At the end of March 2019, in the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, my first real international work experience began in a company present in more than 80 countries worldwide.
I still remember the moment when at the check-in in Rome's Fiumicino Airport, after putting the suitcase to be boarded on the sliding belt, the computer’s screen showed the first alert: the total weight exceeded the limit allowed by the fare paid (+10kg).
This meant that I would have to pay an extra €40.
After 3 hours of flight time the view I saw outside the plane window on the way down to Lisbon Airport was this 👇🏻
If you have been to Lisbon, you should surely remember that the landing takes place practically over the roofs of the houses near the runway.
After having carefully studied the metro map and trained my photographic memory, essential in these circumstances, my adventure in Portugal really began and I headed towards the city center (or at least what for me, was the most central stop of the 'Linha Vermelha', the red line that runs from the airport to the terminus of Sao Sebastião).
This is the first image I was looking at as I came out of the Saldanha metro station, directly on Avenida da Republica.
Do you know that feeling of total uncertainty when you look left and right and wonder, where am I? I was in that exact circumstance.
Was it a coincidence that the first thing I decided to photograph was a JUMP bicycle by UBER? 👀
After settling the first difficulties in finding a place to live in Lisbon, in a neighbourhood not too far from the office, the training of all new Inside Sales Representatives in the different markets officially started on 1 April 2019.
I have always given a lot of attention to the 'first impression' in the business world. Especially in a job like mine, where you first sell yourself and then, later, the service or product you represent.
Only when I arrived at the office, I discovered that there was no dress code imposed by the company and everyone was allowed to come to the office in casual style.
From the very first day of training, I felt part of an international working environment that I had long hoped to enjoy: boys and girls from all over the world were sitting around a meeting room table with me.
Belgium, Spain, Poland, Mexico, France and of course Italy.
The moments of fun were not lacking from the beginning to the end of this experience, and this is the real added value that Portugal offered me, a country where the working rhythms are different from the Italian ones (especially compared to Milan) and where you can appreciate differently the hidden beauty within simplicity.
From mid-April to mid-May, a series of important events took place:
I started to close the first commercial deals from Lisbon, initially working on the Milan area, then Rome and finally in Naples;
UBER went public, on Wall Street to be exact on 10 May, making it one of the 15 largest listings in history;
Americans, when it comes to celebrating, know what to do, and after the bell rang, a big round of applause followed by cheers in every office around the world and then the party started with ice cream and sweets of all kinds offered to all employees.
Once the excitement was over and we returned to our daily routine, the following months passed quickly and the expectations on all teams were very high.
Despite the fact that our team was not up to the level of the French or Spanish market, we faced all the difficulties and changes that were communicated to us from Italy as a united team.
Here we come to the most important part of the whole article, where I talk about the most important and recurrent keyword used in this company: ownership.
The speed and dynamism with which changes take place in such large and rapidly expanding companies is truly impressive.
The processes, tactics, objectives and resources put in place had a clear purpose: to continuously adapt to the needs of the market.
So whether it was a particular process or a resource within the team, surviving within these mechanisms is not easy unless you adapt as you go along and have the flexibility to do so.