10 reasons to work abroad

Working abroad is a big decision. It means being far away from friends and family, completely removing yourself from home comforts, and turning your day-to-day life upside down. But big changes mean big opportunities. As a working expat, little else will open so many doors, personally or professionally. Here are 10 great reasons to take a job overseas:

1. Improving your CV

Overseas work experience will help your CV stand out from the crowd. Companies will recognise the that you take initiative and are willing to step outside your comfort zone.

2. Learning another language

The best way to learn a foreign language is to live abroad, and doing so will open new doors in your personal and professional life.

3. Discovering another culture

Much like learning the language, the best way to understand another culture is to live in it. Each day will be a new opportunity to learn something about your host country.

4. New skills

Chances are your new employer has a different way of working than their UK equivalent. A new company culture means news skills to be learned, which in turn will open up more opportunities for your career.

5. A global perspective on your industry

Your host country will likely have a distinct of working in your chosen industry; learn from their approach. When you return to the UK, your newfound international wisdom will help you stand out in the local job market.

6. Motivation

Such a big change will give you a new lease on life, at work and at home. Channelling this enthusiasm into your work will lead to a happier, more rewarding experience.

7. Prioritisation

Changing your environment helps you re-evaluate what’s important. What belongings, places, experiences or people will you miss, and what will you be glad to leave behind? Will you use your earnings to take trips back home, or take the opportunity to travel?

8. Personal growth

Similarly, navigating your host country’s culture, both in and outside work,  will challenge your way of thinking. This new perspective on life will encouraging you to grow as a person.

9. New friends

Whether you connect with other expats or befriend the locals, working abroad provides ample opportunity to meet new people and establish lifelong friendships.

10. Travel opportunities

Working abroad means you can make like a tourist during your time off. You can stay local and explore the inner city landmarks, or journey to your host country’s far flung natural sites.


Found your dream job abroad? Contact Pickfords for expert international packing and removals. Click here for a quote or find out more.

How to organise your home library

Despite the popularity of digital downloads, physical books have made a comeback in recent years. So whether or not you’re an ebook fan, chances are you still have a decent collection of paperbacks and hardbacks lining your shelves.

Moving home is a great opportunity to reorganise, so follow these steps to sort through your collection and create the perfect home library:

1. Gather all your books into one place

The first step is to know what you’re working with. Find all your books from across your home and put them in one big pile.

2. Purge

This is the hard part. Chances are you have at least some books you can live without. Go through every single volume, identify those you’ll never read again, and get rid.

👉 If you decide to purge your collection before moving home, Pickfords will collect your unwanted tomes and donate them to Cancer Research UK.

3. Decide on a system

There are plenty of ways you could organise your collection. Here are just some ideas to get you started:

  • Alphabetically by author
  • By genre
  • By size
  • By colour

You may even decide on a different system for fiction and nonfiction, or to change it up for different rooms. Whatever you choose, try to strike a balance between what looks great, and what will make your collection easy to navigate.

4. Spice it up

Once your books are back on the shelves and in the order you want, it’s time to get decorative. For each shelf, choose a few volumes to either stack horizontally or face outwards. This will help draw the eye to some favourites and keep your shelves aesthetically interesting.

5. Dot some volumes around the house

What’s the point in all those books if you don’t share the love? Pick some interesting volumes to place on coffee tables, in guest bedrooms and (perhaps controversially) in the loo. This will keep your visitors entertained and kick off some great conversations.


Need a new home for your growing book collection? When it’s time to move, Pickfords will expertly pack your home library into specialist media boxes and safely transport them to your new property. Click here to find out more, or request a quote today.

The most visa-friendly careers in New Zealand

One of the most popular destinations for UK expats, New Zealand offers a spectacular scenery, a high quality of living and a wealth of employment opportunities in key industries. We’ve listed New Zealand’s biggest job sectors to help you decide whether this beautiful island nation holds the key to your next career move.

Construction

Auckland’s population surge and the ongoing recovery and rebuilding of Christchurch and Canterbury after the 2010-2012 earthquakes have led to enormous growth for New Zealand’s construction industry.

