I live in one of the EU countries and in about 6 months me and my girlfriend are planning on moving to London. I am a software developer. I was planning on getting a job before we actually move there, but I don't know when to start looking for one. I think now is bit too soon, as I'm unlikely to find a company that would be willing to wait for me for such a long time.

The reason we are moving in six months is that we both have some obligations here that we need to fulfil (current jobs) and we would like to save some money in case we wouldn't get jobs before we move (and could live off of those savings for a couple of months and search for employment once we are there).

  • You should be looking now.
    – Donald
    Nov 27, 2012 at 19:53

5 Answers 5


I personally think that it is never too early to look for a job in a different job market that you intend to move to.

Indeed, you need to understand the specific job market and the subtle difference in culture, legislation, customs, etc.

You also need to have a feel for the number of job available and how to properly learn of their existence, being via headhunters, recruitment firms or otherwise.

Even if you get an interview and an offer that you can not take because you have not moved yet, you opened a door with an employer.

Bottom line, you have nothing to lose by starting earlier.

  • 5
    Excellent advice. A number of years ago I was attempting to move between cities with no hard deadline and it took two and a half years to find the right job for me. If you're looking at a move 6 months out, definitely start looking for jobs now. Keep in mind that the interview-to-hire process often takes over a month anyway, so you need to be looking well in advance no matter what.
    – alroc
    Nov 27, 2012 at 14:19

I'd consider looking at networking and seeing what kinds of jobs are common in London now. What skills are worth pointing out, what recruiting firms may be worth exploring and getting to know London's software development job market would be my suggestion now.

While you are taking more than a few months to get some things done, I'm not saying you apply tomorrow, but rather build some relationships so it will be easier once you do move there.


I spent most of 2000 and 2001 in London (I'm from Australia); I didn't look for a job until I got there, and it took longer than I hoped to find one. So you are definitely on the right track planning to try to nail down a job before you arrive.

Now, my experience of the London market - which, I remind you, is from a decade ago and may no longer be accurate - was that a large majority of software development jobs were advertised through recruitment agencies, not directly.

So what may be worthwhile is to get your resume out and about to a number of London recruitment agencies as soon as possible. Make it clear to them that you're not going to be in town for another six months, but that you'd like them to consider possibilities for you. They should know who amongst their clients needs developers now, and who is always on the lookout for talent whenever they may be available. And recruitment is certainly a competitive enough game that you don't need to worry that they'll feel that you're wasting their time or anything.

Now any question of "which London recruitment agents are reputable and professional?" would probably be off-topic for Stack Exchange due to being too localized, but hopefully there is some other forum where you could get some tips from people working in London.

  • 1
    Great tip. I should definitely look into recruitment agencies, that way I can search without actually searhing :)
    – Guy Guy
    Nov 28, 2012 at 7:44

Six months is nothing -- a lot of these companies might be slow to respond, take time for multiple interviews, etc.

If they really want you, a little wait isn't a big deal!


It is never too early to look for jobs.

I usually start 3 or 4 month before my contract / probation / notice period ends.

The rule of thumb is that you should never hand in your resignation letter until you have successfully secured another job else where. They are usually willing to wait up to a maximum of 6 months anyways.

Start to go for interviews right now and see how it turns out.

  • I'd add that they are usually willing to wait... based on the experience. For a junior role, most would expect a 1-2 month notice period. Companies do accept that more senior roles will regularly have a 2-6 month notice period, however.
    – Jon Story
    Nov 28, 2014 at 12:58

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