I arrived in the UK in feb 2013. It was uncharted territory for me.
First time for me in the UK, and first time I ever travel out of my country, Lebanon.
I had the advantage of having good command of English, but that’s pretty much all I had.
The plan was to study a master’s degree here, and then see how things go afterwards.
because back in Lebanon, there wasn’t a lot of prospects for me.
Even if you are a highly qualified and learned individual, your chances of starting a fruitful career are quite slim.
Nearing the end of my degree, I was still unsure what to do,
Especially with all the pressure that I had,
Working night shift as a hotel receptionist, studying & preparing for my dissertation.
I really had very little head-space to think about what I am going to do next after my studies.
But the thing is, I was running out of time,
So kicked in full throttle, because going back to Lebanon was not an option.
I made it my sole goal to land a job here in the UK with Visa sponsorship.
I started doing a lot of research into the Tier 2 sponsorship process.
What are the roles qualified, what are the requirements, how long it takes etc..
I spent hundreds of hours filtering through a list of 30,000 companies trying to find the ones which could potentially hire me.
I realised although I had some experience working in IT but still companies were asking for more.
the good ol’ commercial working experience wasn’t really enough.
It had to be in something specific, something niche.
I managed to get some hands on work with C# development.
And to top it off I worked on developing components for a niche enterprise level CMS.
At that point this was a perfect example of a niche skill set that could give me the best chance at getting sponsored.
Eventually all I really had was 4 weeks’ worth of actual development experience.
But experience in a high demand niche.
That’s what made it possible for me to land my first offer for a job with visa sponsorship.
So in summary, what I needed to achieve this are three things:
- Some working experience.
- Knowledge of niche technology that is in demand.
- Resilience, a can do attitude, and never giving up.
Today I am helping others achieve the same through learning niche skill sets in web or software development through my 5 years’ experience in this space.