So, you’re making the decision to move to London in 2022.
Congratulations! This is an amazing city and there are plenty of opportunities for those who are willing to work hard. However, moving to a new city can be daunting, especially if you’re doing it alone.
But don’t worry – we’re here to help out. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the fears that you might have about moving to London on your own and how to be confident in making that move.
We’ll also provide some tips on finding a place to live, meeting new people, and how to stay safe in your new life in the city.
Before committing to a move, make sure you have done your research on London.
This includes understanding the current cost of living, which neighbourhoods are best for your lifestyle, and what job opportunities might be available for you.
If you have ever visited London in person before, that’s great. You’ll have a good idea whether the city is a good fit for you. If you haven’t visited London before – don’t worry. There are plenty of resources online that can help you out.
You should also research the visa requirements if you’re moving from another country. Once you have a good understanding of what to expect, you can begin looking for a place to stay.
Finding accommodation in London can be tricky, but there are a number of websites that are designed to help you out – whether you’re renting or buying.
Rightmove, Zoopla and OpenRent are all useful platforms that allow you to filter properties based on the number of bedrooms, the location and any local amenities.
At busy times of the year, it’s highly recommended to attend in person viewings in London. Some landlords and letting agencies will not let you make an offer on a property without viewing it first. It’s also good for peace of mind – photographs and virtual viewings can hide glaring property issues.
When viewing properties, always ask the landlord or letting agent questions about the property. Some of the most important questions to ask when renting include:
- How much is the rent?
- When is the rent due? (Monthly, quarterly or annually?)
- Is water, electricity, gas and council tax included in the rent?
- What is the minimum length of stay?
- How much is the deposit?
- Has the boiler been checked recently?
- How are the neighbours?
- Who can I contact in an emergency?
The London property market can be really, really competitive. Expect to be researching and looking for properties for weeks or months in advance of your move.
The key is to find the right balance between price, convenience and enjoyment. London is a huge city, and there’s something for everyone. But it can be expensive – especially if you want to live in Zone One or Two.
Finding a Job in London
One of the great things about London is that there are so many opportunities for work. No matter what your skill set or experience, you’re sure to find something that suits you.
In January 2022, the number of job vacancies in the UK reached a record high of 1,298,400. The UK economy is looking to bounce back in a big way after the peaks of COVID-19, so it’s a great time to be job seeking.
Of course, the competition can be tough. There are millions of people living in London, and many of them will be looking for work at the same time as you. Think about the things that make you stand out and incorporate them into your CV (or resume).
There are plenty of websites and recruitment agencies that can help you find a position in London. LinkedIn, Indeed and Reed are all great examples of platforms where you can search and filter jobs to suit you.
Another great way to find a job in London is to network. Talk to people you know and see if they have any connections that can put you in touch with a job opportunity. You never know who might be able to help you out!
Planning Your Move
The next step is to start planning your move. If you’re moving from another country, you’ll need to figure out the logistics of shipping your belongings and getting a place to live.
If you’re moving from somewhere else in the UK, you will still need to organise a way of getting your belongings to London. Whether it’s your parent’s car, a friend’s van or a moving company, make sure you have some help in relocating your possessions.
You should also research the best way to get around London. Depending on where you’re coming from, public transportation in London might be a bit different than what you’re used to. Watch some videos, read some articles and find out the best way to get around your local area.
Making friends in London
Great – you’ve moved to London. That’s the hard part done, right? Well, kind of. Most ex-pats claim that it’s the friends you make here that will inspire you to stay for the long term.
Moving to a completely new city can be daunting, but there are plenty of ways to meet great new people. You can join a club or society, go to events and meetups, or even just strike up conversations with people you meet in everyday life.
It’s almost a given that you’ll make friends in your new job. After-work social events and lunches are very common in London, giving you a chance to get to know your new colleagues and see if you have anything in common.
Outside of work you’ll find a huge number of clubs and societies that are sure to suit your interests. If you’re on Reddit, try out r/LondonSocialClub – a fantastic community where friendly Londoners invite members to join on pub nights, board game socials, comedy shows, rock climbing sessions and everything in between.
London is an incredible city with so much to offer, and moving here alone can be a great way to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people.
Staying safe in London
Of course, when moving to a new city, it’s important to stay safe. London is considered to be quite safe as a location. But as with every city, crime is commonplace.
If you’re worried about moving to London alone, here are a few tips to help you feel more confident:
- Get to know your new surroundings and familiarise yourself with your area
- Note down phone numbers to call in an emergency
- Use Citymapper or Map apps to plan your routes
- Be careful when travelling at night
Always make sure you lock windows and doors in your property when leaving for any amount of time. Also, do consider that some public transport options are not 24/7. Whilst there are a number of buses that run through the night in London, the tube typically closes at around midnight.
Saving money in London
Saving money in London can be hard, but there are a number of ways to make your money go further in the city.
Don’t be afraid to look for free or cheap events happening around the city. There are always plenty of things to do in London that don’t cost a lot of money. Lectures, sample sales, poetry events, art exhibitions and outdoor music sessions are all great examples of free events that you can attend. Check out Eventbrite for the lowdown on free events.
You can also check out discount websites like Time Out and Groupon for deals on restaurants, activities, events and much more.
As always, try not to spend all of your money on takeaways. It’s easy to do when you’re living by yourself and cooking for one can be a bit of a hassle. But if you’re trying to stay frugal, it’s important to try and eat healthy and home-cooked meals as much as possible. Not only is it better for your health, but it will also save you money in the long run.
London is a huge, vibrant city with lots of exciting things to do and places to explore.
For the first few months, you will probably be getting used to your new life. Be patient and things will start to feel more comfortable.
Eventually, you will find your favourite spots in the city and make friends with people who share similar interests. Enjoy every moment and don’t look back!