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Is it disirable to work in London, coming from Florida?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Kind of ironic, considering that most of the tourists in Florida are coming from England. My fiancee has a fascination with British culture, due to her so-far sheltered life in the South. Her job as a nanny for a multi-mil family has taken her across Europe and she loves it now, and could think nothing better than to live in a quaint house in Stratham. I will be graduating at the end of 2012 with a BS in computer science from University of South Florida, specializing in business and information systems. I won't be exactly desperate for a job... if everything falls through (unlikely), my father has been a programmer at his company for over twenty years and already told me he could get me a job after college. But the fantasy of working somewhere else besides the Tampa, besides the US... is really inspiring. Best of all, my entire family on both my mum's and dad's side all live in England. I haven't seen my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. in years. Now I am a pragmatic person, and even if working somewhere far away offers an experience far richer than at home, I still need stability and a decent salary. My fiancee and I are both high maintenance... I admit that I have a tough time surviving frugally, and so does she. What's the job market like in London for software programmers? Are the majority of jobs temporary consultancies, or permanent positions? Are they plentiful, or mercilessly few and competitive? Are salaries crap, or quite decent compared to American salaries (around 40,000-60,000 starting of out of university) One more last note... if it makes any difference, I have British and Canadian citizenship, and American citizenship whenever I bother to file my papers and pay the government their $1000 application fee.
post #2 of 15
London is like New York but with narrower streets. And some of the most variable weather known to man. Starting salary for a programmer would be around the £20,000 mark, and living expenses would be fairly high. As your father's position would likely be a programming-based would there be a possibility of working for them long-distance? Many programmers I know accept contracts and work on them at home. I'm the other way to you, working in London and wishing I could move to Florida!
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Grass is always greener on the other side lol.

Man, that starting salary is not as much as I expected... and I know how expensive London can be, because my sister and her husband lived there for five years and always complained about everything being so expensive compared to the states.

Unless I land some amazing prospect across the sea, I guess it boils down to whether we both want it easy staying in Florida where we have connections, a house to live in, and cheap cost of living, or a completely different cultural experience beginning a new life in England.
post #4 of 15
Sounds like you are really curious! I think I would try it out at least, I wouldn't want to live the rest of my life wondering what if? You can always move back if it's not working out for you.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ahhh, I wish it was easy as that. See if it was just me and her then yeah, that'd be easy squeezy.

But I feel like we have too much to just hop around like that... she's a teacher, we have a three dogs, a kid soon, etc. I dunno. The move would be permanent if it did happen, unless London ended up being completely disastrous beyond all toleration.
post #6 of 15
Why London? It's incredibly expensive, even in the cheapish areas. Why not somewhere like Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham, Cambridge or Oxford? All are large, fairly decent cities with a much cheaper cost of living than LDN. Some large IT companies also have bases in strange towns, such as Milton Keynes or Swindon, as the costs are cheaper. The UK is also a fairly small country compared to the US, so going to the capital for a few days for shopping or whatever isn't that difficult.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Not sure, didn't really think of that. I just assumed that most tech jobs would be in the city, and the only big city in England I know of is England lol.

I've been to Bristol, and I actually like Bristol better than London... I just didn't think my kind of job would be there.

Are there certain cities in England where software and IT jobs are common, or no?
post #8 of 15
Becuase of the space premium in London it tends to be profitable sectors like Law and Money, office space can be ten or even hundreds of thousands of pounds per square foot. Most IT companies wont shoulder that cost. To put it in perspective I live in Cambridge, where we have an IT Park that supplies most schools and university support for the south of England. Glaxo have a head office here and the university is where people like Alan Turing honed their craft. I've been shopping in london twice this week , and it took me 1 hour each way by train. Unless you have some pretty serious cash to lay down on a house in a commuter area (2 bedroom house being about £280,000 in most half decent places) and a steady job lined up then I would avoid "moving to London". You can make the move to a smaller city (such as Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham (safer for those of Asian and Middle-eastern decent)) and it would be cost effective, but you may find that Rural England is pretty damn similar to Rural California, but without the sunshine, vineyards and devastatingly attractive girls.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhood View Post
London is like New York but with narrower streets. And some of the most variable weather known to man.

Starting salary for a programmer would be around the £20,000 mark, and living expenses would be fairly high.

Agree.

