Stacey's story: From Escapee to Programme Lead

Stacey came to Escape via our Startup programme back in 2016 and now joins us as the co-lead for September’s Career Change cohort. Since escaping asset management, Stacey has built a portfolio career around money coaching and financial wellbeing, working with charities, startups, corporates and privately, through her company Pachira Money. As an Escapee herself, Stacey shares her thoughts on preparing for career transition.

Stepping off the conventional path

I followed a very conventional career path: economics and business at a good university, a graduate role in investment banking, then 9 years experience in asset management. I did what I ‘should’ do or what I thought people expected of me. Then I joined the Escape programme.

There wasn’t a push factor for wanting to leave my job or any urgent sense to get out of the rat race. And there wasn’t a pull factor to something new either – no specific ‘calling’ I just had to pursue. Sometimes it’s easier when there is, and I was envious of others on the Escape programme who had a specific purpose or goal they were working towards. For me, it was just a recognition that we only get to do this career (and life) thing once and there were other things I wanted to spend my time doing. I was curious to see what else i could do, new skills I could learn, other ways I could contribute, new interests I could explore and other ways I could make money. I was never ambitious for fancy job titles or seniority: I am ambitious for living a varied and purposeful career on my terms.

Making the transition

The Escape programme taught me so many things, and not only via the content of the course and the exercises and tools we worked through. There’s a real richness of learning through the connections you make and the support and mentorship you’re given, both from the Escape team and fellow escapees.

Three years on, I am still leveraging the Escape approach, mindset and network. Some lessons I regularly remind myself of include:

  • Don’t wait for the ‘one’ perfect opportunity. You really can design it yourself from the ground up. Prioritise action over analysis.
  • ‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’ (Seneca). Manage your transition like a series of intentional experiments, get out of your comfort zone and build purposeful connections.
  • Everyone’s journey is different and we all have our own definition of career success. Be clear on what intelligent transition looks like for you.
  • Transitioning into a new career doesn’t mean letting go of everything you had before. Be intentional about what you want to keep and what you want to change.
  • Trust the process and reflect regularly on the steps you have taken to get here. You will surprise yourself.
  • Develop that growth mindset. The obstacles help you find your way.

The journey of transition and building a career that matters is a never ending process and what you learn through Escape will equip you for managing transition throughout your life.

Since the programme, I have managed a partnership between a Silicon-Valley based fintech startup and large UK corporate, taken a 3-month sabbatical to South America, become a Certified Financial Coach and set up my own money coaching business. I’m also converting a camper van in my spare time!

The quality of friendships I have built through Escape have been invaluable and I am very grateful for their continued support on my journey. I am so excited to join the Career Change programme as Co-Lead and share my learnings and experiences with a new group of escapees!

Stacey will be co-leading the next cohort of Escape’s Career Change Accelerator. To find out more about how the programme can help you to take control of your career and design a life that works for you, take a look.

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