27 yr. old marketing and digital media specialist Melinda G. has worked in fashion and online retail since graduating in 2010. She spent five days with EWO in 2012 after questioning (after two years of short-term junior roles) whether fashion was the right industry for her next career move.
She sought a clear plan of how to approach her next job search, and whether to stay in a tough industry with long hours and little apparent reward or progression for new graduates.
“I felt at the time as if finding a decent role in fashion was impossible. I’d been made redundant and felt as if I offered either too much or too little experience wherever I turned.”
“My week with Eyes Wide Opened gave me a huge confidence boost. The active listening sessions and the conversations about using your entire networks were memorable and I still apply the coaches’ advice today. I also found the work around connecting your career aims back to your values and beliefs really useful – it helps you not only define why you have certain ‘leanings’ , but also why other people might behave so differently to you.”
In 2016 Melinda made the bold decision (after “no break between school, Uni, first job”) to quit the London rat race and realise a long-held ambition to move to Berlin. She planned the move without a role in mind and stayed open to ideas. As she was preparing, a spontaneous application to online fashion retail giant Zalando led not only to an immediate interview in Berlin, but a promotion within the interview and the offer of a position in a more senior role than she applied for…
Now, in 2017, after a year a senior digital strategist there, she is happy with her work-life picture.
“It’s been a challenging year as it was my first management role, but I really enjoy leading a team of very different personalities and creating a culture of fairness that respects people’s different values and ’starting points’. I’m also constantly impressed by the access I have to such vast resources that a company of this scale (11,000 employees in 15 markets) can offer.
“Looking back, the EWO experience was an invaluable opportunity to work out ‘how I worked’ and what might suit me best. It’s also a great place to reflect on how you come across. So much of today’s judgmental online world involves being taken at face value and I think young people launching their careers need to consider how they present themselves in every type of situation, on and offline. There’s a lot of ‘oversharing’ going on and we can forget that any employer and any future business contact will always be able to find that unwise post or photo…”