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Ten things we learnt at last night’s Esc Wednesday – Rod Schwartz

by Adele on May 24, 2012

Interested in social enterprise or social investment banking? Check out the Clearly Social Angel Network here, and the ClearlySo Guide for the Ambitious Social Entrepreneur downloadable for free upon registration hereIf you’re not ready to make a full Escape yet, but you’re interested in developing your skills and networks in the sector through ad hoc project work with Clearly So, you can email Rod.Schwartz@clearlyso.com.

Another brilliant evening at Adam St club, this time with Rod Schwartz (CEO and founder of ClearlySo - check out their annual conference here), who, after 15 years journeying from investment banking through to venture capital, eventually came to find out that what he wanted to do was transfer his skills to the social business, enterprise and investment sector.

What we learnt (outlined in the shaky video below – apologies for the quality!):

  1. Often, we stumble into our passions. Rod’s escape trajectory wasn’t necessarily purposeful – and nor will yours be.
  2. Extracurricular activities count. Sprinkle your job with additional activities – you never know where they’ll take you. Even if you can’t leave your current job, you can volunteer or get involved with outside projects, which in the end, can make all the difference.
  3. Don’t fear mistakes. When starting a business or social enterprise, you will make a ton of them – this is part of the process.
  4. Even if you hate your current job, at least strengthen and develop your transferable skills. Look for job opportunities where you can use the same skills but with an element that makes you tick.
  5. Every job has something positive to offer. Learn from every job you do – even the awful ones.
  6. Develop self-awareness. Look at yourself in your current job as an outsider might see you – what would they say about what you’re doing?
  7. Think of your career in terms of the boxes you tick. Think of your career not in terms of job-by-job but in terms of the boxes you want to tick as you move towards your ideal role (e.g. Rod’s included a financial box – he wanted to be earning a certain amount, an intellectual box, and a ‘proud to share these stories with my children’ box).
  8. Go easy on yourself. Trust the journey, life is long – everyone seems to be in such a panic these days, but you need to give yourself a break – you’re not meant to have it all figured out straight away.
  9. Following your dream, not money, makes you happier in the long run. The happiest people Rod knows are those who followed what they found ‘fun’ from a young age.
  10. There is a lot of demand for jobs in the social enterprise sector. Social enterprise and entrepreneurship are the most popular subjects in business school today.

Rob’s introduction – a preview of what Esc events are like if you’ve never been to one:

As always, we loved having the chance to meet you off-line. If you have feedback on what we could improve, ideas for future events, or any questions, just email adele@escapethecity.org.

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