Episode transcript The transcript is generated automatically by Podscribe.
Hello everyone. Welcome to the five minutes podcast. Today, I like to share with you the second episode of the What Matters Series Episode, a YouTube series I produced and is available on my YouTube channel. And this time I talk about how Options can be a wonderful protection for your career, how having different options will allow you to be increase your safety, an increase your stability during these turbulent times. The audio is the original audio and it's around 10 minutes. So it's a little bit longer than the usual. Okay? I hope you enjoy it and see you next time with another five minutes podcast.
Options are the best career insurance you may have.
It is your fortress.
In the past, people believed that castles’ walls like these were enough to protect them.
Others may have used money as protection.
Others felt protected with religion and faith.
Options are at the center of our need and natural desire to mitigate risks and increase safety.
Time changed things.
I am not saying that these walls or money are not useful anymore.
My view is that options are the key factor that adds a layer of protection on the top of everything else.
If you have options and your current condition is not satisfactory, you just move to another option.
Of course, this is easy to say but not easy to do.
First, it depends on what is your starting point in life.
Suppose you faced poverty, violence, war, disease like billions around the Earth.
In that case, your path is far more challenging.
This is why now I recognize the concept of meritocracy is a fallacy.
Merit needs to consider fair competition and a similar starting point.
It is not just giving the trophy for who crosses the end line first.
And looking backwards, I myself had a rather comfortable starting point.
My fa ther was a teacher and I had the opportunity to go to a public university.
I remember when I was a Chemical Engineering student.
My father used to tell me that his dream was to see me joining a large oil or chemical company as an intern.
And, after 35 years, I would retire as director, or maybe a CEO.
I also remember some of the companies the parents of my colleagues used to work for.
If you got a job there, you would be awarded also with a house, a car,
a school for your kids, a hospital, a club, friends, social life and everything else.
It was an incredible offer.
But for me, it was some sort of a lobster trap.
Sorry for being blunt here.
It is all great until the day you decide to leave – or the company decides they do not need you anymore.
When it happens, you are not leaving your job.
You are leaving your house, the school of your kids, your healthcare.
You are leaving your life.
It's like a cage.
Maybe it's a golden cage.
But it's not because it's golden that it's not a cage.
For me, the best thing has always been to have freedom.
And freedom even to decide to stay inside the cage.
But a cage where you have the keys.
However, time accommodates you.
You think your keys still work, but over time the old lock stopped working due to the rust and age.
And again, the times are changing.
There is no employment for life anymore.
What to do then?
You should not become paranoid, but you need to be mindful and permanently test your options.
Let's do an exercise right now.
Try to answer the following questions:
What will happen if I do not get my first job tomorrow?
What will happen if I lose my job tomorrow?
What will I do if tomorrow my client cancels the contract I am working on?
What will I do if the government changes the law that provides some legal protection to my work?
Or even what will I do if the restaurant I work for closes tomorrow due to COVID-19?
If the answer to one these questions takes you out of bed tonight, you should start thinking about options.
Remember one thing: this could happen to anyone, anytime.
You need to create ways to improve your ability and adaptability.
To improve your ability and adaptability, you should focus on 3 things.
You may have just left college or professional school, but all the same you should learn new things;
explore the boundaries and the frontiers of new knowledge.
Take learning not as a step towards professional life, but as a permanent process of growth.
Today many learning options are available for free.
You can learn how to code, you can learn how to play an instrument,
by just going on YouTube.
Leverage yourself with that.
Learn things that you love and don't know.
I spend around 1 hour every week learning about astronomy.
In the same week, I watch cooking classes.
I spend time reading from different political perspectives
trying to understand what is behind such different thinking.
This makes me more aware and more assertive.
Second, improve your networking: the right networking.
Networking is a give and share act.
Sadly, most of the messages I receive are people asking,
selling or trying to get something from me.
It is quite unusual for me to receive networking messages providing insights,
telling stories, or sharing something that may matter to me.
and this is what real networking is.
It's not only things that interest you.
Remember that before you put your next networking message out.
and finally, the third way to increase your adaptability is to increase your mobility.
Maybe your next opportunity is not in the corner of your street
It may not be a physical office.
It may not be in your mother tongue.
Mobility is also your capability to operate in different cultures
and different languages.
Some people were exposed to languages at an early age.
However, for the vast majority, including myself, this was not the case.
I started learning English at the age of 22.
It was incredibly hard, and I still make many mistakes.
But it is possible. Go for it.
As Nassim Taleb said in the book Antifragile: Some things benefit from shocks;
they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors.
Sometimes you should opt for some discomfort and challenges to become stronger,
better, and more resilient in the future.
That is true for young age and later.
How do you think I felt when, in 2012, my wife and I decided to move from Brazil
to Denmark with our 8 and 12 years old daughters?
For the first time, I left everything behind, including most of my career, to work for the United Nations.
It was the first time I was an employee working for someone else full time.
It was the first time working in a very large and complex institution.
It was very scary. Really scary. In all senses.
But challenges and fears I faced during those 5 years brought me a new perspective of work, diversity, inequality, and poverty.
I had an incredible opportunity to live in Denmark.
At the same time I was able to make friends from Niger in Africa, to go to Haiti
to visit Afghanistan, to meet such an amazing group of people
that I would not have the chance if I was not there.
These years also brought me a different perspective on my work in project management.
For the first time, I felt that failure was not related to capital losses but related to people's lives.
It changed completely who I am today.
Success and fulfillment are not a one time shot.
They are built brick by brick.
And this is what I will discuss in the next episode,
where I will share my way of building your own roadmap.