“You’re never too small, young, or unprepared to go after your goals!”

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What happens when courage meets creativity? Or when a never-say-die attitude meets a go-getter personality? The result is a dynamic individual who knows what she wants and unabashedly goes after it!

We got into an interesting tête-à-tête with Abeer Farooqui – Senior Executive of Programs & Events at Sharjah Capability Development. She and I spoke about everything ranging from what she would change in her career to the soft and hard skills needed in her sector.

The conversation was insightful, enlightening, and so much fun! Take a look.

It’s human nature to start off strong, but lose momentum in the middle. Abeer’s story is similar, but it helped her get to where she is today. 

I’m thankful for my decision to…

…not be complacent! The version of myself that didn’t accept things exactly as they were offered, in the order they were offered. Sometimes, I lose sight of her, but it’s good to remember that is how I started, it’s who I am at the core and who I need to stay: someone who knows opportunities abound, and knows the sort of environment and energy she deserves to surround herself with.”

It’s her lack of complacency that gave her a head start. But it was her go-getter attitude that truly turned the tide in her favor.

 “My future version would thank me for…

…making tough, grown-up decisions! It was these decisions that permanently severed my tie to comfort and the version of myself that wanted to hold on to childish ideals. In some ways, I made a lot of decisions this year that made me shed a shell of self-limiting beliefs. Now, I’m all about being youthful at heart and caring for your inner child. What I mean here is cutting ties to the more immature side of myself i.e the kind that needs to be rescued and needs to follow a certain path for safety.”

According to Abeer, this new version of herself – that she embraced whole-heartedly – is happy to walk towards a path of uncertainty. It is this version that gave her the biggest learning of her professional life.

I’d like to tell the world…

…that the most important lesson I learned was that rarely does one size fits all. Each learner is different, and we’ve got to shape learning experiences in diverse enough ways to impact everyone. Personalized learning is the future. Employees are more scattered than ever — they’re at home, in offices, on the road, or all of the above. Because of these factors, companies must initiate a personalized training strategy to meet employees where they are to ensure pertinent training is deployed in a way that is meaningful and results in true learning.”

While talking about her learnings, the conversation veered towards soft skills v/s hard skills required for her job as a ‘Capacity Builder’ and Abeer had much to say about that.

My superpower soft skill…

…would be creativity. I love conceptualizing and building things from the ground up, I love thinking in the abstract, and I love being able to connect the dots. It helps me tremendously in my work because I build programs on a regular basis. If you want to succeed in a role like mine, empathy, agility, critical thinking, communication skills, and project management are the key skills you need to develop. In learning and development, you’ve got to practice what you preach, so you’ve got to keep learning, and keep pace with most, if not all, evolutions.”

Everything in this world comes with its fair share of pros and cons. Abeer’s role as a ‘Capacity Builder’ is no different. 

There’s a lot of good, but there’s some bad too…

One of the greatest pros of my career is that I learn almost all of the time. I have this unique gift of being able to turn curiosities in learning pathways for myself and others, and it’s amazing + rewarding. The cons, I suppose, are that you have to sometimes fight for the importance of your industry. L&D is usually the first to be cut in budgets of corporates during downtimes, for instance. I say this, but I’m actually really grateful that we operate in an emirate and a country that values education and talent building with persistence!”

While signing off, Abeer leaves us with this little nugget – “Any time I’ve labeled myself as too small, young, or unprepared for my goals, I have made a mistake. In hindsight, if you could change one thing, I’d go back and undo all of those doubts.”

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Munira Rangwala
Free-spirited, an avid dancer, and a voracious reader, Munira loves to pen down her thoughts just as much as she loves to indulge in all sorts of chocolate desserts. If travel didn't cost an arm and a leg, you'd never see her in the same place twice.

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