I’m a big fan of Escape the City and see a lot of synergies with it and WEXO. We’re more geared to younger people and the creative industries; WEXO could help people ‘Escape the City’ before they get stuck in it, by pairing them with less run-of-the-mill opportunities.
Some absolutely fantastic advice here from Robin, co-founder of http://wexo.co.uk/wexo/" rel="nofollow">WEXO.
I’m a big fan of Escape the City and see a lot of synergies with it and WEXO. We’re more geared to younger people and the creative industries; http://www.wexo.co.uk" rel="nofollow">WEXO could help people ‘Escape the City’ before they get stuck in it, by pairing them with less run-of-the-mill opportunities.
I’m currently co-founder and CEO of http://wexo.co.uk/wexo/" rel="nofollow">WEXO, an internet start-up that matches graduates with work experience, internships and jobs.
It’s the first of its kind in the UK, working more in the interests of both employers and employees than the typical recruitment agency model. We encourage businesses to pay their interns, and take on enthusiastic graduates who are finding their feet in the sorts of companies they may never have thought they’d get the chance to work in.
I started out in the City working at HSBC Investment Bank but I decided to trade the hustle and bustle for the mountains in Verbier, Switzerland. I love skiing, so I ran my own business and worked as a ski instructor on the slopes there. I’ve also been an ice-cream salesman in the past.
Retrospectively, my moment of truth probably came aged twenty-five when my grandfather asked me what exactly it was that I ‘did’. I tried to explain to him the intricacies of selling equity derivatives to hedge funds but, like most normal people, he didn’t get it. He kept saying, “...but what do you do?” and couldn’t understand why there was no tangible output to my work.
Admittedly, he was an architect, but it made me realise that though I always said I was only renting my soul to the devil, if I was to follow my heart and do my own thing, then I was just going to have to jump ship.
I’d always identified with Neil Young’s quip that life in the middle of the road is boring and predictable. It was time to check out the ditch – or in my case, the mountains!
I believe that you create your own luck in life and when headhunted by a German bank that was playing ‘double or quits’, I took the view that the London office would either be closed or the bank would be taken over within a year.
As it was, the former happened and I managed to get out on a package that afforded me the opportunity to head for the hills. In turn, skiing led me from Canada to Switzerland and when I was looking for fresh inspiration an old friend, Harry Becher, came up with the idea for WEXO.
Running your own show is a double-edged sword. I often say I work three times as hard now for three times less money. But, I don’t have to ask anyone to take the day off.
The two bits of advice given to my father by his first boss were along the lines of:
I think both of those are pretty good maxims for people running their own businesses.
There is no substitute for experience, so I find the advice or exploits of others indispensable.