I just moved here from another major North American city for a salary more than double that, and the cost of living floors me. 20K in London would not a happy camper make. A couple can live alright on 40K.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treen View Post
Why London? It's incredibly expensive, even in the cheapish areas. Why not somewhere like Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham, Cambridge or Oxford? All are large, fairly decent cities with a much cheaper cost of living than LDN. Some large IT companies also have bases in strange towns, such as Milton Keynes or Swindon, as the costs are cheaper.
becuase they arent london

i couldnt think of anything more depressing than living in milton keynes of swindon. london is magic for all it has to offer but if i was going to live anywhere in the UK outside of london it would have to be somewhere rural in Dorset or somewhere similar.

commuter towns make me want to kill myself.
post #11 of 15
also you are unlikely to ever find an english person suggesting a move to england. i have never met a culture of people more disdainful of their homeland.

which is weird because it is a marvelous country.
post #12 of 15
I would say go. The UK is amazing and Florida is shit. I hate this damn state. Nothing worse than the south.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Herbert View Post
becuase they arent london i couldnt think of anything more depressing than living in milton keynes of swindon. london is magic for all it has to offer but if i was going to live anywhere in the UK outside of london it would have to be somewhere rural in Dorset or somewhere similar. commuter towns make me want to kill myself.
Dorset is beautiful. I think we own a cottage there (not sure if it was ever sold after grandfather's death). Wouldn't want to live in london on a beginning programmer's salary though. I also don't know how realistic it is to even expect being able to find a job there with no experience. Why go to the trouble of hiring a foreigner when you've got lots of kids looking for work in england that won't require processing extra red tape? Unless you went to stanford/mit/caltech or something of the like that has a lot of brand value... Btw, there's a fair amount of tech in Ireland.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Herbert View Post
also you are unlikely to ever find an english person suggesting a move to england. i have never met a culture of people more disdainful of their homeland.

which is weird because it is a marvelous country.

Being my parents are British, I can explain that. From what they've told me, it's a small country. A lot of culture, but still ridiculously small. After living there for twenty years, you realize you've seen everything, but there's no where else to go but out of England. All the old people lead the same bullshit lives and offer no inspiration to the younger generation, making life after work seem boring, lonely, and miserable. My parents faced this phenomenon in their twenties, and fortunately my dad got caught in the "brain drain" of the 70's, when Canada basically recruited all of England's overstock of engineering graduates to improve their tech industry. I remember he told me there was no interview. One representative flew over to England, asked him if he had any questions, and then gave him the job then and there. Canada was desperate, and that was the beginning of his escape.

But to foreigners, England is only a new beginning, and especially for myself... I've never been in any close relationships with my extended family, and I see this as an opportunity to finally do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
Dorset is beautiful. I think we own a cottage there (not sure if it was ever sold after grandfather's death). Wouldn't want to live in london on a beginning programmer's salary though.

I also don't know how realistic it is to even expect being able to find a job there with no experience. Why go to the trouble of hiring a foreigner when you've got lots of kids looking for work in england that won't require processing extra red tape? Unless you went to stanford/mit/caltech or something of the like that has a lot of brand value...

Btw, there's a fair amount of tech in Ireland.

I've realized this in the past week, and decided that I'm going to gather my experience in Florida first. There's no point in starting a new home in a foreign country with no experience whatsoever. It's dangerous, and if I get fired/laid off/etc. then who knows if I can find another job to support myself. I might give it 2-3 years after graduation maybe, see where I am from there, and then try and start applying for jobs in England.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyJew View Post
I've realized this in the past week, and decided that I'm going to gather my experience in Florida first. There's no point in starting a new home in a foreign country with no experience whatsoever. It's dangerous, and if I get fired/laid off/etc. then who knows if I can find another job to support myself. I might give it 2-3 years after graduation maybe, see where I am from there, and then try and start applying for jobs in England.
I think this is a good idea. Entry level jobs are in London are short supply, and there are more than enough qualified British grads fighting over these. Unless you have a gold plated CV, you'll struggle (and even then, the odds are against you). Take it from me, you don't want to be job hunting here at the moment! If you fancy some unsolicited advice, I'd try and build skills in demand in the finance industry. When/if the economy recovers, you should be able to go contracting for a decent rate. And whatever you do, don't move to Swindon or MK!
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Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Business, Careers & Education › Is it disirable to work in London, coming from Florida?