Pamela Golbin: Before asking what a job will bring to you, you should ask yourself a far more critical question: “What can I bring to the job?” If you cannot infuse your career with your passions, talents and past experiences, you will not be productive. More importantly, you will not be happy. Identifying the best parts of ourselves around which to build our professional profile is not trivial. Especially at a young age, it requires a good dose of intuition. Intuition, in turn, comes from self-trust, which is not an immutable characteristic, but rather a “psychological muscle” that we can all shape at will. How? By “training” it regularly, in a continuous process of trial and error. Hence my other suggestion: collect as many different work experiences as possible, particularly at the beginning of your career. Challenge yourself. This will allow you to build your first professional network. Most importantly, it will make you know yourself better, fortifying your self-esteem at the same time. The more ambitious the challenges we embrace, the more profoundly they transform us. Last year, after reaching the 25-year milestone as chief curator at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, I felt the need to change my career path. Easier said than done. To overcome the paralysing fear of leaving my comfort zone, I knew I had to challenge myself in an unprecedented way. So I spent a semester at Harvard Business School and then moved for half a year to the holy mountains of Northern Japan, where I attended a Samurai training course held by Buddhist monks. Both turned out to be exhausting but rewarding experiences – the first on an intellectual level, the second on a physical and spiritual one. By the time I came back home, I was a new person, and changing my life trajectory suddenly felt natural. Recently, I started a collaboration with Jacquard, Google’s full-scale digital platform for smart clothing and textiles. After years spent curating the past, I finally fulfilled my wish to contribute to shaping the future. Working on our self-trust can be a revelatory experience. You may realise, as I did, that not all our drives to change come from a good place. As a Franco-Chilean born in Peru and raised in Venezuela, when I was a teenager I wished I had, like my classmates, only one nationality to identify with. Today, I know that my international background is one of my greatest strengths. To feel like we are not different from others, sometimes we decide to change precisely those uncommon features of our character, or our life story, that make us more special and that, therefore, we should keep the most. They are the sharpest arrows in your quiver. Don’t be ashamed of shooting them: bring them to your job.
Pamela Golbin is a fashion curator turned tech agent.
Pubblicato su L’Uomo Vogue, Novembre 2019