Creativity Series: Sónia Ó

Sónia-Ó
Photo by Sónia Ó, Macau 2011

My guest this week is my childhood friend Sónia Ó. Sónia is an expert in marketing and has just relocated across continents from Asia to the UK. She is multilingual and multicultural, a foodie (back in Macau, she was always the one who would place the orders in restaurants – that’s how much we love and trust her choices!) and we have been friends for many, many years.

I’m so happy she accepted my invitation to share her view on Creativity and I’m glad I get to share it here with you.

Thank you, Sónia!

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When Ana invited me to write in this Creativity Series my first reaction, like some of us, was “me?!” But I like a challenge, so maybe I can say something about creativity.

I have been working in Marketing for more that 13 years, some people call us “marketeers” but I see myself as a project manager. In all the organizations I worked for, they always required a multitasker, a problem solver, a person that would get things done (what the Portuguese would describe as a “desenrascada”). Well, looking back maybe I was the one choosing this type of jobs.

For me, a project is always a challenge, big or small, it was never the same and to complete that challenge I always have to be creative. How to convince the designer to work over time and be happy about it? How to get the Chinese colleagues to understand the mindset of the American boss? How to manage a tiny budget and still get 100,000 visitors to the client’s website? How to deliver an advertising proposal in 2 days? Just by managing my daily schedule to accomplish all the tasks, I had to be creative.

A month ago, my husband and I moved to Oxford, he was offered a new position in the UK and we decided to take this challenge. Although we are used to moving around, there was a certain level of risk. So, how does creativity link to this? Well, first of all you need to figure out how to get 3 years of “stuff” into 2 cubic metres, then manage the agenda of farewell coffees, teas and very long meals, make sure you don’t forget anything on your several To Do lists, but the most demanding of all, is creating ways to handle your emotions. This doesn’t mean that they are all bad emotions, they are just too many all at the same time.

The way I cope with the most difficult ones – the unpredicted, risk and fear – is visualizing the different scenarios, a kind of storytelling in my mind, but always with a positive attitude.

I think we can be creative, it is just up to us.

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Thank you Sónia! I’m wishing for a smooth integration in your new life in a new country!

This post is part of my Creativity Series project, where I ask friends, on and offline, how they define creativity. Would you like to receive these posts in your inbox? Sign up for email updates. And let me know if you want to participate!

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