Emily Packer, Careers Adviser at the CS, interviewed 7 professionals who have founded their own social venture. Here’s some of the highlights, including what they know now that they didn’t know back when they started.
On 11th February 2021 the Careers Service is holding our ‘Work to Change the World Forum’ hosting organisations that offer opportunities and information on how to choose a career with impact.
In this light, we set about to interview innovators and entrepreneurs to uncover the work it takes to run a business focused on improving the lives of others.
The #IFounded interview series, recorded in Lent of 2021, shares the experiences, high, lows and motivations of 7 founders who have made the transition from graduation to becoming a founder of a social venture. We also cover how to get experience (tip: be sure about your skills and do your research!) and the particular lessons learned from the past 12 months (you have to be resilient and agile!).
I think it is about accepting that the world moves and evolves and you need to move and evolve, and if you can, lean into your career in that way, you will find that you end up landing on your feet
Amongst the many questions you can hear them discuss in the series, we asked them to share any advice they would have for their younger self on graduation. This video shares their inspirational, humble and practical messages on the importance of listening, reflection, learning and that it is okay not to always have plan!
Here is a snippet of what our founders had to share:
Christine Kinnear, With Insight Education: “I would say, don’t be bogged down in having an absolute career plan because your career is not going to be linear. Instead what you need to do is find things that really interest you and grab opportunities that arise, or seek them out in those areas to stimulate those things you are passionate about. I think it is about accepting that the world moves and evolves and you need to move and evolve, and if you can, lean into your career in that way, you will find that you end up landing on your feet”
Joe Metcalfe, Thrift+ “The bit that I would encourage the younger me to keep doing is keep learning and be continually challenged…keep looking for the next opportunity to keep learning and developing”
Daisy Jacobs, Routes “Listen and connect…. doors opened and things presented themselves to me when I was really listening to what was going on around me. […] Another thing is making the decision to do something as a pivotal moment – not the first time doing it, but the decision to do something and it’s amazing what presents itself to you once you have made that decision”
Max Girardeau, The Visionaries “Far more is possible than you realise. Stay curious to the questions that entice you rather than seeking the answers. Passionately follow your curiosities and follow your passions […] that fills your cup up to go out into the world and do everything. If you are tending to how you can look after yourself well then, all the rest follows”
[Don’t] let a lack of confidence hold you back or if you are more introverted – it feels sometimes there isn’t a place for your voice but that isn’t true
Georgie Hemmingway, Footprints Cafés: “One of the things we learned in business school is not to be threatened by someone who is better than you or more skilled than you in something, in fact you want those people around you. […] If you can, try and learn and get a little bit of their skills – learn from the people you admire. There is a reason you admire them…see what it is and try and emulate it in a different context so that you can be ‘them’ to another”
Loic Menzies, The Centre for Education and Youth: “Reflect on what it is you want your life to be like and keep that front of mind – because then you will spot the opportunities that help to pursue that. So, having a clear sense of what you want and thinking quite broadly about how you might shape things to get that”
Laura North, WeSpeak: “[Don’t] let a lack of confidence hold you back or if you are more introverted – it feels sometimes there isn’t a place for your voice but that isn’t true. Actually the more you can connect with what you care about and find your own way to express it, that’s what’s key”