Life is composed of all the experiences we go through, in the personal and work areas. Huda Mirza, Director of Talent & Culture at Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa, shares how she embraces these two aspects in her life, as one.
OHLALA – Tell us a bit about yourself and how you reached the position you are in today. How was the path to arrive here?
Huda Mirza – This opportunity made me realise that everything has to be valued, and I am very blessed to have this life. Speaking of me, I would describe myself as a keen observer, a very passionate and well-motivated person. I always look to things with a positive perspective. It is said that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. So here I am as Director of Talent & Culture in one of the renowned Accor properties – Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa. As a leader, I lead by facilitating open communication and bringing out the best in every Heartist (a special Accor programme made for employees). I lead by delegating and making others better. As it is said, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, one must be brave enough to initiate and put effort to achieve his/her dream. I never let myself go down the path of glorying in my success, as I always believe that life begins at the end of our comfort zones.
OHLALA – What have you achieved that makes you the proudest in your career?
HM – Being the Director of Talent & Culture, I feel proud to be the helping hand and voice of around 250 Heartists who are dedicated and motivated towards the organisation’s growth. I work on the basis that: “There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed,” as said by Woodrow T. Wilson. Kindness and courtesy towards my Heartists is my motto. My most significant work comes when I get to assist them.
OHLALA – How do you feel about having conquered so much as a woman?
HM – I go hard for what I am passionate about. Patience and fortitude conquer all things despite gender. All things are difficult before they become easy. I have learnt what is worth waiting for to have come this far. I love the Marilyn Monroe quote: “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”
OHLALA – Is there any woman that served as an inspiration to you?
HM – I take Michelle Obama as my inspiration. I believe in her saying: “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contribution of half its citizens.” Besides her, I truly admire Malala, a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate. I respect her bravery.
OHLALA – What’s your motto in life?
HM – My motto is never to give up and keep trying. There is a famous Japanese proverb, ‘Vision without action is a daydream’. I work for a cause, not for applause. I believe if you look for good things, they will increase. I love living in the moment and work with a happy and joyful heart and free mind.
OHLALA – How do you balance your personal life and work?
HM – There is no such thing as work-life balance; it is all life. The balance has to be within the self. Every time I get home, I see my family cheered up; their energy strengthens me. Family is my priority no matter what. No one on their deathbed ever said that they wished they had spent more time at the office. We should never get so busy making a living that we forget to live. Time spent with friends and family brings me happiness, which ultimately shows results in my work.
OHLALA – What do you do that allows to you disconnect from work?
HM – Quality time with my family is the greatest break from my work. Besides, I enjoy hobbies of reading books and travelling. During my leisure time, I invest time in myself. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own to-do list.
OHLALA – What piece of advice do you give to young ladies out there starting their careers?
HM – Never doubt yourself, don’t let anyone question your capabilities. You, as a young lady, have more confidence and belief in yourself to show the world. Working hard for something you don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something you love is passion. Always have the courage to pursue your passion. The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities. Some mistakes are worth making for your career; never be scared of failures.