We draw our inspiration from Phumeza Langa this week! She believes that it is important to stay true to who you are and not allow just anyone to have influence over you. Read her inspiring story below.
I’m a born and bred Joburger! A city girl who yearns to be living anywhere but in the city. I attended Sandringham High and then went on to study Public Relations at the University of Johannesburg. I’m an only child but with lots of cousins! I recently got married (2015) and it has been amazing thus far. I love travelling, as much as I can possibly do, I will do. There’s nothing better than being in a new place, experiencing new things and just being in a different environment – it’s the best way to reenergise and grow more as a person, as well as put things into perspective.
I grew up in a home where I was encouraged to read and listen / watch the news – to know what was going on in the world. That was awesome! My parents made sure I was given a good education and the skills to make a way for myself in the world. Growing up as an only child was different, it encouraged me to be resourceful / stand on my own two feet and make a way in life that I could be proud of. I did wish to have siblings especially as I got older but my cousins were able to fill that void for me.
I currently work in corporate, part of the marketing and communications team at ADT Security. I come from an agency background, the adjustment has been quite interesting but worthwhile.
What I do is a combination of internal communications as well as external, not media per se but more with our clients and ensuring that we keep an open line of communication with them, updating them on new services / products as well as informing them of community related matters. The internal side is more focused on the staff and ensuring that they are kept informed of what is happening in the business, that they also have an opportunity to give feedback to management.
I am also a freelance writer, something I have done for a few years now. I started off as a gadget reviewer and writing on technology related news, before moving into writing more lifestyle related pieces. Having started out my career in the tech space, it will remain my first love and I love keeping a look out for new trends and solutions being offered on a regular basis. Writing is something I am very passionate about! Every opportunity I can find to be a contributor, I apply for it. I want to broaden my writing style and topics I write on, that is my focus for the remainder of 2016 going forward.
I admire my willingness to try something at least once before I decide if it is for me or not. Keeping an open mind is important and always being willing to learn something new – even if it is about oneself, not easy but it is necessary.
My writing! I love it! It’s one of those things about myself that keeps me sane and in check. My ability to keep quiet even in the most tempting of moments to say something, especially when I am upset – I could end up saying something awful. I always try hard to regroup, collect myself and then come back more calmer, even if it is to not say anything but to just show up and make sure that it comes across that I will not be kept down or taken out.
There have been a few challenges but overcoming them was always a matter of reminding myself that I had to move forward, there was more beyond that moment of trial. It was hard when being in the midst of those challenging situations, painful as well but there were lessons to be learnt.
It is part of life to be challenged, we were never promised an easy life that had all the good times and never the bad. I have been fortunate to have a very strong support system in my family and my close friends.
Buying my first car was an incredible moment for me. I cannot fully explain how much of an achievement it is. It’s a representation of the hard work we put in every single and the results of being consistent and never giving up. It took me a long time to make the purchase but once I did, it was really unforgettable.
Graduating was also one of my proudest moments – the culmination of seeing years of hard work, sleepless nights, study sessions, putting together portfolios and writing exams until your hand cramped. It was all worth it!
Also having worked with some of the brands that I have been able to work with, especially in my agency days. The work on the CSI side, those were always amazing projects, being able to make a positive impact in people’s lives – there’s no better feeling in the world than being afforded the opportunity to do something good for those deserving.
Important factors to keep in mind
Knowing and understanding yourself. Self-awareness. Being able to stay true to who you are and not allowing others to influence you because they want you to fit into a specific mould – so that they are comfortable.
Asking questions, reading as much as possible on various topics – if you’re curious about a topic, ask questions, do research – learn as much as you can.
Being fearless and knowing your worth. As people we sometimes shy away from “putting our hand up” to ask the questions or even respectfully disagreeing with something. We shouldn’t be afraid to challenge the status quo, and if you walk alone or don’t fit in, that’s okay. As long as you are a happy, functioning and responsible person, that is all that matters.
There are quite a few people whom I draw inspiration from, but top of mind are the following:
My mother. The quiet yet fierce soldier, never one to shy away from a challenge. A big and loving heart, a truly loyal person who loves hard and wants the best in life for her loved ones. She’s my calming soul when the world gets too crazy and chaotic.
My former manager and now friend, Zanele Ntuli. She was and is one of the people I still receive guidance from regarding my career and studies. She is my sounding board and such an amazing person. I learnt the value of mentorship from Zanele and also what leadership should be like – I still keep those lessons close and they form part of the blueprint of the kind of leader I one day would like to be.
Sizakele Marutlulle. I’ve had a pleasure of meeting and speaking to her. So amazing! Cool, calm and was ever so patient with me when we met and happy to answer my questions, sharing some of her experiences and insights. In the world of brand and marketing, she is a force to be reckoned with.
Trust yourself. Focus on your unique journey. Do your research. Have a career plan (but let it be fluid enough in case your interests change and your career shifts). Ask questions. Reach out to others in the industry you are in and ask them a few questions about the industry.
There are people out there who will share their time with you. Don’t trust everyone you meet even if they seem trustworthy – I feel bad about saying this but even I have recently learnt the hard way about the risks of just trusting people especially in a work environment. I always have to remind myself that some people are there to get what they want and are willing to put you down / speak ill of you because they think they have that right. Don’t let it get to you, rise above it – every single day and know that you will be absolutely fine! Learn the lessons that come your way and then move forward with your life, remember the end goal.
Facebook: Phumeza Langa
Thank you for sharing your inspirational story with our community, Phumeza. We wish you all the best!
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