We started Escape the City because we believe that life is too short to do work that doesn’t matter to you in a big corporate company. One of the best things about our job is hearing from people who are making exciting changes in their lives (particularly if it is as a result of connections, opportunities or information they’ve found via Esc).
If you are one of these people (or if you just like what we’re doing) please drop us a line to let us know —
— emails like the ones below really make our day!
Thanks so much for your support — Dom, Rob & Mikey
Thanks to you guys I had the guts to quit my job and get on with things, so I’m the one in your debt – honestly! Also, I’ve been reading some of the books you recommended, and they’ve been fantastic…
I just wanted to thank you for helping me to escape. I have just left KPMG and got a job in the social enterprise sector with Social Finance. I am so grateful for the site and keep up the good work!
I’m writing to you from Cambodia, having spent the day learning about how to clear minefields… One of your earliest emails had a link for the HALO Trust saying they were recruiting. All I can say is that because of you guys, I’m doing my dream job. Thank you so much, I’m not sure if you get told it but what you are doing really does work.
I am just writing to say how much I have enjoyed reading your emails over the last months. I spend a lot of my time forwarding on your emails to all friends who would be interested. Your website has inspired me to down tools and start again in a new career, hopefully leading to me starting a new business too.
First time I’ve ever seen the website and in the 3 minutes I’ve just spent reading it, it is one of the best things I have ever seen! BRILLIANT! Absolutely fantastic idea and so obvious. Right, time to drop whatever else I was doing for the rest of the day and read the entire website and have a think about it.
I’ve been an avid follower of the website since your inception and knowing that there are other jobs and other people like me out there, has really helped with my sanity in the last few years while working in finance! I have actually just got a new job, from an advertisement on your website and could not be happier.
As you guys are well aware, it’s an awesome feeling turning one’s back on finance!! So from me, it’s a massive thumbs up - I tell people about your site all the time, and encourage anyone and everyone to take a look.
Just wanted to drop you a quick email. Seriously - not sure where my life would be if I hadn’t stumbled across your website - so wanted to say thanks again. Led to so much change in the last 6 months it is unbelievable. It really gave me the kick-start I needed. If others could escape - so could I!
Just a quick note to say thank you for your advice and inspiration. I’m just about to pack in my job as a Management Consultant (6 years at the grindstone at Deloitte) to take up a job working with the Royal Geographical Society on their Hidden Journeys project.
It was hugely encouraging for me to see there are plenty of people like my dying to get out and make something more of their lives - thank you for your inspiration and I’d be happy to provide support to others having finally taken that big leap away from the corporate machine! (I’m working my notice period at the moment!)
I just wanted to email you to let you know that through meeting Ben Keene at Esc I now have a job working for Right to Dream as their Development Officer in Ghana and am moving out in September! Ben mentioned the role at the launch and after quite a few discussions it has finally all worked out so a BIG THANK YOU!!
I’d been thinking about quitting my job for a while and knew that I wanted to go abroad to pursue a more fulfilling career. After wasting an awful lot of time trawling Google in my search for ’something different’, it was great to see the quality and variety of posts advertised on Escape the City. I found my dream job through Esc and head off to Haiti in October.’
This website has a great vibe with amazing information. It really focuses on a niche and, for our generation, I believe this niche is growing.
I left the UK and transferred abroad and love it so much but the move has also shown me that it’s not London that suffocated me. It’s this company that is sucking out my energy. I hate the thought of being in this environment in the next few. As a result, I’ve done a bit of soul-searching and on Friday, I nailed it. I will go and work for NGOs and work on issues that truly matter to me - human rights, climate change etc.
I came across your website this weekend and the inspiration, strength and courage that I have gained from the stories and the content you two have produced, is enormous. I am starting to plan my exit strategy and hopefully in two/three year’s time, I will be there. Thanks a lot. Your work is truly impacting the lives of others like me.
Esc, I just had to take a moment before heading off to bed to thank you. I discovered your site in the Evening Standard on my way home from Canary Wharf and this is the first night for some time that i will fall asleep excited about tomorrow. I usually dread the mundane schlep across town and am frustrated by my inability to walk away. I had no idea that there were so many of us out there.
The adventure starts here and tomorrow will be spent exploring every avenue. A truly fantastic site, well done guys. I’ll keep you posted!“
I want to congratulate you on your brilliant website - it’s a great business idea and incredibly well executed. I’ve been working in finance for several years and like many others had been looking for an exit strategy but was finding it exceedingly difficult through traditional methods. I ended deciding to take an MBA to facilitate a career switch. But in future I hope that lots of others in similar situations will be able to use Escape the City to more quickly and easily find something they actually want to do with their lives. Keep up the great work!
