London - it’s one of the most influential cities in the world (2nd to New York in 2015) as well as a global financial centre. It can seem like a no-brainer, if you’re looking for your first or second job in the UK or Europe then why wouldn’t you choose to work in London?
The pressure is undoubtedly on for ambitious graduates to get that scheme, internship or position promising development and progression in London. However, the number of companies, start-ups, medium-sized firms and big corporates that are now based outside of London is growing and these opportunities are frankly too good to ignore. After all, a commute from one side of London to the other can take just as long as a train from Kings Cross to Hertfordshire!
You just need to look at the retail world to see that London isn’t necessarily the centre of the corporate universe. Vodafone, Tesco, Ocado and Waitrose are key players all based outside of Central London, comfortably integrated into commuter belt towns. So if you want to make it in retail, London might not be the place that’s going to set your career on fire!
For some businesses, London is the place to be - but that doesn’t mean you should assume that means it’s where you need to be. Some industries depend on businesses forming ecosystems, and survive and thrive on a close proximity for building up networks and contacts. So it’s no coincidence that some of the most successful media companies are based in Soho and tech firms in Old Street. But this doesn’t mean that they can’t still be successful elsewhere and it only takes a few businesses to make the move to spark a change.
As a young, ambitious person looking for an exciting job make the most of the fact that the quality of the job is probably the only key factor in your decision (before you need to start worrying about things like a family). It’s also worth considering that these companies could offer progression more quickly as there’s likely to be fewer people considering looking further afield.
There’s no doubt that London is an exciting city to live in, but you can still enjoy all it has to offer even if you’re journey to work is on a Great Northern train rather than the tube!