Jessica Cameron, American National, Living and Working in Scotland

Hi, I’m Jessica and although I moved here for family reasons I’ve had fantastic career opportunities.

Jessica Cameron at Salisbury Crags

Why work in Scotland

I came to Scotland with my family in 2013, well with most of my family - my daughter was technically 'on board' at the time. Now she's 6 and my son is 9, and they both have Scottish accents. My husband is Scottish, so I applied for a spouse settlement visa while I was still in San Francisco and now I have indefinite leave to remain.

What's really impressed me about living here is that whatever directions I've decided to take in my career, the opportunities have been here. With more and more international tech companies opening offices in Scotland, not to mention the ones that have started here the market will only get better.

Working in UX

I work in UX, and the strength of the tech sector here is clearly a big plus. I've worked for the City of Edinburgh Council, User Vision (Edinburgh's top UX consultancy), and Sharktower (formerly Mudano) a start-up that's bringing data and AI into project management.

This year I set myself up as my own company ‘From the Stars’ specialising in UX and user research, which lets me pursue whichever interesting projects I find. My current contract is in financial services, at Lloyd's Banking Group. They've been fantastic during lockdown - they were quick to close our office and have gone above and beyond to support us in working from home.

Living in Scotland

Edinburgh is a great place to raise a family. The city is beautiful and also very walkable, which we've been taking full advantage of during lockdown. Our neighbourhood is green and peaceful with so many places to walk just 5-10 minutes from my front door. I can walk my kids to school each morning and then walk the rest of the way into work.

The work/life balance is good, I've never had a problem working flexible hours when I've needed to. And of course, there's the festival season. Each year we say we won't go to quite as many shows as we did the year before, but each year we seem to go to even more.

Swans and Cygnets

Lockdown has been tough; my kids really miss their excellent school (as do I!) and seeing all their friends. But we've been enjoying amazing weather. The stereotypes are true, the weather is often less than glorious, and people talk about it endlessly, but April and May have been kind. We've taken daily walks in our local green space, we've found secret rope swings, we've waited patiently for cygnets to hatch, we've skipped across waterways and fished for tadpoles. I feel like I'm giving my kids a mythical 1980s childhood.

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