Summer of 2015 for Laura Lasmane wasn’t like the previous ones. Not at all. Because that’s when Laura, experienced marketing professional, who had a successful career, decided to take a leap and move from Latvia to Manchester, UK, to live and work there. As she recalls, it was very scary, but she decided to go for it, nevertheless.
I have worked with Laura for some time in Latvia. And if you ask me, then for me it seems just logical, that Laura has succeeded and now has a job in UK, that she loves. Because that’s what she is good at – learning new things, that interests her. Be it a new country, that she wants to move to, or some skill.
Actually, when we with Una first started to think about traveling and that we would love to do it more (in summer of 2012, right after our first trip abroad), we were thinking about moving to some other country to live and work there. And to travel in our free time. What we did at the end was completely different, but it doesn’t change the fact, that, in our opinion, moving to another country to live there is a great experience to have.
Read on and learn more about Laura’s experience of moving to Manchester, to build a new life in UK.
Please, tell us a little bit about yourself!
Up until a year ago, I’ve been living and working in Latvia all my life – I was working in marketing, mostly in digital agencies, but also had experience with public relations. As often as I could afford, I tried to travel abroad to see the world and experience new cultures. Every now and then I daydreamed about living in some of those places, but for me it was just an idea.
In general, I felt happy with the life I had and believed I can make it work.
So what was first – Manchester or idea about moving somewhere?
When you’re not entirely happy with something, you try to find ways how to change it or, if you don’t see one, how to walk away. I think I had reached a point where I was thinking about walking away from my life – job, life in Riga, but I didn’t know where to start.
When I was visiting Manchester, it gave me the push – I loved the city, it felt like “home”, and I knew there are tons of opportunities for professionals like myself. All of a sudden the idea of making this big move felt less scary.
Had you also other possible destinations in your mind?
As I had learned German, I had thought of living in Germany to learn this language properly, but my love to mountains got me daydreaming about life in Austrian Alps. Now that I actually have this life-changing experience, I feel less scared of new opportunities like this, and maybe one day my daydreaming will turn into reality.
Did you have any backup plan when thinking about this move? Or you were ready to do whatever it takes and build your new life in Manchester?
My only back-up plan was to go back home! I had some savings and that’s the only reason why I could afford living here for weeks while I was looking for a job. I knew the money is going to run out one day, and I had set my deadline.
My primary goal was to find a job I loved in my industry, but I didn’t let myself feel bad about prospects of finding a less qualified job or eventually going back home.
What have been the toughest moments so far?
There have been several tough moments, but with each you grow, you learn and get tougher. I think the hardest part is to keep believing in yourself and letting yourself fail as well. Lots of learning lessons.
What would you do differently if moving to a new country now?
It would solely depend on the situation, I think. If I had limited resources, I would again do thorough research beforehand and prepare myself in all possible ways. If money was less of an issue, I would let myself enjoy the process more. Also, I think I would allow myself to look for non-marketing jobs.
Was it easy for you as a professional to find a job in Manchester?
It wasn’t extremely hard, but it wasn’t easy either. I had a good track record, good experience and skills, and I was lucky enough to be looking for a job when there was a dire need of professionals like me in the industry. However, if I had arrived months earlier or later, I might’ve been affected by the quiet period in recruitment.
Either way, I believe anyone can do it if they work for it.
What are the biggest differences in job search process between England and Latvia?
I think one of the biggest differences is that here you have so many recruiting companies, many of them specialize in a very narrow field, say – digital marketing professionals. The benefit of it is that they really know what to look for in a candidate.
However, when you are approached by a few companies for the same role, it gets confusing. Some companies will also work hard to prepare you for certain interviews and give you some really useful tips and background information.
3 things you love about England, 3 things – you still have to get used to
What I love – people being polite to each other, so many choices and opportunities wherever you go which allows me to keep up with my existing hobbies, multiculturality. Things I still need to get used to – I think mostly it’s the bad weather, however, I’m slowly getting there. I don’t think I’m having issues with anything else.
Anything else you would love to say to others thinking of doing something similar?
The world is an amazing place right now and gives us so many opportunities to travel and live abroad. It’s a great way how to broaden your experiences, learn new things and cultures and also find out who you really are. It might be scary at first, but you’ll get so much more out of it – go for it!
Read more about Laura’s experience on her blog – Expat in Manchester!
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they are traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On WeAreFromLatvia.com they share their experience and things learned along the way.