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WGSN HQ: 3 career change inspirations from our team

As a planning OCD person myself, embracing the fact that things do not always go the way we designed is a constant work in progress. But, sometimes, change is about the best thing that can happen to you: it leads you through undiscovered routes, the growths of learning, new and exciting paths – if you allow yourself to embark on the journey, of course.

So how to you deal with change? Say, you discover you’re actually the heiress to the kingdom of a small country squeezed in the heart of Europe and your long-lost grandma is currently the ruling queen? Ok, pop-culture Princess Diaries references aside, let’s think of more down-to-earth changes: a new position opens at the company you currently work at that’s just what you were yearning for – yay. Trick is: it’s in another department. Would you go for it?

While we should be open for change at all times, sometimes we just… Can’t. And for those times when you’re feeling like keeping the status quo, looking sideways can help – how did the lives of the people around you have changed in ways they haven’t planned (or hoped for) and they turned out fine? Or rather, better than fine, actually surprisingly great?

At WGSN, we believe in knowing where you’re going, but letting yourself get lost once in a while. We believe in side streets and detours. If you’re waiting to turn that passion for writing into a personal blog or ask HR what other positions are open in your company right now, we say: go for it. Take the first step. Dive into it.

For some inspiration for that much-needed change – or just a coping hand when life has dealt you an unexpected hand – we chatted with 3 of our team members on how their professional lives have changed since they started their journey at WGSN. This week, we’ll introduce you to Georgie Hyatt, our South African turned Londoner who, since her start as a WGSN team-member, has moved from Sales to Client Services and is loving every minute of it.

@georgiehyatt

Georgie Hyatt, Client Service Specialist

Her trick? Try everything until you find something you like.

This South Africa native relocated to London moved by the unknown, untapped opportunities and side roads the city holds. One of them was working for WGSN, which took her into an unexpected career move from Sales to Client Services team down the road. This music lover – with a special place in her heart for Afro beat, house, South African hip hop and salsa – and shoeless-outdoor-dancer, shared a bit of her journey with us to help inspire your new change-embracing, positive-thinking self.

Did you always have a set plan of where you planned to work and live at?

I have always known that I was going to study in Cape Town and then move to London, but I didn’t specifically know what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. I have the (maybe questionable) strategy that I try everything until I find something I like. Because I love so many different industries and ideas, finding WGSN was a gold mine for me: it is a way to be involved with fashion, consumer insights, interior and arts, all at once. These are things that light a fire in my belly. Also, it’s really inspiring to be around people with similar interests and passions. I have made some lifelong friends here.

Your journey is marked by two major changes. First one was moving from South Africa to the UK. How did it happen?

I decided I was going to move from Durban to London because I realized that London, to me, is the center of the world. It is an amalgamation of so many different people and ideas and the rest of the world is so accessible from there. I love the unknown possibilities and opportunities that might arise from meeting someone or going somewhere in the city. At the same time, I always carry South Africa with me wherever I go. It is such an inspiring, beautiful country with people filled with such warmth, optimism and passion. I feel very lucky to have grown up there.

London’s unknown possibilities and opportunities… Tell us about one.

My favorite example was on a Monday afternoon, when I was sitting at my desk at work and saw on Instagram that one of my favorite singers, Khalid, was in town. I asked around the office if anyone knew if he was doing any shows. A few hours later I found myself blagging my way, using a man’s name, into a tiny private Khalid performance for 50 people, on Hackney Roof Gardens, where he performed directly in front of me, chatted with us afterwards and then danced with everyone. It was one of the most thrilling revelations, knowing that an ordinary day could become extraordinary in London by just asking a few questions and being open to possibilities.

The second big change was your move from the Sales team to a Client Service Specialist role. When did you decide to go for it?

I decided to change from Sales to Client Services when I realized I wanted to be in more of a relationship building, people role as I thrive off working with people, helping them solve their problems. That was also where I had more of an opportunity to improve my presentation skills as I love public speaking.

What’s the importance of not sticking to the main roads in life?

I find that the most memorable moments happen when you don’t make plans. An uncle whom I admired for his adventurous spirit – and who did the Mongol Derby twice amongst other incredible feats – always said “travel close to the ground”, which I take to heart. This means to meet local people, have conversations, authentic experiences, learn, and don’t be afraid to change your plans, routes, ideas and destinations. A memorable ‘getting lost’ moment was when I was travelling with my brother in a jungle town, Taganga, on the North-East coast of Colombia.

We ended up befriending a fugitive Nigerian man, who turned out to own a sandwich shop in a converted garage. He took us to visit the spot, where the soundtrack was one of our favorite African bands, Amadou & Mariam, and the place served the freshest, tastiest Caribbean chicken baguettes we had ever had. Needless to say, we returned for seconds on our way back from the Jungle camping expedition.

Do you ever imagine yourself changing zip codes again?

I would love to move countries again later on down the line when I have acquired my British passport. San Francisco and Tokyo are next on the list of cities I’d like to live in.

We believe that the future isn’t a destination. It’s 100% within you. To see what other beliefs we share, check out wgsn.com/wgsn

 

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