So, when I say ‘sun’ I mean the Cayman Islands… but you might be able to apply some of this to moving elsewhere!
It’s easy to dream about living on a sun-soaked island, with a balcony overlooking the clear turquoise sea, sipping a cocktail after a fulfilling day’s work… But could you really make that dream a reality?
I did. And I assist a lot of job seekers who are looking to do the same.
As a recruiter in the Cayman Islands, I answer a lot of questions daily about how to make this move, so here is a short list of my top tips:
- Before you start applying for jobs, chat with your family! Make sure it’s the right time to make this life-changing move.I’ve known several people who have been offered interviews (and even jobs!) here, before they’ve checked that their husband/wife/partner/children/dog wants to move too! Although social media makes Cayman feel close to home, it is a pretty long flight to most places…so a long-distance relationship would be tough I’d imagine.
Cayman’s rules on bringing a partner/family across with you mean that you can bring your wife/husband (but not girlfriend/boyfriend) and child (usually up to 2 kids) across as a ‘dependent’ on your work permit. The company has to agree to this, as every dependent costs between $250 and $500/year to your employer!
- Do a lot of research into the industry here. Are your skills aligned with the vacancies you see advertised? Would this be a good career move for you?The Cayman Islands is one of the top 10 international financial centres in the world. Gaining offshore experience can lead to excellent opportunities for career progression, and can be a spring-board to work in other jurisdictions (Singapore, Hong Kong, Bermuda etc.). Overseas work experience (often with a global company) will also make you stand out from the crowd when (if) you look to return home.
- When you’ve decided to start applying for jobs here, make sure you understand the immigration laws.In the Cayman Islands, local candidates have first refusal on all vacancies. This means that you will only be offered employment here as an expat if your career experience and qualifications tick ALL of the boxes for the vacancy you are applying for. Therefore, assistant/junior level vacancies (accounts assistant, administrator, HR admin etc.) will tend to be solely available to Caymanians/Status holders/Permanent Residents. For example, (as a rule) Accountants who are fully qualified with at least 3 years’ PQE and Legal Secretarial who have a commonwealth law background and have worked with magic circle firms,are preferred.
You need to work on your CV before you send it out, and make sure it’s totally relevant to the vacancies you’re applying for. If you’re not sure how to write a great CV or cover letter,get a recruiter to help you.
- Which brings me to my fourth tip! Choose a recruitment agency and stick with them. Although there is a fantastic selection of top firms in Grand Cayman, it is still a small island!Practically all companies on the island use agencies to assist with their recruitment. There are five agencies based in Cayman (and more overseas who recruit here), so be selective! Work with one agency, so that you don’t end up with your CV on every HR Manager’s desk more than once. Build a good honest relationship with a (friendly) recruiter and put a plan of action together. Duplication of candidates’ CVs needs to be avoided, and even the greatest applicant is in danger of being black-listed if their application comes through the door 5 times via 5 different avenues.
Working with one agency can help you to ensure you can keep track of your job search, to ensure a streamlined process and land your dream job at the end of it!
- Booking a trip to the island during your job search is an excellent way of scoping the place out, but this also allows you the opportunity to meet a recruiter in person and attend face-to-face interviews (which is always preferable to phone/skype interviewing).
If you’d like to know more about living and working in the Cayman Islands, I’d love to hear from you on (345) 943-2020. If you prefer email, send me a note to [email protected] or PM me on LinkedIn. I’m always happy to help.
Affinity is a boutique recruitment agency located in the heart of the business district of George Town, Grand Cayman. Dedicated to providing quality recruitment solutions to our clients, we seek to offer tailored solutions for job seekers and employers. We offer a personalized and responsive service, making sure our clients are managed with efficiency and professionalism at all times.
Check out our website for our job listings and additional information. We’re also active on social media, so please follow up on LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter where we share details of our services, vacancies, top tips for job seekers and updates on our team’s activities!