by Jessie Edwards
Careers , Advice , Recruitment , Jobs , Workplace , Recruiter , LifeAtUR , Understanding Recruitment , Internal Recruitment , Tech Recruitment

Think you have to commute to London to have a successful recruitment career?

Well, our internal recruiter and self-professed sausage dog lover Jessie is here to tell you there is another way…

This time last year I had the choice between taking a role in London or in St. Albans, Hertfordshire and I chose to work locally! Why? Because traveling into London is tiring, uncomfortable, boring and rather expensive. Having traveled into the city from Stevenage for only two days a week in one of my previous roles I know this firsthand! I also like to sing songs out loud and apparently that’s frowned upon on public transport, in the comfort of my own car… there’s no judgment!

Admittedly, if you absolutely love your commute into London, this blog isn’t for you. But if you’re fed up with feeling like a squished sardine on an overcrowded tube and paying thousands a year for the privilege, read on…

Like most people I used to think that being successful in recruitment meant that I had to work in London, that by working in the city it was more fast-paced, the social scene was more lively and there was a lot more money to be made. Turns out, I was wrong!

Recruitment has always been a super-fast paced industry, so whether you work in London or in Hertfordshire you’re always going to be working in a fast-paced and lively environment.

After I joined Understanding Recruitment it was great to discover that they’re a really social bunch and that with a variety of restaurants, bars and clubs on our doorstep the social side of work is thriving! You’ll often catch us out in St. Albans of a Friday evening after work to see in the weekend, no different than London really but the drinks aren’t as overpriced!

Moneywise, we offer great basic salaries (the sort you’d see in London but you don’t have to shell out lots of money for a season ticket just to get to work) and an amazing commission structure ranging from 15 – 40% uncapped with only a £5k threshold each quarter.

So, having experienced working both in London and locally I know what I prefer. Here’s my summary of the pros and cons of choosing a recruitment career outside of London:

Pros of commuting into London

  • Sometimes you see dogs on the tube, always a bonus!

Cons of commuting into London

  • You rarely ever get a seat… standing for your whole commute isn’t ideal
  • I’m pretty sure trains are delayed the majority of the time and you hear the dreaded ‘this train has been delayed’ or ‘this train has been canceled, there is a replacement bus service’ that echoes over the whole platform, instantly killing your mood and that of your fellow commuters
  • It’s SO expensive – yes, your salary may look like more with a London weighting than it would if you worked locally, however it costs thousands per year to commute into the city (for example a season ticket from Watford Junction to London Victoria costs £3,584 (not including the cost for onward travel on the tube) just to stand on a packed train and be squashed… 261 days a year). According to the BBC, commuters pay a fifth of their take-home pay on season tickets, with fares set to increase every year for a deteriorating service.

Pros of driving

  • You always get a seat
  • Depending on how far your journey is petrol is cheaper than an annual train ticket
  • No one invades your personal space
  • My team members commute an average of 28 minutes each way depending on where they live, with most living in Hemel Hempstead, St. Albans, Harpenden, Stevenage, and Luton.

Cons of driving

  • Traffic, literally nothing you can do about it and there’s nothing more annoying! But, at least you can sit in the comfort of your own car, on the phone or listening to you a podcast or an audible book that can only benefit you
  • You can’t blame the delayed trains if you’re late to work!


What would you do with an extra hour every day?

Find out how much time you’re spending commuting with Total Job’s commute calculator.
Curious about what more we can offer you? Take a peek.


Let’s have a chat!

Connect with me on LinkedIn, email me at jedwards@understandingrecruitment.co.uk or call 01727 228 078