Many Filipinos dream of working in the UK. It is one of the highest paying countries in the world, and as a first world country, it offers a high standard of living very few other countries can offer.
In this article, we review ten things to expect when you already land that dream job in the UK. Specifically, we will showcase the information shared by an OFW working in the corporate job through a video he posted on YouTube.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
What You Need to Know About Being an Accountant in the UK
The YouTube video featured in this article is from “The House Husband.” Here he talks about ten important things you need to be aware of before working in the UK. This is crucial to know especially when you’re still in the planning stages, and will really help you with your decisions. You can watch the full video below:
According to the YouTuber, there are two ways you can get paid in the UK, monthly or fortnightly. Monthly is when you get paid once a month, which is the same as in many jobs in the Philippines, and fortnightly is when you get paid twice a month.
Well, the thing is, there are 26 fortnights in a year, and not exactly 24 as the logic from the previous paragraph suggests. So keep this in mind if you are comparing how much you will get if you do a monthly or a fortnightly salary arrangement.
He mentioned in the video that he works as an accountant in the UK. For that job, he earns around 40,000 to 80,000 pounds a year, as mentioned in another video which he recommended in this video.
He adds that this rate is true for major cities, including London. That rate, in Philippine Pesos, is equivalent to a monthly salary of Php 200,000. This is just the gross salary, though, excluding the deductions and the fact that the cost of living in the UK is high.
He also mentioned that if you are interested in working as an accountant in the UK, the best way to do so is to get into the six major companies offering that job: EY, Deloitte, KPMG, pwc, BDO, Grand Thornton. In fact, these are the only four companies that offer you a visa once you get hired in their company.
Also, you must be a CPA, and have 3 to 5 years of work experience prior to your application.
2. Holiday Leave
In the UK, the minimum annual statutory leave is 28 days. This number includes 8 public holidays when you are based in England or Wales, 9 public holidays when you’re in Scotland, and when you’re in Northern Island, that’s 10 holidays.
If you exclude the public holidays, that means you have 20 days of leave. However, many companies in the UK actually give you 25 days of leave, not including public holidays.
In the Philippines, on the other hand, there are many companies that give 15 days of paid vacation leave.
3. Work Hours
In the UK, you work 7.5 hours per day, or 37.5 hours per week. In the Philippines, that’s 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week.
When you work in London, though, or in any other major city in the UK, you will probably work longer hours since there’s a lot to do. This should not be a concern, though, since our YouTuber said that the work-life balance in the country is ok.
4. Diverse Workforce
The first thing you will notice working in the UK for the first time is how diverse the workforce is. Your co-employees come from many other parts of the world, including fellow Filipinos.
As such, you need to know how to adjust and embrace other cultures. Try to work through the varying accents as well, to maintain good communication in the work environment.
5. Daily Commute
Most workers live away from the city, according to our YouTuber. That’s because rent prices for all types of accommodation are quite high, so they prefer the low priced spaces miles away from the city.
This is only mainly true though if your work is in the big city. In some other areas in the UK, living near work can save you more money that you would otherwise use for your daily commute.
In the case of our YouTuber, he mentioned that he lives 20 miles away from the city because it is cheaper. He and his family bought a house and shared some tips regarding this matter in a different video in his channel.
6. People are generally friendly
On your first day of work, you will most likely get interviewed by your co-workers, as they are curious about who you are, and want to know more about you. Some questions to expect include, where are you from, how did you get here, what are your previous work experiences, and more.
One great thing mentioned in the video is that the people you work with will always ask you how you are. Even if you just pass each other in the hallway, they will ask, “how are you,” and you need to respond in a kind way.
Also, expect them to ask you how’s your weekend every Monday. It’s best to prepare an answer ahead of time. It’s also probably a good idea to keep your weekends fun so you have something to share.
Moreover, they will also ask you what your plans are for the weekend every Friday. Again, it’s probably best to have something planned, or if there’s nothing you can just straight up tell them that there’s not much in store.
7. People are Vocal
He said that most people you will encounter in UK are direct and vocal about how they feel, what they need from you, and more. If you are sitting close to each other at work, they will make sure to stand and approach you and tell you what they want to say.
This is not always true in the Philippines. Filipinos sometimes prefer messaging each other through text or social media, even if we’re in the same room.
Therefore, it will work well for you in the long run if you adopt this culture. Say what you want to say, and you will be appreciated for it. For example, if you want a promotion, let the authorities know. Ask for it. There’s no harm in asking. After hearing your request, they will then decide if you are qualified for such, and give it to you when you deserve it.
8. Pronunciation and Spelling
This is common knowledge, but there are a lot of English words that we use in the Philippines that are different to the words in British English. In fact, the way we talk back home is probably more influenced by the American version.
Aside from some differences in the words, the British accent is also quite distinct. Having said that, we don’t have to speak using their accent while we’re in the UK. We can use our own accent but we need to pronounce the words correctly.
He gave the example of the word “Leicester,” which is a city in England, is actually pronounced “Lesta.” A Filipino will probably pronounce all the letters in this word, but as you can see, there are a bunch of silent letters.
Don’t worry, after some time working in the UK, you will get the hang of how the locals speak, and you will eventually even learn to adopt some of these words or phrases.
Here’s another example, “Plymouth.” At first glance, you might guess that it sounds like the combination of “ply” and “mouth,” but in reality, it should sound more like “plea-mooth.”
When it comes to spelling, one common difference between American and British English is that there are a lot of American English words that use the letter “z,” but in British English the letter “s” is used instead.
For example, “customized” and “amortization” are “customised” and “amortization” in the UK.
9. Tea and Coffee
According to The House Husband, people in the UK love to drink tea and coffee, and they drink it multiple times in a day.
Also, based on his experience, if you are in the workplace and someone prepares tea or coffee, they will ask if anyone else wants tea or coffee as well.
This is similar to back home in the Philippines when we are eating, and someone comes along, and we offer them to eat with us. Usually this is done with the true intention of actually offering your food to the visitor, but in some cases, it’s become something we just say for the sake of saying something.
The next time you prepare tea or coffee while in your office in the UK, don’t forget to ask if someone else wants one too.
10. Long Notice Period
If you want to resign from your job, he says that the employers often give a long notice period. For example, if you are currently working at entry level in the UK, you are given 1 month, for mid-level jobs, you get 3 months, while for those working at the executive or management level, the notice period can be as high as 6 months.
So there you have it. These are the top ten things you need to know about working in the UK, according to an OFW YouTuber. I hope you learned a lot from this article, and from the video of course. Check out The House Husband’s channel for more relevant and related content.