Mind The Gap- Women & The Future of Work

Where is the future of work for women headed? Read my article for Huffington Post on how women can maximise their chances in the work place and there’s so much more to it than the gender pay gap. Read full article on Huffington Post, here.

 

We’d love to know what you think and where the solutions lie. Tweet @inspirEngage/ @Melody_Hossaini

 

New IFS stats show there's still an 18% pay gap between men & women

Women earn 18% less than men on average, according to new research. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) also found that the gap balloons after women have children, raising the prospect that mothers are missing out on pay rises and promotions. That is echoed by a separate report on Tuesday suggesting that male managers are 40% more likely than female managers to be promoted.

I think we need to stop putting women’s pathway in a box and say ‘well it would be the same for men’ – it’s simply not! The stats show that. Whether it’s men or women, if they become a parent with responsibility for child care and are stepping back from a career but they wish to continue working and prospering, then it’s important that companies value the skill and experience and where possible (and some need to make effort to make it possible, if not currently) for them to work flexible hours and be eligible for the same salary rises as those working full-time. Becoming a mother gives you fresh ambition and if valued and invested in, it can provide much asset for companies. Instead it’s wasted.
Yes we are improving and we should celebrate the lower rate – however, for the current focus there is on innovative thinking, working and female empowerment, it’s actually disappointing. InspirEngage International, a social enterprise I run, delivers a programme called ‘Startup & Stilettos- The Future is Female’ (see a snapshot video here)  and in this, we train women who have lost their confidence to launch their own social enterprises and become economically independent. It has shown us that business sometimes is the only place women can create their own rules and those women should be applauded. However, a vast majority of women who work in companies who still operate with a marked gender pay gap, are affected. I support Government’s plans to publish the bigger companies’ pay gap, but the change will continue to happen slowly unless we are willing restructure the labour market to allow skilled and ambitious women (particularly mothers) to thrive.

However, the problem isn’t solely for companies and Government to solve. Another important factor in addressing the gender pay gap is women being afraid to challenge their employers in asking the tough questions & wanting to be paid their worth. Research shows that women’s ambition dips whereas men’s grows- is that due to the system of being undervalued or is it us?

We need to work on the women as well as challenging the employers. This is what we do at InspirEngage with our programmes aimed at women and the speaking tours I undertake- once you understand your worth, your skills and what you are working for, you’re more likely to be able to match it with ambition and productivity. Not only that, but we are now working with companies to increase a sense of purpose connected to the company vision for women which research has shown increases retention. This is good for the employer and for the women.

 

Upcoming events Melody will be speaking at, connected to this subject:

  • Keynote speaker, Future Fest, on the subject of future of work for young people and women, 17 September, London
  • Speaker at 18th Global Women in Leadership Economic Forum in Dubai, on the subject of career and purpose for women, October 2016
  • Speaker at CSR Lebanon Forum in Beirut, October 2016
  • Trainer at Women’s Forum, Deauville, France, November 2016
For all enquiries, email info@inspirEngage.com. Tweet: @inspirEngage / @Melody_Hossaini

Watch Melody speaking at TEDx Women in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

Refugee plaques including mine on iamarefugee.net website

Monday 20th June marks the start of International Refugee Week- and with it the ‘I am a Refugee’ campaign led by JCWI. I am delighted to be part of this important aim to humanise the migration debate in people’s minds as well as to celebrate the positive (and in some cases) world-changing contribution made by refugees right here in the UK. See http://www.iamarefugee.net

I’m honoured to be in the company of people like Judith Kerr (author), Michael Marks (co-founder of Marks & Spencer), and Rita Ora (singer) and who are just some of the remarkable refugees supporting the mission, with plaques being displayed at St Paul’s Cathedral all week (see pic below). My own personal plaque will also be displayed at my University, Oxford Brookes and will be unveiled on Monday 20th June.

Plaques displayed at St Paul's Cathedral London

As we mark the start of International Refugee Week, there is an alarming number of refugees with uncertain futures. The unfairness & disgust with which I hear immigrants & refugees being talked about, reminds me of dark times in history. The most vulnerable people in our world are being scapegoated and this is unjust.

