From fund management to tech start-up
Jo came to our first ever Esc Wednesday at the National Geographic Bar. She is a great example of someone moving away from The City to look for something different!
I am working at an internet start-up company – which involves a bit of everything: strategy, project management, marketing, admin and tea making!
I worked in the city for 7 years in fund management.
It was just an opportunity that came up at a time when I was wondering, “Is this really it? Is this what I’m going to do for the rest of my life?” It was just the realization that I had skills that were very transferable and valuable in a different market.
The actual moment of truth came during contract negotiations and my father wasn’t very well – it made me realize that life is too short to be doing something you don’t like and you have to take every opportunity that you can.
No planning – I just made the leap. Had I planned, I might not have done it.
Unusually for a start up, I am being paid (although not much!) and I’m fortunate that my life is pretty flexible; I don’t own a property or have a family to look after etc.
However, I’ve still had to make sacrifices but I think it’s worth it. What’s the point of being paid lots of money if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing – or if you don’t get the chance to spend it?!
Hardest thing: Having the belief that it was the right thing to do – and convincing others of that!
Best thing: It sounds like a cliché, but I have learnt so much about myself, what I enjoy doing and what I don’t, and my horizons have definitely broadened. I also feel like a useful person. Networking in my 'new' industry, is actually networking – everyone is helping everyone else out – which is a great feeling!
If you can afford to do it – do it. Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you tried and who knows what doors it will open.
My major fear was not doing it and then regretting it.
I read a http://www.amazon.co.uk/Leaving-Microsoft-Change-World-Entrepreneurs/dp/0007237030/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1307547552&sr=8-1" rel="nofollow">book a few years ago which, while on a different (and much more socially useful) topic, sowed a seed in my mind.
In terms of moving into the field I’m now in (tech and social media), I’m fortunate that there are lots of people out there trying lots of things and talking about it on the internet (http://techcrunch.com/" rel="nofollow">Tech Crunch is a good place to start) which helps!