Keeping Northern Digital Talent in the North

Keeping Northern Digital Talent in the North

For centuries it has been known if you want to work in a busy environment, do well in your career and make a name for yourself you need to head to the capital where all the hustle and bustle is in thriving industries. In this new digital age Google Hangouts let you speak to anyone anywhere, Skype meetings enable you to have a corporate gathering from your kitchen and unknowingly to your audience you are still sitting in your underwear although your shirt and tie go so well.

Strictly talking about the Digital Advertising Agency world, time after time I see talented switched on minds heading to the bright lights of London. Their reasons vary but most of the time it is because they think they will get better experience in London, the excitement of the capital draws them in like moths to a flame so how can the North make their fire brighter?
I work closely with Northern and Southern agencies and the structure, people, clients, technologies are basically all the same. Is there something I am missing? Am I looking through biased eyes because I’m from North of the Watford Gap?

The North has a number of networking events that create an amazing buzz around digital and I think this is working, events such as TwitFaced that is organised by the wonderful Michael Di Paola and DigitaLeeds that is hosted in the prestigious Adelphi each month. These events give a room to the digital talent of the North, they give a physical element to the world of LinkedIn.
When I speak to people wanting to change their ramble along the canal to a cramped tube commute I always suggest going to these meetings, by talking to the people there who are passionate about all things digital you might find the thing you are looking for from the big smoke.

I sometimes hear the reason for moving down South is because you can earn more but is this true? The salaries are higher to compensate the more expensive living costs surely? The cost of a flat in London would buy me a mansion “up road in Skip’(t)on”, the salary difference in Digital between the North and South isn’t that much to be honest . Definitely nothing like this cheeky picture.

I don’t know about anyone else but I now live in the North and couldn’t see myself moving, maybe it is the happy warm vibe of the Yorkshire accent or the friendly laddie tone of the Mancunian twang (I won’t mention the Liverpudlians…) but it is a beautiful place where some amazing agencies are creating bespoke market leading campaigns and calling it their home.

So, I ask the question; do we still need to rush to London to do well in our career?

I would love to hear from people who have moved across the Watford Gap or have views on why the North or South is better, email me your story to I will be writing a follow up post about all of your stories.


Digital Minds

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