As many of you know, my family and I fled from Iran during the Gulf war of the 80s when I was 2 years old. Fleeing by land with two small children, is not an easy task my parents embarked upon, but they wanted better lives for us here in Europe. Contrary to what many still believe, no one wants to flee their home, their relatives, their lives and everything they know and take such a big risk- especially with children. People do it when they feel they have no other choice. We helped create these circumstances (as a world), so we must also help bear the brunt of the result. Otherwise it’s like inviting someone for dinner and expecting them to pick up the bill.

I grew up in Sweden where I lived for 11 years before moving to the UK at the age of 13. Since the age of 13, I committed myself to helping and developing opportunities for young people in British communities- becoming co-founder of UK Youth Parliament (collecting the most petitions which were presented to 10 Downing Street) and together, managed to change policies to benefit those who most needed it. Fast forward, and 18 years later I’m still in the same sector, as a social entrepreneur and Founder of InspirEngage International, supporting people and businesses to do well by doing good. I am most proud of the victimised women we helped to become economically active, the young people who had lost hope that we helped into purposeful employment and the businesses we’ve supported to be more socially conscious.

I’m proud of being an ex-war refugee & immigrant in this country- having contributed what I have to British communities. And yet, time and time again, I hear people speaking of immigrants and refugees as if they are a faceless group- a group you can speak about, as you surely are never faced with one. A group we can blame, because they aren’t powerful enough to affect us. This campaign shows you profiles of those- the ones some feel are draining this country, who have made the UK what it is today.

As we approach the EU Referendum vote on Thursday 23 June, I catch glimpses of conversations on the news and wonder if it’s a film. Why have we gone back in time? Is it an EU Referendum or an immigration vote – it seems interchangeable. A ‘them and us’ attitude and politicise are never good for Britain and the world. In the long term, this will harm our communities. As a non-UK national, I will be locked out of the voting station on Thursday, but I urge you to use your vote.

In the meantime, let’s celebrate International Refugee Week and the people who have contributed to this country, but most importantly, continue fighting for the rights of protection of those whose futures remain uncertain.

Melody

(email: melody@inspirEngage.com. Tweet/ insta: @Melody_Hossaini)

——-

So many people will tell you that you shouldn’t care what people think! I find that such a stupid, unrealistic & irresponsible stance! I am extremely confident in myself- but I care deeply what people think! In fact I’m always fascinated by how people view me. HOWEVER- what people think doesn’t change how I see myself. I know who I am and what I’m not.

So if you’re working towards a state where you don’t care what people think- then change your goal! And those who say they don’t care what people think- are lying!!!! It’s human and it’s ok! But don’t let everyone’s beliefs become your beliefs.

Be happy with who you are. That’s confidence.

 

Need further support to be the best you can be- be more confident and do your talents justice? Book in for a limited slot for 1-2-1 Coaching with me. See more information here or email info@inspirEngage.com with subject ‘Coaching with Melody’

 

Stats have shown that social enterprises are outperforming the mainstream business model (see full stats here). Watch this uncut interview with me at the National Social Enterprise Festival held at Greenwich University. Questions include what qualities young people need to go into social enterprise, what educational institutions can do to help and main lesson I have learned as a social entrepreneur.

Tweet: @Melody_Hossaini

A few days ago, I posted the following video on my youtube channel, making my special announcement:

 

As said in the video, after working and helping communities across 100 countries and having spoken in over 50 countries, it’s always been a dream of mine to work with people in my own country. As you know, I was born in Tehran, but have never been back for business purposes. This August, I will be a keynote speaker at the Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum being held in Teheran on 20th August 2015. I will be sharing my story and also outlining the importance of social enterprise in the new business world being created to over 500 participants. This will be followed by an InspirEngage Skills Bootcamp. Information on speaker profiles (and a very rare pic of me in Hijab) + conference info here > http://tehran2015.jwef.ir

Importantly, it will also be the first ever speech or training I have given in my own mother tongue! (my mum says I better get practising!)

Make sure to subscribe to the my youtube channel as there will be a video of the conference going up there (with behind the scenes!). As well as this, I have gathered some leading Iranian social media talents for a little hashtag campaign sharing my journey via #AroundTehranWithMelody (if you’re a social media influencer in Tehran, drop us an email to get involved info@inspirEngage.com).

For now I want to say thank you to everyone for your support and kindness, as always!

Kheyli mamnoun- ghadresho midounam, va dar Iran mibinametoun!

Melody

 

Recent data from the 2015 Social Enterprise Survey shows a diverse sector exceeding expectations in both growth and impact.

