Firstly, we're always happy to chat with anyone who wants to get in contact for any reason at all; whether it's to seek advice, bounce ideas or just feel like there's someone else in the same boat!More importantly, we really hope that theJobCrowd will be an invaluable resource for Escape the City members. Like Escape the City, our aim is to open peoples' eyes to the full range of jobs available, tell them what those jobs really involve and help them find their perfect role.
Ex-Management Consultant, Keren Mitchell, has started http://www.thejobcrowd.com/" rel="nofollow">TheJobCrowd with his wife, Tasha. It's all about exploring different careers and companies. Check out their story, check out their advice, and check out their site. Thanks for a great interview guys and good luck with the start-up...!
Firstly, we're always happy to chat with anyone who wants to get in contact for any reason at all; whether it's to seek advice, bounce ideas or just feel like there's someone else in the same boat!
More importantly, we really hope that http://www.thejobcrowd.com/jobs" rel="nofollow">theJobCrowd will be an invaluable resource for Escape the City members. Like Escape the City, our aim is to open peoples' eyes to the full range of jobs available, tell them what those jobs really involve and help them find their perfect role.
I have just launched http://www.thejobcrowd.com/" rel="nofollow">theJobCrowd.com (previously called MyNineToFive) with my wife, Tasha. The site aims to help graduates and other job seekers find out what different careers or companies are really like. We are a bit like a 'TripAdvisor for jobs'.
Employees write anonymous case studies about their roles to give everyone the inside story and help them find their perfect job. The idea being that unless you have a contact who can give you the low-down, it can be next to impossible to know what jobs really involve.
Most of my time is spent building the database into something truly valuable by asking people to contribute a case study of their current or past jobs. Anyone can write one and we currently have around 500 from a whole range of different industries, companies and roles. The rest of my time is spent getting the site out to graduates and jobseekers and working with school and university careers services to help them educate their students.
I was a Management Consultant (seemingly like 95% of the other heroes!). I found it very different to what I had expected - and how the job description had described it - and ended up leaving after 7 months to go and work at Innocent, the smoothie people, where I had no idea what to expect but absolutely loved it.
Tasha meanwhile tried to find her perfect job by rotating through a bunch of internships in advertising, interior design and at a web company while spending hundreds of hours reading job descriptions and trawling through careers' resources to try and find the right role for her.
Our different routes led us to the same conclusion - for all the careers information out there, it's next to impossible to understand what different jobs actually involve on a day-to-day basis unless someone in the role tells you about it - so we started http://www.thejobcrowd.com/" rel="nofollow">theJobCrowd!
It was more of a gradual realisation. We had always planned to do something on our own but we wanted to get some employment experience under our belts.
We dipped our toes into running our own business by setting up a weekend stall at Portobello Market while we still had our day jobs, but I think the final decision was made when we came back from our honeymoon in August '09.
We decided that rather than sitting at our desks and dreaming of the day when we would set up our own thing, we should just get on with it now.
We began researching our market at the beginning of 2010. We spent a good two months visiting countless universities, speaking to hundreds of students, graduates, careers services and employees, and cold calling human resources representatives in a range of companies - from big city firms to much smaller employers.
By the time we had finished researching the market we were convinced that this was a good idea and we wanted to get going as fast as we could, so we decided to self-fund the initial development. We had previously bought a flat in terrible condition in a dreadful market and 'did it up'. To get the business off the ground we sold the flat and put the profit into the business.
We then spent a lot of time on our business plan and sent it out to as many people as possible. Aside from anything else, having a really clear and detailed business plan has served as an invaluable map for our development and ensured that we stay focused.
We definitely enjoy creating something that will solve a genuine problem and that will hopefully be of long-lasting use to lots of people.
We also love working with our partner, http://www.shaw-trust.org.uk/home" rel="nofollow">Shaw Trust (theJobCrowd gives a donation to Shaw Trust, one of the UK's largest employment charities, for every review posted). It's good to know that even while the site is still very much in its early days we are doing some good!
Having full responsibility for our own work is great as well - but it's a double edged sword as we never really switch off.
The same advice as inspired Dom and Rob, from the Innocent founders' book, to "Start. Start Small. But Start".
Also, the advice that one of the most important things for a start-up is to stay flexible and responsive. I think this is vital. Things have often turned out quite different to how we planned them so it's essential to be in a position to respond to these changes.
We've tried to put this into practice by, for example, building our website in an open-source platform, developing it in a modular, bit-by-bit fashion and getting extensive customer feedback at every stage of the way (more feedback is always very welcome!).
http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/home" rel="nofollow">Business Link is invaluable in helping with everything, from the administrative side to running a business.
I love reading industry blogs like http://techcrunch.com/" rel="nofollow">Techcrunch, the US magazine http://www.inc.com/" rel="nofollow">Inc. and even the Sunday Times Business section - all more as a source of inspiration than for any concrete purpose.
There's nothing like reading about others who have made it work to inspire you to crack on...