We had the good fortune of connecting with Joanna Socha and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joanna, how do you think about risk?
In December 2019, I decided to change my stable editor’s job at a prestigious business magazine for a freelancer’s unpredictable, unstable life. I wanted to have more time to focus on W Insight, a women-oriented platform about careers. But, of course, back then, I didn’t realize that the weird virus that the media were starting to discuss would soon turn into a global pandemic. As I left my job, I wondered whether I would be able to make a living without a stable monthly salary. That was the risk I thought I was taking. I didn’t realize I would soon face many more challenges – the ability to network and meet sources in real life, the impact of lockdown on my psychological well-being, and the motivation to work. Also, the market volatility made it more difficult to find story ideas in the mergers and acquisition area which I covered as a freelancer. I probably wouldn’t quit my job if I knew the world would be turned upside down in a few weeks. And looking back from today’s perspective, I now know how much I am capable of doing and that it is more than I thought I could. So my takeaway is – don’t spend too much time thinking about the potential obstacles because you’re not able to predict the future anyway. Instead, focus on what you can do to help achieve your goal, whatever that goal is, and simply take steps to reach it.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m running a women-oriented platform W Insight that aims to inspire emerging leaders to follow their bold career-related plans. It provides insights from global role models, especially women. I launched the platform in 2018 as a side project and have since been growing it after hours. I’m proud of the dozens of interviews published so far, with such incredible role models as an award-winning Egyptian journalist Shahira Amin, “Factfulness” author Anna Rosling Rönnlund or Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok. My goal is to grow the project and make it sustainable one day. We’re growing slowly but surely, and I’m proud that our efforts have been noticed by such organizations as the Women Deliver and Newmark J-School in NYC, among other institutions.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m Polish and I’m currently based in Warsaw, Poland. I honestly love this city and I think it’s very underrated when you think about Europe. In terms of lifestyle, there are so many things you can do here within 24 hours, so let me mention just a few top places and activities on my list. First, for lunch, we’d go to a traditional (but not cliche) restaurant called “Stary Dom.” I actually recommended it to a few international colleagues visiting Warsaw and they confirmed it was great. Next, if you are a coffee lover, as am I, let’s go to Dobro Dobro Cafe. It was launched as “the smallest coffee shop in Poland” by a couple from Ukraine. Today they are expanding and have plenty of small coffee shops all over the country and their coffee is incredible. Next, let’s go for a bicycle ride! Did you know that Warsaw’s bicycle route has more than 400 miles, and it’s truly beautiful. Of course, it’s worth checking out the most popular sightseeing spots for tourists visiting Warsaw such as the Lazienki Park, the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising, the Royal Castle, etc. However, if you have more time, I’d show you some more unusual areas in Warsaw. I personally recommend visiting Praga Polnoc neighborhood with a local tour guide and learning about the area’s incredible history. In the evening, I’d go to Sofra (they serve Mediterranean food) and for drinks – I’d recommend going to any of the bars by the Vistula River Boulevards (a must-see in Warsaw!) And in the winter, please check out some spots near Nowy Świat street.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am very grateful to my incredible and talented friends who are supporting W Insight such as Phyllis Budka, a mentor and advisor, as well as Diana Asatryan, a New-York based finance writer.

Website: https://w-insight.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jhsocha/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/josocha/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/joa_soc

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfz8TPJJr3oUTLlcjzFIxtg

Image Credits
all photos by Tomek Gola https://gola.pro

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.