6 Top Tips to Finding Work in London


Moving to, or simply just living in London can be a daunting but incredible experience. It is an expensive city to live in but has so much to offer. Unless you win the UK Lottery upon arrival at Heathrow, you’re probably going to need to get a job. And fast! I’ve put together a guide on some of the best ways to find work in London.

The iconic London phone booth. Photo credit by Lchigo121212 from Pixabay.

1. Find out if you can legally earn money in London

Step one is to make sure you are able to get paid to work legally in the United Kingdom. With the final verdict on Brexit still out, the laws haven’t changed drastically just yet. It’s a great idea to read up on whether you can or cannot accept payment for any work you do in the country. And how this might change following the looming Brexit decision.

The best place to go to find this information would be the official website of the UK. Here you will find up to date answers to just about any question you could possibly have regarding the legalities of immigrating to the UK. You can find detailed info about visas here, and minimum wage, taxes, annual leave and working hours here. Brexit is a subject all on its own and you can find a lot of useful information here.

Aerial view of the Houses of Parliament in London by Nik MacMillan. Sourced from Unsplash.

Britain’s laws can be strict and it is worth your while to understand how and why to stick to them.

2. Try to find work before you arrive in London

Like I said, London is an expensive city.  First prize would be to secure a job (and an income) before you even arrive. That way, you know your budget and can get to work on finding somewhere to live. Though that is a topic for a whole other article. 

There are tons of sites like Indeed and Reed, which list available jobs in the UK. You can filter searches by location, salary, job type and more. If you have an idea of where you would like to work or base yourself, this is a good start. Transportation in London can take a massive bite out of your budget, so living and working in proximity is a huge score.

Cycling is a great way to get around London. Photo by Metin Ozer on Unsplash.

If you find a job that interests you, submit your CV and hold thumbs. Some companies will be happy to do first interviews over Skype.  Bear in mind you may need to head on over for a second or third interview in person, if the first went well.

3. Finding work upon arriving in London

Maybe your second interview went horribly or you just prefer to fly by the seat of your pants. Either way, you have found yourself in London with your life packed into a bag and your savings disappearing fast.

What next? Photo by Jim Arnot on Unsplash

A great way to try to find work in London once you are already here, is to sign up with an agency. Temp work is everywhere in London and can be a great way to tide you over until you secure that guaranteed monthly salary.

4. Sign up with an agency to get Temp work quickly in London

Places like Adecco, Attic Recruitment and Blue Arrow will interview you and add you to their books if they think you will represent them well. If you are a student, E4S (Employment for Students) is a great agency to sign with in order to find holiday and graduate work. Stopgap is a creative and marketing recruitment agency. Grafter makes use of an app to match potential employees or temps to vacancies.

There are many, many more agencies out there, each with their own specialty. Have a think about the kind of work you would like to do and pair with an agency that offers this sort of work. This will give you the best chance at getting paid to do something you enjoy!

Nothing beats finding a job you love. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

A great thing about temp work is that you get to ‘try before you buy’. Often with temp work, you will get booked for jobs that last a few days or weeks at a time. This way, you get to see if this is a job that you may be interested in working longer term. The more work you do, the more you get to learn about the work you don’t want to do. This will really help when you are ready to start looking for longer term work.

5. Sign up with a recruitment agency for longer term work

If you are coming to London with an established career path, recruitment agencies can help with finding a long term job. Many temp agencies are also recruitment agencies. If you are ready to look for something longer term, your agency may be able to assist. It is a good idea to pair with a combined temp and recruitment agency and establish a relationship with an agent from day one.

6. Hustle, network, put yourself out there, network and hustle some more!

Last but not at all least, you have to network. If you are coming to London on your own and know few people in the city, networking will be vital in order to make friends. Without a social life, London can feel very isolating. So put yourself out there and work on making friends wherever you go. The best way to do this, is to go to places or events that genuinely interest you. Here you will get to meet people with similar interests to you, which may lead to work opportunities in one way or another.

Another way to find new friends is through a site called Meetup. There are tons of groups that you can join based on your location, interests, hobbies and lifestyle. Events that may interest members are posted on the group page. There is also a discussion forum available on the page for group members to use.

Cafés are great places for networking. Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash.

Moving to London is a difficult, but rewarding experience. Once you land your dream job and find yourself building a life in one of the world’s most famous and exciting cities, you will be glad you stuck the tough times out.