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You & me: the next phase of Escape the City

You. Yes, you… you’re the one we spend the day thinking about, talking about, and wondering about. (Feel special? You should.)

So, I recently joined as Escape the City’s Community Manager – loosely translated, that means that I’m here to take care of you (and the rest of our users).

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know a lot of you over the past few months. Whether at Meetups, over Skype, through email, or through poring over past survey results, I’ve learned about your stories, your doubts and your dreams.

A lot of you feel stuck in the office and are searching for a way out; some of you are taking sabbaticals in order to explore new parts of the world; some of you have already escaped but are still feeling your way through the process. I keep hearing the same Big Questions:

  • How do I get out of my easy but boring 9 – 5 job without a significant drop in income and find something that is more interesting and challenging but doesn’t eat into my free time? Is this a realistic hope? How do I earn the same $$ but leave a job I hate? How do others get over the financial risk?
  • How do I find my passion? Where do I start?
  • People tell me to ‘just talk to people’ – but how do I know who to talk to?
  • Can we change the City rather than just escape it?
  • How do I break into a new sector?

Part of my role is to turn this blog into a place where you can learn about financing your escape, finding your passion, making connections, intrapreneurship, and initiating transition. This blog is going to become a key way for you and me to keep in touch.

Your comments really help – I’d love to hear if you agree or disagree with the below: are we on the right track?

What I’ve found – captured in a spreadsheet called, “As an Esc user, I would like to…” 

Online

  • See more opportunities in specific locations, that target my specific interests.
  • See filtered opportunities that outline whether the employer would be willing to sponsor working visas.
  • See links that allow me more meaningful interactions when traveling, like WWOOF (worldwide opportunities on organic farms), language learning, tutoring english, wine making, etc.
  • See more Big Escape Pictures more regularly – they give me hope!
  • See the original Press article when I go to your press section.
  • See archive for old jobs, like a shopping basket – currently, once deadline hits, job disappears. I’d also like to know more about what employer’s looking for.
  • See more six-month placement opportunities that I could specifically use for a sabbatical, through my company.
  • Meet like-minded people at a similar stage in my journey.
  • Read about how others have made the leap, not just to start their own thing, but to another job.
  • Be connected with someone who could build me a decent, affordable website.
  • Learn more about web and social media so that I can do it myself.
  • See reliable, not sketchy, opportunities.
  • Access forums that give me the push I need to make the leap.
  • Meet the right people in the right industries that might be able to help me transition.
  • See more decent high-paid part-time job opportunities.
  • Gain extra motivation and inspiration along with some how-to tips to get me started.
  • Know how to find my strengths.
  • Find a coach or brainstorm with others to clarify what my occupational activity should be.
  • Find reliable /not sketchy investment or sponsorship for my project / business.
  • See more of those useful ‘tags’ – so that I can find someone in say, ‘Fashion’ – it’s useful to click a tag and filter connections and resources that way.
  • Connect to like-mined people who understand the struggle between financial security and the need for personal fulfillment without telling you to “just to what you feel like doing.” Personally, I find it’s not as easy as it sounds to swap that said (if boring) security for something that is potentially unstable.
  • Be able to look for a new job without a huge time investment – as I’m still currently in my job and don’t have that many spare hours in the day to search for new opportunities.
  • Increase my awareness of the different opportunities that exist outside the conventional options.
  • I’d like Esc to show me serious proposals on the topics or business ideas I’ve highlighted. No bullshit, only checked proposals.

Offline

  • Attend closed networking events where attendees apply to attend – attend more class-like / workshops where I learn how to actually Escape.
  • Know how to run a Meetup in my local town and attract lots of people.
  • Meet genuine like-minded potential entrepreneurs, screened for quality and experience (i.e. I would pay a monthly fee for a strict, high-quality, screened and well-maintained members’ club).

Once again, I’d love to hear if you agree or disagree with the above – are we on the right track?

You can email me (adele@escapethecity.org), tell us on Twitter or Facebook, or just drop a line in the comments section below.

  • VG

    Agreed, totally on the right track! Opportunities to make in-person connections in particular would be invaluable.

  • http://www.lovehealth.posterous.com Carolyn

    Hi there! Thanks for this amazing post! Thanks for also taking the time to help us all out and give us the tools/resources that we need to move forward.

    Daily reminders would really help me out and keep me on track. Do you have any short inspirational videos that you could share with the community? Do you have any mentors who are available for support? More fun events such as roundtable or supper clubs? I believe that it’s the little things that will help motivate us to take immediate action.

    Thanks again for all your fantastic work!