Quentin Johns is Head of Sales and Marketing at Hub Westminster (ex-conjurer and international retail manager) – he writes below about why he’s helping to organise the Alternative Career Festival in London on September 15th, which you can check out here

Here at the Hub Westminster…

I share a very similar story to many of my work mates.

Until January of this year I was working in a job that I liked, one that I was good at and luckily for me, one that paid well.

I did however always have this little niggling feeling that it wasn’t quite what I wanted to do.

I felt there was something out there that would fit a little better, fit my self image, my morals and my life goals more seamlessly than what I was doing then.

Don’t get me wrong

My job was amazing, in many respects.

I was the international manager of one of the world’s largest retailers of Magic products. I lived my life between London and New York with occasional trips to Dublin or Hong Kong and had good friends in all of them.

However, I knew that there was something else waiting for me, so in mid-2011, after a year of thinking about it, I forced myself to take the thought seriously and I handed in my 6 months’ notice.

I only wish now that I had known…

About Escape the City or Careershifters, about inspirational speakers like Rob Wilson or Mat Powell!

I wish I had had a careers coach like Phil Bolton, or advice on my CV from Julian at I Am Enterprise.

I am sure if I had:

1. I would have made the move a lot sooner.

2. It probably wouldn’t have taken me 3 months to find the job I had been yearning for.

In April 2012 I started work at Hub Westminster as the Head of Sales and Marketing. Here I meet people on a daily basis that inspire me and push me forward and introduce me to new exciting ideas.

I feel rewarded because in helping them I am contributing to a community of change makers and together we are up scaling our impact and each other’s ideas.

I made a promise to myself

A month after I started here (a month after getting up in the morning had become an exciting prospect again and work had become something I really wanted to talk about), I promised that I would help two of my friends change careers by the end of the year.

I wasn’t sure which two or how I would do it, but I knew I wanted to.

Surrounded by an enthusiastic team and people with similar stories we came up with this – The Alternative Careers Festival – a springboard for finding out what services there are out there to help you do it.

We are inviting you to join the conversation with people just like yourself and people that have already made the move. We want to introduce you to the tools you will need and the advice that you didn’t realise was available. To help us do this we need to hear from you.

We want to know

  • What you do – and why you want to change your job?
  • Have you already changed jobs?
  • If you did, how did you do it?
  • Most importantly, we want to know what you would like most out of an event like this… more inspiring talks? More workshops? Or more of a chance to network? You tell us, so that we can facilitate a conversation that you want to be a part of.

To make a lasting change, we need more and better people than I, to commit to it – it may not be the answer but the Alt. Careers fest feels like a good first step.