Give Yourself a Chance: Your career path is waiting for you to discover it!

How did you choose your career path?

Clueless about my skills 
Well, mine started when I moved to Denmark in 2013 to begin a new life with my ex-wife, at which point my only professional experience came from two internships: one at Siemens Energy, and the other for the Danish government in my homeland Brazil.

I had no idea of my skills and potential, I didn’t speak Danish (I’m still not very good at it, btw) and I had no idea what I could offer Danish companies/employers.

I felt lost, and my self-esteem was in tatters.

Blindly applying
Still, it was exciting; everything felt fresh and I lived life as a tourist. 

Having a blog and creating content gave me meaning and strength when the going got tough, but it didn’t pay my bills. Soon real-life came calling, and I felt the need to really work and integrate.

I applied for more than 300 jobs and contacted over 600 people. 

Targeted connections
One day I stumbled upon an article about relationship building on LinkedIN. I decided to give it a go. After all, my results had been relatively poor.

So here is what I did: I would contact the decision-makers with a follow-up email after applying for a job.

My note said: “Dear John Doe, I’m Carlos, and it’s a pleasure to e-meet you. I have a blog where I publish content about the Brazilian economy. I’d be happy to connect and receive your candid feedback.”

And then after connecting, I’d send a thank you note.

Quintupled my network
The results? Well, my network went from 300 to about 1,500 (now with many Danish decision-makers included).

I was getting comments and DMs interested in my content about how to start or develop business in Brazil and, in January 2014, I closed my first deal to help a Danish lighting design company enter Brazil.

And that is how I started my ‘professional life’ in Denmark.

Discovering a path
Of course, I made a few mistakes along the way (see factbox). So I can’t really say I chose a career path. Instead, I discovered one for myself.

It took me a long time to learn about my unique strengths, weaknesses and blind spots. But eventually in 2015 I made a decision. And since then I’ve been working with companies in the digital commerce space.

So, how did you choose or build your career?

My mistakes:

– I didn’t focus on a specific market or niche

– I wasn’t specific to whom I was writing

– I didn’t focus on relationship building

– I spammed perhaps too many people*
*Please forgive me if you were one of them!