Christian Smith | Head of ESG Stakeholder Engagement - Zalando

client stories Jul 07, 2021

Christian was looking to take his next step post-redundancy. He worked with Shannon through our Shift Careers program to carve out a narrative from his diverse background and find the confidence to put himself forward.


I had been working as a sustainable business manager and went through redundancy. It was my first ever job in sustainability and I really didn’t know where to go next.


We really went over my most recent role but also tried to connect the threads with the other kind of careers that I had had so far. I grew up in West Africa and I had lived in Brazil, the US and Japan. I was all over the place geographically. What we tried to do was really connect all the different strands to figure out what the connective tissues were.

That led to updating my CV, for example, trying to pull out things that I’d done and accomplishments and create a narrative.It allowed me to really understand not only that I had accomplished things, but that there were connective tissues between them.

"It also gave me the confidence to really explain to people why certain decisions had been made or what I had learned from certain places I'd worked."

That then led to me being able to adapt and move into another space.

There was a lot of retrospection and introspection in order to provide me with the confidence to really go out to people and speak about what I could do, what I was able to offer, but also to really use the knowledge that I had built from my most recent role and through my academic work and put it in a light that people could see where I could add value.


It gave me the confidence to really go out and speak to people about what I was able to offer. To be confident enough in the knowledge I had, that I was filling the gaps that were there, knew things that other people didn't know and was able to make connections that other people didn't have.

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