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June 16-18 | 2021

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Pathways to your Dream Job

How is it that some people seem to pursue their dreams so easily and others simply never manage to do what they love?

In Sofa Session #2 Maria Vassilakou (Former Vice Mayor of Vienna) and Greg Clark (Strategic Adviser to Cities) together with Matt Stewart (host) talked about what it takes to make your dreams come true and start a career in urbanism. And they both have got a long list of tips:

Dream big – for a promising career in cities!

Maria, after moving to a foreign country and being active in Austrian politics only 10 years after and later on acting as Vice Mayor of Vienna, shares her tips to success.

  • It is vital to be passionate about what you are doing.
  • Be a passionate networker and show interest in other people. When wanting to become part of a network, enjoying networking and showing real interest is crucial.
  • That leads to how to get to know the respective people in the first place: Maria Vassilakou’s tip for that is finding entry points. Working at a city administration can open up many doors you might need in the future and is ideal for networking.
  • Moreover, making the best of all opportunities, taking risks, deciding wisely and not showing regret is what characterizes a real changemaker.
  • You need to dream big for a promising career in cities. Still, the dreams shouldn’t remain dreams, but lead to a vision and then an active step to make the vision come true, like creating a strategy and several plans for reaching this goal.
  • When already having secured a foothold in urbanism, Maria advices aspiring urbanists to surround themselves with people, that know more than them about something at least in one aspect. That makes it possible to learn from another.
“What would you do if you didn’t have a single penny?”

Greg Clark is a well-known urbanist, successful all around the globe.

  • There are three groups of people helping him to get to where he is right now. On the one hand, especially at a younger age, there are mentors, he looks up to, on the other hand he has a team of helpers himself and finally there are people he goes to when looking for advice, like colleagues. This constellation of mentors, helpers and advisers is the perfect mix for success.
  • Furthermore, not only analyzing what went wrong in previous projects is necessary, but even more important is looking back to your success. What made it a success? What can you learn from it in the future?
  • Looking back at his career Greg Clark is thinks that a career is often very unpredictable, and you never know where you end up, but in case of doubt you should always listen to your intuition
  • Finally, Greg is convinced that everyone should ask themselves: “What would you do if you didn’t have a single penny?” before starting a project. This simple question leads to a more creative approach, it leads you to change the rules, to widen your horizon and to change your and others’ behavior.

At the end of our second Sofa Session we asked the viewers what they learned that day and want to hold on in the future, take a look at it yourself!

Speakers of Sofa Session #2:

Greg Clark Maria Vassilakou

Matt Stewart  (Host)

Want to hear more details about our speakers’ careers? No problem, just watch the recording here:

For more information about the other Sofa Sessions, click here

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