Arriving in London
Finding a Job
When looking for work in London, you will find that most positions are filled through recruitment agencies, particularly when looking for temporary and contract work. Recruitment agencies will make job searching easier as they have access to a variety of jobs, and not all jobs will be advertised. In all cases, candidates that are on their books will have first access to jobs that are suited to them.
With a highly saturated recruitment market, it can be a daunting task to find an agency to represent you. To help you decide on which agency to use you should look at the following:
- Are they specialists in the sector you want to work in? It is better to register with those that specialise in your chosen sector as they will have in-depth knowledge and be able to provide expert advice on what sorts of roles you should be taking.
- Do they understand your requirements and listen to your needs? It is important that the consultant is working proactively on your behalf and looking for roles that you actually want.
- Do they provide you with all the information you require and answer your questions? The London financial market is extremely competitive, so you need to ensure that your consultant is providing you with all the relevant information you need to succeed.
- You should limit the number of agencies that you register with and build strong relationships with them. If not you will find that you spend a lot of time visiting agencies and not getting anywhere. Do research via the internet, see what type of roles and clients they place for and listen to other people’s recommendations.
- See if they have any associations with professional bodies in your industry. Goodman Masson is a gold sponsor of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and puts on events with them, which provides an ideal place for networking.
- Look at any additional services they provide as these could make the difference in the long term. Goodman Masson put on a temps party twice a year, where they invite all working temps to a food and drinks night at a bar in central London. Consultants and clients also attend so it is an ideal place for networking and to hear about new roles.
London can be an expensive place to live, especially if you wish to live in zone 1 or zone 2. You will be required to give at least 1 months deposit and normally 1 months rent in advance. Unless your rent includes bills, you will also be required to pay council tax, and bills such as water, gas and electricity, all which can make your rent considerably higher.
It is a good idea to visit a few places that you want to live in to get a feel of the area. Asking friends, family and colleagues for advice can prove to be worthwhile especially if they have been in London for a while.
You should also consider what transport options will be available to you in each area. Living near good transport links can increase the number of places you can work and may even cut down the amount of travel time.
To look for a place to live you may go through an agency or use sites such as www.gumtree.com or www.moveflat.com
Tax and National Insurance
To work in the UK you will need to apply for a National Insurance Number. To apply for a NI number you will need to contact the Jobcentre plus NI allocation service helpline on 0845 600 0643. They will make sure you need a number and arrange for you to undertake an evidence of identity interview. It is best to make an appointment and apply for an NI number as early as possible as it can be a lengthy process. For more information on National Insurance and Tax visit www.direct.gov.uk and www.hmrc.gov.uk
Tube or bus travel is generally going to be the best way for you to travel to work. Buying weekly or monthly passes will help you to minimise cost. To plan your journey visit www.tfl.gov.uk.
If you take a role where tube or bus travel is not possible our consultants will advise you on the best way to travel. Sometimes locations may be close than they seem. Visit www.walkit.com to see if it’s in walking distance.
As soon as you are settled it is advisable to register with your local GP. It is important to do this before you need to as it can take some time and you will need to provide proof of address when registering. For more information and to find you local GP visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
Living in London
You will soon discover that there are a limitless and diverse range of opportunities for enjoying yourself in London. If you are looking for things to do or places to go the 'This is London' website is a good place to start: www.thisislondon.co.uk.