Last fall, I was lucky to be selected from a Global Talent Program at the adidas Group to attend the incredible One Young World summit in Ottawa, Canada. Meeting leaders like Kofi Annan and Justin Trudeau, Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, and even Cher, was inspiring. But what took the experience to another level was hearing stories from my peers. I met young guys fighting against climate change, others devoting their lives to LGBTQ rights, girls from the Middle East striving for gender equality, as well as business professionals like me – all passionate about using their platform to change people’s lives.
This experience had a huge impact on me and I almost came back as a different person. It urges me to keep listening to my heart, remain passionate and devoted to my dreams. Only then is one’s life truly meaningful.
This milestone moment coincided with the start of my new career as Senior Retail Marketing Manager at adidas US, thanks to the same Global Talent Program, which transferred me from Germany to Portland. How could I possibly kick off my new life any better? It got me thinking about the journey I’ve had so far, following my career dreams, and the importance of taking that first – and the hardest – step.
Making that first move
Back in 2015, I left my job as Senior Brand Manager and home in China. I was anxious, for sure, as this was my first international relocation. A dive into the unknown. But I remember how excited I felt on the way to the airport. The feeling was that of joy and celebration, of realizing a long-waited dream of moving and working abroad.
The steps that got me there had been full of obstacles. It took more than a year. I had a lot of ups and downs and was close to giving up.
I’ve always wanted to develop myself into a global business leader, and eventually return to my home country, and help bridge the gap between east and west. This inner voice encouraged me to carry on, and the secret power, the law of attraction, eventually got me to my goal.
The pieces are coming together
In September 2016, I packed everything I had – again – and hopped on a flight to Portland. I was excited, but also relaxed. The process had been smooth; only three months from job interview to onboarding. It was almost as if it was destined to happen. All part of a bigger plan.
Now, two years and two moves later, it’s clear how challenging that first step was – but it was also crucial for making the second one happen. I believe that’s how it’s supposed to be in life as you pursue your career ambitions.
In China, we say the hardest part is the beginning. Once you have persisted and overcome the biggest obstacle, the rest will be much easier. Mentally, I am now more at ease and better prepared, because I have learned through experience that confidence and persistence are the most valuable strengths you can have on your side when chasing your goals.
Let confidence and persistence lift you toward your dreams.