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Lessons In Personal Growth From Zara Jabeen Mahbub

Senior Vice President and the Head of Communications and Service Quality at BRAC Bank Zara Jabeen Mahbub shares her lessons in personal growth and how our difficulties help us to get to the next level in our career.

Enter Zara Jabeen Mahbub:

Modeling was something that I thought I would never be able to do. As I have said, I was never the prettiest child in the family. Moreover, there was only one television channel at that time and I ended up working in four different commercials. I walked the ramp at a time when modeling was almost taboo.

My personal learning is that you can do almost everything as long as you have your integrity and confidence and you put in hours.

If you decide to do something you have to be prepared to endure criticism, backlash and some more. If you think it is too much for you to take, then you better not try anything new. I have been working in various industries for 21 years now; even today I have to endure things that are hard to accept. I’ve been dealing with it since I was 15 years old when I first did modeling. I make an active effort to not react to these things.

My take away: be strong and never allow anyone to dictate who you are. It is extremely difficult to be strong but you have to do it. Do the things that give you peace of mind and carry you through the difficult times.

If you know that you are doing the right thing for yourself, for your organization and for your family then be strong and pursue what you are doing. The idea that passion has to be something preordained and if you can’t find it you are doomed is a quite dangerous one. If you can fall in love with a life partner in arranged marriage, you can learn to love what you do on a daily basis given the fact that it actually runs your livelihood. One should love the job they are doing because there is no boring job nor is there a small one.

Share your success. I try to share my success and give due credit to the people who have supported me and contributed to my success. I call this creating a success circle.

A Success Circle helps you to create a coalition with the people who contribute towards your success. The way I see it is that if you have a strong support circle – which I have been very lucky to have, Alhamdulillah -you are all set to go and do what you got to do.

I have learned over the years that bringing people into your support circle or success circle has incredible power. Every time something good happens I attribute it to each and every one in my circle because their support helped me achieve it.

I think sharing success with others as well as being there for other people in your circle when they need your help makes things simpler. Give support to each other so that you can grow as a community.

There are a lot of people stronger than me who have achieved much more than me. I have received an incredible amount of support from many people.

That said, I think I am very lucky. I have come across opportunities and taken them and have been blessed to be able to work very hard.

Luck apart; there is no shortcut to success. If I do not work hard, I will not be able to do what I want to do. My philosophy is simple, in any position or any work that you are given, embrace it, run with it and do the best you can. Work hard.

Life is unlivable without challenges. If you are not challenged then seek one. Take whatever you are doing as a challenge and only then you will be able to do well.

Pursue your dream. Instead of worrying, act. If you want to be a poet, write a poem and go find that publisher who will publish your book. Because if don’t, you will regret it someday. Don’t die with your poem inside. Each and every person has a calling. We are here for a reason.

My life’s calling is to work to make things better in whatever I do, whether it is the call center or customer relationship or any other industry. Love your work; it will become your calling.

(Extract from Ms. Mahbub's interview with FS. You can find the interview here.)

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