Hopefully by adding my name to the growing list of escapees, I’ll help people to realise that they too can take the plunge!And remember to look us up before your next flight, and send us any of your amazing aerial snaps - they might make it onto the website!
We're pleased to say that Laura was one of Esc's earliest success stories. She left her Management Consultant role at Deloitte and is now working on the really exciting Hidden Journeys project at the RGS (with IBG). She's got some great advice for anyone thinking of doing something similar. Thanks for the Esc Hero profile Laura... and congratulations!
Hopefully by adding my name to the growing list of escapees, I’ll help people to realise that they too can take the plunge!
And remember to look us up before your next flight, and send us any of your amazing aerial snaps - they might make it onto the website!
I am working as the Content and In-Flight Development Assistant on the Hidden Journeys Project at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).
Ever gazed out of an aircraft window (or at the blue moving map on the screen in front of you) on a long journey and wondered about the people, places and cultures flashing by on the ground? We have – and that’s where Hidden Journeys came from.
It’s currently a web-based resource (http://www.hiddenjourneys.co.uk" rel="nofollow">www.hiddenjourneys.co.uk) which follows a number of international flight paths and describes the landscapes in amazing images and interesting summaries.
I was a Management Consultant for Deloitte for 6 years, joining as part of the Graduate Scheme after finishing university in 2004. I’d worked my way through the ranks and had worked here, there and everywhere on a whole range of projects. I’d often spent months away from home to frantically hurry back on a Friday evening and try and pretend I had a normal life and time to see my friends and do the things I wanted to do – but there was never time to fit it all in.
The work was very interesting – loads of fascinating clients (often in particularly sticky situations) and some great colleagues - but somehow it always felt temporary, like I was waiting for the right thing to happen; while at the same time I became more and more stressed taking on more work and less sleep.
After being told off by my doctor for having extremely high blood pressure, I sat back and wondered if a job could really be worth it. And the more I thought about the hours of daily or weekly commutes, the time spent desperately typing away on laptops on trains and in airport lounges, and the lost weekends... the more I thought that I wanted a job and a life, not just a job that was my life.
My husband spotted Escape the City (ironically, in an in-flight magazine!) and told me to log on and see that I wasn’t the only one – and I didn’t look back. I found the Hidden Journeys job advertised and fantasised about applying for it for days. Eventually I asked myself what I was waiting for, took the plunge and wrote the letter.
Having recently got married and moved to Winchester (halfway between London for my job and Portsmouth for my husband’s job), we thought carefully about what a change in career would mean – I was walking away from a good job into the unknown during a period of huge economic uncertainty and massive redundancies, when we still had rent to pay and a life to live!
So we saved carefully and I kept back as many days of holiday as possible to take job interviews and spent the little spare time I had trawling the internet for the new opportunity that would give us back the life we were looking for!
It is also a challenge living outside of London, looking for 'non-City' jobs where either you can be based flexibly or where you can have loans or subsided travel into work as otherwise the season ticket can become such a hefty part of your paycheck that it makes it unaffordable. But I’d encourage people to stick at it and think creatively about working from home; split site-working and do what I do - get on your bike and save the Tube fare!
Do something that makes you happy – it’s not about the money, or the promotions; it’s about doing something you enjoy and you know is worthwhile, going to work with a smile... and still having that smile on your face when you come home again.
I found reading the stories of other people who had escaped on Escape the City's website a real inspiration. When you’re thinking about taking the plunge you need some reassurance that it is possible! To hear so many others in the same position as me in new and wonderful jobs really spurred me on.