Advocating non-conformity for the sake of it is the career version of the moody teenager who just wants to be different. We are not encouraging petulant rebellion, we are urging you to consciously differentiate yourself from the established way of doing things precisely because the estab- lished way is unlikely to give you what you want. Fitting in may feel safe. However, in a hugely competitive job market and weak economy the surest way to become irrelevant is to keep your head down. You need to stand out. When the chips are down you don’t want to be the one asking for permission.

Paul Graham, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur, startup mentor and essay- ist, compares graduate job-seeking behaviour to animals being let out of cages and not realizing that the door is open. We are all influenced by the cages of our existence. The fact that we aren’t immediately aware of them makes them all the more effective. The belief that “the route to success is to get a good job” is so ingrained it’s almost a religion. People often react to alternative advice with absolute horror. Just as they do when they hear young people being advised against going to university. These are powerful norms.


By now, you’re probably aware that we wrote a book (you helped!) and we’re excited to be really close to the final publish date. The Escape Manifesto (#escapemanifesto on Twitter) is the book behind the movement and is here to support, inspire and encourage us all to make big and brave transitions in our lives. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing snippets on this blog.

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