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Bit of background: I work in software. I'm still very junior, but have been in the job long enough to know that I enjoy it, and I'm not completely terrible at writing high- or low-level code. Pay is OK, location is pleasant enough but unexciting for a single man in his 20s. Work is mostly good but I don't feel I've got into anything very meaty yet. Main plus side are the flexible hours, and the social side within my year of new starters.
Since I've started I've been getting a few messages from recruiters on LinkedIn. A lot of these I just reply "No thanks" to straight away because the location is bad, it's an area that does not interest me (read: web dev) or a company I've heard bad things about (e.g. Amazon), as well as the fact that I've only just started at my current place relatively recently. Recently though I've been getting a bunch of messages advertising jobs in central London-based financial firms. Mostly small-ish automated trading startups looking for devs to work alongside the quants, and paying 2-3 times what I'm on now.
I've been thinking of moving somewhere central-ish for a little while now, be close to more interesting places and not have to take the night bus home for hours after. But with what I'm on at the minute combined with work location I'm unlikely to break through zone 3, maybe 2 at a push. 10 mins walk from the arse end of a tube line if I'm lucky. So this has got me thinking, whether living and working somewhere central would be a possibility. On the other hand, I know I can kiss goodbye to good working hours and the social side I've integrated into so far if I did that. I definitely wouldn't rush into anything, I'll want to stay at my current place for at least until my next review, but it's given me things to think about regarding the future. I'm really not sure if I can see myself staying round here forever.
I guess the main point of all this, is are there any people on here with similar experiences? Is the City worth the extra stress and hassle, or should I thank my lucky stars for a quiet if unexceptional life?