Whit's the game, back hame?
December 2, 2008 3:49 AM   Subscribe

Calling Scottish MeFites and fellow Scottish diaspora - what's the job market like in Scotland at the moment, and am I mad to be considering moving back?

Like many Scots, I moved down to England for a job after university. I've been down in London for nearly five years now, and I'm thinking about moving back to Scotland in the next two years, possibly sooner.

I've been in the job market since 2004, first working in the training/comms side of IT consulting, and now for the last two years as a writer and business analyst in recruitment advertising. Lately I've been thinking both about general life direction, and about missing Scotland (I blame the Scotland's History thing that's been playing on the Beeb, cursed iPlayer).

I've got a general plan over the next five or six years to save up and go back to uni to get a post-grad in Outdoor Education, and then to work in that field (not as random as it first appears, I did a lot of that with the TA before going down the comms path), so there's a few things I'm trying to work out:

1) Does it make sense to stay in a (reasonably secure I think) London job, save like heck and go up to Scotland once I've saved, while building outdoor experience as best I can in the South of England


2) Should I (Can I?) take a similar paying, similar type of job in Scotland, or perhaps a paycut, but have the benefit of being close to friends and family, close to mountains and the sea and possibly getting more living space for the same or less money?

Any Mefites who have done this, are doing this or are currently living in Scotland? What's the job market like? The job searches I'm doing aren't telling me much (except that I'd be sorted if I was a tax consultant or wanted to work for a bank).

I'm from Edinburgh originally, and would likely want to live in or around there, but would consider other areas if there were drastic differences in jobs markets or cost of living.
posted by Happy Dave to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Employment rates in Scotland are still looking fairly good, and are still better than the UK as a whole.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:47 AM on December 2, 2008

Best answer: I don't know your industry or where you are searching, but I think if you aren't seeing the jobs, they aren't there. I doubt you can make the money in Scotland you can in London. That said, I personally left London for Scotland and have no regrets at all. Do you want to spend another five years commuting on the tube every day?

It will mean a paycut, maybe a career change, it will mean difficult adjustments, as Edinburgh suddenly seems like a small boring town to your big city eyes, but if the outdoors and the mountains are your thing, do it now.

Ok I admit I am definitely an 'enjoy life now' kind of person, and there may be good arguments for staying and saving. I just get from your question that your mind is almost made up, but are a bit reluctant to leave your life in London, unless you can get the same money etc here. You probably won't but you'll get a whole lot more in its place.

Take a holiday, come up to Scotland and sit up a mountain overlooking the sea for a while. You'll maybe find your answer. I don't want to sound like some tourist brochure, but seriously, if you want to spend your time in the outdoors, why waste another 5 years in London?
posted by zingzangzung at 4:52 AM on December 2, 2008

Response by poster: I don't know your industry or where you are searching, but I think if you aren't seeing the jobs, they aren't there. I doubt you can make the money in Scotland you can in London. That said, I personally left London for Scotland and have no regrets at all. Do you want to spend another five years commuting on the tube every day?

I would expect a paycut to be honest, given the type of work I do (or could do) and my ultimate plans involve substantial paycuts anyway. I also bike to work, so thankfully have already escaped tube hell.

I guess my big issue is that moving to Scotland might limit how quickly I could save up to go back to Uni, (although offset by lower cost of living), while at the same time making it way easier to build the experience I'd need to do well at the course I want to do.

As you say, the jobs may simply not be there for the kind of work I currently do, but I'm absolutely willing to consider other lines of work. Just a bit overwhelmed and not sure where to start.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:15 AM on December 2, 2008

My Scots boyfriend told me he moved down because it was hard to find a job in Edinburgh, and I have an English friend who moved there and found this was the case. I would love to move up there, mind. I consider Manchester my home and prefer it to London in so many ways, so I empathise.

There are lots of advertising agencies in Scotland - might be your first port of call.
posted by mippy at 8:38 AM on December 2, 2008

Best answer: Well, it does seem that the house price crash hasn't reached rock bottom yet up here, so in a couple of years time you might still get a bargain (but not yet, at least not where I live!).

OTOH, my boyfriend is getting laid off in March (software engineer for 'huge, well-known company that I cannot name') and the city council are making lots of people redundant (we are in Glasgow, dunno about Edinburgh), so those 2 areas (IT and public services) aren't doing terribly well ATM.

There is no way of knowing how long this recession is going to last - it could all look very different in 2 years. I think unless your plans ride on there being multi-millionaires all over the town then you should keep following your dream. 'What's fur ye'll no go by ye', and all that...

Do you mean that programme with Neil Oliver? He's a twat ;0) but I can see how it might provoke longings for the landscape, it was well-photographed!
posted by meosl at 10:20 AM on December 2, 2008

Best answer: Like I said, I don't know your industry or where you are searching, but some of these links might help, of course you may know them already. Should give you an idea of what's around, maybe also try the Scotsman online.
www.thedrum.co.uk ad industry site with jobs, focussing outside London,
www.jobserve.com has lots of IT jobs, you can search within Scotland, also www.cwjobs.co.uk,
www.s1jobs.com Lots of Scottish jobs.
Also edinburgh.gumtree.com and the other Gumtrees should give you an idea on flat prices.
You'd probably prefer to get a job arranged before coming back, but if you have some cash and family/friends to stay with you could just chance it. It's a small country, population less than London, so not as many jobs, and not as much business being done. I suppose that's why you went to London in the first place, but if you're finding that London life doesn't suit, and you want to change careers anyway, why not try it. And how much does this postgrad cost anyway if it takes 5 years to save up for it?
One last point. Outdoor education isn't always the easiest area to get work in either. Its the kind of thing where being on the spot, volunteering, getting experience and making contacts may get you a lot further than trying to jump in straight from a postgrad. Every day in London is one less in the hills.
(On preview, ditto on Neil Oliver meosl:)
posted by zingzangzung at 10:29 AM on December 2, 2008

Response by poster: Yep, it's the Neil Oliver thing that fanned the embers, mainly for the photography (I too am not a fan of his INCREDIBLY. MEANINGFUL. DELIVERY.).

On the post-grad, it's one at Edinburgh Uni, and the 3-5 years estimate is to save up course fees and living expenses for myself and my wife (in case she couldn't find work when we moved). My hunch is that if I stayed in Edinburgh on my current salary, I could save that money quickly. If I moved to Scotland, I'd save it slower, but as pointed out above, would have infinitely more opportunity to get into the outdoors and a lower cost of living. And I'd be near family, which is increasingly important as time goes on.

Thanks for the jobsite links, I'd limited my searches to S1Jobs and the Scotsman so far, it's that kind of practical insight I'm most in need of.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:07 PM on December 2, 2008

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