Julia Dadic moved to London three years from Melbourne, Australia, a leap which she says is one of her biggest achievements so far. She moved to a big new city with very few connections. Here, she shares some of her career highlights and how she immersed herself in wellness culture, figured out which brand she wanted to work for, and went after the job with relentless enthusiasm and passion.
Now, when asked about her career… Julia is enthusiastic about and proud of her role as a Junior Planner at Lululemon. But it wasn’t always that way.
Graduating in 2011 from the Melbourne School of Fashion in ‘Fashion Business and Retail Management’, Julia has overseen and developed key processes across Allocations and Planning functions for several companies including Target, ALDO Footwear and GUESS Inc. Her work has taken her across the world, working in Melbourne, Sydney and now London. Having grown up as a dancer, Julia embodied wellness and fitness from an early age. These deep roots coupled with her passion for wellness prompted her desire to transition from the corporate to the wellness industry.
We asked Julia to share a little more about her career transition into the wellness industry.
What inspired you to want to work in wellness?
Around 4 years ago I was lucky enough to meet a recruiter from Lululemon in Melbourne, and I was engaged from our first conversation. We talked about the company culture, the importance of having a vision, setting goals and wanting to help raise awareness of wellness in the wider community. Every word resonated with me.
Having grown up as a dancer, my personal life in wellness started from an early age, so the thought of embodying my personal life of wellness into a career in the wellness industry was extremely exciting to me. I work in wellness because it compliments my personal life any embodies my core values. Working in corporate culture, I felt undervalued and found the environment politically charged rather than soul nourishing. A culture that cared about the bottom line number first and rewarding long hours over the quality of work.
Being a type ‘A’ personality I’d constantly fall into the trap of working 12 + hour days, saying ‘yes’ to everything and in turn, I found myself constantly fatigued and ignoring all the warning signs my body was giving me. Being dissatisfied, I researched health & wellbeing companies, and I soon came to realise that there are companies out there that do support professional and personal growth but without compromising one’s health and wellbeing.
Now that you work in the industry, what would be your main piece of advice for anyone out there who wants to do the same?
My main piece of advice would be, to allow yourself to be vulnerable. I found it hard at times to transition into the wellness culture, although it lived within me I’d been conditioned to be in corporate culture for many years. So when it came to letting my guard down and being real with people I found it challenging at times.
By allowing yourself to be vulnerable, you open up so many more doors.
By allowing yourself to be vulnerable, you open up so many more doors.
What were the crucial steps and action that you took that helped you get to where you are today?
One of the crucial steps that helped me was getting out into the industry – exercising, going to different fitness studios across London and attending events like Balance Festival. This enabled situations where I could have conversations with like-minded people who not only gave advice but were a source of inspiration to find work in wellness. It was actually at an Xtend Barre class where I met Lauren Armes (Founder of Welltodo) who connected me with the team at Lululemon in London!
Can you share the main milestones in terms of the timeframes around your career?
The actual transition from my prior role in corporate to my new role in wellbeing took just over 6 weeks, though the journey started years prior to this. As part of my personal interests, I spend a lot of time networking with like-minded people in the wellness industry, through exercising, attending wellness events, and through social media. When I chose to actively start looking for a role in the wellness industry and making myself open to offers, these connections helped me connect with the Lululemon recruitment team.
At Lululemon I had several interviews including face to face, over the phone and what they call “a sweat date”. I was required to meet with various people from Managers to Directors and fellow peers, to not only ensure I was skilled for the job but fit culturally.
What were the challenges you faced along the way?
The main challenge I faced when trying to transition into the wellness industry was finding companies that could offer the level of position that I was currently in, (Senior Assistant Merchandiser, at the time). And, sometimes you do have to go backwards to go forwards. When connecting with Lululemon they only had a Senior Allocator role available, and although a step back in terms of title, the experience became essential in allowing me to grow into where I am now.
What is the key set of skills your job requires of you and have you had to upskill?
My job requires me to have previous planning/inventory experience and have worked with merchandising systems. Intermediate to advanced excel knowledge as well as general office applications. Other than technical skills, I am required to be able to work in a team and independently, be extremely organised and have effective communication skills with high attention to detail.
Are there any myths or misconceptions about working in the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector within the wellness industry that you want to debunk?
Friends and family often comment on my social media activity whether it be practising yoga at work, sweating in various workouts in studios across London, attending wellness events (ie. Lululemon Sweatlife, The Balance Festival) and travelling Europe to store locations. I always get the same question, ‘do you even work?’. It makes me laugh every time!
What they don’t see is all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Even though I work in the wellness industry, there are still those challenges which are consistent with any successful business, however, unlike the corporate industry, I now have the right support to deal with those day to day stresses, for instance, daily yoga and meditation practises are commonplace at Lululemon.
Finally…. tell us, what do you love about working in the industry?
I always believed that work should be an extension of one’s self and daily life. The wellness industry allows me to embrace this. I find being around like-minded people who value the same things as I do provides me with great inspiration and motivation.
I love working for a brand that values me as a whole person and not just another number, who provides support and empowers me to be the best version of myself each and every day!
I love working for a brand that values me as a whole person…