A Bumpy Road

Like it or not, part of the thrilling experience of moving to a different country is coming across obstacles. All types of obstacles: language, culture or just the fact of being away from home. Mainly, stepping out of your comfort zone.

The UK is one of the three countries (along with Switzerland and Germany) where Portuguese nationals emigrate the most. It was after joining the Euro, with the pressure of public investment and the growth of unemployment, that the emigration rates grew rapidly in the first two decades of the 21st century.

In 2010, as a result of the austerity measures, Portuguese emigration faced a new phase, having 110,000 people emigrating each year since then. With a population of about 10 million people, Portugal is the second country in the European Union with the highest percentage of migrating nationals: 21 per cent of the population has currently emigrated. However, there is a new phenomenon – these new emigrants are qualified and looking for better opportunities all over the world, sometimes not even planning to return to their home country.

Why would someone not want to return home? It is simple: a minimum monthly wage of £456 cannot compete with £1786! This makes the UK an “el dorado” for Portuguese migrants. On the other hand, not everything is gold. There are, and will always be, difficulties for those that looking for jobs in a new country. Simple things such as having a notion of existing cultural differences and its possible implications can be the key to success. There is no such thing as better or worse cultures – they are just different. If this isn’t accepted, the risks are the possibility of not integrating in a new society, or even, not finding a job.

PR wise, the industry’s development varies according to the country, and the cultural differences do exist (being that the reason why PR is done differently across the globe). For a Portuguese PR student looking for a job in the UK, all possible difficulties must be quickly overcome and the opportunities must be used in your favour. Where to seek them? The easiest way is through a university and its lecturers that provide support in finding work placements. All the opportunities I’ve had so far (including working for Different PR) came from this support and through networking.

Networking is a powerful tool in this business and I’m realising that more and more each day. I’ve been told that if you are really good at what you do, you will find a job. That can be true if you get the first chance to show what you’re worth! The key word is “persistence”. Get your first chance, and when you do, don’t forget to show what you’re all about.




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