GUEST BLOG: Moving to London

UoY Careers Rocket illy Guest blog written by Rebecca Noori, founder of Moove2London

Some of you graduating from York this summer may consider moving to London to start your graduate career. Such a move can be a bit of a culture shock for some, as York and London have very different paces of life.

Here are some tips to help your move go smoothly and enable you to settle in to London life as quickly as possible.

How to find graduate work in London

  • Sign up with 3 or 4 graduate recruitment agencies. An agent will match your skills with current vacancies on their books, then put you forward for interview.
  • Attend careers fairs, such as the London Graduate Fair or the Autumn Grad Fair – you can meet key company representatives, listen to excellent speakers and generally gain lots of information about your chosen career.
  • Networking events are also a good way to make connections with the right people. Word of mouth goes a long way in getting hired, as employers prefer to hire or interview based on recommendations.
  • Answer a graduate job advert directly – request an application and follow the instructions to the letter.
  • Direct application – if you know the company you’d like to work for, but don’t believe that they have any current vacancies for you, then send in a C.V and cover letter, introducing yourself and proving that you know a bit about their company.
  • Temp jobs – don’t dismiss taking a temporary job whilst you look for a permanent role. Often, impressive temps get hired into permanent roles within the same company.

Where do graduates live in London?

Graduates tend to live in areas which are reasonably central, have good transport links, a selection of shops and of course access to a good social scene. The following areas are favoured by graduates and young professionals: Balham, Clapham, Islington, Camden, Kentish Town, Forest Hill, Battersea, Streatham, Highbury, Greenwich, Muswell Hill, East Dulwich, Putney, Bow, Shoreditch and parts of Hackney.

How to find accommodation and flatmates

If you’re moving to London alone, then you might want to consider living with ‘randoms’ in a rented houseshare environment. You can find potential flatmates online at sites such as Easyroommate or Gumtree, or you could attend a speed flat-mating event in a London bar and meet a multitude of potential flatmates in the same evening.

Those moving to London with existing friends, can also look online or use local lettings offices.

Using London’s public transport

  • Londoners use the Tube, London buses, DLR, trams, boats and trains to get from A to B. This may seem a little daunting to those of you who have been living in York and don’t know London’s geography terribly well. Download an app, such as the London Transport app for iphone to enable you to quickly suss out your route.
  • Oyster cards are the most convenient way of travelling round London – you can order one online, or pick them up at a London tube station and various other places. The idea is that you preload your Oyster card with credit, or a travel card or season ticket. You then touch the card on the yellow sensor at the beginning and end of your journey to prove that you’ve paid.

Settling into London life

London is an extremely exciting place to live and it makes sense to get involved in the London social scene as soon as you can. The pace of life in London is very much ‘work hard, play hard’ and there’s lots of opportunities to do both. Even if you’re on a bit of a budget, don’t despair as there are also plenty of free activities to do in London each week.

Create your own London social circle by getting to know your new workmates and by hanging out with your new housemates and their existing friends. Join sports teams, pub quiz teams, climbing clubs, sewing clubs, debate teams, take art classes, language classes, circus classes, go online dating, attend London social meetups, do whatever takes your fancy, but just make sure you get involved.

Don’t forget the University’s York Alumni Association offers opportunities to meet up with other York graduates based in the capital too.

There really is something for everyone and you can’t possibly get bored. We wish you all the best with your move!

Written by Rebecca Noori

Rebecca moved down to London when she was 18 to attend university and realised there was a lack of information assisting young people in moving to the capital. Her website, Moove2London offers over 200 articles giving advice to graduates and young professionals on where to live in London, how to find graduate work, how to use the extensive public transport and general tips on settling into London life, including living in London on a budget.