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

Hi Melissa, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’m all for taking risks and found that throughout my life, I’ve always liked to step outside of my comfort zone. I moved from my hometown Melbourne (Australia) to London in my early 20s and I couldn’t really sit still after that point. I remember moving to NYC in 2012 without any job prospects or contacts, but I had a job offer for a global athletic brand in Melbourne. I decided to forgo that opportunity to stick it out in New York and keep looking for jobs (with no guarantee that I would get one in the end). That moment was a huge turning point for me and changed the trajectory of my life – had I not taken that risk, I might be on a completely different path altogether.

Career wise, I’ve floated between marketing, social media and copywriting – while some may say that I lacked sense of direction, when I look back now I’m so grateful that I trusted my gut and dipped my toe in each of these different areas. It has helped me a lot as a freelancer, and in my full-time role.

I’m pretty free spirited, which stems into my risk-taking nature. For example, in most of my late 20s and 30s, I’ve preferred to travel alone and explore new places on my own terms. It’s turned into some interesting adventures…like getting lost on a hike in Arizona, being stranded in Cuba and going on a month-long trip to South America, for example!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a freelance copywriter and social media strategist, with 15+ years experience in Melbourne, London, NYC and LA. I’ve also dabbled in a few industries throughout my career, like premium automotive, CPG, fashion, technology, sports and others. I would say that my professional life in the six years I was living in New York, was not easy and I encountered many setbacks. It’s a cutthroat city and you’ll quickly learn that the only person who has your back, is you. When I started my first job there for a digital agency, I struggled acclimating to the faster pace of life/work – it hit me like a pile of bricks.

Also, being a foreigner in the US added more of a ‘sink or swim’ mentality as my visa (and immigration status) hinged on me being employed, so if I ended up losing my job (which happened more than once), I would have to quickly find another job – which not only built a tough skin and resilience, it taught me to hustle hard. Even today, I haven’t quite managed to shake off that mentality and that survival instinct is second nature to me now.

I currently live in Los Angeles (Culver City), where I work for an adtech company in content marketing. I also moonlight as a freelance copywriter outside of work hours.

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?
Can I send over a link to my Google maps? Haha. Some of my favourite places in LA are Runyon Canyon (for hiking and people watching), Bestia in DTLA, Destroyer in Culver City, Gjelina and Gjusta (their carrot cake is my favorite!) in Venice, and hit up as many ramen or sushi spots as you can. Japanese food is so bomb in LA and you’re spoilt for options.

I also like visiting the Rose Bowl when I can be bothered making a trip out east. Go early to snap up the best bargains! For vintage fiends, I also recommend the Melrose Trading Post flea market and Fairfax. There’s a whole row of vintage shops there so make an afternoon out of it. I find vintage clothing in LA much cheaper in NYC too, with a larger selection.

Lastly, Chateau Marmont and The Ivy for star-spotting…yes it’s sceney/pretentious but you can’t leave LA without visiting these two establishments!

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?
My family are my rock. They’ve been with me through some very challenging moments when I was living in NYC, and have always had my back. I would be nothing without them, and am so blessed to have such a loving and supportive support system.

Also, a handful of very close friends (you know who you are) who have stuck by me through thick and thin. It’s true when they say you only need a handful of close friends that will be there for life.

Website: http://www.mellieyap.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mellie_jelly

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/melissayap

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mellyjellie

Image Credits
N/A – this is all of my content

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