This week, we’re tacking the exciting topic of entrepreneurship & self-employment. After an entrepreneurial Q&A about his career journey a few weeks back, Kabir from Jumpstart is back with a guest blog about choosing entrepreneurship over regular employment.
I worked at a Strategy Consulting firm for four years after I graduated, so I made my choice to switch to entrepreneurship after a good deal of employment! Whilst consulting definitely gave me a useful ‘box of tricks’ and experience to draw upon, I would always look at the managers and directors in our firm and think “I definitely can’t see myself doing your job in five years”. I have always been a bit of an idealist, with a number of good, bad and downright terrible ideas that I wanted to try out! Ultimately, you can only really put these ideas into practice if you are working for yourself. So, after a few years of work, it was a no brainer to make that transition!
Another important impetus for the change was the strong validation for the business idea I had. At Jumpstart, we want to provide students with a way to work in start-ups in commercial roles, whilst still having the training, support and mentorship that a grad scheme provides. We launched a simple ‘prototype’ of our website back in January, and in just under two weeks, we had over 200 students apply! This level of validation really gave me the confidence to ‘up sticks’, say goodbye to consulting, and give Jumpstart a proper go!
Jumpstart are running a webinar event on 20 May with King’s Careers & Employability all about their graduate programme. Click here to book your virtual attendance on KCC!
What motivates me?
I could probably mention clichés like “I want to make a real impact” or “I want to change the world”, but that would definitely be a little dishonest! What I really enjoy is solving problems. Whether sitting waiting for a delayed train or trying to book a holiday, I find myself thinking, ‘that was a pretty rubbish experience, surely there is a better way of doing it”. The idea of breaking down a problem and building a solution that clicks into place and works is really what gives me an adrenaline rush.
This is also our larger mission at Jumpstart. Start-ups are the future – we need smaller exciting businesses to break down old paradigms, and help us get around problems like climate change or even Coronavirus. Top students like those from King’s College London are more motivated than ever to part of that journey. So… why is it so ridiculously hard for graduates to find exciting roles in start-ups? The chance to square this circle, and find a solution that clicks into place, is really what gets me up in the morning!
It’s all about doing things differently
For students who are thinking (or have never thought!) about entrepreneurship as a career path, I would say this: don’t think of it as ‘entrepreneurship’ at all.
All of us, particularly smart and intelligent students, have ideas of how to do things differently. You can be an entrepreneur working in a large corporate, in government, or working for your own start-ups. If you do have an idea you think has legs, talk to people, get some feedback, and come up with a plan to make it work. Entrepreneurship is the art of making good ideas happen. This is useful for any career, even if you don’t want to set up your own business!
King’s Careers Take: Want to discover more about self-employment and entrepreneurship? Wherever you are on your personal career journey, our self-employment Keats pages and Entrepreneurship skills guide (PDF) are here to support you.
Jumpstart is the start-up graduate programme, placing top class grads in commercial roles in London’s most exciting start-ups. If you are interested in applying and finding out more, please see their website here.
Written by Kabir Bali
Edited by Laura Patari