Southern Strikes Return …Time To Consider Re-Locating Your Career?

Professionals under pressure are increasingly leaving London behind and finding new career paths in Surrey and Sussex

Last week, drivers’ union Aslef announced yet another overtime ban that’s set to disrupt Southern Rail commuters from 29 June. How much worse can things get for beleaguered Surrey & Sussex based commuters?

Strikes affect the entire network, but it’s city centre commuters who feel the brunt of the disruption with long, frequently-delayed services.

We’re here to say – there is a better way! At Ambra, we believe in building professional careers closer to home in Surrey and Sussex. More and more commuters are discovering vastly improved working lifestyles outside of the city.

London Commuters Still Feeling The Squeeze

Commuters are finding navigating the arduous journey into London ever more intolerable. For many, the daily journey into work feels like a battle against:

  • Over a year of industrial action by RMT and Aslef
  • Season ticket prices spiralling – almost £5,000 Haywards Heath into Victoria
  • Overcrowding making ‘getting a seat’ a luxury
  • Some of the worst reliability in the UK and even Europe
  • Hugely increased stress levels, often a direct consequence of excessive travel

We all love a good moan, especially when it comes to travel, but this is a bit much.

A stark example came from Portslade drinks vendor Tony Beck, profiled in The Guardian: “a guy was here last week at 6:15 am because he had to be at a meeting in Reading about a contract at 11:30am. So he gave himself all that time. I saw him the next day – he’d missed the meeting, missed out on the contract and been sacked.”

With misfortunes like these all the more common, booking of a chauffeur driven trip to the city becomes increasingly appealing. Alas, most of us will never afford such a luxury. (Just the ‘value for money’ £4,936 Haywards Heath to Victoria for us!)

Then there’s the emotional cost. Commercial lawyer and mother of one Emma Green lasted just 3 weeks in her post before throwing in the towel.

Emma recounts how sometimes she would find herself “standing for the entire journey. As a diabetic this could be very uncomfortable and I could end up feeling dizzy or faint.” But it was the diminishing time spent with her son due to delays which affected her the most – “at best I was getting home at 8pm. But at worst, I could be walking in the front door as late as 9:30pm.”

Thousands of commuters have resigned themselves to the fact that delays, cancellations, engineering works, overcrowding, signal failures, strike action and price hikes are second nature in our monopolised London rail network.

Others, though – like Emma – are re-evaluating and considering whether they can relocate their career closer to home.

The Alternative: Professional Careers, Closer To Home

Why shouldn’t world-class professional business operations take place outside the city? Well, they very much do.

Beyond scale, there’s no *magic* to London city centre. In fact, many businesses specifically chose to locate themselves outside the city in order to attract senior, experienced talent – legal firms, accountants and brand headquarters, for example.

In our experience, though, commuters often consider themselves ‘hardened’ by the daily ordeal, feeling it is their ‘duty’ to commute and maintain their place as family breadwinner. Those who can see beyond this though, and consider looking elsewhere, can discover enormous benefits – not least for the family.

Yes: moving on to a career outside the city may require slight compromise, but with demand for talent exceptionally high, the level of opportunities available may surprise you.

Other benefits (there are lots!) include: reducing both the time and the stress of your journey to work; finding more time for family and friends; potential of cycling to work without braving the inner-city slalom; greater connection to the local business community.

So, Southern commuters, as you face yet another period of strike action – is now the time to consider finding career closer to home in Surrey or Sussex?!


Discover Professional Roles in Surrey & Sussex

Our team love nothing more than helping professionals to escape from the London commute. Drop us a line or send us your CV and we can arrange a chat to discuss your search.

Contact Ambra Recruitment