“There was only one thing I was sure of: I didn’t want to walk this road alone.”
I had three days to decide. I won’t deny I’d thought about it before. I did a few projects in Asia and I always thought it was a place to go back to and stay. I felt that whatever transformation we’ll experience in the future, it’ll originate from the East. There’s an insane thirst for change there, no matter whether you’re in a big or small town. And I wanted to be there to see.
But when I was asked if I wanted to move to an office in Singapore, it wasn’t an easy decision. I have two daughters, one was 4, the other 8, and my wife had just accepted an amazing job offer a few days before. As much as I wanted to be in Asia and help the world change in real time, I knew that this wasn’t a path I wanted to do alone. I wanted to be with my family. So, we talked and made our decision. One month later we were in Singapore.
I was expecting a disorganized city, where the different stages and speeds of development were obvious. But I was wrong. It was an amazingly organized city, with incredible technological development. But, still, there were challenging times. Especially at the professional level. A big part of my job involves building and managing bonds between people and the Asian culture is a very particular one. Saying no or asking why, for example, is not as well received here as it is in Europe or America. I’m still learning how to manage it but I believe I’m improving day by day. And the fact that I work with teams that are able to deliver results very quickly is a big help. By showing immediate results, a prototype or even a real app, I’m able to speed up the engagement process and get the client’s trust. Although I’m sure that’s something that’s felt the world over, there’s a bigger sense of accomplishment when you gain trust here.
On a personal level, considering we’re 12 thousand kilometers from Portugal, separated by an entire continent from our family and friends, I’d say that we adapted very well. The real Singapore may not be my fantasy Singapore, but the real Singapore is quite amazing.