Quick note:

This piece, written by a good friend of mine, was inspired by a recent conversation about his long-term plans and the next steps he wants to make to get him that much closer to those plans.

We realised that ‘Escape the City’ as a concept can mean very different things to different people. My friend is aiming to swap one professional services firm (Finance) for another one (Management Consulting). This is part of his wider plan to own his own business after he has learnt what he feels he needs to be able to do so.

When he changes jobs, which I have no doubt he will succeed in doing, he will (in his book and in my book), have ‘escaped the city’. Because he will have traded a situation where he felt that he was stagnating for one where he can renew his sense of purpose and direction – and head towards his dream of owning his own business.

What does Esc mean to me?

“I suppose the joy of Esc is that it can be all things to all men. Yes, it is a vehicle for ideas to completely escape the monotony and pointlessness of a dead-end job to do something incredible, somewhere amazing, but it is just as much the idea and means of getting that bit closer to the dream job.”

I work for a sizeable financial institution

“I have been there for just under three years. While the first year or so was a valuable learning experience, the onset of the recession, pay freezes, slim chances of a decent bonus, a dearth of internal opportunities and the dreaded feeling of going nowhere have finally kicked me into action.

“I, like many others, am now actively looking for the next step, and while in an ideal world I would be able to jump ship and do something incredible, I plan to make a more restrained and calculated move.

“I think Esc stands for all ambitions and dreams, whether they are an amazing adventure to the back-end of beyond or a small step in the right direction towards doing a job which ticks all the required boxes.”

I yearn to have my own business

“For me, the essence of Esc is about finding those opportunities to do things which you and I have always wanted to do. I yearn to have my own business, to be my own boss. I struggle with working for a faceless corporation where talent is wasted rather than nurtured, where I feel that giving my all is totally insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

“So the question I’m faced with is how do I kick on and get to that next step? The answer is no way nearly as adventurous and romantic as I would hope, but a must if I really want to chase that dream.”

Small steps towards the long-term goal

“What I want to do is progress into an area which can be a springboard for my next move, into something which can give me the tools and wealth of experience to be able to kick on once again a couple of years down the line. While that could be gruesomely tedious at times, and yes, I will probably complain as bitterly as I do with my current job, it is completely worth it as long as that end aim remains in sight.

“I see the concept of Esc as being the means of finding that springboard, of finding that next step towards the end result whether it be a giant leap or a tiny but significant step. I’m not in a position where I can throw my current job away on a whim, to change jobs for the sake of changing jobs – the chances are that I would feel exactly the same about any new job as I did the last – so I think that any change make must to be made for the right reasons, for the greater long-term good.”

There is no easy path

“Anyway, fingers crossed that in the coming months I’ll be that bit closer to my end dream. I think it’s important to realise that there is no easy path, and that any move is a bold and somewhat daunting step. After all, our humdrum jobs, regardless of their levels of tedium, provide us with much needed money to finance our lifestyles. It takes both bravery and balls to step out of that comfort zone, but it’s the only way if you want to get to where you want to be.

“I’ll keep you posted on my small leap of faith…”

Article contributed by ‘Treading water in the Thames’

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