When I came down to breakfast this morning I noticed a newspaper article on the table. As my husband dashed out of the house to catch the 7.05 to London I asked him if it was something he wanted me to read. ‘No, not really it just has a website I want to look up’ and with that he was gone. Fascinated, I immediately read the article and then, having bought myself some time by supplying my 3 year old with colouring pens and paper, I went to the laptop, pulled up your site and breathed a small sigh of relief. At last there is someone out there responding to the ‘silent cry’.
I wish you both every success – you’re doing a great thing.
What a great idea ‘escape the city’ is I have just spent some time on your website and it is really very impressive, well done on the idea and for making the site so inspiring yet clear and functional. I would be honoured to take part and help drag some of the rat race into the sunshine!
I heard about you guys through a friend and have been inspired ever since! I think what you are doing is fantastic and I can’t wait to hear more.
Like most emails you probably receive nowadays, your idea has caught the minds of so many people, encouraging ‘esc’ing (?), so thoughtful, inspiring and ultimately a wake up call to many that there is another life outside what we’re led to believe is right. A social platform of opportunities, inspiring stories and advice – brilliant!
Will definitely check out the next event you hold, keep us posted on the website. Oh, and please keep doing what you’re doing - you’re giving us all some hope in this bleak era of job-hunting!
It’s very refreshing to see you 20 something’s thinking about your options. As a 41 year who escaped the City 6 years ago and has a very good quality of life, I was really happy to read about you in The Standard online.
I hear all too often that horrible phrase from City workers who are ’still there’ , that’s my words by the way, that immortal line of ’but I need the money’. Rubbish! You don’t you know because you can make it elsewhere. I quit my 10 year IT career in banking in the City and grew my property portfolio and am now a teacher. I ski for 5 weeks a year and spend about 12 weeks on holiday with my kids abroad. It’s perfect and it works. Everyone is happy and benefits. Nothing I have is any less than I would have had had I stayed in the rat race.
I will let you know what happens with the interview and in the meantime I will remain an avid fan of your website!
Gosh, there seem to be rather a lot of management consultants desperately escaping that career path! Congratulations on your website, it’s really informative and an interesting collective topic.
I am so excited to have come across your website. I wish I had seen it earlier when I was feeling “trapped in the City, however will spread the word instead to my friends and ex colleagues who have their eye on the exit signs.
I just spent many minutes looking thru your site. While at 60 I am clearly old enough to be your mother, as you mentioned you are never too old to find your passion. I am really delighted that we are on your site. Your comments are well thought out and resonate with at least this older person from across the pond.
You guys have obviously built up a solid reputation and list of direct line contacts already. Thanks again - I will follow Esc with interest - I really think the tribal mentality will catch on in a big way … and for prospective ’leftfield’ employers seeking high calibre candidates, your growing database will be hugely enticing.
After stumbling upon your site whilst doing some research for one of my many aspiring start up companies, I found myself still perusing the site 2 hours later! Realising what a monumental find your site was, I felt compelled to get in touch!
I fit the bill of people you describe on your site perfectly, straight A student, First and prize for best student in Politics, expectations to follow a standard career path i.e. law, civil service or something of the sort. However, I knew before I even left university that the corporate career path wasn’t for me.
I have been passing the site onto everyone I know who has reached the point where they are starting to get it. It is amazing though how many of them resign themselves to the misery of the corporate career ladder as they think they just have no choice!
You guys have created a great website! Congratulations on the move away from the city and on having that special energy to do something like this!
Very inspired to see there are more people like us than we thought! And completely share your view about being passionate in doing something you like and believe in and working hard at it.. Just looking for that little something myself!
I just discovered your website after a friend sent me the link - AMAZING! After about 18 months of constant daydreaming of my own company, I have just made the decision last week to quit my horrendous job (hedge fund) and start my own company! I could not have discovered your website at a better time and I am going to spend the weekend finalising my business plan and doing research, research, research!
Guys, your idea is *AWESOME*! I can’t wait to escape the City and now I know how to go about it. Stunning, stellar initiative, well done.
Just a quick note of encouragement in that I am getting to the stage when i am looking for jobs again, so spending quite a bit of time looking around job sites, and without doubt yours provides the most interesting and most attractive opportunities - how do you find them? I swear I’ve spent the last few hours looking at environmental job websites, but they are dominated by the most mundane jobs as I have ever encountered, a noise auditor being one of my faves. I was on the verge of tears.
