'Don't wait. Do whatever you can - now'
Founder and 'Momager' of Hire4Baby.com, Jossette Naiken, understands how hard it is to travel with kids - so she started a venture to help other parents
How do you typically start your workday?
My children - Mikah, aged 3, and Lua, aged 1 - both wake the house up at 6 every morning. Depending on your definition of work, it starts immediately! I will scoop up one child under my arm, while attempting to review Hire4Baby.com orders and emails on the tiny screen on my phone with the other. I then have one-and-a-half hours to get the kids dressed and fed before they leave for school with my husband at 7.30am, and I leave for the office and warehouse.
Describe your work in a sentence
It's a little more than a sentence but here goes: Hire4Baby.com supports the UAE's tourism industry with a 'one-stop shop' baby and toddler equipment rental service, offering the highest quality products to the travelling parent. We ease the burden of travelling with children by providing parents with expertly-researched items from trusted brands, which are delivered and collected straight to and from the home, hotel or even airport terminal of choice. The service is extremely convenient, and means families can travel with far less luggage, ultimately leaving them with more time and energy to enjoy their trip.
What would you say is your favourite thing about your job?
I started this business through first-hand experience of travelling with young children, and know how physically and mentally draining that can become. I know that Hire4Baby.com has eased at least some of that pressure for so many families, and that makes me very happy. Dubai is my home, and also a massive tourist destination for millions of visitors, so I take great pleasure in supporting the UAE's tourism industry. Some of my most memorable conversations have been with clients, who have then become friends, because they called seeking advice, which led to us exchanging stories about our struggles with children on vacation.
One dish that you would love to indulge in after a long day?
Honestly, between dealing with the business and catering to the needs of two young children, the only 'dish' I truly desire is sleep. I could happily survive on fruit and nuts if I need to, but functioning on lack of sleep has been the real challenge.
What advice would you give your younger self, if you could?
Don't wait. Do whatever you can - now. As I'm getting older, there are so many things that I want to accomplish, and I'm kicking myself for not making them happen sooner. Hire4Baby.com was my brainchild. I'm really proud of the way I just went for it, but I do wish I had left my job in the corporate world to start it a little sooner.
A fictional character you think would make for a good role model - and why?
I absolutely adore the YouTube star 'Blippi'. He's a 28-year-old air force veteran who has turned into a viral superstar with his goofy but educational video clips for children, with billions of fans and views. The reason I love him is because he dove into an industry which is not exactly typical for a young man in his 20s, and has made a huge success of it. My children are mesmerised by Blippi, and we all sing and dance to his songs.
How do you maintain a work-life balance?
I don't! I am juggling two young children and a business, which is my third baby, and that makes my life time-shy, mentally challenging and physically exhausting. But I am very grateful that my husband and children are very supportive, and are patiently allowing me to develop Hire4Baby.com. My kids have a section in the office dedicated to them, where they can unwind after school, have a bite and take a nap. This allows me to maximise my hours at work, without having to sacrifice time with my children.
Any advice for youngsters just getting into the professional arena?
Don't assume you'll always have time to pursue what you 'really want to do'. All of us take jobs for financial and logistical reasons at times, but don't coast there for too long. If it's not making you happy, work out what will - and do it.
What is your greatest dream, professionally?
There is tremendous scope for growth for Hire4Baby.com. We see the business more closely aligned with the region's most established airlines and hotel groups, and are taking steps to form those partnerships. But my intention for the business will always remain the same, and that is to offer convenience to all parents visiting the UAE, while supporting the tourism industry.
- Staff reporter