Over half of social enterprises have seen an increase in their turnover in the last year; this is partly due to innovation. Around 59% of organisations have developed a new product or service in 2014, 39% have expanded into new geographic areas and 83% have attracted new customers or clients.

On diversity, the social enterprise sector largely outperforms other businesses, with 40% now women led compared to 18% of SME’s- also worth noting that 91% of social enterprise leadership teams have at least one woman in them, and 11% of leaders are from a minority ethnic background.

“Social enterprises are transforming the way business is done. What this data shows is that they are continuing to expand, to do good and to change the lives of individuals and communities. When it comes to female and minority ethnic leadership, they are miles ahead of the pack. Of course there are challenges, but from these initial findings the sector is clearly in a strong and healthy position.” Peter Holbrook CBE, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK

The sector has come a long way, and at InspirEngage International we are focusing on developing skills of young people, women and businesses to be successful with a social conscience. See more info about our programmes on InspirEngage and our youtube channel to get a real flavor of how we are helping new social enterprises to come to life.

Overview of stats from the 2015 Social Enterprise Survey
• 5% of all businesses are social enterprises
• 52% increased turnover last year
• 39% have expanded into new geographic areas
• 59% have developed new products & services
• 83% have attracted new customers or clients
• 40% of social enterprise leaders are female
• 11% of social enterprise leaders are from minority ethnic backgrounds

Watch some relevant videos below:



 

 

UNESCO Paris 2013

Do you consider yourself wealthy? When thinking about it, how do you measure it? This Vlog is inspired by a conversation I had with a young person in my community, who carries herself with dignity and poise despite not having the material things her other friends have. This Vlog is about how to increase your value, 1.37min.

 

Tweet us your thoughts on @Melody_Hossaini


As you all know, I love working at the library from time to time. Something about sharing a desk with complete strangers in a community space, is intriguing to me. Last week I witnessed bullying in the library; (see blog: http://www.melodyhossaini.com/2015/04/witnessing-bullying-that-look/)

Today, I was sitting across from a beautiful black girl and her Chinese friend. The girl was writing an essay on the civil rights movement, connected to the music industry.

They were working very hard-I was utterly impressed, firstly it was Saturday, secondly, they were both so respectful, so mature and extremely driven about their careers. We started speaking, they told me subjects they’ve applied to study. I shared with them some advice on how to make the most of their University experience for the benefit of their career. They shared with me how excited they both were about going to University and starting their adult life.

The girl was speaking about how stressed she was about applying for Universities – she wanted to get the accommodation of her first choice but wanted to visit it to ensure she was making the right decision. Her friend advised her that it’s better to do it sooner rather than later. She calls her mum explaining this. Her mum says something that visibly disappointed her.

Her friend asked what her mum said. She responds “she said we can’t travel up yet, as don’t have the money. I don’t get paid til after.” Her friend asked how much it is, she replies; “it’s only £14 on the Mega Bus”.

The note I left her in the envelope

The reason I wanted to share this (I certainly don’t share every act of kindness publicly) is to encourage all of us to do more. We should all feel responsible for creating the world we want to live in. If people receive kindness, they are more likely to be kind to others. I do what I do with InspirEngage International, to give back for the kindness people showed me. That’s what life is about. x

Yesterday I witnessed something that stirred a lot of feelings in me about bullying. Keen to hear your thoughts….

It's nicer to be nice.

Bullying is such a serious issue, we need a cultural change in how we are allowed to treat people.

I was at the library on Friday (I like to work there every now and again) and shared a table with a few young people aged around 18. They were chatting like best mates- even making plans for the weekend and laughing away! One of the girls excuses herself and goes to the toilet, suddenly the other girl turns to the guy and says “OMG she’s so f****ng annoying… Let’s just ignore her when she comes back!!” I was so shocked! The girl comes back and tries to chat with them again but they were trying to ignore her. I was weighing up whether I should have a quiet word with the girl who was being mean but someone told them to be quiet as it was a library and they were chatting so loudly. I also didn’t want to get involved with a relationship which I didn’t know much about and be out of context. But it really stayed with me.

Don’tknow how people can be so two-faced. If you don’t like someone, there’s a polite way to let them know and let the relationship fade. It made me so sad. I hate seeing people being treated badly. Please be kind to each other… This isn’t a mushy plea – it’s about survival!

