The Recruiter’s Guide to Moving to London
So, you’ve been working at your entry-level recruitment job in your middle-sized town for a year now. You’ve been trundling along, living for the weekend and making a living but not really hitting those big sales.
Or, maybe you’re fresh out of University and your days of waking at noon and student snake bite deals are behind you. You’re back living with your parents in the middle of nowhere. The bus into town only runs until 6.30pm and the liveliest night out is quiz night at the local.
It’s time to spread your wings and head somewhere with endless earning potential, limitless commission and promises of glamorous drinks on the 11th floor of swanky buildings.
It’s time to move to the big smoke.
However, the reality of moving to London isn’t always as flashy as it appears.
Here’s our recruiter’s guide to moving to London to give you honest, insider knowledge on what to expect.
Negotiating House-Share Politics
So, you’ve just bagged your first big recruitment job in London.
Due to astronomical rent prices, you have ended up in a 7-bed flat share with a seemingly endless supply of housemates coming in and out at all hours of the day and night.
On your first night, you find a passive aggressive note on the back of your door informing you that your loud unpacking is disturbing the hamster you didn’t know lived here. When you go down for dinner you find ‘Ben’ in the midst of cooking a seven course vegan spread, having used every kitchen utensil in the process. You make do with a suspicious looking sandwich from the corner shop and call it a night.
You awaken on the morning of your first day to discover there has been a leak in the upstairs bathroom after your flatmate’s cousin’s boyfriend staying on the sofa forgot to turn the tap off. Your unpacked suitcase containing your brand-new work shirt is damp and smells faintly of drains. One of your other flatmates is using the remaining shower so you make do with a splash in the kitchen sink and borrow the smartest top you can find.
Surviving the Commute
You’ve polished your shoes and packed your lunch box ready for your commute to work.
Getting the tube from your house share in Wimbledon to Canary Wharf seemed like a breeze when you checked Citymapper last night.
However, surprise engineering works and severe delays on your tube line mean you have to abandon your carefully planned route and go rogue. Working out your journey standing with your nose to the tube map whilst herds of angry business men and women jostle pass you feels like trying to solve an algebraic equation with a hangover.
When you finally squeeze yourself on the next train to Westminster you find yourself wedged between a man eating a curried fish sandwich at 5 to 8 in the morning and a small child staring unblinking at you from its carrier.
One bus replacement service and a frenzied 20-minute walk later, you make it to your final destination. Your carefully polished shoes are covered in curry sauce and all your optimism has drained away.
Becoming a Follower at the Sacred Church of Pret
By the time lunchtime rolls around some of your original enthusiasm has returned and you are excited to start hitting the phones. You venture out in search of some of London’s famous international cuisine to celebrate.
After wandering for a few minutes with no joy, you notice a small crowd of people gathering and head over to check it out. This is where you find the place that will become your lunch spot for the rest of your time in London. Pret.
Londoners go crazy for a Pret baguette and all everyone will talk about leading up to Christmas is when the Pret Christmas range is coming out. It may seem strange at first, but don’t worry, you’ll be hooked in no time.
Winning a Seat in the Pub
It’s 5.45 pm. You’ve had a surprisingly good day at work despite your hellish morning. You’ve learnt way more than you thought you would, and you’ve met some fun people about to go out for a drink. The day is looking up.
You head out as a group to the nearest pub for some cold beers and a rundown of the day.
Just as the entire workforce of canary wharf streams out of their offices to do exactly the same.
Arriving at the Rose and Crown, one of your new friends yells, “first round’s on you, yeah?” And you bury your way into the pub, looking for the path of least resistance while your pals wait outside. You make it through the sea of navy suited elbows and stilettos to come out the other side gasping for air. The bar-tender (who’s wearing a denim leotard and an artfully ripped poncho) stares through you like you never existed.
Once you’ve eventually procured five artisanal craft beers that cost more than your last winter coat, the rest of the evening is spent standing on the kerb outside, drinking flat beer and being jostled every three minutes by people going in to use the toilet.
The Perils of the Night Bus
Somehow, it’s now 2am and you have work in 6 hours. You stumble off in search of a bus stop because you can’t face the tube again.
Time for your initiation into the dark underbelly of the London night. It’s not pretty, but it’s a rite of passage every Londoner must undertake.
You shakily make your way down the aisle, avoiding eye contact with the man wearing a carrier bag as a crop top and make your way up to the relative safety of the top deck. Here you encounter a large group of 17-year olds swigging from giant bottles of 7% cider. One of them throws up violently, blocking your route back down the stairs. You close your eyes momentarily and wake up back at your original destination.
In the morning you wake up to do it all over again.
Finding Your Place
Somehow, over the next few weeks you start to grow fond of the strange characters you pass on your way to work, and the buzz in the air at crowded post-work drinks. You’ve made sense of the tube and have even perfected the art of drinking a coffee while standing up on a moving carriage.
You start to hit your targets at work and feel a real sense of accomplishment every time you leave your desk for the night. Your manager is impressed with your ability to track down potential candidates and you’re really becoming part of the team.
You even find yourself on a rooftop bar, sipping a Pornstar Martini and admiring the London skyline. Weekends are spent visiting free exhibitions, staying up till 6am with your colleagues and making use of Franco Manco offers to meet up with new friends.
You still complain about train delays and the cost of living because you are a Londoner. Living in London is pretty good after all and you can’t imagine being anywhere else.
If you fancy your own slice of London life, browse our job board to find your dream job in recruitment. Grab your oyster card and come join us.