Roles in demand:

  • Quantity surveyors
  • Designers
  • Foremen
  • Site managers

Engineering

New Zealand’s government has invested heavily in infrastructure, creating great employment opportunities for the engineering industry. This includes a long-term national plan covering transport, telecommunications, energy and water.

Engineers are sought in the following areas: civil, construction, electrical, electronics, environmental, geotechnical, industrial, instrument and electrical, materials, mechanical, mining, petroleum, production, structural and transport specialities.

Health and social services

Population growth and an ageing population has increased the need for trained healthcare professionals. Among the targets are 380 extra specialists every year through to 2021 and an additional 25,000 nurses by 2030.

Virtually every discipline in health and social services requires offshore talent in both the public and private sector.

IT, electronics and telecommunications

ICT is one of New Zealand’s largest industries with over 10,000 businesses in the sector. Increased digitisation, particularly in business, means the industry is now growing at over 9% a year.

This has led to employment growth across the sector, in particular for the following roles:

  • Software engineering
  • Software development
  • Project management
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Administration
  • Business analysis

Science

Home to several research institutions of international renown, New Zealand competes globally in agricultural biotechnology, genomics, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics and nutraceuticals.

Scientists are needed to support New Zealand’s primary industries, such as agriculture and forestry, particularly in research and development. Growth in oil exploration has also created demand for geologists studying oil and gas.


With partner offices in 12 key cities, Pickfords relocates hundreds of expats to New Zealand every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expat dream, visit our website or call 0800 019 8557.

Pickfords powerboat finishes 3rd at SuperStock!

Well done to Glynn and Lee Norvall, driver and navigator of the Pickfords powerboat (powered by TorFX), for finishing the 2017 P1 SuperStock Championship in 3rd place! Following a dramatic season, Pickfords’ navigator Lee Norvall gave us his perspective on the final race weekend in Milford Haven on 15 – 16 July:

“The crash in Greenock took its toll on both the boat and crew, so we hurriedly tried to fix both before the next round at Milford Haven, which was not far behind Greenock.

Losing points [from the crash] had a big effect and it left us in 8th position leading into Milford. After [the intended final race in] Scarborough was sadly cancelled, two more races where added to Milford with a total of six 20 minute races (three a day) and more points up for grabs. On Saturday all three races were back-to-back meaning over an hour of racing!

We had a simple game plan for the weekend to pick up points and were focused on racing just three [competitor] boats. After the first race, sea conditions left a number of boats damaged and we hopped ahead with points. Then, at the start of another race, Kissimmee span out and we took advantage of it. A seven-lap cat-and-dog game began between PickfordsFX and Kissimmee, until their 25-plus years of off-shore racing experience meant they undertook us on a corner. Many commented that this fight was the highlight of the weekends’ racing!

With overnight repairs to a number of boats [after Saturday], we knew [on Sunday] that we just needed to keep Typhoo behind us and to pick-off Kissimmee if the opportunity arose, which it did! The overnight repair to Kissimmee left their boat running slow and we were able to jump ahead of them for the weekend. As always Typhoo played a tight game and kept the pressure on with only six points separating us at the end of the weekend.

With a weekend of 5th, 4th and 3rd finishes, we ended up taking a well deserved 3rd on the podium and gained enough points to leap-frog from 8th in the championship to 3rd overall!”

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Thanks to our crew,  the other powerboat teams, our local  hosts at Aalborg, Greenock and Milford Haven, and Powerboat P1 Management for making a fantastic 2017 season. We look forward to doing it all again next year!

Going it alone: the pitfalls of DIY moves

When moving a small household locally, it can be tempting to hire a van and do everything yourself. At first this might seem like the cheaper option, but moving without expert help is risky and may end up costing you in other ways. Here are the main pitfalls of do-it-yourself moving:

High risk of breakages

Moving yourself means moving without professionally trained removalists or high quality packing materials. Different household items require different packing techniques and materials to ensure maximum security and minimal risk of breakage. Without knowledge of these techniques or access to the highest quality materials, you run the risk of damaging your belongings.