Unfortunately, I experienced bullying whilst at school- more of which can be read on my blog ‘Bullying – Refuse to fit in’ (http://www.melodyhossaini.com/2013/09/bullying-refuse-to-fit-in/). In my blog, I talk about THAT look. The sideways look like ‘Omg what a weirdo’, I HATEEE that look.

When I go and talk in schools and I ask students a question and they give an enthusiastic answer and others do THAT look, I never let it slide. THAT look kills enthusiasm. It kills passion. It kills confidence. Let people be who they are and don’t belittle them, unfortunately some don’t recover. Sadly nothing will change, unless WE do and unless we COLLECTIVELY start to not accept those looks and that behaviour. I would bet £1,000 that if I told the mean girl in the library that what she’s doing is bullying, she’d be shocked. So few are aware of what they are doing. STOP.

I live tweeted this blog and here are some of your tweets:

@lotusflowerldn ; I was bullied in the workplace so this piece really resonates. The experiences don’t always build you up it’s true

@CleverJames ; Sucks. It happened to me at school too, but like to think I would feel the same even if it hadn’t. Just mean and immature

@_PC_ ; It happens at every age. Some people I know were not to friendly with a woman I knew who was ill. She hung herself.

@haaayles ; I once auditioned for the main part in the school play, got given THAT look and never tried out again…

@c_syal ; story of my life at school, massively knocked my confidence. Ironic how those bullies are now trying to be pally pally with me

Have you experienced THAT look? Are you someone who bullies people? Are you recovering from being bullied? Tweet me @Melody_Hossaini

To book a speaking engagement on topic of bullying, email info@inspirEngage.com

54 countries. 1.2 billion young people. 1 special celebration. 9th March is Commonwealth Day. For us at InspirEngage International, the focus is on the young people who will be leading change. In this blog we look back on attending Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Trinidad & Tabago in 2009- our work there even featured on the Queen’s Christmas Day Speech that year.

Melody with delegates-Commonwealth Youth

It’s not often you attend a conference onboard a beautiful cruise ship. Every year CHOGM is held in various locations around the world. In 2009 we were invited to attend the gathering in Trinidad & Tobago. World leaders and young people came together to discuss solving the most imminent threats facing our planet.

Parallell to the main CHOGM meeting, was a youth gathering of some 200 people, and InspirEngage International, in partnership with other organisations, was tasked with training and facilitating the young people to prepare their contribution to be presented to Kamalesh Sharma – the Secretary General of the United Nations. I was honoured to deliver a keynote address (then aged 24) on the main stage. As a, then. recent graduate with Al Gore of the Inconvenient Truth training in Cambridge, my stage was focused on climate change and how young people can create change in their communities.

Watch a short snippet of the start of my keynote address at CHOGM 2009

 

To continue the outcome-focused approach, I also delivered an InspirEngage Skills Bootcamp for the young people coming from all over the Commonwealth. The Bootcamp covered our core modules in equipping the participants with skills needed to go back to their countries and achieve their social mission. The young people were enthusiastic, innovative and eager to develop their plans. As with all our Bootcamps- we got them up and moving around doing exploratory learning in an interactive way.

Delivering InspirEngage Skills Bootcamp-CHOGM

As part of the trip, we also attended a session in Parliament with their Prime Minister and Kamalesh Sharma himself (pictured), as well as a ceremony to welcome the Queen. InspirEngage has worked with the Commonwealth Secretariat throughout the years, including me filming an impact video with them to mobilise action in young people across the Commonwealth (in fact, tomorrow we shall be attending the Commonwealth Youth Awards at the Princess Alexandra Hall). We are always struck by the sheer force of the young people- that’s the power of the Commonwealth for us. This leads to growing business, trade and understanding.

Secretary General of the UN, Kamalesh Sharma

Melody

@Melody_Hossaini

 

 

Social Enterprise = Business with a Good Cause. Makes money as well as improves communities and helps its people. Here’s why social enterprise is the best business model.

Business where you can make money as well as make a difference? Sounds perfect. And it is for those going into business. In 2011, I predicted that social enterprise would be the business model of the future and so far it’s looking like we are definitely headed that way, and perhaps even, ahead of schedule. 2014 was the year that truly cemented social enterprise. Despite the recession social enterprises are overtaking mainstream businesses – 58% of social enterprises grew their business last year compared to 28% of SMEs.

