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.

Chinese flag bearer working abroad dream career
One Young World summit. I was lucky and honored to be selected as the China flag bearer.

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.

aircraft wing and sunset on the road to your career dreams
Setting off on a new adventure gave me time to reflect on all the professional and personal dreams I was chasing. ©Julia Titova/EyeEm

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.

Snowboarder looking over mountains working abroad dream career
DJing and snowboarding were new hobbies I picked up in Germany. I probably wouldn’t have learnt either in China. The experience in another country gave me the passion to explore new things.

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.


Please take note of the commenting guidelines.
You will receive an email to approve your comment.
Please take note of the commenting guidelines.
You will receive an email to approve your comment.

Thanks for your comment

You will receive an email to approve your comment. It will only appear after your confirmation.


Oh no! An unexpected error occurred.

Try again
by ML 16.02.2017
Yeah Wuuuuuzy! Welxome to usa.
by Daniela 21.02.2017
Inspiring note Jack, thanks for sharing!
Glad we met along your journey!
by Ariane 17.03.2017
Hi Jack, there are a couple of thoughts that really resonate with me. Great you took the step into the unknown! Keep chasing the stars :-)
by Jack Ariane 22.03.2017
thank you Ariane, stars are looking great here, too. thanks for the comment, look forward to seeing you again soon. all the best
by Gemina Stroud 22.03.2017
Excellent read, as I contemplate my next move, Jack! Confidence is everything! This is a magnificent universe...bringing us what we focus on. I am focusing on a future that will allow me to help bring change to people's lives.
by Jack Gemina Stroud 22.03.2017
Yes Gemina, be confident and focused on what you can do. and it will happen :) good luck and all the best