1. Welcome Shabab, and thanks for stepping into the Honan Careers Spotlight! First things first … as a child, what did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?
I wanted to be a pilot! Watching aeroplanes flying up in the sky used to amuse me as a child and I’ve always wanted to learn how to fly a plane and travel to different parts of the world.
2. You’re currently the Head of Client Service – Global Benefits, and an invaluable member of Honan’s Global Benefits Team. What does this role entail?
My role involves helping businesses protect their most important asset – their employees. I am responsible for supporting the overall growth and retention strategy of our business whilst ensuring we consistently deliver to a high standard and share the latest insights in this quickly evolving space with our clients and stakeholders.
3. You’ve been in your current role for a few months now, but began your career with Honan as a Client Manager – Employee Benefits. Tell us a little about your journey at Honan – where it started, and how you’ve progressed through the business since day 1 …
My journey at Honan started as a Client Manager in Employee Benefits, where I was responsible for managing a portfolio of clients. Over the years, I took on more responsibilities outside my normal role, challenging some of the ways we approached problems by suggesting alternative ideas and remaining curious and proactive. This allowed me to work with different people and teams and further develop my understanding of the wider business.
4. Tell us a little about your personal education pathway/s – what led you to where you are now? How closely do your formal qualifications match your current career?
Having a strong educational background to match the relevant skills and technical expertise is extremely important in our line of business.
I moved to Australia from Bangladesh when I was 19 to study a Bachelor of Commerce at Macquarie University. I was good at Commerce in high school, and I remember looking at photos on the internet of Sydney and how beautiful the city was. I knew I had to get myself here and Macquarie University was one of the best in Australia for international students. I successfully completed my studies there and I’m very fortunate to call this city home now.
I also completed a Diploma of Financial Planning and an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning to kickstart my career in this field.
5. What inspires/excites you most about the work you do each day?
Honan has achieved significant growth and the potential for our continued evolution in the future is extremely motivating. Always looking for ways to improve and seizing the opportunities to contribute and help shape our future is what really excites me about my job.
6. In the scheme of career progression, what is one of the most challenging obstacles you’ve come up against? How did you overcome it?
At times, one of my biggest obstacles has been responding to things I’m not sure of by overcomplicating them in my mind, which can lead to self-doubt. I am extremely lucky to be surrounded by great leaders in the business who I have approached in these moments. They have helped guide me in the right direction and encouraged me to back myself.
7. Noting career ‘success’ is often underpinned by leveraging strengths and superpowers … tell us, what’s one of yours?
My resilience is my biggest strength. I never give up!
8. Magic happens when organisational and personal purpose collide. What is it about Honan that keeps you coming back each day?
I am a ‘people’ person and so finding the right culture and team was very important to me. At Honan I have found both. I work with very talented people who are incredible human beings, and they are definitely a key reason I come back each day!
9. If you could share one piece of ‘career’ advice with your younger self what would it be?
Be patient and remember to enjoy the journey.
10. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live tomorrow.” What’s next on your learning agenda?
I love helping my family, friends, and colleagues around me to become the best versions of themselves. I am interested to take this into the business world and learn how to lead and manage people in supporting the overall growth strategy of our business.