In 2015 it looks set to be the year that social enterprise makes its way from the sidelines to the mainstream of business. Too right and here’s why social enterprise is the best business model.

  • Consumers: Within a very saturated market, consumers now want to buy something with narrative. Social enterprise offers that narrative. We are seeing a shift in consumer approach towards asking where their product comes from and what impact it has. Now more than ever, we’re more likely to buy products which we know will help people and are sourced fairly (like Divine chocolate). On this point it’s also important to say that social enterprises won’t and can’t achieve their aim unless people buy social. It’s on all of us to choose to buy from sources that can have a positive social impact!
  • Investors and Supporters: Not only do consumers want to buy ethically and have impact with their spending- but so do investors. ‘Angel News’ who are an organisation that have a network of Angel Investors, stated that one of the reasons investors invest once they’ve reached a certain level of success, is so that they can give back (as well as make a return on their investment). Social enterprise fits this notion. There’s never been a greater appetite amongst investors. In the last budget announcement by the Chancellor, we saw the introduction of tax relief in investment in social enterprises. It’s not only attractive for investors, but also gaining support of mentors, who similarly to investors, want to give back, and have a growing appetite to support those with a social mission.
  • Solving Social Issues: Perhaps, most importantly, social enterprises aren’t just contributing to UK’s economy, but also improving our communities, helping vulnerable groups of society and allowing people to make passion their career! From reusing wasted items to providing relief for the hungry to creating jobs for our young people – social enterprises are working hard to help solve the imminent social problems facing us. This will also save us money- money that it would have cost the Government to try to solve it later. Young people, who form a large part of social enterprise founders, are seeing a natural progression from volunteering within their communities, into social enterprise (how I got started myself).

Read the next blog: ‘How To Set Up Your Social Enterprise’http://www.melodyhossaini.com/2015/02/how-to-launch-a-social-enterprise/

Here at InspirEngage International, we are passionate about supporting young people and women to start their social enterprises by way of delivering our Bootcamps, as well as supporting corporates to adopt a socially enterprising approach. Join the Social Enterprise Revolution!

Melody Hossaini.

For all enquiries, email info@inspirEngage.com. Tweet us @inspirEngage / @Melody_Hossaini / @SocEnt_Rev

 

 

‘The Social Enterprise Revolution’ by Melody Hossaini at TEDx

On 21st October 2014, The Government Equalities Office launched a new ‘Women Startups’ scheme in partnership with Young Enterprise, and Melody Hossaini was invited to be one of the keynote speakers. Watch the video of the speech which covers her story, why it’s the best time for women to startup in business, and her top tips for aspiring female entrepreneurs!

 

Tweet: Melody_Hossaini / @InspirEngage

For booking and enquiries: info@inspirEngage.com

There’s absolutely no hinderance for women to succeed, if they work hard and kick ass! Or is there…? I’m a 37 week-pregnant entrepreneur running InspirEngage International and for the first time, I am feeling the difference in men and women as I prepare to juggle motherhood and a busy career. Here’s my latest pregnancy blog.

On 7th January, we found out I was 2-3 weeks pregnant and it’s been a beautiful blur since, made up of baby nurseries, travel systems (yes that’s what a pram, car seat and whole thing is called!) and baby Ralph Lauren all-in-ones! I’m now 37 weeks pregnant with a little boy and due to give birth anytime in the next 3 weeks.

I’m also the Founder and CEO of social enterprise InspirEngage International- an organisation focused on developing skills of young people and vulnerable women in order for them to be successful by giving back. Have been working in this sector since the age of 13, taken InspirEngage into 100 countries in the world and supported thousands into work that also supports the community. It’s an important part of my life- not just a job. One could say InspirEngage is my baby.

So what happens when a real baby is about to enter the picture? Well, needless to say, the answer is different depending on the circumstances and choices of that particular parent and the needs of that particular baby. But that’s the key word- choices. You have to, as a female career-driven mother, make choices. The age old question of- ‘can women have it all’, I’ve always felt is, yes! However, with that, comes a level of sacrifice.

My pregnancy has been a pleasure and pretty hassle-free (not counting the unbearable itching in this last growth spurt!). This has meant that I’ve been able to balance pregnancy and work very well. Going into the office, travelling -even out of the country delivering a tour of InspirEngage programmes for students and teachers in Jordan, and managing a team have been doable. But that’s just the beginning- have been asking myself, what happens, when the baby arrives?

