New Year, New You — Who’s Missing?

Big life changes rarely happen in isolation

The key hurdle to changing jobs

Your choice of career is embedded into other areas of life, like your earnings… and therefore your rent and mortgage decisions. Shelter is a survival need. So when your brain thinks ‘new career’, it doesn’t just skim over the emotional benefits. At some point it also trips over that essential part of the equation — exactly how will you survive?

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

I’m all on board for the idea that if you constantly hate your life, you should switch something up. Yet career change is a process that often takes a couple of years (not weeks) and the shelter question is a huge one that is often glossed over by self-appointed ‘lifestyle gurus’ or entrepreneurs so successful that they take for granted not everyone has the same level of options.

A cartoon from the New Yorker

Millennials believe it is all down to them

When millennials don’t manage to change careers, they often believe it is a sign of personal weakness. Similarly, when they do it successfully, they often pat themselves on the back.

The limitations of the individual route

When it comes to establishing yourself in a new professional field, Escape the City was always (and still is) simply a gateway. Makers is another one. Yet before committing to a gateway, people might try individual routes: reading career change books, attending events, going on sabbaticals.

Group accountability

“It’s a very complex experience. It’s a life-changing experience… I was very happy to find a tribe with a similar mindset.”

This is what our Maker alumni Igor Ryabchuk wrote here. What he’s describing — finding his tribe — is something I’d see with Escape members too.

Our wonderful careers team

Professional emotional support

Beyond careers support, you also have our Chief Joy Officer Dana (who blogs here) helping you to navigate the inevitable wobbly moments you’ll get whenever you’re starting something completely new.

Dana, our Chief Joy Officer

“It’s not many times that you find yourself in the position I was in by March 2017. Fired from a job with no clue how to get into the sector that I had studied for, it was hard not to panic. Leaving Groupon was not only painful but deflating. For the first time, I felt that I had truly failed at a job and not mastered the challenge it presented. The feeling was one that can best be described as ‘little boy lost’.”

Ayodele is now doing Makers and blogs about his journey. The point is that Makers has housed all kinds of career-changers and a huge part of the journey is learning to let go of the old patterns, habits, and routines.

A promised outcome

Through doing Makers, you are connected to an established industry and have increased your professional capital by the end of your training — Makers is a recruitment partner as much as it is an education partner. (In future, as more people question the value of the traditional degree, I could see the model being replicated in other industries where there is a skills shortage.)

“Amongst all of this, I was also interviewing for the Guardian’s 2018 Digital Fellowship scheme which, I’m delighted to announce, I will be joining in October!

It’s really quite remarkable to reflect on how much I’ve learned over the last few months, and how quickly it’s been possible to make what feels to me like a pretty radical career change.

I left my old job during a week of glorious weather at the start of May, and this apparently never-ending summer is still going strong now as I enjoy my first days off since before the course began. It definitely hasn’t been easy, and I’ve worked harder and more consistently than ever before, but I have no regrets at all.”

Who do you need to create the New You?

If you’re feeling like 2019 is the year when you want to make changes, don’t beat yourself up thinking that this will cause the shift you seek. Instead, think about which networks you can use to catalyse your growth.

At Makers, we do a one-month PreCourse. The next one starts on November 26th.

This means that you’d start on-site at Makers in early January and graduate Makers in March. You’ll then be job-hunting in April, which is often when most companies are recruiting.

Writing stories ( and helping companies tell theirs (