Amalgamated Union of Statutory Board Employees Assistant General Secretary Nurul Husna Ghali has one thing that keeps her balanced in her many important roles – taking time out to destress and regroup her thoughts.
Having worked at the National Library Board (NLB) as a library officer for the past nine years, Nurul Husna Ghali, 33, decided to step up to serve as a union leader right after completing her degree studies in psychology and business four years ago. According to her, juggling work and studies helped her to learn how to better manage her time for union work, family and career.
NTUC This Week: What motivated you to take up a leadership role in the union?
Nurul Husna Ghali: Before working for NLB, I was in the insurance line. In that line, I gained experience representing people, giving them advice and guiding them in making sound decisions for their insurance. Th at experience helped me to believe that I was capable enough to be a union leader. I wanted to do it as it was a way for me to give back to the community and my fellow colleagues at the workplace.
Based on my own experience, not many women want to step up as it takes a lot of time and commitment. You really have to juggle and set aside time, and you do it not for yourself but for those around you.
There needs to be more support from family, colleagues and organisations to make it more conducive for women to step up. And if you are a woman and want to take on a leadership position, you need to rise to the occasion. Challenge yourself and push forward and see how far you can go. You might surprise yourself.
What are the challenges in juggling union work, family and your career?
Initially when I first joined, it was a bit overwhelming. It took me quite a while to get used to the new schedule of being a union leader, with the many meetings and all.
The lack of time is something I believe all union leaders have to deal with. I’m sometimes also surprised at how I’m able to manage my time for all three things. For me, I took up cycling. It helps me destress and gives me quiet time to put things in perspective.
So let’s say when I’m cycling, issues that I’m dealing with for my members play around in my head. And it is during those times that I come up with better ideas or solutions for them. If anyone is overwhelmed at work or with any other issues, I would advise them to take a step back and reflect, and jump back in when you’re ready.
What are some things you are passionate about in your union work?
My members are my priority. Many times when my members have issues, they are a bit shy in bringing up matters. I want to help them by being the bridge between two parties.
When I help, it gives me great satisfaction. I always tell myself that if I help one person today, that person may go on to help another, and that other person will help another and so on. At the end of the day, one kind act may indirectly affect many.
NTUC This Week 7 May 2017. Article by Fawwaz Baktee
Tags: U Women Network, NTUC, Women Leadership, Women Union Leader, National Library Board, NLB