Why I leave Decathlon for an ecommerce start up

Have you ever tried to take a risk? I did it, and I ended up working as a SEO Manager for an ecommerce start up in London.

multinational corporation - ecommerce start up1 year and 10 months. 673 days. That is the amount of time I spent at Decathlon UK Campus in London, working part-time as a Running Specialist. Decathlon has been the first place where I dropped my CV and had my first job interview in London. I was picked straight away, thanks to what I learnt in many years of athletics. After 673 days, it was the right time for a career change.

 

Here are the reasons why I left Decathlon for another job:

– No career progression: although I’ve had some chances to become a department manager, I am not interested in a shop floor retail career. On the other hand, the Head Office doors were all closed to me, apparently with no plausible reasons.

– Routinary job: 600 and more Gait Analysis were more than enough to lose motivation. Even though helping runners to find the best gear is somehow rewarding, I simply got bored.

– Physical duties: working along the very, very long Decathlon aisles is such a physical job. From March 25th, my Jawbone bracelet tracked more than 1500 km (932 miles!) walked on the shop floor. Let’s throw in also all the heavy weights lifted up during deliveries and all the steps I took whilst going up and down the layout (I am 5 feet, the step ladder has been my best friend). My endless injury (finally now in recovery) didn’t help, for the record.

I loved and hated Decathlon at the same time. The ever-changing shop floor gang has always been friendly and pleasant. On the other hand, I think that there is a major lack of presence and organisation from the national operational centre, which makes everyone’s job pointlessly complicated and hard to optimise. I also feel that sometimes the UK Campus Store Manager – a nice guy who’s very good at his job – has his hands tied up and can’t do anything.

What’s my next quest now?

I love SEO. Challenging and cooperating with search engines is a subtle and delicate art. You have to make web pages attractive to search engines and in the same time be human friendly.

I started developing my SEO skills writing here on Daily Pinner blog, then evolving my knowledge through my crime author website and Chase Williams. Mostly, I worked on the Amazon pages of my mystery fiction ebooks. I made tons of mistakes, learned from the SEO gurus, started seeing the first results and mentored fellow authors and friends with their own businesses. I am still reading and experimenting every day. Eventually I took my decision: I wanted to become a full-time SEO specialist. That’s why I’ve been searching and seeking everywhere until I found what I was looking for.

Last June 6th I started working for Wauwaa during my Decathlon days off. Wauwaa is an ecommerce boutique of baby products, maternity essentials and kidswear. After a few weeks I’ve been promoted SEO Lead. In the next few hours, my role as SEO Manager will turn permanent and full time. I joined the company as an intern and now I am (almost) a 100% pure Wauwaa employee. Wow. Wauwaa is on its start-up phase, but everyone is very positive about the company evolution since we’re growing exponentially. We are all working hard and I am very happy for the trust that the whole Wauwaa team, CEO and COO heading, have put in my SEO skills.

The best thing of Wauwaa is that it’s not a conventional ecommerce like many others in the baby retail market. Wauwaa is also a hub where mothers and fathers can find several parenting hacks and is becoming a point of reference and information on kids and parents’ world. Wauwaa’s content area features a number of blogs and videos useful also for whom is not a fresh new parent anymore.

At the end of the day, I’ll be working in the retail field, I’ve just moved my actions from the first line to behind the scenes, always making sure that people can find the best products and resources according to their personal needs.

For three months I worked 6 or 7 days out of 7, doing 12 hours of physiotherapy every single week and moving around London with 5kg of backpack on my tiny shoulders. I can’t deny that sometimes it’s been something really hard to cope with. I quit my job in a multinational corporation to embrace the startup culture. And I feel good, full of life, with a lot of energy and the will to improve myself in every aspect.

Don’t be scared of taking risks in your life and changing your career, take what life is going to deliver you with positivity and you will reap the fruits of your sacrifices.

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  • Well done Stefania! I think you made the right choice. There was clearly no future for you in Decathlon, or at least no future that could see your skills and talents rewarded. This new position for a start-up company is challenging, but it will give you the chance to grow with the company and to learn new things as you grow with them.

    I do believe in taking risks. I have taken many in my life, such as when I set up my own business in 2007, or when I left Italy when at the age of 20 with only £350 in my pockets and I ventured for London with no job and no place to live. And yet I managed, and I did OK.

    In Sardinian language we have a wonderful proverb, which translated would sound like “if you want to fish, you need to get your bum wet at times” – and I strongly believe that ;-)

    • Thank you, Martina.

      I have to admit that it’s been hard sometimes, especially because I haven’t had any one single day off for three months. You can feel the tiredness at a certain time, but you can’t stop.

      Eventually it really paid back. I’d do it again and again again, maybe even better and working even harder, if possible.

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