"The workload and unsocial hours became too much."

Image of Rupert Beak
From Pints to Property

Rupert Beak had lost his drive at work. He needed a new challenge. Although his next step was clear, he still had to extract himself from the career he'd tied himself into for the last 15 years. Here he shares how he managed the transition from 'old hand' to 'fresh face' in a brand-new industry.

What work were you doing previously?

Hospitality: restaurants and running bars.

What are you doing now?

I work in the property trade, running a fast property-buying service.

Why did you change?

The workload and unsocial hours became too much.

When was the moment you decided to make the change?

There wasn't an exact moment when I decided I needed to change, but over time I realised that my drive for running bars wasn't as strong as it initially had been.

When that starts to happen, you know you need to make a change.

Are you happy with the change?


A change of career was needed, I needed a new challenge outside the hospitality business, and property was something that I was always interested in. Plus, the hours are more social, which helps with my family life!

What do you miss and what don't you miss?

At first I did miss all the positives of running my own bars, especially the social side and my work colleagues. Being able to run a good night when all your customers are happy is really satisfying.

However, I don't miss the day to day stuff, such as the very late nights and early mornings – it becomes your life! I found I had very little social life outside of work and generally not a lot of time for anything else.

How did you go about making the shift?

I was introduced to property by my (now) wife, who at the time was working in an estate agency, but looking to invest in her first project in East London.

I've always had an interest in property and thought about changing to join her. But first I needed to sell my business, which took a huge amount of work. In the end it all paid off: I found a buyer and joined my wife's business a year later.

What didn't go well? What 'wrong turns' did you take?

The transition into the new business was the easy part; the hard part was selling my old business.

I needed to tie up loose ends, making sure everyone involved was well treated, which was quite tricky after 15 years.

How did you handle your finances to make your change possible?

The sale of the business made it possible.

I don't think I could have done it without leaving completely.

What was the most difficult thing about changing?

I was keen to get going with the new business, but it was imperative that we found a good buyer and jumped through all the necessary hoops to get the sale completed. This took around six months and was incredibly stressful!

After this, the hardest part of changing career was coming from a business which I had run for 15 years – a business that I was experienced in and knowledgeable about – to a business where I had no experience or knowledge to add.

This was a strange feeling. Initially, it had a knock-on effect on my confidence when dealing with customers and the legal process of buying a property. But it wasn't too long before I adapted and brought my skills from my old business to the new.

What help did you get?

I went into business with my wife, whose family has a strong background in property in Belgium.

They gave (and still give) some great advice on what to invest in, and what margins to look for. This was a great help, because when you're keen to get going it's easy to rush into things which can become costly mistakes later on. They helped us control the pace at which we grew, so as not to financially overexpose ourselves.

What have you learnt in the process?

A huge amount.

It's a bit of a cliché, but nothing is impossible. It felt like I had a mountain to climb to change careers, but I managed it, so I'm pretty sure anyone can.

What do you wish you'd done differently?

It all went pretty well, but maybe I should've done it sooner in life.

What would you advise others to do in the same situation?

Go for it!

To find out more about Rupert's services, visit www.vivopropertybuyers.co.uk.

This story was sourced by www.atom42.co.uk.

What lessons could you take from Rupert's story to use in your own career change? Let us know in the comments below.

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