What's up, Europe? Checking in with U.K. ex-pats

Sarah Gardner: Time now for What's Up, Europe?, the ex-pat edition. On the Fourth of July, we checked in with two Americans living in the United Kingdom on the most American of holidays. They're missing out on another American holiday today, of course. Jeff Moody is living and working in Worcester, England. Matt Smith has been living in Edinburgh with his Scottish wife. Jeff and Matt, welcome back.

Matt Smith: Hey, how's it going?

Jeff Moody: Happy Labor Day!

Gardner: Yeah, so no Labor Day being celebrated in England or Scotland today, right?

Moody: Not in England

Smith Definitely not.

Gardner: Jeff, last we talked to you, you're in Worcester, England. You are working for an American franchise company in Worcester and you were just getting to know the local customs. Can you say that you have assimilated into British work culture yet?

Moody: I'm learning more and more each day. I'm having a lot of fun, but I still make 'em laugh around the office a lot. I still make the mistake of calling them dollars instead of pounds here and there. But I like to tell everyone I'm British now, but "hello mates, it's a pleasure to be here."

Gardner: Yeah, you really sound British at this point.

Moody: Yeah, exactly.

Gardner: Matt, what about you? Are you working at this point or what's happening with you?

Smith: Yeah actually, I've been here since last December. I was saying on the last program I was on a fiance visa, so couldn't find work until April and took me two and a half, three months and I finally got on with a technology company here in Edinburgh.

Gardner: Jeff, it's Labor Day here in the United States. A lot of us are thinking about work, jobs, the quality of work, how many jobs. Last we talked to you in July, you said that things are pretty good in Worcester, where you are. Last we talked to you in July, you said that things were pretty good in Worcester, where you are. Have you seen any change? Has the jobs picture improved, declined? What's happening?

Moody: When I'm out and about, I've just seen a very vibrant city. I travel around quite a bit, around England anyway. I'm just seeing the shops are full, the restaurants are full, construction going on. I found a great workforce pretty readily. I'm not seeing a real economically depressed area over here, although you do hear about it. I think that part of the nature in the U.K. is to talk about the struggles that are going on instead of all the great things, but I think things are thriving.

Gardner: And Matt, you said it took you only two months to find a job. Actually that's not bad, considering. Right?

Smith: I got lucky and I found a great job with a really progressive, growing tech company that's now expanding in different markets.

Gardner: Anything that you ran into in the job search process that was a little different from looking for a job in the United States? Obviously you're an American so that's a difference right there for an employer, but other than that?

Smith: The weird thing is I submitted a resume at 10 a.m., had an interview by 3 p.m. over the phone and had another phone interview by 6, had an in-person interview the next day, and was hired on a six-month contract. So they do move fast.

Gardner: Yeah. Matt Smith in Edinburgh, Scotland, Jeff Moody in Worcester, England. Good to talk with you both again and happy Labor Day.

Smith: Happy Labor Day to you. Cheerio!

Moody: Yeah, happy Labor Day to all my friends back in the U.S. You guys have a great, phenomenal day.

About the author

Sarah Gardner is a reporter on the Marketplace sustainability desk.

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