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Ex-Morgan Stanley man's advice on changing careers without spending a fortune

If you've lost your banking job and are inclined to move into a different industry, you may be tempted to study an MBA. However, you may also be wary of such an endeavour on the grounds that a) an MBA costs a fortune and b) people who've spent $200k on top MBAs have been complaining to the Wall Street Journal that they're unemployed months after graduating. 

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If this is you, another option may be to spend £6 ($8) on a book* by Andrew Osayemi, a former Morgan Stanley recruiter and ex-RBS trader who's undergone several career metamorphoses since unexpectedly losing his job at RBS over a decade ago.

Osayemi details how he achieved two career changes without wasting money on either an MBA or a Master’s degree.  "I switched careers from being a trader at a bank to being a TV show creator/producer whose hit show aired for three seasons on Netflix. I then switched careers again into recruitment and, most recently, into technology sales/business development, all without having to do a Masters or an MBA," he informs his readers.

How? Both by accepting a big drop in income (Osayemi, who'd been living in a fancy apartment in NYC initially moved back in with his parents in London), and by being creative in how he went about things.

Instead of splashing $200k to meet new people and gain credentials from a big business school, Osayemi threw parties. He advises his readers to do the same. He says he met creatives in New York by hosting parties in his apartment, and when he came back to the UK he founded a club night for professionals in London. "Because I was the host, they all felt a sense of gratitude to me," he says. "This allowed me to build deep relationships. They felt I was part of them, part of their inner circle. They, in turn, invited me to their parties and introduced me as if I were a close friend."

But what if you don't know what you want to do (or who to invite to your parties?)? You could employ an expensive career coach. Or, you could simply go on holiday alone somewhere where you can sit and think, uninterruptedly, about life and what you want from it.  

Osayemi did the latter, and for him the place to think was Eastbourne, a worn British seaside town popular with retirees.  "I knew nothing exciting would be happening there. It was a two-hour drive from where I lived in London. The driving itself was calming. It was just me, by myself, and I’d never really been on holiday by myself," he says. "I found a nice, lovely hotel overlooking the sea. I remember pulling up outside the hotel and feeling the weight of the world fall off my shoulders." 

Osayemi rented a deckchair and sat on the beach. He opened a notepad and wrote down his goals, his aspirations and the things he felt grateful for. Three days later, he returned home. "It was the most productive holiday/retreat I have ever had," he says. "It left me with a set list of actions I was going to do to make my career-switch happen as well as deadlines to make myself accountable."

The first time he switched careers, Osayemi set up a television production company and made a successful series for Netflix. The second time (five years later), he moved into recruitment.  That move was facilitated by someone he met at a wedding who already worked in the recruitment industry: "It was one of the most valuable hour-long conversations I have ever had," says Osayemi.

He got a job with Rare Recruitment, a charity which helps students from diverse backgrounds move into professional careers. Initially, Osayemi says he had to swallow his pride. He was no longer his own boss, and he was being paid a lot less than before. But rather than dwell on his loss of status, Osayemi says he ignored his shrunken salary and went in with the attitude of, "Overachieve their expectations of you, make them value you and then they will do all they can to keep you."  

Within a few months, he'd been promoted to senior manager and had been given a pay rise: "I didn’t let the low salary and title hold me back." Osayemi went on to work for Morgan Stanley and Citi in recruitment.  He currently works for training and assessment firm AmplifyME as head of corporate partnerships. 

*The DIY Career Switch: 35 Ways To Change Careers Without a Masters or MBA

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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