We all wear many hats and life has a way of teaching you what you need to learn. People consider me to be an organized person, but let me tell you… I haven’t always been this way. It’s only through some personal and work challenges that I have learned and grown to improve my balancing skills, which I am now pretty proud of.
I come from a humble background, my mother being a housewife and my father, a government servant in Lahore, Pakistan. Growing up, it was important for me to be of service to others and always be helping around home. It’s no surprise to me that I later found a career in HR., because HR professionals are always serving to support and improve. We are constant learners who seek new ways to solve old problems, enablers who make things better, and value creators who help all stakeholders win.
My career in HR began right after graduation in a construction company in Pakistan, while doing an MBA at the same time. During this time in 2007, my mother got a paralysis attack on her right hand and leg. With both my younger sisters married, it was up to me to take care of the family. It was extremely challenging and in fact, overwhelming. I found it difficult at first to balance everything that was involved with working a full-time role, studying for an MBA and taking care of my mother while managing the day-to-day household responsibilities for my family.
I think naturally, we all want to give our best to all the roles we have, but there are always days when they seem to be mutually exclusive.
This period opened my eyes to how tough it can be to wear all the hats you sometimes need to wear when balancing work and life. I realized though, that no matter what difficulty came my way, I could keep my head high and be brave to face the situation. I believe that every day, we’re given a chance to create meaningful and lasting relationships, learn new things, live our passions and solve complex problems that can impact the lives of so many people around us.
As a caregiver, I had a lot of responsibilities. Not only did I have to stay on top of my work tasks and priorities, but also must spend time and energy juggling the needs of my loved ones. This is where good organizational skills are so important. One thing that’s helped me then and continues to do even now is making a note of important tasks that need to be done the following day. When I do this, I wake up clear headed, motivated and energized for the day ahead.
Soon after completing my MBA, I got married and got an opportunity to move to Saudi Arabia. I was hesitant to take up the job since I didn’t want to leave my parents behind, but they advised me to look out for myself and my wife. A few years later, I joined Kent as HR Admin. Due to some circumstances, I was the only person in the HR department in the Saudi office. I feel grateful that the management of Kent trusted me to assign all areas of work where they need to be assigned in Saudi. While running a one-person HR team certainly has its challenges – from having to juggle multiple HR tasks at once including transportation and mobilization of employees to ensuring compliance with various policies and procedures – it also has its advantages of incredible personal and professional growth. I’m grateful to have got all-round experience on varied fields throughout the years.
Though some days might be tougher than the others, I have the love and support of my wife and kids in Saudi and my parents back home – that makes it all worthwhile.
Something that’s helped me along my journey is treating anyone that comes my way as an equal to myself, with respect and integrity. My advice to anyone new to Kent is to work hard and perform to the best of your ability because the management will recognize and provide their support to you – even if you’re working in remote areas, you’ll feel like you’re working for and with family.