The First Step

The First Step

By Ejaz Shah  —  31st August 2020

If you look up the meaning of ‘apprehension’ in the Oxford dictionary you will find:

Anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen.

‘he felt sick with apprehension’

Interestingly, the origins of the word apprehension and its meaning from late Middle English is the ‘learning, acquisition of knowledge’ and from late Latin the word ‘apprehensio(n-)’ comes from apprehendere, as to ‘seize, grasp’, as in ‘apprehend’. 

Was I apprehensive when I decided to take my first step? When I decided to pack my bags and move my young family some 6,091 kilometres (that’s around 3,785 miles!) from a country I had grown up in, from the streets I knew like the back of my hand and from the sounds I danced my daily routines to? I can tell you that every inch of my mind, my body was apprehensive. Of course I was scared of the unknown and possible bad, but alongside this notion of apprehension, was the echo to ‘apprehend’. I had to seize, to grasp this opportunity and make it a success, for me and my young family.

Couple of years in and my girls (yes, I am a proud #girldad) have flourished in their new surroundings, taking everything in their stride. I knew they would, they’re beautiful, confident girls, but I knew I had to provide them the assurance and support for them to settle in their new surroundings. I’ll be the first to admit it wasn’t easy, there were tears, tantrums, and that’s just me (!) but I was confident in both mine and my wife’s perseverance. Together, I knew we had the capabilities and attitude to make this switch a success for our family.

Similarly, when I decided on this new venture, the start of NewEra, I was apprehensive. This was a big risk. However, it was a calculated and well researched risk. I was investing my time, my money into something I was passionate about and experienced about. I knew I had the strength, the capability and know-how to make this venture a success.

The first step...

So how do we deal with this notion of apprehension, this fear that holds us back from taking the first step, from venturing out and making a success of our dreams. I want to share the small pearls of wisdom and knowledge I have picked up whilst venturing out with NewEra:

1. Knowledge

I cannot express the sheer importance of knowing your business, inside out. The area you choose to venture into must be something you are both learned in and constantly learning about.

My father was a taxi driver. At the age of 15 I was helping out at the local taxi business as a part time taxi operator assistance (that title is made up, but I promise you I was there, at that age I had no choice, my father was determined that I was working and off the streets). By the age of 19 I was working part time alongside my studies as a taxi driver and a taxi operator – depending on where they needed me. After my studies I ventured into Business Development as a Manager at one of the biggest call centres in our city. It was an eye-opener and the knowledge I amassed was invaluable. In 2013 I moved back into the area I first started in, the taxi service. I worked as a Project Manager and Team Lead for one of the most successful taxi providers in my old city. 

When I made my big move to Pakistan and joined my previous employer, I came with a wealth of knowledge and experience. From front line taxi drivers, to taxi operators, and back end Project Management and Team Leads in a call centre environment, I knew it all, because I had done it all. This was my passion, my fortress. So, it was not surprising that with me onboard, alongside other talented individuals, we were able to make it into one of the largest taxi oriented outsourcing call centre’s in Pakistan.

Know your product – know it inside out. Breath it, sleep it, dream it; and surround yourself with knowledge. Have people working alongside you that are experts in their fields, so that collectively you are a force of knowledge.

2. Visualise

How do you plan a journey if you do not know where you are going? How do you achieve or work towards a goal, when that goal has not been set? (I could go on, but I am hoping you have got my point – stay with me). Visualise where you want to be, what you want to achieve. Set your goals, your targets and visualise how you will get there.

I knew very early on that I wanted to build my own business, I just needed to find that niche area that I was passionate about. When I realised the time was right for me to put everything I had collated over the years into setting up my own business, I took some time out to plan. I did this backwards. I visualised where I wanted to be, what steps I needed to take to get there and how I would be able to make it work. Slowly I worked backwards to where I was in real time. I had created myself a timeline, a map, a plan to help me achieve my dream.

So, visualise, create vision boards, think backwards, forwards, whatever works for you – but remember, dream big by all means, but plan realistically.

3. Hard work

I’m sorry, I have no magic formula. There are no shortcuts I’m afraid. To achieve anything, you have to put the effort in, the graft, the hard work. Key to this is not to give up when it gets hard, and hard it will get – but persevere. Perseverance, a good attitude and mindset will get you through it. Keep going, because you can succeed, if you put the effort in.

I can’t put a figure on the number of CVs (resumes) I have hand delivered in pursuit of getting a job. The number of miles – yes miles – I have walked, to save money on transport, searching for opportunities. The missed social events, the late nights, the early starts, the working-through-the-day-and-night, I have done it all. Of course, I recommend putting your health first and to look after yourself, however, when I have needed to graft, when I have needed to work hard, I have done so. 

The most reliable person you will ever meet is yourself. You will reliably, on point, every morning, either jump out of bed or press the snooze button. You know yourself. Work to your strengths and work hard.

Nothing is gifted, to achieve, you must work for it.

Comment below with stories of your journeys, your dreams, plans and how you were able to take that first step.

If you have knowledge, if you are eager to learn, if you have a dream and you don’t shy away from hard work, then join us. Let’s achieve our dreams together. NewEra provides a supportive, nurturing environment for all its workers, so if you want a new challenge, go over to our Careers Page

Returning to Work after Covid-19

Returning to work after Covid-19

By EJAZ SHAH  —  August 5, 2020

Back To Work

The world has changed in how we conduct ourselves, we now have a before COVID (BC) and an after COVID (AC) situation on our hands. Gone are the days where we could freely meet with work colleagues and friends or attend family parties and gatherings. As a whole, we have learnt to adjust to this new dawn and have realised that COVID-19 is something we have to live with. More and more companies are looking to outsource their work in order to stay afloat.

As the restrictions ease worldwide, we are starting to see business start up once again. But this is not your normal startup, employers have a very big responsibility to ensure their staff are safe whilst at work. Social distancing has become the norm and businesses are having to spend to accommodate these changes. Over the past few months we have witnessed the loss of business especially in the UK Taxi industry. It has been difficult times but we can proudly say that we made it through this pandemic.

Governments across the world have SOP’s to help businesses in accommodating employees back to work, you can find further information and help on the UK Government website.

For the taxi industry, taxi companies along with taxi drivers have struggled to keep going, being on the front line they were exposed daily. Steps have been taken by numerous companies to protect their drivers and customers have applauded these actions on social media and news channels. However no clear guidance has been issued by any governing body regarding protective screens for the cars.

If You Are Opening Your Business Back Up

Make sure you stick to the following points:

  • Put your employees first
  • Redesign your office layout so it works
  • Open up in phases
  • Prepare for the future

At the same time make sure you are communicating with your staff, the best method is to create a small video and make sure you address the following points:

  • Is it safe to return to work? – Explain and show the changes you have made
  • Social distancing – Again show the layout changes and the extra steps you have taken to ensure the safety of your staff
  • Job Security – Share what plans you have in place to make sure your business will get back to normal
  • Extra workload – Let them know you are opening up in stages and work from home workers should continue as normal

We wish you best of luck in opening back up

Back in the offices of New Era we have also had to adapt to these changes, we have made sure our operators are sitting at a distance of 2 meters from each other, daily cleaning and sanitising after every shift as well as providing our employees with all the necessary equipment to stat safe. For struggling businesses outsourcing is the best option, it not only helps to reduce costs on payroll, you don’t have to worry about if all the SOP’s are being met in your offices at all times. The last thing any of us want is to see someone close to us, be it a family member or an employee, suffering from COVID. Therefore we have decided to offer temporary staff for those companies that need our help to get back onto their feet, and once everything is running back to normal, they can resume with their own staff, get in touch with us now.