If your search has led you to this blog post, you’re no doubt already considering the pros and cons of relocating for work. Of course, this is a significant decision, involving complex logistics and moving expenses. As anyone who has ever moved for a job will tell you, it’s a colossal upheaval! While this can be offputting, it is essential to recognise the benefits that relocating for a job may hold for you.
A new career opportunity can open many doors, doors which may lead to higher salaries, career advancement or even your dream job! Relocating can also improve your relationships with friends and family, as a result of a better work-life balance!
Could the Grass be Greener Up-North?
Until not so long ago, moving to London for a job pretty much guaranteed a massive pay rise and with it, a better quality of life. Now it seems that although salaries are still higher there, the number of people relocating to Manchester from London is overtaking those moving the other way.
And it’s not just people; businesses and their employees are relocating too! According to a recent report by CW Jobs, 26% of Tech Professionals questioned in the survey relocated up North from London.
Additionally, the report asked Techies where they thought the next up and coming UK Tech Hub would be. The result? 24% said Manchester, 12% thought Leeds and only 10% predicted that London would hold onto its crown.
So why are people and businesses choosing Manchester over London? Furthermore, what does the North have to offer those who are offered a relocation deal? We explore the advantages of relocating up north for work compared with the disadvantages of living in the capital.
Advantages and Disadvantages to Relocating for a Job
When making such a big decision, it’s important to consider the long term impact of relocating for a job. In particular, any long-term gains could by far outweigh any short-term costs. Of course, how much you stand to lose or gain by moving for a job will depend on your personal circumstances. However, here are a few examples of the benefits of relocating for a job:
- Higher salary
- Reduced living costs
- Shorter commute
- Owning own home could be more achievable
- More favourable work/life balance
- Healthier lifestyle
- Better social life
- Better quality schools/childcare
Cost of Relocation
It’s often the costs involved in a relocation that put candidates off. Of course, depending on your situation, relocating can be costly. Although, a single person living in a shared house, who is able to fit their entire life into a few boxes will be looking at considerably less moving costs than a family with a whole house full of furniture.
It’s worth bearing in mind that a company who value your skills enough to make you a job offer, maybe prepared to provide you with a relocation package. However, this is a tricky subject to approach directly with a prospective employer. Individual applicants often don’t feel comfortable approaching the subject but, it’s unlikely, due to the costs involved, that an employer won’t mention the issue unless you do.
If you know you need help with relocation costs, it’s worth conducting your job search with a recruiter from the outset. Handling awkward conversations like this is all part of the service they offer.
Salaries Are Higher in London
Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2015, cited that the median gross annual wage for people working in inner London is £34,473 (half earn more than this and half earn less). Meanwhile, the median salary for the UK as a whole is a lower, £22,044.
However, although salaries are undoubtedly higher down south, taking a pay cut to move up-north could far outweigh London living expenses in the long term.
Cost of Living is Lower in Manchester
London may win over Manchester with its higher salaries. However, the cost of everyday living is an obvious benefit of relocating to Manchester has.
We did a quick survey of some of the average living costs in Manchester vs London, and this is what we found:
If you are considering relocation, logistics are, unfortunately, unavoidable. However, if the thought of packing and moving your things yourself gives you the horrors, you can keep your involvement in the process to a minimum.
Removals companies who are keen to win your business will often offer services above and beyond the norm. Yes, that includes packing your things up for you!
As you might imagine, this comes at a price. But if you manage to negotiate a good relocation deal with your new boss, they may agree to cover this. After all, they would rather have you show up for your first day at work ready to hit the ground running, than feeling like you need to lie down in a darkened room.
Property is where relocators to Manchester can make significant savings. According to Rightmove, the average property sold in London last year were flats with an average value of £621,000. Meanwhile, in Manchester, the average property sold was a semi-detached house with an average cost of £232,221. That’s a whopping £388,779 difference, AND you get more for your money!
It’s not just homeowners who could feel the benefit of relocating to Manchester from London. Many young professionals can only afford to rent shared housing in London. If this sounds familiar, relocating north-wards could win you your independence back. Not only that but for a one-bedroom apartment in central Manchester, you could expect to pay per month what would cost you per week in London.
As Jessie J once sang, it’s not all about the money. Moving to a new place can do wonders for refreshing your social life too! And what better place to enjoy it than Manchester? Of course, we would say that, wouldn’t we? But it’s not just us who thinks so. Only recently, Manchester overtook Edinburgh as the most popular city to visit in the UK. With a thriving nightlife scene and only being a stone’s throw away from the peak district, it’s easy to see why! It doesn’t matter what you’re into, you’ll find it in abundance in Manchester.
The thought of getting to grips with a new local infrastructure network can be daunting. Manchester may not have the tube, but our public transport systems are less crowded, and public transportation costs much less here than in London. Furthermore, our commute times in Manchester are much less than down south. The savings to be made on travel time and costs could be invested back into spending quality time with your family and friends.
Childcare Arrangements & Schools
Often, young professionals looking to start a family, get fed up with the hustle and bustle of the city and want to relocate to the suburbs. Towns such as Wilmslow, Poynton and Altrincham are extremely popular with families.
According to Numbeo, the average cost of childcare in London is almost £1,500 whereas in Manchester they are only just over £800.
What if Your New Job Doesn’t Work Out?
When starting a new job, the thought that it may not be all you’d hoped for is always a worry. Where a massive upheaval is involved, these doubts can be all the more exaggerated. While nobody wants to find themselves in this situation, rest assured that there is no shortage of opportunities up north.
Manchester proves itself the beacon of the Northern PowerHouse movement as these transitions have already started to take place. For example, the establishment of Media City and most recently, Amazon (2020) opting for Manchester offices over London! A clear shift is occurring, thus creating many more job opportunities up North.
We hope that by setting out some of the benefits of relocating for a job, we have helped make your decision an easier one.
If it still feels like a massive leap of faith, but you would like to continue your job search in Manchester, it’s worth talking to a recruitment consultant.
In addition to offering the usual career coaching services, which can be invaluable when moving to a new area, they might also be able to negotiate a relocation package on your behalf.
Relocation deals can vary widely and not all will come in the form of a lump sum. However, most will cover your relocation expenses and can often include arrangements for temporary housing and other costs involved in job relocation.
Over to You!
Have you ever relocated for a job? Do you have any useful advice for others that you’d like to share below? Or maybe you know someone who’s weighing up the benefits of relocating for a job? If so, do them a favour and share this post on your favourite social media channel. Sharing is caring!