Successful Switch-ups

Have you been doing the same job for a while and think it is becoming boring? Or maybe you’ve been studying one field but a new opportunity suddenly appears. Should you keep doing what you know or take the risk and change?

When we use ‘keep doing something’ we mean you continue to do it. Often it means without pausing

“I could see where I was going by looking at the guys who had been there for five years, ten years,” said Neil, a former accountant and now owner of Pissup – an online travel agency which organizes stag weekends for British men.

Neil was an accountant for ten years before he started this company. His pay was good and reliable, but Neil felt that staying in that position would never let him achieve something more.

He got the idea when he had his own stag party in Prague. The exchange rate was still strong against the pound, so it was very cheap for young British men to come to Prague.  But no company existed to organize the trips.

Neil thinks having no experience in travel was an advantage. “We didn’t have any preconceived ideas,” he said.

Max Munson, owner of Prague’s well-known Jáma Bar, was studying English Literature before he started the restaurant. He had thought about opening one but thought it would take much longer.

“But then just a year and a half later [after finishing university] I found myself in Prague and knew that an American style restaurant and bar would work,” he said.

So he and a friend came up with a business plan and got the seed capital. Within 18 months they were open and Max says he hasn’t looked back.

He also felt that not having been trained in hospitality gave him an advantage. “I like to think that mixing fields up leads to something more unique and authentic. It certainly did for us in the beginning,” he said.

Fewer vs. Less: Fewer is used with countable nouns and less with uncountable

Neil and Max both made a career change by coming to the Czech Republic. But the opportunity exists in the other direction. Petr Mališ was running a moderately successful software company here with a team of ten people. After 20 years the company started to sell fewer products.

“When I was 53, the company had only one employee and the future did not look promising,” he said.

Petr thought the UK was a better opportunity because of his age. After five months he got a job with an electrical engineering company.

All three men have had different experiences and all three were motivated to change paths for different reasons. But one thing seems constant in all the stories – a determination to make it work.

Original article by Ryan Scott – Sydney, Australia. Text edited by the Word’s methodology team

Successful Switch-ups Quiz: Medium

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Have you been in the same position for a while? Do you think it is becoming boring?

“I could see where I was going by looking at the guys who had been there for five years, ten years,” said Neil, a former accountant and now owner of Pissup – an online travel agency which organizes stag weekends for British men.

He got the idea when he had his own stag party in Prague. The exchange rate was still good, so it was very cheap for young British men to come to Prague for a good time. And there was no company to organize the trips. So the time was right for his new business.

Max Munson, owner of Prague’s well-known Jáma Bar, had a completely different career mapped out for himself. He studied English Literature at Arizona State University and he was thinking of continuing with his academic career.

However, he also had a dream of running his own bar, but he thought it would take him 20 years to do it.

“But then just a year and a half later [after finishing university] I found myself in Prague and knew that an American style restaurant and bar would work,” he said.

He and his friend prepared a business plan and got the capital. Within 18 months they were open and Max says he has been happy. “For me it was never about the business as a business, but as a business that paid for me to do what I wanted to do: work in the restaurant with great people and have poetry readings every Sunday,” he said.

Neil and Max both made a career change by coming to the Czech Republic. But the opportunity exists in the other direction as well. Petr Mališ was running a successful software company here with a team of ten people. Then after 20 years the company’s sales started to get really slow.

“When I was 53, the company had only one employee and the future did not look promising,” he said.

He started to look for a job in the UK. It took him 2 months to get his first interview and another 3 to get his current job with an electrical engineering company.

All three men have different experiences but they have one thing in common –a determination to make things work.

If you are thinking about a career change, Petr and Max offered some advice.

“I would highly recommend and encourage anyone to change their field at any time in their life as long as it is for the right reason,” Max said.

Petr was a bit more careful.

“When you are changing your life, do not ever change everything at once,” he said.

Original article by Ryan Scott – Sydney, Australia. Text edited by The Word’s methodology team

Successful Switch-ups Quiz: Mild

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Have you been working in the same position for a while and think it is becoming stale?  Maybe there’s no more challenge. You feel as though you’ve learnt everything you need to know. Or maybe you’ve been studying hard in one field but a new opportunity suddenly opens up in another. The question in both situations is whether to stick with what you know or take the plunge.

“I could see where I was going by looking at the guys who had been there for five years, ten years,” said Neil, a former accountant and now owner of Pissup – an online travel agency which organizes stag weekends for British men.

Neil had been working as a chartered accountant for ten years in one of the major accountancy firms. He earned a good wage and the work was constant, but Neil felt that staying in that position would never let him achieve something more.

He was already looking at another field – web design – when he had his own stag do in Prague. The exchange rate was still quite favourable, so it was very cheap for young British men to come to Prague for a good time.  But no company existed to organize the trips.

Ripe is usually used for fruit meaning it is ready to eat. It can also be used when a situation is ready for something

The moment was ripe for Pissup. Within an hour of launching, the company started to get hits. They also received a lot of coverage in the press who liked the freshness of the idea.

Neil thinks having no background in travel was an advantage. “We didn’t have any preconceived ideas,” he said.

Max Munson, owner of Prague’s well-known Jáma Bar, had a completely different career mapped out for himself. He studied English Literature at Arizona State University and said he would have probably gone to grad school if life hadn’t taken a different course.

The dream of one day running a place was there, but he just thought it would take 20 years to achieve.

“But then just a year and a half later [after finishing university] I found myself in Prague and knew that an American style restaurant and bar would work,” he said.

He and a friend came up with a business plan and got the seed capital. Within 18 months they were open and Max says he hasn’t looked back.

‘Nut and bolts’ means basic and necessary to do something. It is often used with knowledge

“Instinct got us open, but after that we really needed to have nuts and bolts knowledge in order to maintain the visible side of the biz, as well as the admin,” he said when asked about the need for training.

He also felt that not having been trained in hospitality gave him an advantage. “I like to think that mixing fields up leads to something more unique and authentic. It certainly did for us in the beginning.  For me it was never about the business as a business, but as a business that paid for me to do what I wanted to do:  work in the restaurant with great people and have poetry readings every Sunday,” he said.

Neil and Max both made a career change by coming to the Czech Republic. But the opportunity exists in the other direction.  Petr Mališ was running a moderately successful software company here with a team of ten people.  The company produced controlling and educational software.  Then after 20 years the company’s sales started to drop off.

“When I was 53, the company had only one employee and the future did not look promising,” he said.

Petr looked to the UK as a better opportunity because he considered his age a barrier to re-employment in his home country.

It took two months for him to get his first interview and another three before landing his current position. At times the chances looked slim. One job had between 200 and 300 applicants, but Petr used the time to hone his job hunting skills, kept fit and made friends through playing draughts until he got a job with an electrical engineering company.

All three men have had different experiences and all three were motivated to change paths for different reasons. But one thing seems constant in all the stories – a determination to make it work.

As for anyone thinking of changing what they’re doing Max and Petr offered some advice.

“I would highly recommend and encourage anyone to change their field at any time in their life as long as it is for the right reason.  If it is to chase a higher paycheck, that is something else.  Everyone should do what they love and feel drawn to. Then the money will follow,” Max said.

Petr was a little more cautious.

“When you are changing your life, do not ever change everything at once. Keep on being active in what you were successful in, even if it might be difficult in a new place, but it is extremely important.”

Ryan Scott – Sydney, Australia

Successful Switch-ups Quiz: Spicy

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