I took a week between returning from our holiday in the states for Christmas and starting work. Luckily, my visa status allows me to work in the UK, and engineering skills are pretty transferable (except for that whole metric system thing) so it was not nearly as impossible as I thought it would be to find an interesting job similar to what I was doing in the states. But working less hours per week and getting way more vacation time. Pretty sweet deal. It was a tough decision, but I think that working will be good because it will allow me to keep up my technical skills and immerse myself more in the UK. The downside is that it is all new codes and software, and it is a bit frustrating to have to start over in many ways. On the plus side, unless you make over a certain amount of money (which I won’t) you don’t pay US taxes, and the taxes you do pay are fairly uncomplicated. (Compared to Lucas, who is paid in both pounds sterling and dollars, which will be complicated)
As I’ve mentioned before, being in the UK on a dependent visa for someone who has been transferred by their company allows you to work. I have started the process of applying for a national insurance number, a process that can take up to two months, but you are allowed to work without one for 3 months. So hopefully my paperwork will come in soon! The UKBA and National Insurance websites and phone numbers have been very helpful, and are a much better resource than asking friends and acquaintances what is legal and what is not. (I was told by some people I could not work but they hadn’t researched it thoroughly , and the government disagreed). If you are searching for a job, recruiters seem o do a lot of the leg work here, evaluating credentials and openings to see what a good match would be. So don’t be intimidated, it isn’t too bad of a time.
Since our apartment only comes with one parking space, I’ve become an active user of public transit. There is a bus that is a 3 minute walk from where I live and it goes almost directly to my office, so it is actually really convenient, and allows me to catch up on fb/twitter/reading on my commute. And I get to ride a double decker bus every day. Win!
On a less related note, I’ve been looking at travel quotes lately… Do you have any favorite quotes, travel related or otherwise?