What I've learnt from a month of working in London

Saturday, 19 August 2017 London, UK

What I've Learnt from a Month of Working in London
So, the last few weeks have absolutely flown by since graduating and heading to Barcelona with my new company. I then had my first day the Monday after getting home from the trip, so you could the say the whole thing was a whirlwind! My first four weeks working in a PR agency have gone just as quickly; it feels like five minutes ago that I turned up slightly nervous about my first day in the office.

I knew the second I sat down at my desk that I'd had no reason to be though. When you go for interviews, some places just feel right and every time I visited the office I felt instantly at ease. This feeling has continued since I began working there, I've slotted straight in with the team because the people really make it special.

This isn't to say it's been an easy ride adjusting to working in London as a first full-time job, straight out of university - the tiredness really began to hit me by the second week! It was a lot to adjust to and I'm still dealing with it all, a month in, so the process has been quite the learning curve. I thought I'd discuss some of the interesting and wonderful but also frustrating aspects of working in London.

1. Don't submit to the sense of urgency

This was easily one of the quickest things I learnt, especially on the commuting side of working in London. People love rushing everywhere, even when they don't need to! It's a feeling that emits from everyone else around you, so it's hard to shrug off the need to rush also. But don't give in if you have no reason to rush!

I always get in earlier than needed because I'm commuting from outside London, and even at around half 7, everyone's storming about Paddington station. Perhaps it makes people feel more important, strutting around in suits and huffing if the train happens to arrive a few minutes later than planned.  It's an unhealthy feeling, to panic if the everyday routine is ever so slightly scuppered because of a delay.  

London undoubtedly is a faster-living city, and granted you have to adjust a little to all the quick-walking/running around. I have at times been one of those people running through Paddington! Just don't let the stress invade your outlook on everything else going on during the day.

2. Search for the small joys in each day

Okay this sounds a little wishy-washy, stay with me! But when commuting and working feels like clockwork routine, ticking over day-in day-out, it's so important to find small ways to jazz up your day a bit. This could be as tiny as treating yourself and buying a coffee from your favourite place in the morning, to planning something fun for your lunch break!

The little pleasures give you a boost which can help to brighten up the rest of the day. Even if this means managing to get out of the office into the sunshine for 10 minutes, find things that put a smile on your face. It helps with the sanity levels!

3. Londoners are really nice people, you just need to look a little harder to see it

Before I made the leap towards London, I assumed people who worked in London were really quite stressy (which is true to an extent) and rude. I mean, the Tube can be frustrating enough to make even the most relaxed of us angry, so I now understand why I thought they weren't the nicest of people. I envisaged being shoved out of the way onto packed trains, never getting a seat, and being met with impatience and blank faces everywhere I went.

People heading into London as tourists unfortunately seem to only witness this side of Londoners, especially if you're travelling anywhere on the central line! However, I work in an area which is literally dedicated to office workers, so my experience has been rather different to what I expected. I've witnessed so many small and touching moments in my short time travelling and working in Moorgate, be it on the Tube, on my way into work, in the local park or in the local coffee shops and cafés.

People tend to think Londoners are a bit unfriendly, but really people are just over-polite and happier to stay at their distance with people they don't know. This doesn't make them unfriendly at all, rather people are always so willing to help others out, whether simply by offering their seat, giving directions or help with the Tube lines. It took me a few weeks to see beneath the walls people tend to bring up but the kindness and sincerity is there!

4. Appreciate time away from screens

Like everyone, I'm guilty of spending a little too much time on my phone and scrolling aimlessly through Instagram and Facebook in my spare time. Since starting an office job again though, once I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is look at too many screens. It's lovely to slob out and watch a series on Netflix in front of the TV, but other than that, my eyes will be dead from all the screen time at work.

It makes it so much harder to switch off before bed later on, as I normally don't get home until about 7ish. It means that I also don't like looking at my phone much in the morning on the way to work, as I get the train quite early into London. I honestly don't know how people do it, I hate arriving to work already tired from looking at a screen too much. Instead, I like to listen to a podcast or music, or read my book or a newspaper so that my brain won't feel as frazzled later on.

So that's a few important lessons I've learned from working in London so far. Would you agree those who also work there? What other tips would you give to those about to start working in London? Thanks for reading!


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  1. Sounds like you've got yourself a fab job straight out of uni - congrats! Liking the place you work is so important and makes all the difference, you do spend 5/7 days there after all!

    I'm still hoping to experience working in the city so this was a lovely little insight into what it's like. I totally agree with your idea of shaking up your routine, I like to change my route to work every now and again to break the monotony! And no screen time is so so vital!

    Sinéad xo Fabuleuse Du Jour

    1. Thanks Sinead, I feel lucky to have achieved this but I worked hard to build up my experience for my first job so I'm happy it's paid off :)

      That's exciting! I'm sure you'll find your opportunity :) Yeah it's the one problem I'm having as I'm out of the house for 12 hours a day so it's difficult to motivate myself to do anything when I finally get home! Good luck with your search :)

  2. Fantastic read! I love reading all about someone else's experiences and I'm really pleased to hear that your new job is going so well - I hope you continue to enjoy it as much as you are x


    1. Hi Rebecca! Great to hear you enjoyed reading :) thank you that's means a lot! I hope so too, excited to see where it all leads!


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