“Why moving out of London might be the best thing for your career and your life” my opinion piece in Metro

Why you don't need to live in London to have a successful career and be happy
Best. Thing. Ever. (Picture: Getty/Metro)

As someone who works in the media, and made the move from London to Stoke-on-Trent in 2009, I don’t think you need to be based in London to ‘make it’.

You can work outside the capital and still flourish.

‘There is a wealth of talent right across our country that all too often gets overlooked and Stoke-on-Trent is a prime example. We have a rich cultural heritage, a fantastic local workforce and we’re located right in the heart of the country,’ says Stoke-on-Trent North MP Ruth Smeeth.

METRO GRAPHICS
Is this really what you want from life? (Picture: Metro)

Since leaving the capital, I’ve been at the helm of a medical journal, written for most national newspapers as well as the Lancet, paid off my debt, bought a house with my partner and I am currently writing my first book.

Opportunity knocks on doors across the country.

John Lees, a careers expert and author of How To Get A Job You Love, tells me: ‘Jobs increasingly exist outside London, and often cost a great deal less in terms of housing, travel, and the wear and tear of commuting.

‘New technology is one key reason for this growing number of opportunities as we can now frequently work anywhere.

‘While these jobs can sometimes be harder to spot, for some, the rewards of finding the right role in a calmer and saner part of the country can be immense.’

I concur.

And there are thousands of success stories from people who have never lived in London.

Digital Nomad using laptop, Wat Jed Yod in the back, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Could you be a digital nomad? (Picture: Getty)

Matt Timmins, CEO of Simply Biz, is one such example.

According to him: ‘Success in life depends on the journey you take and not the city in which you reside.

‘Personally, I never considered that I would need to move to London to ‘make it’ and I have no desire to live there.
‘My success allows me a happy and fulfilled life with my wife, daughter and our dog on a six bedroomed farmhouse set in 15 acres and we regularly enjoy sunshine breaks to our villa in Spain.’

Beach with palm trees, Florida Keys, Florida, USA
The office (Picture: Getty)

Some people find success after struggling in London and then moving elsewhere.

Jemima Lord lived in London in her 20s, working in fashion journalism.

The competitive nature of the industry meant she worked long hours, and the pay was restrictive, so she needed the financial support of her husband to be able to stay in the job.

They moved to the South of France when she was 30, and now live in a rural village near Uzes, a medieval town in Languedoc-Rousillon.

She said: ‘I now run my own business, Lord Vintage, creating handbags and jewellery using locally sourced vintage and antique materials.

‘I’ve also been able to take time out to train as a yoga instructor, and now teach several weekly classes.

‘Moving somewhere far less expensive than London meant that my husband and I could afford to buy a property and we were able to create work spaces for us both, including my atelier as well as a yoga studio.

‘Being somewhere quieter than London has also been perfect for bringing up our children, and our work-life balance is so much healthier than before.’

Street in wine-producing village of Chateauneuf du Pape, in Provence, France.
Maybe the perfect life for you is in a rural village abroad (Picture: Getty)

Sarah Twyman, an account director for a PR agency in Manchester did the same.

She explained: ‘I’m originally from Kent but I’ve lived in London on and off since I graduated in 2001.

‘In 2010 I met my boyfriend on a night out in Manchester and after doing the long distance thing for around nine months, I took the plunge and decided to make the move north when I was 31. It’s not a cliche that the people are friendlier.

‘I’ve since bought a flat in the Northern Quarter and had a baby.

‘The fact that I can still walk to work means that I get home in time to give Lily her dinner at 6pm and put her to bed.’

Personally, I think the notion of success being the reserve of ‘perfume bottle cities’ should be put to bed too.

Read it on Metro UK now and see what others had to say!

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Special edition newsletter for 10th anniversary of Careif

As part of my mental health campaigning, I’ve guest edited a special edition newsletter to help global mental health charity Careif celebrate 10 years!

Today, I’ll be at the House of Lords to meet with peers, psychiatrists and senior mental health figures to talk about Careif and my volunteering to produce the newsletter…

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Read the full newsletter careif-newsletter-10th-anniversary

 

13 Reasons You Should Move Out of London Published on Metro.co.uk

Last week MP Dr Rupa Huq told the House of Commons that London professionals are living like students.

It makes sense then that people aged between 30 – 39 are leaving in their droves.

As house prices soar, creativity is squeezed out, and the rich seem set on taking over and turning London into a millionaire’s playground.

There’s never been a better time to leave.

Not ready to quit the capital yet? See how you feel when you reach the end of this list…

1. Reasonably priced housing is only big enough for fairies*

You won’t have to flatshare as you approach 40 or fight over the milk at 50. You won’t have to live with Mummy and Daddy when you’re middle-aged either. Or live in a bedsit where the microwave, shower and bed are all within an arm span.

* FYI, fairies don’t exist

(Picture: Rightmove)
(Picture: Rightmove)

2. A lengthy and tedious commute

If you have managed to get on the property ladder, chances are you’ve a long commute ahead of you. Live in Kent? Expect five hours added to your working week. Essex chap? Expect to pay over £20 for a long commute into the city – it’s exhausting.

