have really loved blogging and sharing my photos with you.  I cherish the connections that I've made.  I'm sure there will be some changes, but I will continue to blog about this expat experience and our travels.  I hope that you will continue to stop by and connect with me.  

For my faithful readers, if you haven't already, I'd love it if you would follow me.  I've also been selected for a 2012 Expat Blog Award.  One of the criteria is loyal readership and I'm still shocked thrilled every time one of you clicks on a post.  It would mean so much if you would pop over to Expats Blog and leave a comment with some blog love. 

If you are still with me, then you deserve an award!  This one was certainly a bit wordy wasn't it?  But, I can't leave you without some sort of I Spy Friday photos.  Monday was Guy Fawkes Day and were were out exploring Butler's Wharf and watching the fireworks, when we happened across this...

It was the Halo 4 Launch.  There was a helicopter dangling a huge Halo Glyph Logo flying over Tower Bridge.  It was massive and pulsating with red lights. Check out the link for more details and some video.

It was pretty cool.  I've played Halo with my daughter and my family loves it.  
But, it made me so homesick for SB and my dad, brother and nephew who are really into computer games.  I wish they could have been there.

(Sorry about the quality of the iPhone photos.)  

London still amazes me.  You just never know what you're going to see. 
The job feels like the final piece of the puzzle that makes London home,
although a part of my heart is always in Texas.

I promise the next post will include a lot more photos.
I get to fulfill a lifelong dream by visiting Scotland this weekend
and both camera batteries are charged and ready to go.

Have a wonderful weekend!!


Not a sponsored post. 


  1. Woo hoo! Congrats. Job-searching can be so so spiritually, mentally and physically draining. I don't wish it on anyone. So so happy that your search is OVER.

  2. I read this this morning on my phone, but I can't comment as me with it (I'm definitely not that iphone savvy!)- but YAYAYAYAYYAYAY!! I am so thrilled for you, and what a great work opportunity! You'll be fantastic, I know.
    Have fun in Edinburgh this weekend- can't wait to see what you "spy"!

  3. I love reading your blog! I am a fellow southerner from the US, and I have always dreamed of traveling and/or living in the UK. My husband and I spent a week in Edinburgh last month, and I loved it! I am really hoping to go back someday and explore much more of Scotland. Congratulations your new job - I hope it is everything you want it to be!

  4. So fun to hear more details! I always think they think we are big yellow labs with our over-enthusiasm - I love that you 'almost' licked his face. Have a great first day at work!

  5. Selena - Loved your post. I have a sister here in Kentucky who is an emotional accountant (two words that don't normally go together) who works for a non-profit called Women Helping Women in Cincinnati - but we live across the river in the land of Pretty Women, Fast Horses, and Big Basketball. She became a CPA because her college adviser told her that wasn't a job for women!!!! So I hope you will continue to hold up the excellent reputation for women, accountants, USA, the legacy of Southern Women and the great state of Texas (I have cousins in Dallas and Austin!)!!!

  6. Perfect. I have waited to hear about your job, and your "happening" upon a Halo launch. You're right... only in London, the things we have come across just on a day out, cracks me up and sometimes I'm even like "You're kidding right?"... I remember a robot doing a mini rock concert once, a magazine photo shoot, a fire eater and oh... the man with no head routine, that was a good one... all next to Tower Bridge. Gotta love London!
    I will always be a follower, I love your blog, and we need to hook up so I can give you that candy!
    Congratulations again, you will so rock that company!

  7. Congrats again Selena, such good news!

    I like the photos of the Halo launch! Very exciting! And those helicopters are very cool.

  8. Many congratulations (again) on your job... sounds like a great charity.
    And I love the cupcakes story. There should be more cake in the business world!

  9. Well done Selena!! How exciting!! So glad the right job has come along for you. Best wishes for Tuesday!! I'll still be following to see what adventures you get up to.


  10. Just catching up here ... huge congrats on the new job :D

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