The COVID-19 pandemic has given many Brits time to think about their careers, and data* suggests that over a fifth (22%) realised their current role isn’t for them, with a further one in five using their free time in lockdown to search and plan for a career in a new industry.
While the prospect of switching jobs to something completely new may be daunting for many, it could be the best decision you ever make. To mark the launch of its (Not Just a) Grad Scheme which is open to anyone of any age in any industry, performance marketing agency, Journey Further, has compiled a list of Britain’s most successful and existing brands started by people who decided to change careers:
- Deliveroo, Will Shu
Founded in 2013, Deliveroo has grown exponentially to become one of the UK’s most popular takeaway services. One of the company’s founders is Will Shu, who was previously an investment banker at Morgan Stanley. He decided the banking world wasn’t for him at the age of 33, and his food delivery app is now valued in excess of $2 billion.
- Brewdog, James Watt
James Watt worked as a legal professional, and then as a trawlerman before going onto launch Brewdog when he was 24. The brewery has bars around the world and is valued at more than $2 billion, which makes Watt’s net worth something in the region of $480 million.
- Bloom & Wild, Aron Gelbard
Bloom & Wild’s letterbox delivery service has gone from strength to strength in recent years, but it wasn’t founded by a florist. Former management consultant Aaron Gelbard was 31 when he left his consultancy role to enter the world of flowers, with his business having raised millions in funding and an eye on international expansion.
- Grenade, Alan Barrett
Now Britain’s second best selling chocolate bar, Grenade was set up by former gym manager, Alan Barrett in 2010 when he was 33. Prior to this, Alan had carved out a career as a gym manager before entering the world of performance supplements and weight loss products.
- ODDBOX, Emilie Vanpoperinghe & Deepak Randrivan
After successful careers in finance, wife and husband, Emilie Vanpoperinghe & Deepak Randrivan launched their own sustainable fruit and veg delivery box at the ages of 35 and 37. The delivery service rescues wonky fruit and veg not wanted by supermarkets and delivers it to homes around London and the South East and raised over £3 million in funding last year.
- Innocent, Richard Reed
Richard Reed jacked in his job in advertising at the age of 26 to start a business in the growing juice industry. Innocent has gone on to become one of the most well-known brands in the UK and Coca Cola bought a 90% share in the company for £100m.
- Dyson, James Dyson
The oldest career changer on the list, and arguably the most successful, James Dyson was 47 when he launched Dyson, which has gone on to become one of the world’s best-known brands. He previously invented and sold a wheelbarrow that used a ball instead of the wheel, but his vacuums and other household products have made him one of the richest people in the world.
- Beautystack, Sharmadean Reid
A booking platform and social media network for beauty industry professionals, Beautystack was founded by Sharmadean Reid in 2017 when she was aged 33. Although she started her career as a salon owner and then a marketer, Sharmadean’s business has been hugely successful and last year raised over £4 million in funding.
- Gousto, Tim Boldt
Gousto has transformed the way many families cook dinner in the UK. It was founded in 2012 by Timo Boldt who was 26 when he quit his job in the finance industry to launch his meal box delivery service. Gousto is used by families all over the country and has annual sales in excess of £100 million.
- Mowgli, Nisha Katona
Nisha Katona had a 20-year career as a successful barrister but gave it all up at the age of 42 to pursue her dream of launching an Indian street food restaurant. The first Mowgli restaurant opened in Liverpool in 2014, and Nisha has gone on to open 11 eateries around the country, including Leeds which opened during lockdown.
Robin Skidmore, CEO at Journey Further, said:
“Our research shows that you could be right at the start of your career or have been in the same role for 20 years or more – age is just a number and is by no means a barrier to get to where you want to be!
“We recently launched our (Not just a) Grad Scheme, a scheme for anyone interested in a career in performance marketing, whether they’ve just graduated, finished school, or considering a career change, and we’ve had a great response so far. We’re looking for anyone who is interested in helping well-known brands sell their products and services online, no matter what their current role.”
To find out more about Journey Further’s graduate scheme, visit https://journeyfurther.typeform.com/to/nyaa2jW3#source=website?p=careers/not-just-a-grad-scheme