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We have all heard stories where a particular person who had a very unstable life, did something great in his life. Similar was my situation. A need of the time was such that I had to start working sooner than usual. This is how it is almost all around the world – it’s just that every story has a unique perspective to it. Coming from a background that was financially stable, I did not have to undergo the pressure of bringing in bread & butter, however; I always wanted to do something where my parents and family could feel the pride. Hence, I left all the comfort at the age of 18 where 90% of the boys are roaming around the city, hanging out with friends.
“Success doesn’t come to you walking; you should make a move towards it”
I was compelled to think of my broader role in the family. The credit for this courage goes to my late father who believed in me beyond my capacity. I had made it a practice of thinking big every morning so I could see a better tomorrow. Following my take on life, I hopped into “professional” life even before I was allowed to. One of my family members requested a relative of mine to get me trained with him in the company he was working for – a little odd but I started off as a salesman and loader. I kept wondering if that’s what I wanted to do in my life? Certainly not, my aims were definitely bigger. But as I was 18 and did not have any educational degree so I knew I could not expect any white collar job.
Unusually enough, my family wasn’t really aware of the exact job I was carrying on my shoulders – they knew I was working for a cooking oil company but not the exact nature of my job. Being a salesman, life is tough but you get to explore so much in life because the world runs when things sell.
As part of the sales team for this company, I almost visited half of all grocery stores, big and small, in Karachi. From unloading boxes of oil to filling out sales sheet, from observing how sales are managed to even alteration of numbers if you know what I mean, everything had an influence on my learning.
From the above, I would like to point out one thing that almost was a significant turn in my career. There are people who can judge you on what you are wearing and what you are doing, so as salesman people think you barely have any worth! Their way of talking is disrespectful, but I somehow managed and never lost my temper on anyone since my aim was much bigger than this.
I wasn’t respected by the surrounding workforce during my first job, well, of course, nobody was educated enough. However, I remained a staunch follower of my family values and worked endlessly in order to learn, explore and progress in life. This bore fruit for me and I was promoted from a loader & salesman to an auditor in the accounts & finance department, only because I had gained the honest trust of the management. NOW! This was something very motivational for me at that age.
“The only thing that will make you successful is the belief you have in yourself”
One fine day, while going to work, I was met by an accident that made a shift in my career. My mother found out I was working for a local oil company and used a motorbike to commute. Next day, I was home bound. Financially, I was stable enough to support my education so I was back to studies for some time when I joined a software house as a data-entry officer.
This was my entry into the technological world, where I had come to stay. I had found better colleagues who were basically digital marketing executives, while I used to manage inventories on different websites. The keen observer that I was, took a dive into what interested me – S.E.O (or Search Engine Optimization) as they call it. Quite fascinating as it was, rapidly got my attention and ironically, I “Googled” the basics of it.
I started digging deeper into digital and quite rapidly, was able to pick up things from my seniors. This continued effort led me to become one of the senior digital marketing analysts in the department. I was even able to do my Google Analytics Certification. It was a time when people barely even knew what Google Analytics was.
“Time is priceless; you are responsible for your time. Earn it or kill it, your choice”
Even though an institution can add phenomenal value to one’s lake of knowledge, I always believed one can expand it into seas and oceans just by the eagerness to learn & curiosity to explore. That’s exactly what I did and what I did better was to pass on my learnings to whomever I could. That helped me attain the level of a speaker enabling me to speak at various academic sessions.
Building on, I moved to providing digital marketing consultancies to big and small businesses and finally ended up joining a very enthusiastic and fun-filled startup called The D-Spot (a creative digital agency). I was part of a team of creatively charged young people who break marketing traditions every single day. Proudly enough, I want to say today that I lead the entire digital department at The D-Spot. Quite a journey it has been – from loading boxes of oil to dumping loads of ideas – and thousands of miles more to go InshaAllah.