Well, firstly, I see this is a beautiful journey and feel extremely blessed- I can’t wait to see what’s in store! However, reality remains that there will probably be a lot to juggle. How long do you take off to dedicate to the baby? How long should you breastfeed and be available to the baby? Is it ok to want to get back to work? All questions women may ask themselves at this stage.

I tweeted about this earlier and @Michelle_BID responded: “that’s just the start of it, then nursery costs / juggling career and then school holidays all to come”. Yep that’s true- and it’s all a pleasure and what life is about, I am looking forward to it all- but it has impact. An impact which I think men feel a lot less- career wise. For the first time, I am really feeling the difference between men and women in business.

Having said that, women don’t have to let having babies be the end of their career- that’s not what I am saying at all and every mother is different! However, you do have to give birth, you may have to take time out and do things differently for a little while at least.

During my time of working and training incredible women as part of ‘Startup and Stilettos’, I have also seen inspirational stories of numerous women who reassessed what they wanted to do following having children and changed their career for the better- perhaps due to the added motivation gained by having their baby – many female entrepreneurs are born this way, in fact! They naturally find a way to balance their growing priorities better.

Startup and Stilettos ladies and I. 27 weeks pregnant

So what’s the role of men in this – I read the above to my husband and this is what he had to say: “The role of men is to be the pillar and rock. I’m already used to you being independent and career-driven, balanced with marriage, and this is just another step. The role of a man (or my role, at least) is to create a stable platform for you to pursue your ambitions.”

I’m just at the beginning of this journey- so much yet to experience and learn once the baby arrives and no idea what the answers to the above questions are, but know that it’s never been a better time to be a female entrepreneur, I know that it’s important to have a strong support network, I know that it’s vital to have a strong mindset. I look forward to the challenges and pleasures ahead!

Tweet me your thoughts- how did you find it? @Melody_Hossaini

 


Passion. It’s one of those funny words, that if you google it naughty pictures come up! So the last thing you would do is associate it with your career right? Wrong. InspirEngage International has termed the change in the way we view careers and what drives us, as ‘The Passion Phenomenon’. Doing something you love and feel passionately about is now fast becoming the top factor in career satisfaction. And so it should be!

Social Enterprise is one of the most appealing ways in which you can make passion your career. Listen to my latest Vlog on why ‘The Passion Phenomenon’ should be something you’re very familiar with indeed!

 

Let us know what you think by tweeting @Melody_Hossaini / @inspirEngage and use hashtag: #PassionPhenomenon

Social Enterprise

Building confidence in young people

www.inspirEngage.com

Whether you’re on a quest to develop your confidence, beating the bullies or simply on a journey of self-discovery- this blog is for you.

More & more whilst working with young people, it’s being confirmed to me that having confidence really is key. Confidence isn’t a fluffy concept, like I think so many people have perceived it as, but instead the foundation.

Linked to confidence is identity. If you feel comfortable with who you are & what you’re also not- you’ll, in turn, feel confident.

We hear that people lack skills- I think more often people may lack the ability to apply their vast potential which they undoubtedly hold. An artist and friend of mine, Oliver J Brooke saw my tweets on this and wrote; ‘Without the confidence to utilise your talents and capabilities, you make those capabilities redundant.’ Very true.

So what should you do? Go through the process of discovering who you are- and yes, that is an ongoing process of connecting the dots in your life (so will include where you’ve come from, what kind of things you’re passionate about, what the greatest moments of your life have been and what your long term visions are) and also introspecting. The next steps are accepting & maximising on what you find- in other words what you’re now going to do with it.

how to develop confidence and be successful

"Only then will you discover the true extent of your abilities". Melody Hossaini

During the process of self-discovery- or creating ‘My Passport’ as we call it at InspirEngage International – it’s important to push yourself out of your immediate comfort zone.

  • Do something you’ve never done,
  • Say yes to something you never thought you could
  • Accept to spend time with people you never would have done before
  • And finally; do one thing which frightens the living daylight out of you!

Only then can you really start to understand the true extent of your abilities. Once you feel good and clear about who you are- I’m sorry but if people have a problem with it, then that’s an issue for them to deal with – not you. Be you & be good. The rest is irrelevant.

