London has had a tough time recently. The dreadful attacks at Westminster Bridge, London Bridge and Borough Market brought terrorism back to the capital before the awful fire at Grenfell Tower killed dozens of residents. One week later a man purposely drove a van into a group of Muslims in Finsbury Park.
Each incident brought shock and condemnation but what also emerged were heartwarming stories of people coming together from all walks of life to offer help and support.
These events have made me and countless others across the country realise how London unites in a time of crisis. When emergency services and members of the public came to the rescue of residents at Grenfell who have lost their home and loved ones it demonstrated what I love about London - the people.
People from around the globe have known that London is a great place to live for years, for many reasons besides the London Randstad Office where I am based. Here are my there reasons why I love working in London and why I chose to work here.
London: capital of the world
London is the UK’s capital city in every way; it’s the political, economic and cultural hub of the United Kingdom. International business, and countless global firms, choose to have offices here. Each year thousands of graduates head to the big city lights and it is so easy to see why.
Almost every industry imaginable is in London meaning that whatever your dream career is you can take your first step towards it here. According to The UK Graduate Careers Survey 2016 by High Fliers, London continues to be the preferred employment destination for new graduates – almost half of all job hunters hope to work in the capital – and it is now the first choice for finalists at 27 out of the 30 universities included in the survey.
Many people think that the city is all about investment banks and insurance companies but it isn’t just banking, finance and accountancy. There are countless start-ups, SME’s and public sector opportunities. And even that six letter word we have heard so much lately - Brexit - isn’t putting off investment and development from well-known companies that want a presence here and employ some of London’s top talent. Earlier this month google announced plans to open up a very exciting HQ just up the road from my office in Kings Cross.
Work hard, play hard
There’s always something going on in London, and you’ll never run out of things to do. London is packed full of tourist attractions, bars and restaurants and museums and art galleries (most of the latter being free).
There’s also plenty of theatre, especially in the West End, and endless music gigs. Every night there are talks and experiences to go and enjoy. The only limits are your need for sleep, work in the morning and your bank balance. For those moving into London, or even a new part of the city there are countless meet-up groups and social activities which make the transition to London life easier. Scratch the service and despite a cold reputation it is actually easy to meet and get to know young professionals who quickly become lifelong friends.
It’s no secret that the UK has a reputation for enjoying a drink, or two, and London is home to over 7,000 pubs to accommodate both locals and tourists alike. Modern wine bars meet traditional pubs once frequented by poets and writers. The working culture in London sees most commuters travelling by public transport, which means there’s no excuse to say no to an after work tipple and Thursday is the best night of the week for us London workers.
London house shares
The downsides of London are also well known. Property is notoriously expensive for anyone on a normal income and even those six figure earners. Like all major cities, London is also sprawling, crowded, and polluted. However there are plenty of parks and hidden sanctuaries in the middle of glass multistory buildings for lunchtime walks.
House shares tend to be the home of choice for graduates and young professionals in London and prove to be a good way to meet friends and live in trendy areas of London like Balham, Kensington and Fulham.
Moreover, new home and apartments are being built in London, many with incentive schemes for average salary workers. And a read of the Evening Standard’s property section often demonstrates new and entertaining ways young professionals get a step on the London property ladder. And of course, many people live out in Zone 6 or further afield in the home counties of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
London offers limitless options for everyone, which is why there's no other place I'd rather work.
- Kirsty Hayward is a consultant for Randstad based in London