In-house, marine insurance, Solicitor, International Maritime, London
Career Change Story
I found the law frustrating and I am too much of a people person to really enjoy it fully. Having spent time in private practice and in-house and still not finding complete job satisfaction, I made the decision to leave law altogether. I wanted to be more creative at work and to do something that I was passionate about. I have always been interested in art - I have a small collection myself.
I realised that I had to get off my backside and find something else as it wasn't going to fall into my lap. I left the maritime world early last year and am absolutely loving my new venture.
Setting the business up was pretty intense. At the beginning I was still in full-time employement, so had to do the initial work for the business early in the morning, late at night and at the weekends. However, I did not mind the long hours, as I was completely immersed in bringing the business alive.
The venture is aimed at City professionals with litlle time to expend on going to galleries and exhibitions. I understand my clients and can provide a personal service without them having to leave their home or office. I do all the running around and bring the works to my clients, either at their homes or offices - it all depends how much time the client has to spare and how focused they are on what they actually want. I also have "drop-ins" at law firms and other City Institutions, on prior notice to all staff, where they can see a sample of the works on offer and make further appointments, if they so wish.
Career Change Reflections
One of the most important tips would be to be positive and proactive. At the end of the day either do something about your lot or stop complaining. You can make as many excuses as you wish, but if you really want to get out and do something different then you have to make that leap of faith.
In my opinion, you really do need to have some idea of what you want to do before handing in your notice. Take a step back from your job and the office, list hobbies and interests that could viably be changed into a small business and full-time career. Do loads of research, (hey, it's what you trained for!), and draft a comprehensive business plan. This will keep you focused on what you want to do and how to achieve it. Also make a list of all your contacts. Networking is the name of the game.
Leaving the law and the financial benefits it can bring is a difficult decision to make and not one to be taken lightly. However, if there is something else that you have been yearning to do and have the confidence and motivation to do it, then go for it. No-one is stopping you, but yourself. Just be very aware that there will be a lot of hours to put in and setbacks, but if you stick with it, it will be worth it!