Personal R&D process
27 years ago out of curiosity, I responded to the offer of an acquaintance from an English course: “A new international advertising agency has opened in Ukraine. They are forming a client service department. You should go”. After the interview, I remember standing in the street, as if struck by lightning, and thought: “God, how much I want to work here.”
It was too much of a contrast to a Ukrainian-American hair dye and shampoo company, where I, a graduate of the chemistry department, was involved in product certification and the search for technical specifications in dusty patent offices. Here, though the line of work was frighteningly unclear to me, but the very “body” of the Ark Communications agency beckoned me to it like a magnet. The office was located in a cozy two-story apartment, there were Apple computers on the desks, and the employees I met were young, feisty, and extremely smart.
Thus, ostensibly by accident, I entered the advertising industry, where I spent a mind-bogglingly exciting first ten years of my career. I went from advertising to wealth management, and from there to an Internet startup, then to private equity and venture capital fund, and finally to business therapy. Each time it was a knight’s move, a strange one before and a logical one after.
In the beginning, there was necessarily a reluctant step into the unknown: “Well, okay, except out of pure curiosity,” and then the delight of discovering the Klondike: “Wow! No, it would be a crime not to accept such an opportunity. The process of personal R&D is not linear and goes through knots of chaos, where one have to sacrifice own comfort. In that moment, confusion, doubt, suspicion, irritation or fear envelop the mind, demanding that you give up the novelty. But if you simmer patiently in the cauldron of uncertainty for a while, curiosity always wins out over fear in the end.
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