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How to track your career whilst on your Tier- 5

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 7 years ago

It’s always difficult to uproot your life and travel half way across the world to experience a new working life/culture. The task of building a new circle of friends, flat hunting and of course the job search itself can be daunting enough for the bravest of travellers.

Here are Handle’s top tips for finance contractors that arrive in London and subsequently track their career whilst on the Tier-5.

Don’t limit yourself  

London has so much choice, it’s a global market for every type of business you can imagine.  Be realistic, if you always wanted to work in Media/Entertainment/TV some of the biggest companies in the world have headquarters based in London.  Near Old Street - London’s very own Silicon Valley if you like.  Don’t just take any contract, be picky about the Industry and the contract rate will follow.  Be open - Always think if I accept a role where could this lead?


The competition for the best contracts in the best companies in London is high, but your Handle consultant will fully prep you, to give you an advantageous edge

  • Look at the financials of the business on companies house and discuss them at your interview.

  • Connect with all social media sites for the business- LinkedIn very often provides news about what’s happening. Instagram is a great insight into a 'behind the scenes' view of a company

  • Check out your interviewer’s profile on LinkedIn- pick out relevant information as conversation starters.
  • If you come from practice be ready to talk about your clients, give clear examples and relate back to the business you’re interviewing for (size, nature of business etc.)
  • If coming from Industry relate your previous company/duties to the role; I produced management accounts for 5 entities with one based in the USA. I understand for your business you need USGAAP, I am fully compliant due to my previous position.
  • If you have ever influenced a major change within a business (new system implementation) or helped to save/make your previous employer money, then provide statistics, measures and valid examples of successful projects to demonstrate your success and the impact you made.

Location, Location, Location

If you chose to relocate to London, you’ll likely want to work in the centre but be open as there are some amazing Global companies near Heathrow, Stockley Park and Slough. It will be worthwhile to accept a placement that might not be in your ideal location but could give you that step up.

Day rates

Very often, candidates already have a solid idea of their expected day rate when entering the UK market. This may come as a recommendation from an agency or through their own personal network.

This can often change per Industry.  As a general rule Financial Services/Insurance/Banking usually pay slightly higher day rates than retail companies.

If money is your main driver, then absolutely go for the highest rate (after all we have life goals to save for!), but if not, always consider that sometimes it's worthwhile to take a slight pay cut to propel you onto your dream job.

Still undecided?

Ask questions!  With any new position at interview/screening stage, this will help you make that final decision.

  • You have been advised that the company has a great working environment: Ask to meet the team, or have a general walk around in the office.  Do they have team dinners, drinks on a Friday or quarterly social events?  Try and find out the turnover of staff and contractors.

  • General working hours are 9-5.30: Ask what a realist working day is like, be honest if you don’t want a 15 hour day.
  • The role has been sold to you as, commercial with lots of business partnering and influencing business heads, with just elements of transactional: Ask how they would break down on a day to day basis i.e. 20%/80% Business Partnering/Management Accounts

Remember London is an Industry leader, finding that perfect contract can sometimes be about small manageable stepping stones. Think about where you want to be in two years and map these career goals with a Handle consultant who has a sound knowledge of the London market and can open doors to the world’s best brands.

If you are looking for your next big move get in touch today