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WORKgateways UK e-newsletter

Monthly e-News for the UK Working Traveler

21st November 2005 Volume 3 Issue 5

WORKgateways e-newsletter is written for UK working travelers whether you are in the UK, impatiently awaiting your departure date or thinking about going in the future.... Scroll down to view this month's topics, articles and info.


Introductory Comments

  • It’s the Silly Season: office parties, stand-up comedy, live music…

What's New:

  • Special Feature – Your Guide to Surviving the Employment Silly Season…


  • A real travel experience (Part 3) – Finding your feet in London (arrival and your first couple of days)

In every issue:

Introductory Comments

As someone who comes from the southern hemisphere and who has lived in the UK for 3 years: man I just love this time of year in the UK. I imagine you are asking yourselves why; it’s cold, it’s rainy and, most depressingly, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark.

Well, maybe that’s a big part of the reason why it’s so much fun! With the weather outside so terrible NOW is the best time to focus attention on indoor fun like live music gigs, stand up comedy or catching some ‘high culture’ like a play.

But beware of the office Christmas party! And for all you politically correct people out there – check out this Joke Archive site.

Indoor fun that is not to be missed:


The Comedy Store – apparently Ben Elton started here, French and Saunders, Rick Mayall, Lenny Henry... need I say more


Waxy O'Connor's in London has 4 bars, 6 levels and is linked by a maze of staircases and passages. This weekend of course they have International Rugby - Ireland V Australia 2.05pm, Saturday, November 19, 2005


Sheppard’s Bush Empire – Thanks to Pru for reminding me to mention this cool place. Upcoming live music

  • Natalie Imbruglia - Monday 21st & Thursday 24th November 2005 (Tickets still available for the second show!)
  • The Proclaimers - Thursday 1st Dec 2005

Some other upcoming acts: Delirious?, Mew, and even Bjorn Again (For all you ABBA fans – I know you are out there!)

Money Transfer - Partner

Money Transfer between home and the UK

Need to get your money back home securely and inexpensively? Here is our best pick -

To learn about the various money transfer options - International Money Transfer... a traveler's guide

Stay in a quality London hostel for only £8.20 per night!

Hyde Park Inn - Live amongst other budget travellers working in London at the Hyde Park Inn, complete with a self catering kitchen, TV room, games room, and cheap internet access. Book now

Stay in a friendly London houseshare from only £9.20 per night

North London Accommodation - Situated in Willesden Green, North London Accommodation offers modern accommodation with free internet access and self-catering kitchens. Min 7 night stay, ideal for your working stay in London. Book now

What's New

Your Guide to Surviving the “Employment Silly Season”

Trying to find work between mid-December and early January can be an exercise in frustration for some job seekers. However, depending on your industry, the lead up to the holiday season can be an excellent time to get your foot in the door.

Catering, retail and fill-in type office work can be an ideal way to get you through to the New Year.

Construction may also be quite busy since some efficiency-minded Contractors take the opportunity to get work done during the times when there will be least disruption.

In general though, if you are a professional working in an office, patience can be the key to employment bliss at this time of year. “It’s amazing, some of the best opportunities go begging”, says Quinn Askeland from WORKgateways. This is because many job seekers, your main competition, simply stop looking at this time of year.

As a general strategy, if you are looking for employment your job search strategy between mid December and early January should be to ensure recruitment agencies know you are looking and then, once the holiday dust has settled, remind them in early January that you are still looking.

In the mean time – kick back and enjoy the fruits of the UK.

If you want to know what’s happening in your industry, check out our last newsletter where we covered November.


A real travel experience – Finding your feet in London (arrival and your first couple of days)

So you’ve arrived in London and bounded breathlessly through the gates of Heathrow – where to next? If you’re lucky like I was, you’ll have conned a friend to come and pick you up and show you the ropes, but if not, there’s nothing to fear. It’s dead easy to get the Tube into central London on the Piccadilly Line, or the Heathrow Express train travels to and from Paddington station every 15 minutes. The next stop is finding a place to crash, so you can dump your luggage and start exploring!

Check out all there is to know about finding accommodation in London. It’s probably easiest, and cheapest, to find a hostel first or ‘doss’ somewhere, then start looking for somewhere more permanent once you are settled. Most antipodeans take up residence in places such as Earl’s Court, Fulham, Putney, Clapham or Shepherd’s Bush; so if you live here there’s no shortage of backpackers and other travellers out for a good time.

I wanted to make a note here of how very easy it was for me having organised a bank account from home. It was minimal fuss, relatively low cost and I would highly recommend it to other travellers. In contrast, my brother who has been in London for three months, is still getting his wage paid in to his flatmate’s account. Check out WORKgateways UK Bank Account page for some of the latest options.

On to the next important step – sightseeing! Hopefully you’re staying for a while, because there’s so much to see and do in this city, it’s almost exhausting! Obviously cash is an issue (especially if you’re travelling on the Kiwi or Aussie dollars or SA Rand) so make the most of fantastic, free attractions such as the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain, the Imperial War Museum, or the simply pleasure of basking in the sun in Hyde Park or Soho Square. Of course you must see the palaces, Westminster, and the Houses of Parliament, and you only have to pay if you’re going on a tour inside. Some things are worth the cost though, and don’t let the fact that you are a skint traveller stop you from experiencing London. You can get cheap tickets to shows from stalls at Piccadilly Circus, and even the Globe Theatre has £5 tix if you’re prepared to stand.

The most important things you’ll realise in your first days here, are that you should have brought half as many clothes, twice as much cash, and that you must always carry a bottle of water in the Tube (I’m not kidding, those things are sweatboxes!).

For ongoing updates of my working travels and further advice, check out my blog at Make a comment and let me know what you think!

In Every Issue:

Site of the Month: Lots of useful tips from independent travellers for independent travellers for places all around the world – Nice work guys! 1000 Traveltips

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