Thano’s lives in NYC and works as a communications, media and digital marketing manager for U.S. based start-up companies as well as businesses from Europe that are looking to expand into the U.S. market.
How did you get started?
One of the biggest problems Greece is facing is nepotism. I suppose this is a phenomenon that occurs in many other countries around the world. But in Greece it is particularly challenging to create a successful career unless you have close contacts who have already been successful in that field. Following my passion, being committed to my goals, and not being scared to take risks are the three most important factors that have driven me to where I stand today. Without the benefit of a wealthy or well connected family, I have had to struggle my whole life to create success and pursue new challenges. This is what allowed me to create a successful career in Greece as a public media figure. At this point, building a life there would have been the easiest path for me. But I have never once regretted my decision to come to the United States, which is the country where only hard workers can succeed.
What has been the most challenging moment in your career?
The greatest challenge was in Athens a few years ago when I was serving as the head of political reporting for the biggest media organization in Greece. I made the decision to give up all the privileges I had as a public media figure on TV. Witnessing young people with exceptional educational backgrounds and significant professional experience being humiliated and shielded from opportunities to improve their lives was very difficult for me. You’ve probably heard about the deteriorating situation in Greece, making it an increasingly unwelcome country for the young generation of people who want to pursue their dreams. I have been part of this generation, and the challenge for me was to stand up on my feet and say to myself “no, you have to fight.” My hope is that at the end of my life, looking back, I’ll be to be able to say that I worked hard and I made an impact on society.
What was the most braggable moment?
It’s every time a work project is completed successfully after many days and hours of hard work. This progress makes me feel fulfilled. I also won’t ever forget when I came to the United States and the passport control officer saw that I was a TV journalist. The comment he made has always been in my mind. He said: “Wow, you need to have guts to leave a country where everyone knows you on TV to come to such a big country where you are not famous.” These words were understandable, and at the same time, they were proof that in my life I’m never satisfied with the safe route and am always pursuing those risks and experiences that will take me to the next level.
What would you say is your biggest weakness?
My work and what I’m doing as a journalist and communications manager is the source of my joy. In my career choices, I’m driven by my urge to create new things, make a positive impact on other people I’m working with and advance myself as a person and as a professional. I care so much about my work that I can sometimes forget to invest in other areas of my life. Over the years, I’ve learned the importance of setting aside some personal time each day.
And your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is my ability to communicate and collaborate with others. I attribute this strength in large part to my international and multicultural perspective, which I have obtained over the years through my work in Brussels, London, Athens, Washington DC and New York. Through these experiences, I have developed an ability to adjust quickly to different people and situations, a critical skill in our increasingly interconnected world.
What was the greatest lesson you’ve learned from a mistake?
Take the time to understand people before passing judgment on them. People have an innate tendency to categorize and put others into boxes. While it can be the easiest path to take, over the long run you’ll miss out on some great relationships if you don’t give others the benefit of the doubt.
What do you love most about what you do?
I’m passionate about anything that might bring a positive change, small or large, to other people’s life. Journalism, communications, and politics are in this category. I love my job because it always has people as its reference point. Either as a communications manager or as a journalist, I’m always accountable to people.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
If you respect and believe in yourself you will achieve success even under the toughest circumstances. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it, and you should never doubt your ability to achieve greatness.
How do you define happiness?
I believe that happiness is defined by those special moments you spend with your family and special people around you.
What book are you currently reading?
Currently, I’m spending all my spare time working on translating into English the book that I wrote. It’s about my analysis regarding the financial crisis in Europe containing exclusive information from background meetings I had with prominent people in Washington DC and Brussels as part of my reporting as a journalist.
What’s a personal habit that you believe contributes to your success?
To constantly develop new dreams about the future.
Originally posted on thinqbeta.com