By: Greg Thorpe

We all know about the brain drain to London. Whether it’s graduates migrating to the capital after university, or senior professionals looking for career progression in the city: the bright lights of London are a big attraction.

However, living or working in London is not all it’s cracked up to be!  For one thing, it’s expensive to live in; the average price of property in London is £585,516, compared to £376,200 for the rest of the South East. Rents are also above the national average: £1,246 a month in London, £927 p/m elsewhere.

Furthermore, if you decide to live further away to take advantage of lower property prices, you’ll have to factor in travel costs to get into the capital. From Farnham, Surrey where our HQ is based, an annual season ticket into Waterloo currently costs over £3,888.

Living outside London and commuting in every day can also wreak havoc with your personal life. You can spend hours on public transport when you could be at home with family, or out socialising with friends. It can also be difficult to take full advantage of the city for going out, theatre, sports etc., when you’ve got a long journey home afterwards.

Fantastic opportunities in the South East

There is an alternative. Many prestigious global companies have their headquarters and offices out of London in the Home Counties. Taking advantage of excellent transport links, especially for international travel; lower commercial rents; and tapping into a pool of talented professionals living in the South East.

If you’re looking for a senior position in a large PLC or global enterprise, a competitive salary and good work-life balance, the answer is to look at opportunities in Surrey, Middlesex, Berkshire, Hampshire and Sussex. You don’t need to be in London to get the career progression, salary and professional standing you desire, you can achieve these goals without stepping foot in the capital.

Will you miss the bright lights of London? Well, one of the advantages of working and living in the South East is that London is very accessible.

You get the best of both worlds.

Just because you’re not in the city doesn’t mean you’ll be in a cultural desert! There are plenty of venues for music, theatre, sports and arts across the South East, attracting major artists and performers, as well as sports events such as at the Majeski Stadium in Reading.

There are also key advantages to living in the South East if you have a family, particularly when it comes to schools. Unlike in London where it can be a ‘postcode lottery’, it is often much easier to get your children into a good or outstanding local school, than in the capital.

Have we sold the South East to you yet?

Perhaps you’re living and working in London and would like to get out, or maybe you’ve been considering relocating to the South East from elsewhere in the country? Either way the first step is to have a discussion with a specialist recruiter about your career goals and lifestyle requirements.

Here at Howett Thorpe we specialise in Financial and HR recruitment, placing experienced senior candidates into global companies across the South East.

With offices in Farnham, Weybridge, Slough and Reigate we have long standing relationships with clients across a wide range of industries, many of whom have on-going requirements for highly qualified and talented individuals.

If you would like to explore further the opportunities in the South East, take the first step by getting in touch with our team. We’d be delighted to discuss your objectives and requirements, and help you find your next role.