This post is sponsored by RecruitmentRevolution.com, a leading online recruitment agency.
For many recent graduates and young professionals across the UK and further afield, moving to London is the dream. There are excellent career opportunities, plenty of new friends to make and lots of fun to be had but there are a few key considerations to keep in mind when planning to live and work in the Big Smoke.
Before you make the move, you’ll need somewhere to live. Different parts of London offer different vibes. Based on people I know, popular areas to start your London life are Clapham, Shoreditch and Brixton. Clapham is in South West London and seems to be a hub of new-to-Londoners! There are loads of great restaurants, bars and clubs in the area, and the common is perfect for summertime picnics. Nearby Brixton is like Clapham’s trendier little sister. Having come a long way from its grimier past, Brixton is becoming ever more popular. If you prefer a hip hop night to a cheese night, Brixton is more likely for you. Brixton Market has some great restaurants and Brixton Splash in the summer is like the area’s very own version of Notting Hill Carnival. Shoreditch in East London is a buzzing, also trendy area of London. The area is known for being a creative hub, with excellent independent cinemas, galleries and shops. Brick Lane, famous for its curry houses, is in the area, along with the Boxpark, a pop up mall. This article from Movebubble gives more detail on the best places to live as a young professional. SpareRoom is an excellent resource for finding a spare room and/or housemates, and they also host Speed Flatmating events across London.
There is a wealth of opportunity in London, whatever industry you’re in. The WC post code alone is home to numerous FTSE 100 firms and 100 of Europe’s 500 largest companies. The city was recently hailed as the financial capital of the world too, and has a booming tech scene with the Old Street area, or ‘Silicon Roundabout’, being London’s answer to Silicon Valley. Indeed, if you’re on the hunt for a job, RecruitmentRevolution.com is currently recruiting for some of London’s most innovative tech start-ups, heritage brands and FTSE 100 firms! And if it’s salary you’re after, according to Monster, the average salary in London is £34,874 compared to £26,302 in Birmingham. What a great place to be!
New York may be the city that never sleeps, but London is not far behind it. Home to some of the best restaurants, bars, theatres, museums and galleries in the world, you’d be hard pushed to find yourself bored in London. Time Out and Thrillist are excellent sources for finding fun, and, of course, you can check out my Thirsty Thursday and Girl’s Gotta Eat articles!
According to the FT, London is the world’s fifth most expensive city. With this in mind, RecruitmentRevolution.com’s advice is that you should research take home pay and living costs when job hunting as you may well be better off living elsewhere in the UK. However, if you are set on making the move, your biggest expenses will most likely be rent, travel and fun. Thrillist recently produced a map showing the average rent prices for a one bedroom flat. Of course, renting a room is cheaper but it gives a good overview of the cheapest and most expensive parts of London to live.
For travel, TfL has pricing information for travel cards and a fare calculator for individual journeys. If you can afford a bulk payment, monthly and annual travel cards are the most cost effective way to get around. Many companies offer season ticket loans to employees, or you could sign up to Commuter Club, which provides annual travel cards with a monthly payment plan. To save money while still having fun, you just need to put in a bit of work! There are loads of free things to do around London if you look for them. For discounted dining, drinking and tickets, a Time Out Card is well worth the £49 investment – and it’s currently discounted by 50% so now is the time to get one!
Hopefully, this gives you a good overview of the considerations to take before moving to London. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!