Specialists don’t thrive in small or immature markets. Take me.

Growing up in Western Balkans, I dabbled in theatre in primary school, cracked radio during high school, flirted with print journalism in college, immersed myself in film and television before graduation, and broke into marketing right after earning a degree. You cannot do that in mature markets – one of these industries just swallows you whole.

Along the way, I translated and interpreted a whole lot, especially for theatre & TV. Eventually, I mostly established myself as a film critic, both at home and abroad. And I kept writing on the side.

Those were just the first 15 years of my career. I thought it all a bit jumbled, but also a ton of fun. Then, a civil war broke out in my home country and, as we say, the Devil took the fun away.

Amidst the chaos, careers can freeze, but not creativity. I devised an idea which made fun of the local dictator. That PR campaign was carried by key local and international media, had sent that ruler into hiding for a week and remains to this day the best mnemonic for newsworthiness you’ll ever hear.

Ten years of exile followed. Lo and behold, it turns out one can build many careers – and expand perspectives – by simply changing markets.

Belgrade, Colombo, Toronto, then Belgrade again – the places I’ve called home

My mileage in marketing proved useful in Asia and my PR savvy had intrigued NGOs. Also, I piqued the interest of international organizations – not as an expert, mind you. That unique UX as a refugee often informs my work to this day.