September 2018 – I fell in love…
It was the night after I couldn’t find my name on the list of accepted pre-medical students. The thought of not becoming a doctor was so terrifying that the instant I realized I did not make it to the list, I was drowned in eternal thoughts of what to do next. I was not going to be a doctor now and I couldn’t think of anything else at that time.
All those extra hours spent at night, the last-minute rain checks, and the anxiety attacks all faded away. My mind was in a state of shock at the time. Little did I know, it was this failure that was to make me a stronger version of myself. This inspired me to gather myself, look at other purposes of life, find passion, set goals, and work towards them.
Being a doctor was a wish denied, but this experience allowed me to dream again. To be honest, I knew I had to listen to the strong urge to explore a whole new world. I wanted to be surrounded by creativity and excitement moving forward. I had always loved the feeling of never having to stop, and craved a spark – one that keeps you up in the night and encourages you to go beyond the normal.
Perhaps, it was peer pressure or cultural acceptance that held me back until now. What I sought was different and also not the picture-perfect ideal everyone was looking to pursue.
At first, I was scared – who wouldn’t be at this point? But I took the plunge anyway.
Now, I was no more a failed pre-med student. I took up marketing as my subject of study. Being a marketing student meant I had front-row access to everything I needed to know about the industry – which is that you never stop learning. I was fascinated, intrigued, and excited; a little in love as well.
I was in love with this cavern of artistic possibilities and opportunities that never seems to end in the world of marketing, PR, advertising, and creatives.
My failure turned tables, literally!
From a biology major to business, who would have dared?
Although this was an odd turn, I have no regrets. I am saying this with full confidence while seated in Cicero & Bernay’s Dubai office as a social media account executive.
My strength and boldness grew stronger, two traits you need to have to survive the rush of the industry. With so much going on, there’s no guideline on how to keep track with all the updates and advancements. You have to possess an open mind and find your own tips and tricks to keep up. But, what better way to catch up with social media trends than social media itself, right?
And no, it’s not just about posting and coming up with captions!
You also need to learn how to become your brand’s online persona – literally live and breathe it! It’s the only way you’ll be able to get the message across. Think of it as dressing up in different outfits for different occasions. It’s still you, but just in another look. The same applies to social. Brands still need to be the brands people know and love – same personality, voice, and identity. It’s just a matter of tweaking according to the platform you’re using – that is adaptability and consistency!
You could think of social media as a canvas painted with crafts of communication, relations, and network. You either learn how to paint or watch the artwork come to life. I’m not talking about a traditional art set: paper and a paintbrush. I’m referring to our world-class digital online bubble that is being filled with content from gurus, experts, and influencers from around the world. By carving out their own spaces, they’ve created communities that are shaped by an endless state of mind.
A spark that keeps you up in the night – remember?
My failure DID define me because it was the way I handled it and the way I developed my mindset that made me who I am today – a curious, energetic, and optimistic me!
Your failures also matter, so make them count!
Raifa Nasrallah is Social Media Account Executive at Cicero & Bernay Communication Consultancy, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me