At 18, Tim Sekundyak dropped out of Sixth Form, now he helps others with no experience find their dream job

Amy O'Neill

Starting out with no experience in a competitive job market might seem unthinkable, but that's exactly what Tim did...

We caught up with Tim, founder of @dropoutdough on Instagram, to talk about why his decision to drop out of school in Sixth Form was the best decision he ever made for his career. By building up a small, but dedicated community of students, graduates, and job-seekers, he's had the opportunity to help hundreds of others like him to land their dream jobs with little to no experience. 

Now, what started as a small project to help others has evolved into a new breed of e-learning platform with the goal of empowering early talent to go after the types of jobs and opportunities they want - regardless of their on-paper experience.

He shares some of his own story, his best piece of career advice, and why your mindset is your most powerful job-hunting asset below:

First, tell us a little bit about yourself.

"Sure, my name is Timur Sekundyak and at 18 years old I dropped out of Sixth Form. There were a lot of reasons as to why I dropped out but the only one that matters is that I had pretty bad anxiety in school - I always felt like I was wasting my life by sitting inside of a classroom while there were people out there working hard to make their dreams a reality.

So, that wasn't a compromise I was willing to make, and at 18 I decided to drop out. Looking back, I can connect the dots and say that this decision was the best one I've made in my life so far, but back then it certainly didn't feel like it.

I had zero ideas of what I was going to do when I dropped out. Zero previous experience in a job, no network, no connections, no rich parents, no trust fund, no safety net - but I still knew that one day I'd make things work.

This is the very dramatic story of where my inspiration for DropoutDough came from."


What made you launch DropoutDough, and what led to you expanding it further into a full-scale course?

"DropoutDough started as a community on Instagram where people who have zero work experience can connect, network, and share their experiences by going into the job market for the first time. If I'm being honest it was also a place to vent for a lot of people - those who are unhappy with or disappointed by their formal education.

We then saw a gap in the market in helping people land that crucial first job they need. Then we began helping people in our community with short-form content like eBooks, cheat sheets, etc. This is how Career Creator came about.

To be honest I'm just creating something I wish I had when I was looking for my first job at 18."


Have you seen any common problems in those you've helped so far?

"As it stands 56% of grads in the UK are only employed full time 15 months after graduating. 15 months is a long time!

The most common roadblock to landing your first job is mindset, by far. Most people entering the world of work don't know how to sell themselves, they only see themselves as a commodity because they begin realising that they aren't all that different from the other people applying for that position, who are also fresh from university.

The way to stand out is always based on mindset, this is why we spend a whole module on it in our Career Creator programme.

How can you make yourself stand out from the crowd if everyone has more or less similar backgrounds? Mindset."


"Whether you get hired doesn't depend on your degree, grades, qualifications, or your experience. The only two things that matter are your mindset and what you can prove."


What can students expect from the Career Creator platform?

"Career Creator is a full-circle programme that takes students from first understanding what they want to do with their careers, in other words, how do they want to spend their time in their early/mid-twenties. It talks about dealing with mental health, social media, relationships with those dear to you, how to build a stronger foundation and mentality, and how to work more effectively and produce higher quality results.

And this is all before we get into the career stuff. They'll then be taught how to write a CV with absolutely zero experience, how to apply for jobs via different methods of outreach, land themselves interviews consistently, achieve a 60-80% offer rate on their interviews (virtual and in-person), secure multiple offers, and negotiate for the best salary.

Then we take it even further by teaching them how to present themselves in the first couple of months in the position. Office etiquette, setting and managing expectations, passing probation, and setting themselves up for a successful career. This is all supplemented by templates, cheat sheets,
trackers, workbooks, and of course our community. 

In Career Creator, students are never told to do something without being shown how to do it. Our goal with this programme is to ensure that once someone buys it, that will be the final thing they buy on career advancement."


What piece of career advice do you wish you'd had a little bit earlier?

"Complacency kills."


Finally, can you share any tips for those starting with 0 experience? Where should they start?

"Whether you get hired doesn't depend on your degree, grades, qualifications, or your experience. The only two things that matter are your mindset and what you can prove."


You can learn more about the work Tim's doing by following the @dropoutdough Instagram account or check out their Career Creator here.