The Kickstart Experience

The Kickstart Experience

As of 2017/18, more than half of English 17-30-year-olds go to University. From that point exactly, work experience became a rarer commodity in young job applicants than a bachelor’s degree.

It is a harsh lesson to learn in your twenties that you are not yet an asset to a potential employer. Learning the everyday intricacies of the job is priceless and can only be obtained during employment. It’s fair to say that it’s a tough lesson, to land yourself into (manageable) university debt, and then realise you’ll need to work for free (if you can even find somebody to shadow) to get yourself a foothold in a field.

Sadly this is just not a possibility for some people, talented young people just cannot wait to earn and support their household, and the rung of the ladder never flies within reach.

The government scheme of Kickstart has allowed young people to get that experience while earning a wage, and not only that, but it can be mutually beneficial to start-ups like Purposeful to get momentum without the risk of capitulating financially.

My Own Experience

The country went into lockdown right in the middle of the interview process for my dissertation. University concluded and I spent the next several months blogging and podcasting to build some kind of portfolio. For most, someone who writes about hot sauce and runs a film podcast would have felt like a risk to employ, after all, I’ve never written about business, nor have I ever had to.

There’s a canyon to cross from adolescence to adulthood, and the consensus is that your learning is over upon that junction. Of course, in reality, it accelerates. In the first month of blogging for Purposeful, I have learned from scratch about SEO, company communication and most of what I ever knew about climate change.

Entrusting inexperienced young people into a company is a risk, but I suspect a large portion of our readership has benefitted from a few of those. Fresh blood equals fresh ideas, and the new generation is offering a new perspective to their teams.

One of our co-founders, Dave, has expressed the benefits of the plunge.

“Something we were really conscious of from the outset was that we wanted to create interesting jobs where the ‘Kickstarters’ could really learn and develop”

“We’ve got 3 additional staff members all of which are – only one month in – already adding genuine value to the company. If you’d have asked me before the Kickstarters started, I don’t think I’d have expected that to be the case.”

“Initially, we started looking at the Kickstart scheme as a way to get some help – particularly with marketing – for Purposeful. As a super-early stage business that hadn’t yet raised any capital, the Kickstart scheme looked like a win-win for Purposeful, the Kickstarters, the government, and wider society.”

The Kickstart scheme looked like a win-win for Purposeful, the Kickstarters, the government, and wider society.”

My Co-Kickstarters

After a couple of interviews with Mike and Dave, Purposeful’s co-founders, Raffi and I joined marketing and Dom in design.

Dom on Kickstart refiring design in her career

“I decided to take some time off to rethink my position and find the passion for design I lost along the way through to my degree. If you ever did anything creative at an educational level you probably know that most likely all the fun and joy that at first drew you to the opportunities creative industries can give was wiped clean.” 

“In my case, they taught me that “in the big world passion goes secondary” and delivering more and faster is what you’re gonna be doing for the rest of your career if you want to get somewhere.”

“Purposeful proved me wrong!”

“It is a wonderful opportunity to support and work towards a more sustainable future“

“It is a wonderful opportunity to support and work towards a more sustainable future“

Dom Krakowska

For Dom, the biggest blessing was not having to choose between earning and building herself. Raffi has expressed similar appreciation for this kind of outcome before but did me the courtesy of scribing it.

“During the Kickstarter, I have managed to develop skills that I didn’t know I had, and an opportunity to apply them to the real world. Purposeful has given me a chance to show what I can do while still being a friendly, welcoming and all-round amazing place to work. The Kickstarter has given me the chance to enter a career that I hope to continue into the future.

The Kickstarter has given me the chance to enter a career that I hope to continue into the future.

It seemed like a pipe dream to actually be in our chosen industries fresh into our 20s, but then that’s ‘The Kickstart Experience’.