How Do I Find a Job in Brighton….and Quickly?
I am frequently asked by candidates how do they find a job in Brighton…and quickly? How come, I hear you ask? Simply put, Brighton is a unique place for jobs and recruitment – it is a lifestyle city. Few people are here for their career. They are here to study, they are relocating to party, to be with friends and loved ones and to live in a beautiful city. They are here for a lifestyle and their career is secondary.
Why the Rush?
Why the speed though? Well, here is the unusual thing about Brighton. We have a large student population who when they finish their studies stay in the city and they need a summer or part time job immediately. The summer has begun and they have no time to lose. In addition, I have candidates’ step-off the bus or train in central Brighton and then immediately walk into my office needing work. They don’t know where they are sleeping that night, and they have no idea what jobs are available. But, in their mind they need work right now.
I genuinely salute these people. They are brave, have made a leap of faith and they back themselves to make things work in Brighton. They understand their immediate goals – find work and find accommodation. I admit, I couldn’t make such a leap. Fear would stop me. But, time and again it is demonstrated to me this approach in Brighton can work.
But, how do they (and you) make it work so quickly? Simply put, you need to counter your expectations. If you want work immediately be realistic. You may be a creative genius, a rocket scientist, or a human resources guru…the types of jobs you may want will take time to find. You can find them in Brighton, you can even speed the process by saying you are immediately available. But, we are talking about immediate work here – I mean start Monday at the latest!
So, first thing to say is temper your expectations. Brighton is a tourist town. If you want immediate work you need to think call centre, hospitality or retail sectors. The salary is not going to make you rich…but that is not why you are here. You need to hit the job market and local recruitment agencies hard and fast…don’t be picky, do not put-up barriers to gainful employment.
You need a job, you need income…hit that goal first. It doesn’t mean you give up your career goals. They will come later. I have a lot of respect for candidates who tell me they took a job to pay the bills. It was not their dream job; it was not enjoyable. They did what was required. That tells you a lot about a person. Basically; find a job, start the job and then once settled in Brighton you can re-evaluate where you are and what you are doing.
If you are going to find that job quick you need the following:
- An up-to-date copy of your CV (both hard copy and electronic)
- Proof of your right to work in the UK
- Smart appearance…you need people to take you seriously – so ditch the ripped shorts or inappropriate slogan on the t-shirt. First impressions count.
- A phone that works
- A can-do attitude
If you do not have these vital ingredients…stop. It simply won’t work. You will not find a job. Just stop reading, sort the details and then come back to the blog and your job search!
So, you are going to hit the Brighton job market hard and fast. To do that you need a CV that is up to date. This is fundamental. You may not know where you are staying in Brighton, but there is no legal requirement for you needing a full or permanent address documented on your CV. Just write Brighton, and make sure your email and phone number is correct.
You are then going to make contact with as many recruitment agencies as possible. You want to state your case to each recruitment agency; I need work immediately. You then want to find out if they can help and who you send your CV to. You do not stop at one recruitment agency. Brighton has lots of recruitment agencies. Just because one says they can help; you do not stop.
Okay, in many cases a recruitment agency will need to register you…so point two…do you have the correct documentation to show you are eligible to work in the UK? By this I mean a passport or a birth certificate with proof of your national insurance number. If you don’t have this the game is up! You have to show you are eligible to work in the UK.
Recruitment agencies may ask you to visit them or they may do this remotely via videoconferencing. Things have changed thanks to covid, so be flexible. The classic case with recruitment agencies is that registering you is the first step for them. Until a recruitment agency has you registered, they may be reluctant to discuss opportunities. Fair enough…but hammer home the question “do you have anything starting immediately”. If not, be prepared to move on…but do not burn your bridges. They maybe a fall-back option in the future and you have to start somewhere. As you start walking to their office…you can phone other recruitment agencies on the way or even drop in!
A recruitment agency makes money by placing people in work. They have a vested interest in helping you find work asap. Therefore, engage with them and see what they can offer.
Put your feet up, have a coffee (or something stronger) and maybe have a quick look at job boards. Any adverts for “immediate start” or “summer job”…then apply. Pounding the pavement and showing energy is good. But sometimes you need to work smart and not just hard. Some of the national job boards like Indeed or CV-Library can help. However, have a look at the smaller boards with a local focus. Gumtree or Friday Ad are relatively cost-effective advertising spots and you sometimes see an advert from local companies offering an immediate start.
If you can have your CV with five or six potential employers while you sit in the comfort of a café all well and good. You are relying on them replying to you though. Take nothing for granted, just see this as being a means of casting your net wider.
Capitalise on the Brighton Skills Shortage
As I write this…employers are screaming out for staff. As you walk around Brighton you will see signs in bars and shop windows. See an establishment that looks nice….drop in and offer them a copy of your CV.
The economic climate in the UK is highly unusual. Brighton is no different. Therefore, take advantage of it. Shops, bars, restaurants and coffee shops will in many cases welcome your CV. Recruitment agencies as well will be delighted to see someone drop in.
A word of warning though. I have seen reports of some bars and restaurants offering a trial shift – unpaid. It is not something I am in favour of, but it does seem to be common. Define what is a trial shift, how long they want you for and what they are looking at. More importantly what is the job on offer and the contracted hours available. You may have just arrived in town, but that does not mean you should be taken advantage of.
If you are knocking on every door with energy and enthusiasm – something will open for you. It may not be your dream job, in fact it could be a complete nightmare! But if the offer comes, be it from a recruitment agency or another source, take a moment to think it through. Do you understand the role, the hours and the salary? Is it hitting your agenda? Then make your decision.
If you say no to the role (and that is fine), explain why it is a no. It helps all parties. If you feel the salary is wrong, the role just leaves you cold or there are not enough hours – spell it out to everyone, including yourself. You might find some negotiations suddenly come up. Working in a recruitment agency in Brighton I often hear the “Meatloaf effect”…I’ll do anything for work…but I won’t do that!
Having an opportunity turned down is fine and part of my job with candidates. But, you do have this sense of you need to go back to basics and find out what a candidate’s requirements are when this happens.
By spelling out the wrongs of a job offer you are putting in place your expectations (see above) – remember, to find work immediately you need to compromise things a little.
There you have it. Many before you have jumped off the train in Brighton or stepped out of their university exam and found work immediately. As said, they are fearless and determined in their pursuit, but proof that it can be done. You do need a little bit of preparation and you need some energy. You also need to remain grounded and understand you will have to compromise on the type of work you do if you really do want a job immediately. But…it can and has been done!
About The Author
Simon Royston is the founder and Managing Director of The Recruitment Lab (A recruitment agency with offices in Aldershot and Brighton that offers employment services across Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and beyond). Simon lives in Guildford and has worked in Recruitment for over a decade. He has a degree and a masters in psychology as well as a diploma in Human Resource Management. If you would like to know more about anything written in this blog or would simply like to express your own thoughts and opinions do not hesitate to contact Simon through The Recruitment Lab website.