Thinking of transitioning your career away from the corporate sector and into the dynamic world of a challenger brand thriving in the $4.2 trillion wellness sector?
Victoria Young, General Manager of Europe at YesTo –– the fastest growing natural beauty brand in the US, did just that.
Starting out in the FMCG industry selling beer from the boot of her first company car for Coors, she gradually moved up the ranks working for some of the world’s leading companies including Heineken, Unilever, Mars and Danone, before making the leap into the world of wellness.
Today Young is responsible for bringing YesTo to Europe – creating the strategic direction for the innovative beauty brand and leading the team to deliver it.
Here she shares the truth about working in the wellness industry and how she’s used the experience she gained in the corporate world to thrive within a challenger brand that’s turning the beauty market on its head…..
“This is by far the best job I have ever had,” says Young, “because the wellness industry aligns so closely with my own values, it means I get to live and breathe my passion every day.”
But she cautions, “I think there’s a myth that working in wellness is easy.”
While the industry obviously values health, wellness and life balance, it doesn’t mean that employees are sitting around drinking Kombucha and playing ping-pong all day, she argues.
The truth is: working for a wellness startup, especially a challenger brand doesn’t mean you’re working any less.
In fact, according to Young, when working for a company like YesTo you may regularly be required to go above your job spec – particularly if it’s a challenger brand with big goals, championing transparency, authenticity, autonomy and creativity.
So, what’s the secret to successfully transitioning from a corporate role to a wellness challenger brand? Based on her own experience, Young reveals her top tips.
An Entrepreneurial Mindset
The most successful candidates at challenger brands are the mavericks. They have an appetite for diving in, learning as they go, and are excited to create processes that don’t yet exist. They aren’t sitting back waiting for direction, they’re out in front laying their own track.
Product Passion and Alignment
Working in wellness isn’t just another job, you’ve got to be personally invested in what you’re doing beyond a salary or performance bonus. Are you truly passionate about the product? Does the brand share your same values? In a lean operating structure, which is often the case within challenger brands, there’s really nowhere to hide misalignment.
Knowing the Rules and When To Break Them
One of the greatest benefits of having experience in a traditional, big-brand corporate environment is all the rich training, deep networks, best practices and proven processes it exposes you to. This kind of experience is invaluable when it comes to understanding how to succeed within a wellness challenger brand like YesTo, especially where there are hidden opportunities to win.
Championing Your Own Wellness
The demands of working at a lean challenger brand often means there isn’t the same depth of resource that you’d find in a big corporate environment. You might not find a human resource team organizing health workshops, handing out stress balls and enforcing coffee breaks, so you need to become your own wellness champion, monitoring and investing in yourself in ways that work for you.