The new world of work

Jeff Taylor, Editor-in-Chief at Courier magazine, tips a cap to the real heroes.

The story of Courier tracks really closely with the story of my, and so many of my friend’s lives, over the past five years or so. 

When we started Courier, it was as a result of wanting to leave the corporate world and do something on our own terms. Of course we wanted to make a living, but we wanted to do it our way. Test our own ideas. Make something. Live or die on our own skills.

And it wasn’t just us. So many people around us were making the same decision to reject the assumptions about our futures that our parents, the media and our schools had instilled in us and instead go on a wild ride to make a different sort of life on our own.

Quite fortuitously, at the same time we would overhear snippets of conversations that made us realise something big was happening. People queued in coffee lines hypothesising over the margin on a flat white and how this new cafe could make money. Chats over dinner were no longer about dream holidays or books waiting to be written but instead business ideas. New adventures now involved work, and money wasn’t necessarily the driver.

And so Courier was started. We suspected there were loads of people like us thinking about making the jump, looking for the excuse but also needing solid information to be able to successfully do it. Trading one life for another is scary. As many of our readers have discovered, it can be lonely, too. While the process of resigning and telling everyone about your plans is adrenaline-fuelled and exciting, day one presents a cold reality. It’s just you. No HR department.

No legal help. Those people who used to wine and dine you professionally no longer take your calls. Your assumptions about revenue prove to be wildly optimistic. You realise beetroot and ice cream may not be the hit product you thought it could be.

Courier has evolved over those few years from a small free newspaper to a global title on sale in over 25 markets, but our aim has stayed pretty much the same. We want Courier to be a friendly ‘home’ for this new generation of adventurers.

If you need inspiration to make the jump, we want to show you other people who have already forged that path. If you are about to jump, we want to help you do it in a way that gives you the best possible chance at succeeding. And if you’re in it, we want to be there to help you get good at the myriad skills you’ll need that you probably never thought about: how do you sack your best friend who came in early on but who has now become a problem? Or what do you do when your brand new shiny shop burns to the ground the day before your big opening?

The path we and our readers have chosen isn’t the easiest. And the mainstream media continues to patronise and underserve our audience with infantile narratives and reality TV interpretations of small business life. Yet the opportunity to sit at the heart of what we think is one of the most exciting sociological shifts in history is tremendous. Telling these stories still makes us feel like the luckiest kids in class.

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