The expat interview series continues! This time we've been talking to Matthew from Sheffield in the UK. Matthew is only 22 years old and is already about to move abroad for the second time! Before finding his current job in Parisian start-up he was working in hospitality. His passions are marketing, sales, and recruitment.
Matthew describes himself as a social person that loves doing anything that involves meeting and talking to people. Sounds like he's just made to go for an international career!
Let's Talk About Moving And Working Abroad
Many of our readers didn't dare to move abroad yet and are always happy to read advice from "real people" who already made the experience. Let's see what Matthew has to tell.
Hey Matthew, you’re originally from Sheffield and working in Paris right now, right? Tell us your story... Why/when did you decide to work abroad?
Yeah, so I live in Sheffield at the moment, but I’ve been working for a Start-up in Paris from quarantine and move there at the end of June.
I knew I wanted to work abroad because I wanted a role with challenges that would put me outside of my comfort zone (language, culture, etc.).
Did you look specifically for a job outside your home country?
Yes, I knew I wanted to move abroad but I didn’t mind which country.
Where did you look for jobs?
I looked for jobs mainly on LinkedIn and also Undutchables.
I saw on your profile that you speak French. Did it help you to find a job in France? Or do you think it would have worked without?
It would have worked without, but I think it definitely worked in my favour that I spoke French. The company I work for is completely English speaking but it’s still a very useful skill to have.
On the other side, how was your experience with finding a job in your chosen profession/industry? How long did it take?
It took a lot of ‘No’s’ and rejections but all in all it took me around 2-3 months to find a job. The coronavirus negatively impacted my job search, I’d found a position in Oslo, Norway which fell through due to the virus. Although I think everything happens for a reason and I’m super happy with where I am now though.
I know it might be a little bit early to ask as you just started to work in your new company, but how is it like to work in such a young international environment? Especially, as you started to work remotely...
It’s really refreshing to have my voice be heard and to work with younger like-minded people. Everyone is very supportive and no one is afraid to ask for help.
What values do you see in international teams?
I think having people from all around the world with different backgrounds gives a team a perspective that can’t be the same for national teams.
Do you think you could make the same experience when staying in the UK?
Personally, no. I think moving and working abroad gives you an invaluable and unique experience that you just don’t get from staying in the UK.
In your eyes, what is the most difficult aspect of moving abroad?
I moved abroad already to the US and it can be incredibly daunting and the thought of making friends as an adult is terrifying but despite the fears and anxiety, everything will be okay.
So, your first time living abroad was in the US. Is there anything that you experienced during this period that you wouldn’t want to miss?
Working live concerts for the hotel I worked at, we had Arsenio Hall, Kevin Bacon, Nick Swardson, and lots more famous American comedians and musicians. It was great fun but also gave me invaluable events management experience.
Experience With Next Station
Of course, we're also interested in our candidates experience with Next Station. So here are a few more questions about working with us.
You joined the Next Station platform in the middle of March. Do you remember when we first contacted you or when you had your first interview?
Yeah, I joined Next Station on a whim really, I’m so glad I found it though. I think it was roughly a week after I signed up that you first contacted me with the first possible job for me, I had the interview around a week and a half later and now I’m working! :)
I’m sure you’ve been looking for jobs on various job boards before finding the Next Station platform. What makes us different in your eyes?
When I signed up to Next Station I expected that I would have to do the work and find the jobs which can be a tiring and demotivating process. It was actually Next Station that called me and told me they’d found a match for my skill set. I was thrilled that someone had actually looked at my CV and actively applied it to roles that they thought I’d be good at. What makes you different to me is that someone actually tried to help me, and during this time I couldn’t thank you enough for it. I was seriously expecting to have to pay for the service.
It’s a super basic question but I have to ask: would you recommend us to your friends? :P … If so, why?
Absolutely! I’ve already been directing my friends towards Next Station. I recommend you for the same reason above, someone actually tries for you and they were available to talk to during the whole recruitment process and gave great interview advice.
Can you think of 3 characteristics that describe Next Station?
Innovative – You actively tried to find me a role. Caring – Akvile was always available and replied to my emails quickly. Accessible – You have a wide range of jobs available in a wide range of countries so you’ve got something for everyone.
And to finish this off, if a friend told you that they want to move abroad, which advice would you give them?
Do your research. Whilst moving abroad is exciting and adventurous, it’s not something to take lightly. You’d want to look into things like cost of living, likelihood of getting a job, living standards, social opinions, etc.