Everything you need to know about starting a graduate job in London


Graduate jobs and internships come in all shapes and sizes but amongst the majority of these opportunities there is one ominous consistency - London.

Behemothic London looms over the graduate job market like nothing else and must be a serious consideration for many university leavers. Of course it is not the only option and many employers have looked to spread their roles across the UK, but the fact remains - London has the highest concentration of graduate jobs.

For many graduates from across the UK, London might seem like a scary place with its bustling streets and red buses, but don't worry - here's everything you need to know about starting a graduate job in London.

Opportunities in abundance

There's no getting away from the fact that London hosts the majority of graduate and internship positions. It is not impossible to get a graduate job in Manchester, Leeds or Bristol but the opportunities in London are far more common.

So what does this mean? It means it must be a consideration, even for a short period of your life. If you are really serious about a particular career, the location shouldn't be too much of an issue, especially when you are at the foot of the ladder.

Conversely, London should not just be your destination. You should be prepared to move where the work is. Un/fortunately, it'll more than likely be London, no matter what industry you're in.

Streets paved with gold

One of the biggest concerns graduates have about moving to London is the cost. We're not going to lie to you, it is expensive to live here. No matter where you live, North, East, South or West, outgoings will be much higher than elsewhere around the country.

It's not all bad however, employers in London understand this and pay graduate employees a reasonable living wage. Different graduate jobs in different sectors will influence pay too, for example traditionally high paid graduate positions in Banking or Finance tend to be in London close to the city and Canary Wharf's banking district.

Living & commuting

Choosing where to live in London can be a difficult decision. The different tribes in London each have their own personality, depending on whether you live North, South, East, West. As a rule of thumb, south of the river tends to be cheaper including areas like New Cross, Clapham, Elephant & Castle, Peckham and Brixton. While North London may have better tube connections, it is also tends to be more expensive, with areas like Finsbury Park, Hampstead and Archway. House shares are the most obvious way to find somewhere to live if you are moving on your own.

A key factor of graduate life in London which you will have to adjust to is the commute. No matter where you live, the time you will spend commuting will be substantial so get looking for good podcasts or find a good book to keep you occupied.

Costs of commuting vary, but a monthly travel card for Zones 1-2 will set you back around £136 a month, but this includes all train and tube journeys in those zones as well as buses across the capital.

Tip: At rush hour, make sure you've got your oyster card to hand when approaching the barriers. Nothing raises the blood pressure of a London commuter like improper barrier protocol.

Places to be, people to see

London is one of the most exciting cities in the world. There are activities and events happening all of the time and you should never get bored. The majority of these events are free or offer discounts to young people, such as Young Barbican or £15 tickets at the National Theatre.

The longer you spend living in London, you'll be able to sniff out the fantastic and cheap restaurants around the place, the good pubs which serves pints for a reasonable amount and the best way to access cheap tickets to gigs and concerts at London's many amazing theatres and concert halls.

London might not be for everyone, it is busy, expensive and crowded but still magnificent. Graduate jobs in London can offer you the opportunity to spend the prime of your life in an amazing city with even better career options and exciting way of life.

Image Credit: Clem Onojeghuo