Great Britain boasts a proud and famous history of innovation and original thinking. You have Darwin’s “Theory of Evolution”, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the invention of the fax machine – to name but a few.
Despite having concocted “Brexit” in more recent times, the UK is still, for many, an attractive place to live and work. London, it’s capital, is by far the biggest draw.
London is a truly global city. As the engine of Europe’s second-largest economy (the UK is also the fifth-largest globally), it is a land of opportunity, and home to some of the world’s biggest and most dynamic companies.
London is a city of the future
One of its most devoted residents, Samuel Johnson, famously said, “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford”.
250 years later, he’s still got a point. The city has something for everyone and never sits still. London is a metropolis which, regardless of its rich history, is always looking to the future.
In many ways, London is the ideal place to kick start your career – and looks set to remain so for a very long time to come.
Here we consider 5 of the biggest reasons why London is a good bet for finding your next opportunity:
The world’s city
Wherever you’re coming from, you’ll feel at home in London. With around 3 million of its 10 million inhabitants born outside the UK, the city boasts a wide diversity of cultures and nationalities. Newcomers tend to settle in pretty quickly and are being welcomed with open arms.
At twice the size of Berlin, it is one of the largest cities in Europe. This huge concentration of labor is one reason why an array of the world’s biggest corporations call London home, including Amazon, Salesforce, Blackrock, Credit Suisse, GlaxoSmithKline, and Bloomberg.
Your career launchpad
With so many international companies, London is intimately connected to the rest of the world. This is hardly about to change, so a career begun in London can be expected to go places. It will most likely offer both the chance to travel the world and the opportunity to relocate elsewhere in the future while staying within the same company.
London contributes as much as a third of the UK’s overall GDP per year and pulls huge economic weight globally. There are set to be a wealth of career opportunities in the city for many years to come.
A global financial center
London is home to a wide variety of industries, but its strength in financial services towers above the rest. Among the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf and the historic streets of the Square Mile are to be found a huge concentration of banks, insurance firms, and consultancies doing business with the rest of the world.
Despite fears over Brexit, a 2019 report by Deloitte reckons the industry is strong enough to cope.
The London financial sector employs over 300,000 people, hosts over 500 banks, and is home to the eponymous London Stock Exchange – currently the world’s 7th largest. Anyone looking to start their career in the world of finance hardly needs look further.
The money in your pocket
On the subject of personal finance, housing in London can often be expensive. Though salaries are adjusted up to cater for this, rent is bound to eat into your earnings somewhat.
On the upside, due to the large and constant influx of young, fun-loving people, London’s social scene is highly developed and in constant motion. With so much on offer, Londoners need never grow tired of the same old haunts.
London knows how to have a good time
The power of London’s cultural scene is one of the city’s strongest suits. It doesn’t just account for London being the second-most visited city in the world in 2018, it’s also a major economic driver, attracting talent from far and wide.
This is hardly surprising considering the wealth of culture on Londoners’ doorsteps. World-renowned museums and art galleries, such as the British Museum and V&A, offer free entry for all, the music scene is thriving and as diverse as anywhere in the world, and there is no short supply of public events and festivals.
Graduates are key to unlocking the cultural industry’s future potential. London’s universities and colleges are rated highly in everything from fashion and design to coding and cultural studies, and the creative economy is increasingly recognized as an important growth sector. In 2018 the government pledged over €150 million to support the creative industries and media sector – with London set to become the main beneficiary.
The future of gaming looks especially bright. Runaway growth has seen it leaving other fast-moving creative sectors, such as music, struggling to keep up.
Where the past meets the future
London is a historic city, and any visitor will see it wears its heritage on its sleeve. Modern office blocks often rub up against centuries-old stone buildings, glass facades mingling effortlessly with domes and colonnades.
For all its winding medieval streets, however, London is a dynamic and innovative city which plays host to thousands of startups.
In 2017, over €7 billion was raised by tech startups in the UK, with the vast majority of those initiatives based in London. This level of incoming capital has attracted a great deal of talent and has led to the emergence of over 20 “unicorns” ($1 billion-dollar startups) to date, such as Deliveroo, Skyscanner, and BrewDog.
Be part of something
London is set to remain a major startup and technology hub.
‘Fintech’, thanks to the size of the London financial sector, is an especially strong area of growth, with plenty of companies set to make a big impact in the coming years.
If growing with a company is more of your thing, London has opportunities in abundance. There are startups of all stages aplenty, with new companies being formed all the time, and some of the most successful putting down roots and bringing in new recruits.
London is (still) a European city
If you’re reading this, you probably speak (and read) English. A lot of people do, making language another ace card that London has up its sleeve.
As the epicenter of the British economy, London will continue to attract English-speaking people from all over the world – especially Europe. To the disappointment of a few British “Brexiteers”, the English channel and the North Sea are not about to become any wider, and English has long been the continent’s common language.
A land of opportunity
As the home of some of the world’s largest corporations, and the incubator of thousands of dynamic and innovative companies in fast-growing sectors, London is economically strong. It’s thriving social scene and rich cultural heritage also guarantee it will remain a desirable destination, drawing in talent and capital from all quarters at an impressive rate.
London is a global hub and a cultural melting pot. And it’s a veritable land of opportunity for many looking to boost their career prospects. What’s more, it looks set to stay that way for quite a while yet.