The UK has never been a destination that I wanted to go for an expatriation (damn this guy gives a spectacular start!).
Too close to France, too many French people, and the foreigner’s cliché about the UK: UK=London… This big city, bigger than Paris. Full of angry and impolite workers where the stress permanently rules. To sell an organ each time you want to pay your rent… Anyway, everything I wanted to run from Paris… and didn’t want to find abroad!
I was in Ireland, couldn’t find a job… and suffering from depression! (my experience about my 1st expatriation in Ireland can be found in another section – Ireland). So I was in an ordinary situation: VIE? Shall I try? What is it exactly? What shall I believe regarding all these negative and positive comments about this topic?? (Should I talk again about the personal side of the experience or not?)
A friend even told me one of her colleagues decided to go abroad with a VIE contract and spent several nights sleeping inside the factory before finding an accommodation, left on his own devices because the VIE contract was not considered as an internal contract in the company, and because no one helped him (and apparently solidarity and generosity were not part of the culture – the company or the country one)…
But then, I was stuck in Dublin, without having any concrete future despite my desire to stay, and I was definitely not ready to go back to France after this semi-failure in Ireland. I couldn’t come back telling myself I was going back to Paris, depressed, carry on my shame faced with my failure.
So I decided to get some information about the VIE, and to go to Civiweb website and some firms’ careers pages (Sanofi, Total, etc.) regularly recruiting VIEs, every day, applying to the ads I was interested in.
HR adverts are not the most common ones and, for several reasons (I explain that in the section “HR Abroad”), the laaarge majority are offers in recruitment (assistants, coordinators, consultants). Not so many are offers in HR. Rare are the HR offers not 100% dedicated to recruitment only.
I didn’t want to be in a recruitment position because I thought the VIE should bring me this HR vision in a different culture. In all countries in the world, recruitment is finally… recruitment. It’s the same thing everywhere. Ways of working are quite similar and the resume as well. And the job descriptions looked like what I’ve already done in France for a long time.
Regarding the countries, I didn’t really have any limit. Canada, United Arab Emirates (if the job was really interesting, because the culture and the climate were not really for me), Europe, Japan, etc. Just one limit on the USA though. I knew I would have difficulties to live with this culture at that time. I didn’t dare neither to apply to German ads because I couldn’t speak a word in this language, and I wasn’t interested by learning German language. Also, I wanted to improve my English skills, or Spanish skills.
So I was applying carefully. I wasn’t receiving many answers… I was not applying to a lot of adverts neither (logic, right?!). Then after 2 weeks, I was actually forgetting each ad I applied for.
Anyway, 1 month after I applied to a position in the UK, I was receiving a call from a recruiter based in the recruitment centre in Bristol. After a short phone interview, the recruiter informed me she was organising an interview with the HR Director and she will come back to me in a few days.
The next day, I had a confirmation for a phone interview with the HR Director and a HRBP for the following week.
At the end of this phone interview, the HR Director informs me she will come back to me in a few days, to inform me about her decision, positive or negative.
Once the interview was finished in Cardiff, the answer, positive, was given immediately at the end of the interview. The file had to be dealt now between the HQ in Toulouse and Business France.