This Week’s Dilemma

I am in my mid-30s and hold a senior role in a large international financial services institution. I have recently been offered the chance to apply for a senior job but it will mean moving my family to the US for some time. Meanwhile, some entrepreneurial contacts of mine are starting up at new UK business and they want me to become managing director. Should I stay in the comfort zone of my firm or take the risk and enjoy controlling a new venture?

In such a fast moving industry as mortgages there is no doubt that quite a few people face this dilemma.

I faced it myself and left a managing director role within GE Money to head my present firm.

So here are a few points to think about. First, being in charge of running a small part of a large financial services provider is a great way to learn some of the skills you will need when running your own company. But you are not launching with your own capital and you will still have to report to the directors who own the new company.

One of the most interesting things you will have to tackle is the change of culture. In a large organisation, there can often be a certain amount of low level discontent relating to why the company doesn’t take a certain strategic direction, for example. In a large organisation this sort of thing is just background noise but if in a smaller firm where you are boss you have to be prepared to justify your decisions and deliver improvements.

That said, to an entrepreneurial sort of person the joy and satisfaction of creating a brand, a value proposition and a strong set of core values for a business is immense. My advice would be to seize the moment.

You have a few decades to go before you need to start worrying about job security and you may even derive greater financial rewards if you can make the new business venture a success.