Our Senior Consultant Dan Partington shares his thoughts on why London isn’t always the right choice for graduates.
The bright lights and big city of London are naturally appealing to ambitious graduates. Where better than the capital to kick-start a thriving career after university? Well, a career in London isn’t the best option for everyone.
Before you pack up your bags and head off to London, consider your options carefully. Here are a few reasons why London isn’t always the best place to start your graduate career.
1. The cost of living is high
You don’t need me to tell you that renting (never mind buying) a place in London is very expensive! Demand is galloping ahead of supply when it comes to houses in London and The Independent reported that there are only 29 homes in the whole of London that are deemed affordable for first-time buyers! Unless you have a convenient graddy-flat, be prepared to shell out.
And it’s not just rent that eats into your salary, commuting, food and social activities all take big chunks from your wage. While graduate starting salaries in London are usually higher than the rest of the UK to compensate for this, they will still leave you struggling to make ends meet at the end of each month.
2. Career progression is tough
Many graduates opt to move to London because they are led to believe that it offers better career opportunities. However, London has the highest concentration of graduates out of all the regions in the UK which means plenty of competition. With so many skilled young people in the area, climbing the career ladder can be extremely tough and may take longer too.
“My second job brought me to the capital when I moved into fashion journalism around five years ago, but I’ve watched my colleagues in Birmingham climb the career ladder a lot quicker since then. They landed editor roles and started their own media companies while I was organising fashion cupboards and debating tea rounds.” – Jessica
3. London could cost you your goals
What do we go to work for? To fund the lifestyle we want which may include exciting holidays, a fantastic car and a big house. However, if your rent alone is costing you more than half your income (which is now very common), living in London could make it much harder for you to achieve your goals.
What are your options?
Over the past month and a half, I have placed 8 graduates in opportunities with market-leading businesses across the South East from Hertford to Bognor Regis with an average starting salary of £22,000 (and much lower living costs!) With London being a relatively short train ride away, Graduates in the South East can still enjoy what London has to offer while reaping the benefits of working and living elsewhere.
I recently caught up with one of my graduates, Ashley, who’s enjoying his graduate job in the South East. “Since the quick process of getting me a graduate role in my current company, within less than a year I have earnt a substantial pay rise, a company car and an important job role that will only help my progression going forward.”
If you’re interested in graduate roles in the South East, get in touch with me today! You can also browse and apply for opportunities via the Bridgewater Graduates Portal.
Still sold on London?
If your mind is made up and London is definitely for you, take a look at the opportunities we have available there!