Thanks to everyone who emailed me with feedback about last night’s event – glad it was inspiring! As I’ve mentioned, we’re moving into a new phase of events with Escape the City, and we’re very open to ideas and feedback on what you’d like to see (adele@escapethecity.org). For those who couldn’t make it, I’m still editing the videos from last night, but as soon as they’re done, you’ll know about it either through our Facebook page or this blog. 

One of my favourite moments was when one of you asked the speakers about the moment they snapped, and just had to escape? Mathew Powell shared this moment, when he was driving along and heard a Christmas song on the radio:

The speakers last night:

  • Matthew Powell spent 8 years as a corporate lawyer before escaping to work at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.
  • Ted Truscott was an equity research analyst at Merrill Lynch before escaping to work for Qubit, a tech startup.
  • Natasha Malpani worked for a hedge fund before escaping to work at Big Society Capital.
  • Martin Underwood was a criminal barrister who then completed On Purpose (a social enterprise leadership training program) and is now working in education and technology.

What we learned:

1. The best way to transition into a new industry is to build up experience and contacts in that industry, while you’re still in your current job.

2. Start with a blog and Twitter profile, knowing that people are going to look you up online – if you can demonstrate that you’re passionate about the subject through having writing online and intelligent opinions on in the industry, you’re more likely to engage people in meaningful conversations.

3. There is no timeframe on how long it takes to find what you’re interested in. It can take weeks, months, or years. So balancing it financially sometimes means taking on a part-time job, or reducing expenses as much as possible, while you’re finding your escape. Be patient.

4. If transitioning from corporate to charity, be prepared to argue your case as to why you’re voluntarily taking a pay cut and why you’re going to stick at the role. (If transitioning into social investment or other impact investment jobs, you won’t necessarily have to take a pay cut.)

5. Follow people who have made a similar leap to you and ask them how they did it – through Linkedin, Escape the City, or through personal networks.

Social investment links from Natasha:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/growing-social-investment-market-vision-and-strategy

http://blogs.ft.com/martin-wolf-exchange/2012/07/02/banking-reforms-after-the-libor-scandal/

http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/measuring_social_value

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/fixes/?utm_source=Fixes+Phil+Equity+article&utm_campaign=6-28-12-PressHit-NYT-CapPart-ABL&utm_medium=email

http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680075/accountants-will-save-the-planet

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessicahagy/2012/07/17/the-6-people-you-need-in-your-corner/

Also one of the first places I would direct people interested in the social investment/enterprise space is these think tanks that do great reports/newsletters:

Nef
NESTA
Young Foundation
NPC

Need a place to work?

This event was kindly hosted by Adam Street Club, who would like to invite all Esc members to check out both their full and evening membership options at the club. Adam Street is hidden in 18th century vaults under the Strand and is a private members’ club aimed at both entrepreneurs and freelancers as a central base for work and play, members can relax, work, hangout, entertain, hide, impress, eat great food and drink excellent wine and cocktails, surrounded by like-minded souls. If you would like to know more about membership, please email Ellie, the Membership Manager, at ellie@adamstreet.co.uk.

Escape the City resources:

Books:

Networks:

  • Sandbox
  • General Assembly – campus for technology, business, and design. Our long-form courses allow for a more comprehensive understanding of a topic, from web development and product design to marketing and business development.
  • Silicon Drinkabout – a regular after work drinks for startups every Friday ’round the Silicon Roundabout
  • Impact Generation

Websites: