Working in London: LondonNet's Guide to Working in London



Moving to London is exhilarating and terrifying, all at once. Big city, lots of people, always busy - and add to that trying to work in London, and you've got yourself a significant task: to find good, respectable, gainful employment in the third most expensive city in the world, while still retaining your life and responsibilities.

Thankfully - as always - LondonNet is here to help. Here we have a number of tips, resources and other information to help guide you as you search for good work in London...

Working in London: LondonNet's Guide to Working in London

What Kind of Work to Do...
Where in London to work...
How to Get What You Want...
More Resources

Pick Your Pepper

If you've jumped off the plane and into the midst of the city, as I did when I arrived, you're likely balancing finding a flat, figuring out the city, spending a bit of cash on various necessary accoutrements, and deciding what in the world you're going to do to earn a living.

Lots of people come to London from abroad in order to earn the UK Pound. Australians, South Africans, Canadians, New Zealanders, Americans and a myriad of continental Europeans all rock up on UK soil for a variety of personal and professional reasons. Many are looking for high profile, white-collar jobs, and many are looking to earn some money while having a bit of fun.

While it seems a bit obvious, your first job as a Londoner is to decide which is your preference - to go for the gold, gain professional experience, or build your work around your other commitments. Here are some questions you can ask yourself, to decide:

  • How badly do I need money?
  • How often can I work?
  • What responsibilities do I have, outside work (children, school, etc)?
  • Do I have a professional qualification that I need to keep updated?
  • How much do I need to earn to live in London?
  • Sure, they might seem like common-sense options, but if you take a pen and physically write down the answers, you can look back and discern your priorities - which is good thing to remember during every job application.

    Somewhere Out There

    London, as you likely know from trying to find your way through the seemingly endless tube tunnels, is a large city. Public transport is good, but not always reliable, and rather expensive, so it is in your best interest to search out jobs based around your locale. Here are some tips to assess good working locations:

  • Find out how much you are able to spend, each month, on transport
  • If you're driving a car, locate the congestion charge areas and good thoroughfares around your area and London
  • Familiarize yourself with tube lines, bus services, over ground rail, DLR and cycle routes in your area
  • Locate the nearest business districts around your area, or the well-known districts of your profession (ex: Canary Wharf for banking, Fleet Street for journalism, The City for Insurance)
  • Try a couple 'dry runs' to the areas you're looking to work in, and decide if it's a reasonable commuting time
  • Narrow the Choices

    Ok. So, you've decided what kind of work you're looking for, and where you want to do it. Be it part-time, full-time or over-time, professional or just for kicks, we've collected some tips for figuring out how to get the work you want (in a brand new city, no less):

    Keep an Eye Out:
    The best way to find out what jobs are out there is to keep a good eye on lookout. Newspapers, magazines, local bulletins and the internet are, of course, your main sources, but word of mouth and asking questions can give you some insight as well.

    LondonNet has a list of important links and job-site reviews to help you further.

    Visit Recruitment Agencies:
    Depending on what you're looking for, a good step in finding it is visiting a recruitment agency. They'll assess your skills, determine your interests and help hook you up with the kind of job you're looking for.

    Each recruitment agency has different specialities, however, so find out which agency suits you by clicking on our job site reviews.

    Send Out Your CV:
    Sometimes, when you have a special skill or are looking for something very specific, you might find more results just sending out as many CVs as humanly possible. Before you do, however, make sure they accept postal CVs, and that it is an accepted company practice. You don't want to step on any toes before they're even interested in you...

    Research, Research
    If you've found a job that looks good, don't just zip off an email. Sit down, have a good think, and do some research on the company you're applying to. Find out if your goals match theirs, if you morally agree with what they're doing, and if the job, in fact, matches what you're looking for. It's likely that you're unfamiliar with the company, being new to London, anyway, and it will be smarter to not waste anyone's time in the job hunt.

    Get Ready to Interview:
    If you've been invited for an interview, congratulations! You can now breathe a sigh of relief, as LondonNet has compiled a list of interview tips, so you can give 'em a great first impression.