It’s nice to know someone out there is supporting individuals who want change for themselves, I read your article in the Metro and that’s how I found out about you guys. Doing an awesome job…
Immediately I saw your site, I loved your ideas! I quit my job at Deloitte at the end of December 2009, having passed all those ACA exams and qualified in Jan 2009. I love going onto your website and seeing people realising their dreams and thinking - that could be me one day! You’ve done a great thing for the City of London!
Just wanted to give some positive feedback about your site. I think its a fantastic idea and the way you have set it up is really excellent - you’re a definitely filling a massive hole in the market. I am keeping my eyes out for interesting opportunities that fit my skill-set. I truly hope that you stick to your guns and continue promotion interesting, different roles that value city experience and don’t succumb to the pressures of having to advertise normal jobs.
I just wanted to drop you a quick line to say that I think what you are doing is an outstanding idea! I have just spent about an hour browsing your site and can definitely relate to a lot of the sentiments expressed there! I really hope it gains momentum - it really is a superb concept. There are far too many people (myself included!) who end up in the City without any real understanding of how or why they got there and just get sucked in to the daily grind - anything that could encourage these folks back in to the real world I think is hugely commendable!
I just felt I had to drop you a quick note - I feel genuinely energised at the thought of a mass exodus of talent from the City in to more rewarding lifestyles! Outstanding stuff.
Think you guys are doing something truly awesome with Esc… great to have discovered you, and hope I’ll be able to come to more of your events in the future / follow what you’re up to online. Just love the idea of getting all those creative minds and inspiration and ideas together! The city is just packed with it, but often it’s all kind of lost.. but you guys are bringing it together, it’s amazing.
I’ve been a member of your site for a few months now after a friend recommended it and I am finding myself logging on nearly every day! I really admire your business idea and think the website is excellent, with loads of inspirational testimonials and lots of very interesting job opportunities. It’s so inspiring to see opportunities that are unique and not the usual corporate stuff&hellps;.
What a great site you’ve got there. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.
Thanks to Escape the City for putting all these great jobs on one site- I’m constantly recommending you to my friends.
Your site is brilliant:) At least half my friends who joined the City at graduation have now left/ are trying to leave - you’ve definitely hit on a pertinent trend..
First thing I want to say is that I absolutely love your website. I was an investment banker and am now a public sector consultant and love my job (maybe not everyone’s idea of an escape but it is definitely mine!) but even though I really enjoy my work I can’t help logging on to Esc every day because the opportunities are so interesting and exciting. I wish this had been around when I left Deutsche Bank!
Looking for my next move. Your site is so useful, it definitely fills a gap in the market. I’ve learnt masses but know that the corporate world isn’t for me. I want to join a start-up with a great team.
I *never* write congratulatory emails to people I’ve never met but all I want to say is thanks, don’t stop, keep going and good luck. Your site smacks a big nail squarely on the head and I hope it swiftly realises its potential Thanks for putting together a much needed resource - cheers.
Congratulations on your new venture. The concept is fantastic and I really hope it encourages people to be brave enough to do something they love.
You and your team deserve to do really well. I love that you put out so much content for free and is the essence of an idea I am working on. Thank you very much for taking the time to respond. I really hope to see you and Dom doing well. Thank you for all you have done/doing. You are both a great inspiration.
I have recently come across your website, and since having done so, have become slightly obsessed with it! I’m sure you receive lots of emails of goodwill, but I wanted to add another one to say that I think you have a fantastic site and it really is inspiring to hear your story and the stories of others who contribute.
Inspired by Escape The City’s many stories I moved to the Snowy Mountains and worked as a Guest Host for the skiing season, and have now started a business consulting to business’s on how to make the biggest remarkable effect on their guests and get them coming back and back again. And I’m loving it. I’m not making big money yet or anything, but I’m actually happy - and a lot of it is thanks to you.
Thanks for starting ESC the city, I’ve learnt a lot from you guys and the people in the community you’ve built. Really enjoying the new job, particularly while I’m not yet back on the bike, it’s great to work with some really motivated people.
On a personal level, I think your business is awesome. There are so many good brains being used in v inefficient ways and they need to escape the hamster wheel… You’re going to help out a lot of people going forward which is ace.
I just thought I would say Hi as it was your website that inspired me to leave my job as a Risk Analyst at London Underground and go to the Arctic for 2 months with the British Schools Exploring Society. I used my masters in Polar Studies and went as the Chief Scientist, teaching 18-23 year olds field skills as well as being responsible for their safety and welfare. It was a fantastic opportunity and such a great trip. I am now scanning through all the opportunities on your website as there is no way I want to go back to a desk based job!
