Starting a job in London is a very daunting yet exciting process. Whether it’s your first career job or you’re working your way up the ladder, the capital is a hub for business, finance and innovation. As such, it offers great opportunities for professionals at every stage of their career. While the question of employment in London is somewhat of a no-brainer, the issues of living in or around the city are a little more difficult to navigate. Deciding whether to live in the heart of the city, within the M25 or beyond can be a challenging task. You will undoubtedly have to weigh up certain elements of your situation and decide what is more important to you – whether it be money, lifestyle or work-related. Let’s explore a few of these key considerations.
Money may well be something that attracted you to start a job or career in London. The average salary in the capital is the highest of any region in the UK, meaning that it attracts a lot of talent from all over the country and overseas. However, living in or around London also means that your cost of living rises dramatically. High demand for private rental accommodation and houses to buy means that the London property market is fiercely competitive and significantly more expensive than in other regions. Not only is property expensive, but the cost of living is higher in line with salaries so you’ll be spending more on the weekly shop and other expenses.
Further out of London you may be able to find better deals on new builds in commuter towns and other property types – whilst also being to benefit from a cheaper cost of living outside of the city. However, you’ll have to consider the costs of commuting which can be substantial if you aren’t on a remote or hybrid contract. Consider your financial situation because this will give you a good indication of what you can and can’t afford.
Your lifestyle should be at the forefront of your mind when deciding whether you should live in or outside of London. If you’re a lover of the big city hustle and bustle or nights out in Soho – living nearer to the city centre may be a better option for you. If you prefer peace, tranquillity and countryside to explore then outside of the M25 might be more suitable for you. You may have a family to consider, which will also influence your decision – would you prefer to raise your family in or out of the big city? Work is important but ensure that you don’t lose sight of what you love doing away from the office.
On a similar topic, work-life balance is critical for you to think about. Commuting into London regularly could add hours to your day from start to finish, which can take its toll on people mentally and physically. A shorter commute if you live in London may be worth it if you work every day in the office, but a longer commute could be more tolerable if you work on a hybrid contract, for example. Everyone will have a unique situation and you’ve just got to find the solution that works for you.