25 November 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working in London

After finishing university and wondering what I would do with my life I envisaged the idea of moving and working in London. With the promise of wealth and career aspirations in mind, I stayed in Bristol and joined mustard instead which originally was not the plan but has worked better than I first expected. Over time my lust and want to chase the dream in London has faded, understanding more about different regions and options that are available has helped me take off the rose-tinted glasses.

The main part of this blog is not to be negative about London but more to open peoples’ eyes to the other parts of the UK. I have now been dealing with North homes counties coming close to 2 years and it is an affluent area and offers many amazing opportunities. Being so close to the capital many people make that move to the surrounding areas in South East and still have that close link.

Living Costs vs Salaries

I always wondered whether the living cost of London proved to be worth the extra salary, and I am sure in many cases they are, also many people simply like to be in hustle and bustle of the city. Looking at the numbers the cost of rent in London continues to be a clear leader, being around 40% above the surrounding counties, additionally the overall cost of living is at circa 30% above. All makes sense and sounds quite standard, but when comparing salaries, London only leads the Counties by around 15%, granted this is not industry specific but it allows a bit of insight into making decisions on whether to move to or leave London.

living costs


One of the main points that I often hear candidates making when working in London, is the amount of time they spend commuting, and in particular – the time they spend commuting PLUS their full-time hours. Most of us can agree that the last thing you want to be doing on top of a 40-hour week, is commuting for an extra 5 hours… the beauty of living in the Home Counties is that, work in London is still within an achievable commuting distance whilst escaping the busy city life that London has to offer.


Need More Space?

This point kind of coincides with the first I made, as it comes under living costs. However, the rise in Londoners fleeing the capital for more spacious homes whether that be for family or just purely because of what they can get for the same amount of money is continuing to grow. Places like Surrey and Buckinghamshire can offer property with so much more space than is on offer for the same price in London and surrounding areas.


In many cases I am sure London is appealing for a variety of reasons, being involved in a busy and exciting city offers many benefits. But if you are on the fence there are so many other areas that offer fantastic positions and interesting lifestyles. Additionally, you can be just a gracefully rewarded in the surrounding areas in the South East and likely further afield. I personally deal with areas in the North homes counties and my team leader and best friend Oscar Dixon-Barrow deals with the South home counties, both of us would be willing to consult on the transition as we have done with many before.

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