Why I chose social enterprise over the corporate world [as featured in the Guardian]

Published by The Guardian Social Enterprise Network.

Thursday 6 February 2014 07.00 GMT

Sanum Jain Guardian Social Enterprise Career Guardian Social Enterprise NetworkBy this time last year, some of my peers at the University of Manchester had secured jobs at reputable corporations while others had launched their first business or started making travel plans. I was somewhere in the middle, like many students in third year – stuck in a limbo of tedious application forms and not knowing what would become of me after graduation.

So I decided to assess my skills, pinpoint a particular path and find opportunities. I found that I loved writing and social media. I selected PR as a possible route, and came across a GiveMeTap internship. Little did I know that what I had first approached as work experience to prepare me for a PR office job would become a love affair with social enterprise. I now co-run GiveMeTap, heading all communications, PR and marketing at the grand age of 21.

So why did I decide to stay and work for a small social enterprise instead of applying to large-scale organisations, especially when I’m not an entrepreneur? Mainly, it is the sheer fulfilment and job satisfaction that I feel every single day. Some people get this satisfaction through making money and others through their creative expression. For me, knowing that my work is helping people across the world is enough to make me excited to wake up in the morning.

Secondly, by being part of a small team, your role is constantly morphing and every day is different. One day you may be designing a website and the next day you may be talking to journalists. There is no paper pushing, no ‘cogs in the wheel’ and everything you do is integral to the business. Subsequently, you can grow your talents and develop skills you didn’t think possible. For example, I’ve started to learn code, I’ve engaged in sales activity, and I’ve been involved with supply chain operations.

Many graduates leave university seeking stable, long-term employment from a reputable company instead of taking chances on their true passions. However, that security is not guaranteed; the CIPD have observed that turnover rates for young people (especially those caused by redundancy) are significantly high and increasing due to the economic climate. If risk is already an increased factor in the conventional job market, isn’t that further reason for graduates to take their own risks? This includes joining small business, starting out on their own, and being part of socially conscious ventures.

During my journey, however, I have also learned that even if you choose a route that diverges from that of the corporate world, your paths are sure to cross at some point. Instead of working for a large company, you may find yourself working with them, just as GiveMeTap has many corporate clients who involve us in their supply chain. By engaging with these businesses, there is potential to involve them as a vehicle towards success, while helping them to achieve their own social or environmental goals.

Although the perks and prospects of the corporate lifestyle are undisputed, working for a social enterprise opens the possibility of fulfilling opportunity that many don’t know exists. I believe Generation Y can be the driving force towards a future where sustainability and ethics are at the core of every business. Muster the courage, get into gear, and enjoy the journey!

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ARTIST OF THE WEEK: ED THOMAS [as featured on Nada Brahma: The World Is Sound]

Ed Thomas Nada Brahma Review
For our first Artist of the Week for 2014, we are delighted to introduce London-based singer/songwriter/producer, Ed Thomas, with his latest track, On My Own.

This soulful creation oozes an 80′s vibe that will sure make you forget about cold January mornings and transport you to somewhere sunny-side up. His classic use of mild synthetic sounds and smooth falsetto vocals gives this track it’s familiar old school feel; a sound that today’s contemporary genres are really warming to.

Since collaborating with Chase and Status in October 2013, we dub Ed Thomas as ‘one to watch’ this year. He has began to establish his musical career through a soon-to-be-released EP and by working with other big names such as Maverick Sabre in 2014. We look forward to his contribution towards a resurrection of soul vocals and expect big things to come.

Listen to ‘On My Own’ and discover more amazing music at NADA BRAHMA: The World Is Sound.

Another world hero for the textbooks of our Children. R.I.P. Nelson Mandela

‘He no longer belongs to us; he belongs to the ages.’ – Barack Obama. Image

It is a sad day for Mankind that we lose such an iconic figure for world peace. It is a shame that half of the world will be waking up to this terrible news, while the other half of us go to sleep with him in our thoughts. It is a sad day, although we appreciate the end of a long suffering that he has felt over the last few years. 95 years is an achievement in itself.

I am proud to share the early years of my life with the later years of Madiba. Our children will see his name in textbooks as we have the great men and women before our time. They may not understand the true value of his life, suffering and inspirations but it is our duty to ensure they realise his significance and the vision of racial equality and the end of all exploitations.

‘There is no passion to be found in playing small – settling for a life that’s less than the one you are capable of living.’ Rest In Peace, Madiba.

