Unedited moments in my life, using a personal ink to portray what lies beneath the picture.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Lessons I Learned From Working Abroad

So, I needed a new adventure and decided to pack my bags, hop onto the next flight to England and go live my best life!  Geez, I wish it were that easy and life was always as aesthetically pleasing as my instagram suggests! Anyway...

Before hopping onto a plane and beginning my new chapter there was an endless list of mundane admin to get through, such as applying for a visa, liaising with my employers,  sorting out accommodation and the easy and fun part-booking my flight!

Once all that was sorted I was excited but nervous about my new chapter! I’ve always loved a new challenge and stepping out of my comfort zone, but this time around It was more daunting as I was finally taking that leap of faith and closer to living the life of my dreams.

So finally the day came and I was off to England. Fast forward a few months later and working as a young female South African content writer has already afforded me with great opportunities and life changing experiences. Here are some of the lessons I learned from my experience.

Persevere and be resilient
I was approached by the editor of The Fashion Network to be a freelance writer. I, however realised I would gain more exposure by being in the office and working with the rest of the team. I then deferred my final year of studies and grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Working before graduating wasn’t part of the plan but I persevered and decided to once again, move to a different country.

Be Intentional
I learned to be intentional in everything I do. From interviewing industry professionals to writing my articles-being intentional paved the way for other career opportunities.

Preparation Is Key
I learned the secret to a successful life is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.  I'm far from being successful but I've learned to always apply the above in everything I do.

Making Mistakes is Part of the Journey
I remember the first time I was covering a behind the scenes for a clothing brand, I published images they didn’t approve of. I was obviously frantic during the meeting but my boss reassured me that it’s all part of the learning process.

Learn to trust yourself
Self-discovery for me is always paramount when I’m abroad. Working in fashion abroad seems glamorous but behind the industry events and the champagne there are goals to be reached. I learned I need be stern in my values, utitlise all my opportunities and keep an open mind. However, the greatest lesson I learned about self discovery is : Learn to trust yourself! You are the only one in this new chapter and the only way to move forward is to trust and believe you’re on the right track!

Being Different is Your Greatest Weapon
I quickly realised I stand out because I’m different. Lol besides the big curly hair, my accent and story is different and that is what set me apart and left a lasting impression

Make Time For Alone Time
It’s very easy to be absorbed by your work especially when a part of your job role consists of drinking champagne and eating canapés but making time for what YOU want to do is imperative and allows for re-energising and re-alignment. I learned to set aside time to do what I want to do alone.

Challenge yourself to do Something New Every Week
The one way to be more open-minded is by trying out something new every week. It could be going to a yoga class, spoken word, going on a date or even travelling alone.

I learned to always network wherever I go. Be it at an event or even at a random café. When you sound different, people are usually interested and that sparks up a conversation. Networking helped me gain more contacts, opened doors for me in the industry and formed new friendships. Networking has also helped me build my own personal brand.

Embrace Your Heritage
Because I’m from a different country, people tend to want to know more  about my country of origin. I realised from living in America that it is imperative to embrace your heritage and be knowledgeable. South Africa is a rich melting pot of cultures and heritages and people want to know more. I learned it is my responsibility to change the narrative about my country and continent as the media has wrongfully portrayed it.

Dance Like No One is Watching!
I learned to be less fearful, to let go, choose my battles wisely and to care less about what others think! I have learned to live life the way I want to live it and not the way I think I’m supposed to live it!


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