'Don't expect respect and recognition - earn it'

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Dont expect respect and recognition - earn it

Sawsan Ghanem, Managing Partner, Active DMC Public Relations, on working hard and achieving results

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Published: Thu 14 Dec 2017, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 15 Dec 2017, 1:00 AM


How do you typically start your workday?
My work day starts very early, a bit too early for my liking if truth be told. I never was, and still am not, a morning person but, as a working mum with two young children, seeing dawn break is all part of the working week. So, I've become well-acquainted with seeing the sun rise and embracing it. It's a mad first hour, as I fight with time, rushing to get ready and get my daughter and son ready for school and nursery respectively with the support of my husband (and business partner) Louay. I really do feel like a hurricane goes through our house every morning. 
School and nursery drop offs are done by around 8am so that's when Louay and I enjoy a well-earned large latte whilst we have breakfast - a very therapeutic and productive 45-minute pause in an otherwise hectic day. It's a chance for us to plan out the day, discuss clients, think through proposals, and give inputs and feedback on emails that have come in overnight from around the world. Then it's off to the agency where I continue dealing with work emails while discussing ideas with senior team members and helping, advising and guiding the juniors. Thankfully multi-tasking comes naturally to me - I embrace it and get a great deal of satisfaction from it! 
 
Describe your work in a sentence
Diverse, challenging, time-sensitive and busy - there's never a dull moment 
 
What is your favourite thing about your job? 
I don't think of it as a job but my passion, my career, and part of my DNA, if you will. When you run your own business, it's a 24/7 responsibility and your livelihood. It is the first child that you nurture and want to see succeed no matter what. It throws you challenges and it serves up joy in equal measure. For me, our agency, Active (Digital. Marketing. Communications), represents over 15 years of dedicated hard work. It is one that holds its own in a highly competitive market which is constantly changing with the impact of data analytics and social media, shifting focus and ever tighter budgets as well as rapidly changing conditions in the business sector of the UAE.
 
What advice would you give your younger self, if you could?
Don't take life too seriously. Believe in yourself. Don't let others hold you back with their reservations and insecurities. Nothing is impossible so long as you put your mind to it. Give it 110 per cent dedication and focus and learn from your mistakes. Nothing is impossible. 
 
What has been your most challenging experience to date and how did you resolve it?
Motherhood. It's the most incredible journey that throws you new challenges every day. You learn quickly to follow your gut, apply common sense (and a bit of craziness), and just go with the flow. I approach each challenge my children throw me with an open mind, and try to put myself in their shoes. I can't emphasise the importance of talking to children and listening to them no matter how tired we might feel. Love, cuddles, empathy and one-on-one time are saviours when it comes to cracking those crazy challenges with minimum tantrums. 
 
How do you maintain a work-life balance?
I've had to learn this skill as it's not an easy one to put into practice. I started by make a conscious effort to switch off from work and focus on family time.
 
Any advice for youngsters just getting into the professional arena?
Don't expect respect and recognition - earn it. When at work, do your best to make a difference. Don't jump between jobs too often as it won't look good on your CV and you won't be taken seriously by employers. 
 
What is your greatest dream, professionally?
To grow myself, my company, and grow the people I work with.
 
One dish that you would love to indulge in after a long day?
Nothing beats home cooking. I don't have a particular favourite dish that I crave after a long day - I just want a healthy and wholesome meal with lots of flavour, accompanied with a fresh salad. My family loves traditional Arabic dishes so I often prepare Palestinian and Jordanian food. 
- Staff reporter
 



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