So, it is pretty much coming up to 8 months (6 months really, I am not counting the 2 months of lock-down) in Austin. Here is my story, and if you are thinking about making a similar move, please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions. I would also appreciate any feedback, recommendations on things to see and do, particularly the best BBQ places!
Who am I?
I have worked for Oscar for coming up to 6 years now, progressing from a trainee with no experience up to a Lead 360 Consultant (specializing in Cloud) where I am now still recruiting on a daily basis and also managing a team. Prior to working for Oscar, I had been travelling and lived in Sydney for 6 years, so I have had experience of living abroad previously. I thought that I would eventually settle back home in Manchester and bought a flat, but I started to get itchy feet again not long after the novelty of owning my own place had worn off.
Having moved back from Sydney, I was at a bit of a crossroads in my life and knew I needed a job where I could really build a career for myself. I had seen the success our CEO, Andy Morrell (and close friend outside of work) had firsthand and I believed I had gained a lot of transferable skills on my travels which could give me a long and rewarding career in recruitment. So far, it seems to have worked out pretty well!
I love working in Recruitment so knew I wanted to carry on in the industry and I think that is due to the success culture and how quickly my career has progressed because of the working environment at Oscar. I spoke to Andy who suggested moving over to America as we were looking to set up a tech office in Austin. We decided to come over for a bit of a fact-finding mission last April and ended up spending most of our time around Rainey & 6th Street. I am not sure why…. Andy? I thought Austin was a great place and decided to commit there and then. Within 5 months my visa was approved, flights were booked, and I was off!
US life so far
Initially, I must be honest, the first couple of months were very tough. Moving away from home, where I had a good network of friends and family, it was a lonely place and I had serious doubts as to whether I had made the right decision. The main reason I made the decision to move was that I felt I would be able to progress my career much more quickly in the States than in the UK, where the recruitment market is a lot more saturated. Making the transition from a busy, vibrant office in Manchester of around 50 people, to myself and Lee in a 2-man office, was also very tough. You need to be very self-motivated and disciplined, which is hard when there are so many distractions! We had a lot of company sponsored socials with the 20 members of the team based in Houston which really helped bring the two offices together. Lots of drinks, meals out & going to the Rodeo in Houston was a particular highlight! In terms of Austin as a City, it’s an amazing place and since lock-down has been lifted I’ve spent the day out on Lake Travis on a boat, floated the river in San Marcos, spent a weekend in South Padre Island and have a trip to Asheville, NC booked for next weekend. Also, if any single lads are thinking of making the move, it's 100% true what they say about having an English accent here!
Right now, in Austin we have a team of 9 (when we are allowed back in the office!) and I can honestly say moving here is the best decision I could have made. We have had some very good wins as an office and signed terms with some big companies, so the opportunities are there, but you do need to work hard for it.
My focus is specifically on Cloud, so I am keen to connect with anyone who works within the Cloud space. We sponsored the last DevOps meetup at Rackspace prior to lock-down so if you are a regular there, please get in touch!
I believe Austin is the fastest growing city in the USA and hundreds of people move here every week, from both overseas and within the USA so please get in touch if you are new to the area, considering moving to Austin and definitely if you are a football (I refuse to call it soccer) player as I’m desperate to set up a 5 a side team!