Tweet me your thoughts about this blog and keep me updated with progress! @Melody_Hossaini

 

To keep up to date with new posts, videos and opportunities- email us at info@inspirEngage.com with subject ‘add me’ in order to be added to our mailout :)

To book Melody Hossaini as a speaker- email info@inspirEngage.com

Ever looked at successful people and wondered, what it is that makes them successful. It’s based on one thing (well, to be fair, probably a myriad of things covering timing, hard work and lots of factors, but generally speaking!)- and that’s MINDSET.

Was just catching up with our lovely InspirEngage Ambassadors- and something one of them said, made me think. She explained how her confidence & skills have grown substantially through extra-curricular activities. The fact that through school, she used to be very shy, however, through volunteering for things, going along to things which, at first, frightened her and perhaps were out of her comfort zone, she’s grown.

It emphasised something I’ve always believed in- It’s so important to say YES to things, to show up & get involved! That’s how u grow. It’s no good moaning and saying that the school system, Government & society aren’t preparing u. You have to PREPARE YOURSELF! Seek experiences & opportunities in life, and when you find it- show up, even when it’s uncomfortable and you’re unsure of the exact benefit.

Of course, the role of Government and educational establishments are key- that’s why InspirEngage International is there! However, the support that schools, Government and parents can offer can be limited. You have to adopt a mindset that no one owes you anything. Yes, the UK has seen better days, but we live in a country that presents endless opportunities- if u WANT it. May not happen overnight… but it starts with saying yes and showing up.

And here’s the bottom line: Life will only give you, what you put in.
Give more of yourself to it- and you’ll be amazed with the benefits.

Tweet me: @Melody_Hossainior 

 

 

Capturing the stories that enrich the InspirEngage Bootcamps

Enterprise, InspirEngage BootcampWhen you have the privilege of training people, you witness them going on a journey of self-discovery.

This lovely girl (pictured with me) was one of the students who took part in the InspirEngage Skills Bootcamp at Preston Manor school. The Bootcamp covered our signature modules supporting the students to develop their essential Life Skills in order to be Confident, Work-Ready and Enterprising. We worked with them to explore their identity through creating ‘My Passport©’, Communication skills and InspirEngage PROMA© project management cycle connected to enterprise.

I noticed Rizwana right at the start and pinpointed her as someone who was extremely keen to learn, yet extremely self-conscious. She had recently moved to the UK and spoke, in what she believed to be broken English. Her teacher told me during lunchtime that she had previously never spoken publicly in front of the whole group due to low self-esteem.

At the end of the InspirEngage Bootcamp, we set the students a Social Enterprise Challenge called ‘The Whitegiftbag Challenge’. The students were asked to deliver an elevator pitch of their concept. I was so extremely impressed by the way she carried herself, how professional she was and most of all how much she had pushed herself out of her comfort zone and it was paying off!

There was a wonderful moment when one of her team mates froze a little and didn’t know what to say- and Rizwana very confidently but respectfully, stepped in and took over!

At the end of the session, we selected a couple of students who felt deserved special recognition and Rizwana was one of those students. She was so touched, she was actually crying. We told her, you overcome a personal barrier, pushed yourself out of your comfort zone. That deserves recognition. Inspiring! If you never have moments that make your heart feel like it’s literally about to come out your throat, then you may never grow (or you’ve simply learned how to keep nerves under control!) :) If you find something difficult- don’t run from it, do it and grow.

What Rizwana told us at the end of the Bootcamp;

“I have been really enjoyed the whole InspirEngage because I had learned a lot about ‘PROMA’ and I mainly learned about four main thing which initivation, plan, delivery and evaluvation.” Rizwana Afrin, Year 10, Preston Manor School

For all booking and enquiries about InspirEngage Bootcamps and ‘The Social Enterprise Revolution’, email: info@inspirEngage.com

 

HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY

INSPIRENGAGE INTERNATIONAL!

Maximise Exam Success With My Top Revision Tips!

No matter how much you hate it- we all have to take exams (that’s if you’re lucky enough to have the privilege of education.) So you might as well ace it- I visit schools and deliver a EXAM REVISION BOOTCAMPS – here are my top revision tips and tricks. (In Video and Text)

Just like anything else, there’s a system to everything and techniques you can adopt to ensure you maximise your success in that area. When I arrived in England aged 13 and English was my 3rd language, I had to take exams, sometimes not even understanding what the question really meant. This wasn’t a green flag for me to have a valid excuse not to do well, but instead reason why I needed to work 10 times harder and be clever about the techniques I used to do so in my exams.

