We’re continuing our series on ‘Great Places to Work’ by looking at our Nation’s Capital City London.
Lying in the South East of England, London is a city which is almost 2000 years’ old – from a Roman settlement to one of our Planet’s major Cities with a population of 8.6 million, and status as the largest City in the European Union, London is both a City full of history, but also at the forefront of Business and Commerce. A recent survey by The Boston Consulting Group and Totaljobs.com found that London was voted the most desired place to work in the World. So, is it a great place to work? Well as Samuel Johnson the 18th century essayist and poet remarked “When a man is tired of London he is tired of life!”
With an area of over 607 square miles, London covers a large area, and is not just the immediate City centre, but fans outwards to Boroughs in Greater London. Overall therefore, it is estimated that the population in this area is 22.7 million. Fortunately though, London has an excellent Underground system which transports Londoners around it, as well as an extensive bus and train network, so travelling to work does not present a problem for the majority of Londoners.
From properties built in the 18th and 19th Century, commuter belt properties built in the 1920s and 1930s and flats and modern developments in regenerated areas of London such as Docklands in the East, there really are properties for every taste and pocket – the general rule being that the further from the centre the property is, the cheaper it becomes – although prices in general are significantly higher than the rest of the UK. Consequently, there is a thriving rental market in London covering flat shares right through to multi-million pound properties in some of London’s most exclusive enclaves such as Kensington and Chelsea.
Unlike a lot of modern Cities which are only full of modern buildings, London has areas which provide characterful living – from Clapham Old Town in the South, close to one of London’s many green spaces Clapham Common, through to Hampstead in the North, it frequently feels like London is a series of little towns all joined under a City title, each offering a unique atmosphere and opportunities for different styles of living.
London quite deservedly has a global reputation for the quality of its shopping – there are more International Retailers here than any other City. From Internationally famous Department Stores such as Harrods and Harvey Nichols, to the more affordable High Street stores on Oxford Street, London literally has something for every taste. Famous for the start of the punk movement in the 1970s, London still has a reputation for quirky individual style – head to Camden Market for truly individual pieces and a lively music scene, or maybe Greenwich Market in the South East where beautiful craft pieces can be purchased, all the while enjoying the historic area of Greenwich famed for the Cutty Sark Tea clipper ship and the 17th century Royal Observatory.
London has a diverse range of people and cultures, and so it will come as no surprise to learn that it has some of the World’s best restaurants. There are so many famous 5 star restaurants and Michelin starred chefs, that even the most demanding gourmet is sure to be satisfied. But take time out and stroll around London and you will find fantastic street food from all over the world, visit Brick Lane in the East for the best curries you will ever taste, and the many farmers markets all over the City offering organic produce.
If you are in London you should try the traditional pie and mash. You can even try the local delicacy jellied eels – but be warned it isn’t for the faint heated!
Lastly, London’s museums and galleries are a must visit destination – Tate Modern on the Southbank housed in a former power station, is worth a visit for its amazing views of the Thames (and incidentally is London’s most visited attraction) as well as ground-breaking modern art. Go west to Kensington for the marvellous 19th century Natural History and Science Museums, as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum a monument to the best in design and history. In Central London The National Gallery will satisfy every art lover’s need for paintings from the Renaissance onwards – and best of all it’s free admission!
When you want to enjoy the London nightlife you need not worry about being short on choices. Stand-up comedy, cabaret, theatre, cinema, clubbing – it’s all on offer. Night buses and tubes will ensure you get home after a night out!
London is a leading Global City in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport, IS and IT.
Working in London may seem quite daunting, but the sheer range of jobs and opportunities in our Capital is a magnet for people of all academic backgrounds seeking to develop their career.
For example, of the 300,000 or so people that work in the City of London, almost 50% are employed in the fields of financial intermediation, accountancy, insurance and Banking. Consequently, the biggest employers within these sectors operate from Headquarters in London – examples being Deutsche Bank, UBS, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Barclays and KPMG.
If you want to develop your education, then London’s Universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe, and if Professional studies are of greater interest, then London offers may support colleges to support your studies – Accountancy, Business Studies, IS and IT immediately spring to mind.
Of course, working in London also gives you access to a vibrant hospitality Industry – London has many hungry mouths to feed and restaurants, sandwich bars and food shops are all here to cater for you, many of which are available 24 hours per day – useful if you have to work late or entertain Clients.
London has some big pluses, even compared to other global cities. There are two distinct advantages. Firstly, it is hugely multinational, so by working in London you get exposure to working in really diverse Teams. Secondly, it is lucky in terms of its geographical location: New York is the hub for the Americas, but London is on Europe’s doorstep, and is a gateway for Africa the Middle East and Asia. The time zone means you can do business with the rest of the World quite conveniently. What is more, if your job involves international travel, London offers four airports on its doorstep and Eurostar train services directly to Europe.
Finally, there is the perception that if you work in London, you are playing on a World stage and that, you have more in common with people from global cities than you do with those from the UK’s other cities. As one Banker puts it “you might move to work in New York or Frankfurt, but you’d never think of moving to Leeds or Liverpool”
So there we have it, London is a large, bustling, noisy City with some wonderful career opportunities, fantastic socialising and living opportunities and packed with history, monuments, museums and galleries. More public green spaces than any other City in Europe, sports and recreation facilities aplenty and literally something for everyone.
Daily Telegraph 12.02.15 – Rhymer Rigby – Article: Is it really better for your career if you work in London
Monster.co.uk – A guide to working in the City of London
Movebubble.com – A London guide for the uninitiated