You know that feeling? You've been working in Asia for five years, but the contract that took you to China is about to run out. The market has evolved. Your Mandarin is shaky at best. Hundreds of people are applying for the same jobs as you. Your dream is about to end early.
No matter how old or senior you are, you need the advice of family and friends, of those who matter the most and thank goodness that's what I did. I flew back to London from Shanghai for a new perspective, for some good mates to advise me. It turns out it was a stroke of genius.
"Have you spoken to Ali", they said..."Why don't you call DNA and have a chat?”. I had some drinks lined up with old colleagues that very evening in London, so I thought, why not? After sharing my CV, Ali invited me to the office and very quickly we understood each other. We have many mutual friends and that's what I liked the most - he got me, he understood me and he had my back.
"Leave it with me, Simon", he said. I've heard this many times over my 20 years in ad agencies, so I didn't expect fireworks, but I felt it was a good meeting. I flew back to China to continue the search.
It was a Thursday afternoon, about two weeks later, when a Regional Director based in Kuala Lumpur called me out of the blue. "Mate", he said; "You come highly recommended. Can we have a chat about running the Geometry Global team in Vietnam and Cambodia? I need you to fly to Saigon as soon as possible to meet Clients."
Six weeks later, I started my current role here at Geometry Global in Vietnam. I look after a 30 strong dynamic team, multiple countries, and a great mix of clients. As the head of this business, my new career path in Asia is taking shape. And with two years in one of Asia's most dynamic and exciting markets, it means I've now spent over seven years in Asia; it feels like home, it's in my blood.
Normally you might read an insipid 'thanks' in a testimonial, scripted and crafted for a purpose. However, there was none of that with DNA - Ali, you're a star and you got me back on my path. I can't thank you enough.
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