The City of London can be one of the world’s most exciting places to work. After all, London is at your doorstep. The galleries, the history, the restaurants, the evening events—there is so much to see and do that it can seem the perfect fit for many of our finance & banking candidates who want the international, fast-paced lifestyle to go with it.
Nevertheless, anyone looking to move to a new city should consider certain factors beforehand. Here are our tips to help you decide whether it is better for you to relocate to London or stay put.
Research the job market before relocating to London
If you already know the type of roles you want, look up how many similar roles might be available in the city. If you don’t yet know what you are looking for, get in touch with a recruiter who can help find you a position that matches your interests and skillset.
Financial services and tech are arguably the most profitable and prominent industries within the City of London. Other industries that thrive in the capital include professional services, education, real estate, retail and entertainment. This means that there is a lot of opportunity for early-career professionals to test the waters in different industries before settling on one.
Succeeding in the City of London requires a broad range of skills, experiences, and interests depending on the sector and industry—financial service jobs, for example, demand expertise in financial markets, macroeconomics, and risk management.
Working in London generally means working internationally, so we especially value candidates who take the time to understand their industry’s global landscape!
Find out what it’s like to live in London
Do your research into what it costs to live in an apartment similar to the one you already have before relocating to London—it is likely to be much more expensive! You may have to be willing to compromise by living in an area that is further away from your office but remember to consider increased travel costs and the time taken to enter London.
We recommend researching up-and-coming London boroughs that might be more affordable and have good links to the City. London is constantly evolving, so keep your ear to the ground for interesting new developments, and you might find a great apartment—and a great return on your investment in years to come.
Be prepared for the additional pressure after relocating to London
The business environment in the City of London is highly competitive and fast-paced. This can give you the fulfillment of completing a project that impacts the world, but it can also lead to burnout. Add to this long working hours and tight deadlines, and the wrong candidate might wither rather than thrive.
Balance the quality of life against the jobs on offer
London jobs will almost always be more competitive, so think about all the other benefits of relocating to London. Do you love heritage and culture? Do you thrive in a hectic city that (almost) never sleeps? Do you like having a lot of choices when it comes to restaurants and sports clubs? If so, a job lower down the ladder in a location that checks all the above questions might make you happier in the long run.
That being said, remember that all those extra-curricular activities also come with a price tag. Even free spaces like museums and galleries require travelling there, so make sure you are prepared to make sacrifices elsewhere in your budget.
Investigate the financial bonuses for working in London
Many positions in the British capital will account for the additional living costs in and around the city. This is known as the “London allowance or London weighting”. Does this allowance match your expectations, and are there any other benefits a job might offer that could help you fund your ideal lifestyle?
Working in London can be a springboard for your career
London has a rich and enduring history of international trade and commerce. With a strong international banking sector, the city offers a range of high-paying jobs and prospects for Londoners to benefit from career opportunities in investment banking, commercial finance, and corporate law worldwide. You will get the chance to meet people at world trade exhibitions and conferences, and many other networking opportunities in this global hub.
If you’re thinking about relocating to London to increase your prospects of finding a job, speak to us! We can advise you on your potential move, find job vacancies, and identify alternative cities (and even countries) that may be more suitable.
We can also introduce you to other like-minded professionals who can advise you how they went about finding employment in London.