Lack of necessary equipment

Chances are you don’t have specialist moving dollies, carts, blankets, hoists, straps, or any of the other equipment professional removal companies use to transport customers’ belongings safely and with ease. Most van hire companies won’t provide these either.

Extra time required

Hiring a van adds extra time to the moving process, as you normally have to collect and return the vehicle at the hire company’s convenience. Many companies require you to top up the van’s fuel, and you may need to spend time figuring out a new set of controls before you can confidently drive it.

Packing yourself is also time consuming. Sourcing the right materials, planning, emptying each room, constructing boxes, wrapping and packing each item, and taking multiple trips to the hire van with heavy cartons, all adds up to a long, knackering day.

Stress

There’s a lot to consider when moving yourself. What items did you pack into which boxes? Did you wrap the crockery or glassware carefully enough? Is the van’s fuel tank full? Do you know the route to your new home? Are you confident driving a three tonne transit van? All this can create unnecessary anxiety on moving day.

Exhaustion

Moving yourself is incredibly hard work. If you’re not used to moving hefty boxes, prepare to become exhausted very quickly. It’s easy to pack boxes too heavily, which can cause injury, or not full enough, increasing the number of trips to the van and wearing yourself out.

 

Avoiding the pitfalls: a better solution

A reputable removal company will use trained, experienced removal crews who know how to take the best care of your belongings. They use professional packing techniques and quality materials and equipment, tailored to your individual requirements. A professional company knows how to pack and transport with efficiency and care, eliminating the stress, exhaustion and hassle of moving yourself.


Moving locally on a budget? With Pickfords Man and Van, you benefit from a professional crew at an hourly rate; great value for small, short distance moves. Find out more or get a quote today.

Top tips for buying property abroad

 

Looking for a new home overseas? While navigating foreign real estate can be a daunting prospect, the best advice for buying a home can be applied to most international property markets. Read on to discover how to secure the best overseas property, whatever your destination.

Investigate building your home from scratch

Surprisingly, it can be more cost effective to purchase and build a home on empty land rather than buying an existing property. It’s normal to agree a price with a contractor upfront, sometimes as part of a land and property purchase deal. This way, even if the land price increases during construction, your costs stay the same.

Consider the location of the land

Another benefit of building your overseas property yourself is the potential for increasing its value. Look for land near water or in developing residential areas; you should get a good deal with either. Then, once built, your home will likely increase in value due to its great location.

Research neighbourhood property prices

If you do opt for buying an existing property abroad, investigate house prices in the surrounding area. If the local market has reached its high point, steer clear to avoid losing money on the property over time.

Know your property inside out

Estate agents won’t tell you about the dodgy plumbing or leaky roof. For any prospective overseas property, make sure the appropriate surveys are undertaken so you are aware of any building work required before or after purchase. Survey results will also help in price negotiations if any issues are identified.

Learn about the local area

Decide what you need out of your new neighbourhood and check your list against each prospective property or area of land. This could include:

  • Local amenities
  • Good international schools
  • Low crime rates
  • Access to public transport
  • No planned developments that could impact house prices

Discover property hotspots

Research  in property magazines or online to discover where house prices are predicted or starting to rise in your destination country. As developed cities expand outwards, many suburbs are undergoing rapid development. Invest now, and, market permitting, expect to sell at a profit when you repatriate.


Found your dream property abroad? Contact Pickfords for expert international packing and removals. Click here for a quote or find out more.

‘Pickfords Witches’ get muddy for Cancer Research UK

The self-styled ‘Pickfords Witches of Eastwood’ completed this weekend’s Pretty Muddy event in Derby this weekend, raising over £1,200 for Cancer Research UK!

Well done to Laura Abbey, Amy Chambers, Chantelle Benniston, Charlotte Randall, Georgina Langley and Rachel Walsh from Pickfords’ Nottingham branch for finishing the 5k race on Saturday for Pickfords’ partner charity.

The Derby Pretty Muddy is a large obstacle course over a mixture of terrains, set in 200 acres of parkland within Markeaton Park. As the name suggests, getting muddy is an integral part of the experience!

All funds raised will be donated to Cancer Research UK, supporting research towards the charity’s ultimate goal: bringing forward the day when we beat cancer.