Up until this point, I hadn’t formally resigned because my place on the NEF programme had not yet been guaranteed (I outline in [IV] The NEF Application Process that, should you go the host company route, you need to have both an offer from NEF and an offer from a host company before you get admitted).
In [Chapter 4] The NEF Application Process, I covered Part I of the NEF application process. This involved an online application, video interview, numerical & verbal testing, an assessment centre and a panel interview. I also outlined some general advice I had for these sorts of situations, as well as some things that I thought might have helped me as I progressed.
In Chapter 3, we explored the process I used to help make the “career change”/transition from engineer to entrepreneur. This was:
- Identifying the skills that I felt I needed in order to work in start-ups/become an entrepreneur – Web development; digital marketing; graphic design to name a few
- Acquiring as many of these skills as I could in my spare time* – I built a tech blog (Tech-Boffin.com – now defunct) and a simple, personal landing page (cipavlou.com); had a play with Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools for these sites; went through online tutorials on Inkscape (and created a logo for Tech-Boffin.com)
- Continually research the entrepreneurship ecosystem – Speaking with friends, reading about opportunities, etc
In Chapter 2, I wrote about how I had tried to work out what I wanted to do in life. I had been working at an oil & gas company, was financially secure, and thought I had my life & career mapped out. However, like many millennials, I soon became disillusioned with the reality of being “just another cog in the machine”. I didn’t truly love the work that I was doing, and I realised that I could never have the tangible impact on people’s lives that I wanted to, or become as successful as I aspired to be.
In Chapter 1, I discussed some of the early beginnings of how I had tried to plan my life and my career. I had just secured a good job but was struggling to keep pushing myself, and life as an engineer in the oil & gas industry was rapidly becoming increasingly unappealing. But there was light at the end of the tunnel – I was switching jobs within the company (in order to develop project management skills to complement the technical knowledge I had learned) so I was optimistic that things would get better.
When it comes to most things in general, I have always thought of myself as a planner. I like to have a clear view of where I am going and the journey that I need to take to get there. This had largely been reflected in my life up until around one year ago. Continue reading