A quick note (from a quasi-secret admirer) to say that I think your organisation is awesome and a true inspiration. After 4 years of the City post Uni I am going to do something meaningful and fun from June when I wake up on Monday and am free of things I don’t care for too much (i.e. making money for a bank). Your website is a true inspiration; I’ve followed it and introduced my friends to it since January (and dragged them to an Esc Wed). The content and what you promote is pragmatic, positive and encouraging.
I just wanted to say thanks, I think you guys are doing a great job with Escape the City. I’m currently in Guatemala for 3 months doing an online marketing internship which I found on Esc. It’s been great finding out about a number of other companies too.
Just wanted to say that you’re doing a fantastic job out there - I’ve met some really interesting people through the website, and am gettting somewhere in discovering what to do next!! Love the weekly newsletter, and the ’Start something you love’ snippets but could the links to the heroes/websites at the end of each of these open in a new window please like the rest of your links? I like to read through them, click the ones I’m interested in then go through the links afterwards otherwise I get distracted!!
Thanks heaps for everything, yes loved the newsletter and have been getting some real good contacts - will hopefully work out a few people from all the emails in the next week or so.
This is a seriously awesome website and an amazing idea I think will help lots of people get out of shitty jobs they hate. One of our customers mentioned your site to me the other day so I thought I would check it out. I’m not too sure what the point of this email is, just wanted to say hi and tell you how awesome and genuinley helpful and inspirational your site will be for so many people. But I’m sure you already know that.
And thanks for your website too, it’s been such an eye-opener!! (and very welcome distraction when the going gets tough!!).
Big thanks & appreciation for what you guys are doing. The site looks great & I really enjoyed the January ’Do Something You Love’ event! Actually, the speakers inspired me to book a flight (which I did the next day) and go see how my digital marketing and communications consulting job functioned on a beach… can happily report that creative solutions come to mind readily in Costa Rica!
I have been meaning to send this for some time but… Thanks very much for creating such a great website, it has proved invaluable in helping me get out of estate agency and becoming an artisan baker/ wild game dealer/ about to buy a canal boat to live on. I first got your email forwarded to me by a friend, back in sept 2009, and have been enjoying the Monday emails so much. Let me know if you need any quality bread/ meat. Keep up the good work!
Just wanted to say a quick thank you for keeping the dream alive, as I’d often create excuses not to take the plunge. I discovered the site through a friend. The articles and shared experiences from other escapees and heros, not to mention the multitude of job opportunities, expeditions, volunteer programs have been great inspiration for engineering my own trip.
Last year, I realised I was desperately unhappy in my job as a corporate solicitor but completely at a loss as to what to do about it. A friend of mine told me about your website and I was intrigued. Did people really leave their secure jobs in the city to embark on a life that actually might make them happy? When you’re in that world you’re made to feel like you’d be crazy to leave. Your website helped me find the courage to escape as I read about other people who made the leap and managed to survive, and rather successfully to boot! I realised that success can be defined by what you choose to make of it. To me it’s about feeling happy and fulfilled with your life, and most of all, being true to who you are. I left my job in October and have been writing a blog documenting my journey from leaving the city to exploring new opportunities. In doing so, I realised I have a love of writing and am currently trying to get as much experience as possible in all forms of writing in the hope that what I love doing will turn into something that will also put a roof over my head! Regardless, I really just wanted to say THANK YOU. Those two words don’t seem like enough but as a person who values and loves expressing themselves through words I hope you feel that when I use them, I don’t do so lightly. “
Thank you very much for everything you are doing. Your work with escapethecity.org is extremely inspiring and helpful! If I could be of any help do not hesitate to ask!
Thought I would just let you know that for some reason escape the city has come up in various random conversations with recently graduated friends and they think the site is GREAT so yayy for you guys!
I checked out your website…looks like a fantastic idea! Wish I would have had access to a site like this years ago when I first moved to Uganda.
Hi! My name is Gina. I just wanted to tell you that I think what you’re doing is great.
Firstly a huge congratulations on what is looking like awesome progress with Escape The City. I’ve been following your progress online for a while now and am so pleased to see that it continues to flourish.
We are really excited about being able to potentially advertise some opportunities with you – Great news!!! I’m not sure if you remember me getting in contact before, but I LOVED your concept and am really behind it. Since I last checked the website it looks like things have been steaming ahead – So a huge congratulations too!
Just wanted to say cheers for setting up this website. I have been working for a big financial services firm since I graduated last year and it has got to breaking point. I am tired of going home angry! But your website gives me a lot of hope that people do escape their ulta-dull jobs and find something genuinely exciting. My degree was in politics so I am finalising a new CV and going to find something NEW to do. Have pinned the evening standard article up on my wall as motivation. Keep it up!
Great site by the way – this is the third job I’ve found that is exactly what I’m looking for (although unsuccessful thus far!).