Over and Out.

Lisa Kudrow in epic speech on sexism in politics [as featured in Scandal, USA]

This speech really hits home as it emphasises the situations that many women are put in on a daily basis and may not have the same confidence to stand up to their counterparts [male or female] that provoke gender discrimination.

It reminded me of expectations; subsequently a prominent, albeit random, memory of an expectation I was expected to adhere to came to mind. I have been told multiple times by women and men who interview for jobs that your nails must be neatly painted as part of appropriate interview presentation.

This baffles me. Painting or not painting your nails has nothing to do with the ability for a woman to do a job. Men do not have this same requirement. Is this, as Lisa Kudrow said, in order to remind you that I’m a woman? A more appropriate requirement would be clean shoes or neatly cut nails – both which signify attention to detail and pride in presentation, not personal preference of colour or an assumption that womens’ presentation is correlated to their nail colour.

I admit this was an extremely random thought and memory to come from this video, but shows us how the most unusual experiences can be made more vividly clear when you least expect it.

Over & Out

Review: Danny Ladwa performs at Google Campus, London

As featured in Nada Brahma: The World Is Sound.

Last week, standing near the back of a crowded, lower ground room overflowing with inquisitive minds, was when I discovered vocalist and beat boxer, Danny Ladwa. This review is not of the latest EP, an underground record or must-buy album, but it is an appreciation of his live performance and how it made a huge impact on many people in that room.

By day, Google Campus in Old Street is home to a cluster of tech wizards and ambitious entrepreneurs hoping to make their mark on the world. By night, the same workspace area is used for events and conferences. At an event about social entrepreneurship and changing the world, the last thing I expected was to witness a live beatboxing gig, yet Danny performed as the introducing and concluding feature of the night…

Read the full review HERE at Nada Brahma: The World Is Sound.
Danny Ladwa review featured in Nada Brahma

‘So… what are your other interests and hobbies?’

I believe that time management is extremely important. So much so that I boil everything down to how I can economise my time and fit it all in.

Recently, I have found myself increasingly lazy. I get up, I go to work, I come home and make some dinner. Many people would then go on to say that they play tennis, because they love the rush. Others would say volunteer at a youth club or even crochet as a hobby. Although not everyones cup of tea, all of these things are substantially more productive than what I now do – watch repeats of the Big Bang Theory or How I Met Your Mother or even Friends. If at a future interview, I am asked what I do in my spare time, I might as well leave the room there and then!

This has lead me to think really hard about my time and what I do with it. I used to be SO busy all the time. Why is it that I no longer feel this need to be productive after work finishes? I then realised what the difference was between my busy lifestyle 6 months ago, and my slower-paced lifestyle of today. Purpose. Most things we do have a purpose. We go to school to learn. We have a job to earn money and pay the bills. We then have hobbies or interests in order relax, enjoy and generally receive some fulfilment. We find ourselves busy because we want to fit all of these things into the day, including our extra activities.

long-day-at-work

What I have realised is that my job and my interests have merged. I LOVE my job and get extreme satisfaction from doing the work I do (touch wood). When I get home after a long 9-6 work day, I do not feel the need to ‘reclaim my creativity’ as I know many of my friends do. What I would do after my day job, is what I actually do as my day job. Therefore, I can relax in a non-productive way, letting my brain recuperate and letting my feet rest when I get home.

I must admit that I am rather lucky to be feeling this way. I must also realise that not all my jobs will bring this same satisfaction. Most of all, I must admit to myself that I will eventually get bored of watching repeats of Big Bang Theory. However, I truly believe that at some stage, everyone should take a chance and do something they love for a living and experience the relief of coming home satisfied, fulfilled and happy.

Over and Out.

Learn more about why I started this blog at About Sanum Jain.

Review: “0” EP by Shunya [as featured on Nada Brahma: The World Is Sound]

shunya

I’d  love to share with you all my latest Review on Nada Brahma: The World Is Sound, which is also my first music review to date. Shunya is a great artist from ‘Down Under’. Check him out on:

Shunya (a.k.a Bal Singh) has taken on the realm of fusion with his six track EP, 0 [Zero], on Bossman Records. Recently discovered on the Melbourne music scene, Shunya has shared with us a range of experimental eastern vibes, showing how they can provide a backbone that can transform western genres.” [continue reading…]


If you want to get any great music out to the world, let me know!

Over and Out