Twelve months ago we moved from the Thames Valley down to East Devon with the vision of living a calmer existence.
What we didn’t factor in was the employment opportunities… this was something in hindsight which would have been worthy of our attention.
My work, for the last 20 years, has been the joys of self employment, working on a variety of sales & marketing projects at any given time with rewards that range from chalk to cheese.
My wife had more of a traditional career, working for companies / councils in office based administrative management roles of which there are hundreds of available posts on any given day in the Thames Valley, travel time to the office being a key deciding factor.
BUT in East Devon these roles become few and far between, especially if you are looking for part-time rather than full time work… which in turn means the salaries reflect this and are much, much lower in East Devon as the competition is minimal.
In Berkshire I’d been one of the leaders in local networking for a time, Chair of the FSB for a 5 year term and creator of the Business in Berkshire brand which started as a newsletter in 2001, sharing news on networking events and local business success… becoming an online website in 2004 and receiving 5 million page views in 2008, we had great SEO but small businesses didn’t want to pay for the service in the same way they are happy to do so today.
This community is still alive in the form of the Business in Berkshire LinkedIn Group with over 3690 members and the Berkshire blog which still attracts 10,000 views a year with limited fresh content… a renewed momentum would soon see these numbers grow…
Exeter is the one of the fastest growing cities in the UK and attracts 2 million visitors a year. There is a natural connection with a sub 3 hour drive / rail time with many from the Thames Valley visiting the wider Devon area on a regular basis for holidays and short breaks… surfing CEOs will be down most weekends whatever the weather 😉
Exeter needs more high paying jobs by attracting more prosperous businesses to set up in town and in turn creating more competition for available roles, naturally increasing salaries. With one of the largest computers in the world, owned by the Met Office located in the new Science Park… and Exeter City Futures looking to be congestion free and have energy independence, there are a ton of reasons why budding entrepreneurs would appreciate a mix of healthy living in East Devon and brutal business competition in the Thames Valley in their monthly business diary.
I find myself gravitating to help entrepreneurial businesses owners, with all the challenges they have and there is a fit for me in this new environment to help make things happen so that my kids and future generations can have access to well paid work wherever they are located on the East Devon Thames Valley eco system.
Who knows how it will roll out but some bugger has to get the ball rolling…
P.S. If you’d like to be part of this eco system then fill in the form below or add a comment to this post and by default you’re in so take some responsibility for making things flow…