I spent two years at a small-cap brokerage, mainly advising on AIM stock. But with the firm about to go down, I was heading for redundancy, and I didn't want to wait for that. So I jumped ship last August before it sank. It turned out to be a wise move: the company soon went under.
It was almost guaranteed there'd be no redundancy pay as I hadn't been there that long, and the company wouldn't have had the money to pay anyone anyway. Still, quitting wasn't a decision I took lightly - when I started there two years ago there were so many City jobs, and moving just wasn't a problem; but with so much turmoil it's impossible to get a job in the financial sector these days. The safety blanket has gone, and that's nerve-wracking.
I started working freelance - doing everything from consultancy for estate management firms, to set-rigging work for promotional companies. And I'm in the process of starting my own company - www.together-trading.com, an educational resource website for trading that's about to go live. Stockmarket traders will put up all our trades and keep a record of whether they won or lost money, so people will see what we've done and why. Basically it'll say ‘here's the theory on strategy, now go away and apply it yourself'.
I'm also planning an attempt on the world record for the highest sky dive. It's a 50-year record, held by a guy called Joe Kissinger, a test pilot from the American space programme. He jumped 100,000 feet from a helium balloon. I'm hoping to do the same from 150,000 feet. I couldn't dedicate time to that while working at the brokerage - once the jump is fully go it's a full-time project, with the training and everything. Sponsorship has become a lot tougher to raise, but freelance allows me to dedicate two or three days a week to that and still make money to keep myself going.
I approached moving on with an optimistic outlook. Even if I didn't always know what the next step would be, it never crossed my mind that things wouldn't work out. If you believe it yourself, it will. But if you feel it's the end of the world, that you may never get a job or a mortgage, that'll manifest itself. Maintaining the attitude that I would keep earning, and that opportunities would come my way, kept me going.
MT spoke to Joby through freelance marketplace PeoplePerHour.