Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Winning Woman: Nafla Nabhan

Asalaam aleikum, i don't know if you've noticed but the women featured on this segment so far are quite diverse, as expected of course but it's such a nice balance of every type of woman you might aspire to be or are,at a certain point in your life. We've had a student, working girls who are not yet married, a stay at home mom (with a masters degree) and now we have a working mom,wife and a masters student, the quadruple role. MashaAllah. I hope this post inspires you to push through the week because you know, it is Humpday!. Thanks for reading, as always, Be Inspired.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, who is Nafla?
Hello! My name is Nafla Nabhan, an extreme extrovert raised in Kenya and Oman. My friends call me Naf or Naffy. I’m a mother of a beautiful 3 year old boy, a go-getter, a firm believer in positivity with a hint (or two) of realism and logic. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Diploma in Human Resources Management, a Certified Trainer and Specific HR expertise in Performance & Talent Management. Additionally I am currently in my 2nd Year acquiring my Masters in Organizational Psychology and Counselling.                    
2. What is it that you do as a career?
I’m a Human Resources Manager in a Worldwide Multi-National Hospitality Chain. After I graduated from Uni, I started off as an HR Intern and a week later, I landed an HR Coordinator role at a leading luxury hotel brand in Dubai. Fast forward to 4 years, I found myself in a role that most people take between 10-15 years to attain. My proudest achievement is my fast paced growth - attaining a promotion every single year since my Career commenced. Also, being one of the youngest HR Managers in the region is not too bad, especially given that I’m a hijabee woman!
3. What’s the hardest and the best part about being a mother, wife and a career woman at the same time?
Well a mother, a wife, a career woman and not forgetting a master’s Student! I think a healthy, fulfilling and efficient balance of all four roles is both the hardest and the best part. The hardest because as humans we are bound to give more to one thing than another at any given point in time. What’s imperative though is that when this happens, it’s ok and not to beat yourself up about it. It’s also vital to always keep your priorities in check and to never lose track about what is truly significant in your life. At the end of the day, there’s nothing more rewarding than leading a life that is bountiful and content, specifically for YOU!
4. Do you have other hobbies or side-hustles, if yes, tell us more about that?
Side-hustles, well with the four hats that I got on at the moment, no unfortunately.  I am thinking of something but at the moment it is still in its inception phase. I really enjoy yoga, travelling and imparting knowledge. It may sound bizarre but training others and teaching them what I know is one of the most fulfilling things I can do as a person.
5. In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
I must say that my background in Psychology has been God-sent (If I could go back to Uni and have a chance to pick another area of study, I would still pick Psychology). Due to this, I have a strong sense of self-efficacy and also because I am extremely goal and results-oriented I almost never dwell in any problems or adversity I face. Not saying that I do not have such dreary moments, I do, It’s just that when I do have them I do not let them overpower me as the more I think about it, the more they are amplified. I usually take a minute to figure out why I’m feeling this way, I remind myself that every problem has a solution and then I channel my thoughts and map down in a logical manner how to solve it. When it’s something that is deep-rooted than I pray on it and discuss it with my mum and my closest friends – that always gives me comfort.

6. What does success mean to you?
For me success is such a complex and overrated term, nonetheless, to me, success is to have a goal or dream, plan the necessary steps, implement a plan and achieve the goal. This is most definitely my conscientiousness way of thinking, but it always works for me.
7. What quote or saying or book do you live by or rather inspires you?
‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give’ – Winston Churchill
8. Which of your traits are you most proud of, why?
Those who know me well know that I’m an over-achiever. I never settle for anything less than exceptional. In everything that I do, I always strive to do better. I am a very down-to-earth person and it’s really easy for me to get along with people. Apparently I have an innate ability to be quite insightful hence a lot of people come to me for advise which I find very humbling. Another trait that some people probably don’t like me for is the fact that I’m brutally honest and straightforward. I always tell it like it is, never sugar-coating anything and those that are more sensitive in nature find me to be somewhat harsh but that’s ok with me J
9. What characteristic do you most admire in other women, career women or otherwise?
When women are true to themselves and not pretend to be someone they are not – that to me is the most beautiful characteristic one can possess. When they can be vulnerable and not afraid to show it, when they can fail but still try again and again, when they are not swayed by what society deems should or should not be their role. The achievements, the money, the status is all secondary traits that are great but not depictive of who they truly are.
10. What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received in your life and what advice would you give to girls who look up to you?
The best advice I have ever received was from my mum, who is a single mum since my father passed away when I was 3 years old and my younger brother was 1. She is the epitome of a strong sophisticated and educated woman and she always told me that no matter what happens, no matter how many times I fail or I fall that what would determine the type of person I am is to always get up, to always try and to never give up. Also, my mother always stressed the importance of being kind and generous to others and this is a trait that I always aspire to live by.

While it is always nice to have a role model to look up to, the first advice I would give any girl is not to be too engrossed in being your role model. Your prime purpose in life should be to be the best version of yourself first. It is human nature to want what others have and that’s ok as it may be why you strive to become better, but never let that be the reason for you to lose sight of who you truly are. We are all so unique and our beauty and strengths lie in not only our similarities but also in our diversities. Another advice I would give young girls is that no dream is too big and no dreamer is too small. With a lot of hardwork, focus and determination, nothing in life is impossible. Be brave, be positive, be grateful and be YOU!

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