3. Limited seating leaves you standing – with someone’s armpit in your face

It’s bad enough that you have to use public transport – venture outside the M25 and you’ll have a seat to yourself.

epa04837400 Commuters try to get onto a tube train at Westminster station in London, Britain, 08 July 2015. Tube workers across the British capital are to go on a 24-hour strike from 08 July. No underground trains will run all day 09 July.  EPA/ANDY RAIN
(Picture: EPA)

4. Londoners are grim about the mouth

The only time I recall ever speaking to people on the Tube was during the Olympics, then everyone went back to being their miserable selves. Where I’m from, strangers have the time of day for each other, and if not a smile will suffice.

5. There’s a rat in my kitchen, what am I gonna do?

Finally, no more rats or mice. I won’t drag out the old cliché about how close rats always are in London, as you’ll no doubt be familiar with it already.

6. Numbers of hipsters on the increase

Tolerating bearded, self-proclaimed media moguls whose every syllable is designed to bolster themselves while undermining you is unnecessary. Just leave Dalston already.

Portrait of young man twisting his moustache. Hipster
(Picture: Getty)

7. The super rich are on the increase, too

As London’s price tag doubles, so too do the super-rich. The roads now have a ribbon of cars that cost more than your life savings, depressingly highlighting how poor you are.

8. London locals are cursed with black bogies

Yes, outside of London we joke about how polluted the place is and how the day after a visit we have ‘black bogies’.

9. It’s so overpopulated

It’s just too busy! If you’re not stuck in a queue or behind a slow-walker, you’re being elbowed at a bar or shoved off the dancefloor.

10. London hotels are the most expensive in Europe

London is even pricier than Switzerland costing an average of £126 per night.

11. Beer costs more than a McDonald’s Happy Meal

The average cost of a pint of Carlsberg in London can often top £5.

12. The horror of the Tube

Being crammed onto the Tube like sardines with your nose in someone’s armpit – the stench of sweat forcing you to denounce the small slither of sunshine the UK gets.

Squeeze
Great (Picture: Getty)

13. Stinky, littered night buses

Night buses filled with alcohol-induced vomit or bumper-to-bumper traffic in the day with half eaten chicken wings at your feet… Take your pick?

Even if you want out of London, the escape route is filled with perils.

See it live on Metro’s website now!

Rewd Britannia – published in Fused Magazine

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Fatherhood has not fettered the fire in rapper Rewd Adams. His latest offering, Hunger Pains 2, stands testimony to this. Inspired by real life and peppered with a theme of love, Hunger Pains 2 is more melodic and mellow than his previous releases, but by no means is it any less passionate. His lyrics, sometimes wise beyond their years, are punctuated by the sort of philosophy you find down the pub on a Friday night – he’s even made a video on a camera phone filming one such night for his track Hair of the Dog. But his lyrics – his first port of call when setting about making a track – are also punctuated with a Buddha-esque compassion that comes only from walking in well-worn shoes. Shoes that his previous, more venomous work, under the name Skandal, alludes to. Fused caught up with the man to delve a little deeper…

Your new mix tape Hunger Pains 2 is very uplifting & melodic – intentional? What vibe were you going for?
I’ve always leant to the more melodic side of rap, I’m a believer that it keeps the listener engaged and that’s ultimately the aim for me as an artist. It was a conscious decision to base a lot of the songs around the theme of love, which is something I’ve not done before and it definitely made the project a more cohesive listen.

What came first in putting this mix tape together, writing? Can you explain how it got made?
Yeh. I normally start with writing, beats are an important factor because every beat will give me a different vibe and inspire different feelings and concepts. I wrote most of the demos at home and recorded the final versions at Kilamanjaro studios with Chemo (bad boy engineer).

You did an album about struggling to make ends meet (How Not to Make a Living) – does the internet hinder or help you from making a living?
Haha yeh I was pretty pissed off at the time. I don’t think anything or anybody hinders you making money other than yourself you know? There’s always ways to make money whether in music or not. The Internet is just a tool for artists to use for their benefit if they take the time to learn how to use it properly. Most of my sales have been digital so the Internet hasn’t hampered any of my revenue.

Biggest influences?
Life, my family, everyday people and conversations I have with like-minded individuals.

Do you work with any artists stateside? Are there any frustrations to being a “UK Rap Star” rather than one based somewhere else?
Thanks to the Internet yeh, I worked with a producer called Sinitus Tempo on the new project who blessed me with a great instrumental for the song ‘loyalty’. I’ve produced for a cat called Avatar Darko from Seattle as well. I’m slowly building up some contacts and I hope to continue to work with artists and producers all over the world.

Did you know in China they have a genre called C-Rap! What do you make of it?
No I haven’t heard of it, I’ll be sure to check it out…. Wait! C-Rap!? Doesn’t that spell crap?

Hunger Pains 2 features buses, hangovers, etc – inspiration from real life?
Haha 100% unless it’s a fictional character or I’m writing through the eyes of someone else all my music is in person. If I haven’t lived it I can’t really draw much inspiration from that situation. And I prefer to keep it as authentic as possible.

What’s next for you?
At the moment the plan is to keep promoting the new release, keep pumping out videos and do shows while pushing Hunger Pains 2 to as many people as possible.

Download Hunger Pains 2 on iTunes. See the post on FusedMagazine.co.uk.

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