Amy’s story: step by step towards a career in sales - Breaking Barriers
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Amy’s story: step by step towards a career in sales

Amy left behind her successful business and came to the UK on the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa. Here's the steps she's been taking since.

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Amy

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When I came to the UK on the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa (HKBNO) in 2023, I had never been to Manchester before in my life. I only knew a friend from Hong Kong who lived here, but I didn’t have any local friends. I do like Manchester; it has positive vibes, convenient transportation, and a lot of job opportunities.

I wanted to meet people and integrate with the local community. At first, I joined a couple of Hong Kong groups, and I would say we have a strong connection among Hong Kong people to help each other. Later on, I also joined the local community and a local church to connect with local people.

Setting a goal

"I had my own successful retail business in Hong Kong, so when I was thinking about jobs in the UK I thought that a career in customer service and sales could be good."

I heard about Breaking Barriers from the Growth Company, which provides employment services to Hong Kong people. Since then, I have met my Breaking Barriers employment adviser, Adiam, to set my goal and find my first job.

I had my own successful retail business in Hong Kong. I was the main salesperson for my business, so when I was thinking about jobs in the UK, I thought that a career in customer service and sales could be good for me. I would like to be a salesperson, so I can meet a lot of people and develop my communication skills and English level.

First steps 

Getting a job means taking lots of steps. I needed to update my CV, learn about UK working culture, and get some UK work experience.

I learned from Adiam about the different style of CV in the UK. In Hong Kong we put our education first, and we have long CVs with all our experience, usually two or more pages. Adiam helped me to create a CV for the UK, which is simple and just one or two pages.

I also joined two workshops to improve my interview skills and learn about UK working culture and customer service skills. This was quite important to understand before getting a job in the UK, because how you deal with difficult customers, or serve customers, is different to Hong Kong.

Finding a job, starting a caree

"It is very important to work in the UK, not only to settle in the community but also to use our skills to contribute to the country and establish connections with both local and Hong Kong people."

I was successful at getting a seasonal job with Lush. I don’t mind this part-time work because it means I am gaining work experience in the UK. It was a great experience. I met lots of customers and worked with different people. The team were caring, there was a positive working environment and my manager made sure I knew what I was doing in my shift.

It is very important to work in the UK, not only to settle in the community but also to use our skills to contribute to the country and establish connections with both local and Hong Kong people. My advice to anyone reading this who is looking for a job is to get help to update your CV to the British style, learn how to write cover letters and improve your interview skills. And most importantly, stay positive. Every step you take is one step more towards your goals.

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