A journey of a thousand steps starts when you hit the“Publish now” button.
And in case you’ve continued reading after this cheesy headline, allow me to tell you what I mean.
About a year ago — and yes, this exact calculation adds weight to what I will talk you through —I did the unthinkable. I left London. For good.
I left behind what my friends and family, and just about everyone in their right mind on this planet, would argue was a very comfortable lifestyle of working for a FTSE250 company, having settled in a beautiful apartment overlooking Canary Wharf, earning good money in Pound Sterling, having unlimited access to the finest Earl Grey and of course having the privilege to be a resident of one of the most exciting cities in the world. It somehow seemed like I had finally made sense of living in Britain. I “had it all”.
Not really, though. I actually had nothing.
Courage kicked in, and I also ran out of patience to convince myself that I should be happy there (because “I had it all” — DUH), not to mention that I ran out of tissues and excuses for looking miserable, tired and genuinely unhappy. I packed almost seven years into boxes, walked all the way to work crossing the entire city for the last time, tried to cry dramatically (didn’t work) and left.
It was Christmas and I was at home, without an agenda, and without a return flight back to London for the first time in years. Inevitably, this transition was quite surreal for both me and everyone around, and yet to finally have enough time to be present in the lives of the people I love was the biggest gift I could wish for.
This meant that I could finally have the guts to work towards my plan to find my dream job and move to Berlin, an idea that was born out of my instant crush on Berlin’s magnetising authenticity. There simply wasn’t (and still isn’t!) any place like it for me.
I don’t remember approaching anything in my life without a clear action strategy or structure, and my ambition to move to Berlin was not an exception to this practice.
With time I realised that CVs and Cover Letters can’t really speak for my personality, nor address my knowledge and passion. This is why I decided to go all in for my job search, and build an entire marketing campaign.
This is when Beloved Berlin was born.
I was eager to strip down to my core identity — without pretence or hype. Just me. I knew that to achieve this, I have to go beyond words on paper, motivational bullshit, fancy CVs and trying to please hiring managers by modifying myself according to their expectations.
Now —here’s something that I would really like to put emphasis on. For me, at this stage, finding the right role, in the right company, was not just a simple career wish. It encompassed the fundamental lesson — and from then on — my mantra, which I religiously follow every day of my life now:
Nothing good comes out of not being yourself.
This is why I knew that when I put all of the pieces of this campaign together — the video, the website, the social media presence — I will not only be able to reach out to people (on scale) showing them who I truly am, but I will also be able to get to that one specific person, in this one specific company, who would want to hire not just another Marketing person, but ME.
I was astonished. A few hours after I hit “Publish now” and I shared my first (and funny enough — only) social media post, I had reached a tremendous amount of views.
The website went live at 8am on February 1st, and by the time I managed to put myself together and check Google Analytics (4pm), I had already hit 770 Pageviews from 211 UUs. My friends were sharing the post via social media, my parents were calling their friends to tell them that I’ve done something crazy and they might as well take a look at it, my ex colleagues were sending me messages telling me that they’re very impressed, and I got mails from complete strangers complimenting me on my approach and telling me that “that’s the way to do it!”
As much as I was hoping that I will manage to get attention, I was not ready to be in the ‘spotlight’. I didn’t want to be this ‘cool girl’ who did this ‘cool video’ about Berlin. I didn't care whether my website will ‘go viral’.
I just wanted to land my dream job. I wanted to prove myself that I was worthy — in contrast to the long list of rejections I received along the way in my job search in Berlin prior to launching the campaign. I was not on any sort of ego trip. I just wanted to reach out to the one company which would give me this goddamn job.
And I did.
Daniel and I met at the adsquare office — which is now the place I spend most of my time at — just hours after I moved to Berlin, a week after he sent me this email. We were so much on the same page, that at the end of our 3.5-hr interview, I told him that I would love to come to work on Monday.
Six hours after the interview, at the middle of the night, I received an email from him in which he formally offered me the Marketing Manager position. From then on, Daniel and I grew to be an invincible team with numerous achievements, and I can wholeheartedly say that when I imagined the perfect job, in the perfect team, in the perfect company, I was envisioning my role as Marketing Manager at adsquare.
I look back at the time I was putting together the pieces of the Beloved Berlin puzzle quite often. I don’t look back at it as something that I did, because I didn’t do it alone. I did it with the help of my beloved friends, who shot scenes of the video with me at -15C; I did it with the help of my family, who stood by me when I was battling rejections; I did it with the help of strangers, who were sharing my story with their network…
I look back at this time, because for the first time ever, I had the guts to be myself. I wouldn’t trade this for anything in this world.
A year later, I just opened another chapter of my time at adsquare by stepping into my new shoes of a Senior Marketing Manager. The long journey that brought me here is also the biggest lesson I’ve learned to date.
Hand in hand with this new begining, it’s time that I give Beloved Berlin a new life and a new identity. And just like the beginning of this story, the new BB journey will start when I get that adrenaline rush which will help me hit the ‘Publish now’ button once again.