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How to relocate affordably for your dream job in the capital

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

London’s appeal as a destination of choice for those at every stage of their career never seems to wane.

In fact, between 2016-17, over 100,000 people moved to the capital, which has resulted in London’s population now standing at an all-time high of 8.8 million people.

If you see yourself following suit, how can you ensure your relocation to the nation’s capital runs as smoothly as possible? Take a look at the following for pointers that will help you.

London is not just ‘one big place’

Covering an area of 611 square miles, London is simply huge. The same size as Paris, Berlin and Rome combined, London is the second largest city in Europe (Moscow is the biggest) with dozens of smaller districts dotted throughout the city.

Where you choose to live will be largely down to how long you want your daily commute to be. For instance, if you’re working in the West End, opting to live in the Docklands would be ill advised  – the apartments there may be spectacular, but it will take you at least 45 minutes to get to and from work each day…if you’re lucky! So, choose your accommodation sensibly.

1. Check your affordability

You don’t need us to tell you that house prices and rents in London can be, well, pricey. So, you need to be realistic about what you can afford, on the salary you are on. The golden rule is that your rent or mortgage payments each month shouldn’t exceed 30-40% of your net income, which means that you may be house-sharing into your 30s.

But that’s not such a bad thing – your earning potential over the long term will be higher in London and with it comes a greater range of career opportunities, with many of the UK’s fastest growing start-ups and largest Employers having their head offices based in the capital.

2. Ditch the car

Unless you get a kick from being stuck in traffic and taking an hour to travel one mile, don’t bring your car to London. Without exaggeration, no matter where you are travelling to in the city, you will get there faster on foot!

Not to mention the Congestion Charge and the fees you will have to pay to park your car outside your own home – the London Borough of Islington charges its residents £545 a year! Make public transport your friend and be sure to invest in an Oyster Card – it keeps your daily commuter costs low and make things simpler and quicker for you, too.

3. Find a job

Obviously! If you haven’t already done so, register with those Recruitment agencies who recruit for the types of roles you are keen on pursuing. And remember, not all the jobs they work on are published on their website. So, be sure to sign up to receive regular job alerts, and keep up to date with the latest vacancies as they come in.

It is also important to manage your own expectations, too. You will face a lot of competition for each job that you go for, which means upping your game when it comes to how you position yourself as the Candidate of choice.

5. Finally, know what you are worth (and what the London market is prepared to pay)

While the prospect of working for a great Employer in a superb environment with excellent career prospects is an appealing one, you also need to ensure you are aware of how much you could – and should – be earning.

Speak to the Recruitment consultants at the agencies you have registered with. They will be able to give an insight into the average salary Employers in London will pay for the type of role you are seeking. Take a look at the membership bodies or associations representing the type of industry you will be working in – have they published any salary surveys that could serve as a guide to how much you could expect to be paid?

For more information on how we have been helping Candidates like you over the last 20 years, get in touch with the London team today.

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