Life in Vancouver


I’ve shared on this blog so far about packing, moving, the process of getting our visas, and finding somewhere to live. Obviously one of the other big sides to life is… work! So it’s about time I share where we’re up to with that.

Tom was looking for jobs a few months before we left. He has an incredible work ethic and hated the idea of not having a job lined up ready for him when we arrived. It helps that he loves his work. He’s an animator/motion graphic designer, and he really enjoys it so it’s always been a priority for him to know there was work here for him.

He made a website (which you can check out at and started emailing companies he was interested in that were in and around Vancouver to see if they were looking for people or would be interested in him.

Right from the start he struggled to find any job listings similar to what he did in the UK. Back home he worked for a company that made videos for other companies. All staff were in house, and the project went from a sales team, to a writing team, to and illustration team to the motion design team. I’ve probably not got that exactly right, but you get the idea. However, all the jobs he was finding in Vancouver seemed to be freelance rather than office based.

It had always been an option on the table to go freelance. I think he liked the idea of working in an office because you get to know people when you work next to them, so it’s an instant way to meet people. However, if freelancing was the only way forward, it was still a really good way forward. It meant flexible working hours more than anything, which would be good for making the most of living in such an incredible city!

He lined up a job interview for the Friday after we arrived and felt pretty confident about the job. It was freelance, but office based. So he’d work in the office with the team whenever they had work – maybe a best of both worlds kind of situation?

Two nights before we flew out here he got an email from the company saying they no longer needed to fill the position so cancelled the interview. It really hit Tom because he suddenly had no work lined up when we arrived – there hadn’t been a guarantee of it anyway, but at least it was a lead! This meant the day before we left, when tensions were already high, he was frantically scouring the internet for new job leads.

Just after midnight, when I had just gone to bed having finished our packing, Tom came into the bedroom to tell me he had a job interview so needed to find his shirt. Thankfully he knew where it was, and I very tiredly wished him luck with the skype call.

About 40 minutes later I woke up and could still hear him talking. I heard him talking about the exchange rate and that he hadn’t worked out what he’d charge in dollars yet. This was a good sign though surely, they were talking money? A little while later he came to bed and said it had gone well, but he kept thinking of other things he should have said. I slept like a log that night having not slept well the previous night with too much on my mind, but Tom had not been able to sleep thinking about the interview. Thankfully our flight wasn’t early, so we didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn or anything.

When we were at the airport Tom emailed the guy he’d spoken to the night before to confirm a few things that were left as questions. Luckily, a day or two after we arrived Tom was told they wanted him to do a test project with them. We had a delay with Tom’s mac arriving. It was meant to arrive on the Friday, two days after us, but didn’t turn up til the Monday. Then, the project itself was delayed with illustrators working on it, and Tom started work on the Thursday, just eight days after we arrived.

The agreement had been that Tom would work on one video and send over what he’d done and then they’d decide whether they wanted to continue working together. Tom send over the work he’d finished on Thursday evening and on Friday got offered another 7 weeks of work!

So that was the end of the “holiday” for Tom. He’s now self-employed with work lined up for the next 6 weeks.

I on the other hand am still unemployed. I applied for a job with Alpha Canada just before leaving the UK, it was a bit out of reach really, but I figured there was no harm in applying and explained my situation and experience in the email application. I got a response saying I wasn’t right for that position but in about a month they’d be listed a couple of other positions I might be interested in and more suited to. So at the moment, I am waiting on these jobs to be posted on their website whilst organising our flat and everything else that needs doing.

I’ll apply for these jobs (it’s two part time positions), and hopefully be successful in at least one of them, if not both! If not, my plan is to look for a shop or cafe job close to where we live. I’d love to get a writing job or an events job, but I don’t have a lot of experience or references, or local knowledge. I’m trusting God that He has got us this far, He must have a plan for me now that we are here.

I’ll keep you posted.

Oh and if you have any animation work that needs doing – get in touch with Tom!

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