This was further confirmed at University whilst completing a Law degree. Sounds all big, but a law degree is 80% down to memorising stuff! Cases, points of law and pointing to valid evidence- that’s all. And mastering the art of memorisation is what exam revision is all about. Whether you’re studying for school exams, college, University or special qualification, the tips are largely the same. So here are my top tips in brief. For a fuller explanation, watch the Youtube video above.

  • Choose a good spot that works for you then FOCUS! – Settle somewhere you feel comfortable and can focus, then disconnect your internet and make a deal with yourself that you won’t check your phone for 15minutes. You need focus for information to penetrate.

    Turn that frown upside down! Exam Success

  • Start early- You brain will work better in the morning and the more you get done, the more you can rest in the evening
  • Repetition, repetition, repetition! – Repeat the most important things over and over again, it works!
  • Visual notes up – The way advertising works is that we’re subconsciously influenced by what we see. Put notes up around your room- even when you don’t stop to read it, you’re taking it in.
  • Subconscious listening – Just like you’ll subconsciously take things in by what you see, you’ll also take things in subconsciously that you hear. Before taking my GCSEs, I remember recording a tape (yes I am that old!) of important things I had to remember, and would play it repeatedly in the background when I was doing menial tasks- it goes in!
  • Associations – This is a little trick which I found effective in my law degree. When you have to remember key things, associate them to an image (eg: case name Barrow Vs The State- would draw a wheel barrow and a tall building!)
  • Music- Ever wondered how you can remember lyrics for years? That’s because when you combine a set of words with a tune, it sticks! Do that with something you are revising- make a jingle and you’ll never forget it. (even after the exam, when you want to!)
  • Talk about it to understand basis – Try explaining it to a friend, helps you understand the subject more as a whole, as opposed to a rigid word for word format, which is more likely to go wrong, hence put more pressure on your memory.
  • Eat, drink, sleep – For your brain to be most effective, you need to nourish it! Drink lots of water, get some fresh air, have potassium-rich bananas and don’t pull too many late nighters!

And when the BIG EXAM moment comes:

  • Take a few deep breaths and stay calm – Even if you’re just fooling your mind into being calm, it will help you to retrieve information.
  • Make sure you understand the question- Sounds obvious, but before you start writing, be very clear what it’s asking of you.
  • Jot down the burst of memory - Because you’re on ‘memory-retrieval’ mode, as soon as you read the question, a million things will come to mind. Quickly jot them down somewhere in bullet-point format. Once you begin writing, you may forget some of the points so it’s important to capture it and also make a brief plan so you can manage your time.

And FINALLY….

Having the best grades you can get that reflect your ability is important and yes it will keen a door open for you in life, but whether you’re an academic high-achiever or not, there will be a path for you to pursue to be successful and do what you want to do. There is no one path for success. In the meantime prepare to be successful in your exams and GOOD LUCK!!

Melody Hossaini, InspirEngage International

Melody Hossaini. Revision Bootcamp

Are you a SCHOOL?

To book Melody Hossaini to deliver a REVISION BOOTCAMP, email: info@inspirEngage.com

Tweet: @Melody_Hossaini  /  @InspirEngage

Praise for the ‘Revision tips & tricks’ video and blog:

Liz Hickey As a mature student of Entrepreneurship, I have found this video very worthwhile. I had been using some of the strategies, but having them explained has been very helpful.

Alia Asim Shah Thanks for all your tips. I found it very helpful, especially regarding making visual assocition. I have an exam in May and will be using some of the ideas mentioned.

Radhika Tanna ‏‪@RadhikaTanna – is pretty much the only thing I need at the moment whilst preparing for my GCSEs!

Sunny D ‏‪@sunny_d55 – great tips given in the blog, very much appreciated, thanks!

Mark Jupp ‏‪@Marklesfield – Loved the revision tip video!

Sonia Aslam ‏‪@XxSoniaAslamxX – Really loved the Revision Tips video…will deffo use some of those tips especially the recording one :) Thank you!

Nazia Motiwalla ‏‪@Nazia_Motiwalla – I love this so much, its SOO helpful! THANKS A TON MELODY ❤

Vikesh Mistry ‏‪@VikeshM28 – thank you for those tips! Really helpful!