I have to confess I hadn’t been on your website before but think it’s great – hope all is going well for you.
I just came across to your website and I think it is a fantastic idea… you are translating so much my feelings and of many of my peers&hellps;
Just to tell you, I recognize myself in your background and your will to escape the City. I really appreciate your idea and your will to go from the idea to the idea’s realization.
I have just read about Esc the city having seen your Facebook page and I love what you are doing! The reason I came to Romania 7 years ago straight out of university was because I wanted to escape even entry into the city and do something completely unique and different. Particularly during a recession, people begin assessing / reassessing their lives and making radical changes, which is something we have observed amongst our candidates, even in Romania, so I really hope your business flourishes.
Just wanted to say I think the website is a great concept; I’ve found a really good job to apply for thanks to your recent newsletter.
By the way, my husband is a ski writer, so your tribe is near and dear to my heart, even though I don’t ski. Visiting ski resorts is a great way to learn that that the corporate world doesn’t matter, in the least bit, when there is something you’re passionate about. This is really cool and it’s the first time in a really long time that I’ve seen a great new site.
Your website is the perfect solution to the dreariest winter days in London.
I’ve already contacted someone through the site, what a brilliant resource!!
As an escape dreamer, I just wanted to say thank you for all your hard work and sacrifices – this site has been SO useful to me and I’m only at the start of my escape. I’m currently in a full-time job, looking at ways to go and have been reading all the articles / opportunities with great interest. Thanks to you and your team for all your effort – the rollercoaster can be tough, but to those looking up at the rides and waiting in the queues, it is appreciated more that you realise. So thanks again for that.
I’d like to say thanks for creating a site that obviously fills a much-needed gap in the job world. Nicely done.
I really appreciate your collection of resources on the Escape the City website. I love the mission of your site to help people do things that excite them. You resource and opportunity sections are awesome, and the motivation one can get from your site is invaluable.
Love your site and what you guys are doing, really inspirational. Goes without saying I’m sure; keep it up!
I’ve just signed up for your website and breathed a huge sigh of relief that such a website now exists. Thank you.
Your website is a god send! Keep up the great work!
BTW Big Congrats on everything you guys are doing! I am always recommending people to jump onto your site.
Just wanted to share with you how brilliant your site is. I just noticed in the heroes section how lot of people are actually contacting the heroes regarding jobs with them etc, and the heroes are getting back to them. It’s such a brilliant idea, and a welcome breath of beautiful fresh no suits air. I’m off to do some work in the mines for a little while, so i can get some money behind me to get into my own start up. Your site, and others, and just one of the inspirations the Internet is allowing, and changing the future for so many of us. Best of luck, and thank you.
I’m certain that this newly found community will help me in my quest to work for a company that not only excites me but is hungry for success and employs people who can truly make a difference. Thank you for bringing something like this to people like me – brilliant.
Just wanted to say Escape the City is such a fantastic venture. ETC reflects a way of life and I for one, will be following your pursuit closely. ETC is innovative (ground-breaking some might say) and highly conscious of dissatisfied folk longing to be part of something better. I envisage great things for ETC; you seem to have discovered a niche market that badly needs your fabulous help.
First off, let me just say what an awesome job you’re doing. I wish something like this had existed when I made my escape (from fmcg corporates rather than the City…but same thing really!).
Your site is very cool. If not this, perhaps elephants in Nepal…. Kidding. I just like the spirit of your site, the diversity of your vision, and hence, the world you present.
I firstly would like to say that I think your website is great, both for providing motivation to people to change, while also providing practical advice and opportunities for them to achieve this change. I find browsing your website very helpful and have during the last half year have done many of the practical ideas you suggest.
First off - love the website and what you guys are doing. You’ve been a massive inspiration for me and I hope your success continues.
I was introduced to ETC by a friend and am now obsessed with leaving my corporate job (i’m a manager with Deloitte Consulting in Washington, DC) and finding something through your site. That being said, I’m curious if you can comment on the limitations you think I face by being in the US and applying for positions in the UK? And if you have any plans to expand beyond what seems to be mostly UK-focused opportunities? DC is FULL of people who are dissatisfied with the work-till-you-drop norm that is driving me to insanity-hence, why I look at your site everyday for new opportunities! Though publicly stating that you want more for your life is frowned upon, in private, I find many co-workers who feel the same as I do, but don’t know how to make the change. I’ve got to believe that I can make a decent salary and have a normal life working for a company I feel isn’t raping and pillaging the world…
Ok, enough of my rant. Thank you in advance for any help or guidance you can give-and thank you for starting ETC, it’s a great thing!