Hello, I’m Yasin. I’m a Digital Marketer and User Experience Designer living in East London.
I have an Arabic name and an Arab father, but my complexion is Irish pink – as is my mother’s, who happens to be Irish. I spent my first 15 years in London and then moved to Cork, Ireland. Now that was a culture shock! Sure, moving to India or South Africa would have been more of a mixup, but for a soft, city boy like me, Cork was more than adequate to tear me asunder.
I always loved writing, but my parents assured me I was guaranteed a life of struggle if I made it my career. So instead, I became a Computer Science undergraduate at University College Cork.
At university, in some ways I transformed. I learned that trainers don’t go with flared jeans and that skinny jeans > grey cotton tracksuit pants – both powerful, transformative lessons – but I still hadn’t figured out how to shake off the shackles of insecurity and painful self-awareness.
New York, Baby!
I booked a flight to New York for right after my exams. I was intending to go alone, but my best friends – Austin and Michael – decided to tag along. I wanted to throw myself in at the deep end and see what would happen. New York was definitely the deep end. If you’re not ready, that city will chew you up and spit you out.
I was not from a wealthy family, and no one in my family knew how to keep money. It was like trying to keep water cupped in your hands. So I went over to New York with worryingly low funds. But I wasn’t going to let low funds = low funs… Once jetlag had subsided, we hit the streets with crappy little CVs in hand, ready for the crappy jobs crappy CVs get you. We all got incredibly familiar with the word ‘no’.
And for me, the rejections were like ticks of a clock. ‘Sorry, we’re not hiring.’ TICK. ‘You don’t have any experience.’ TOCK. Time was running out. Money was definitely running out.
My Dream Job
One day I’m on Craigslist and I see an ad entitled Seeking ATHLETIC, ENERGETIC People for Promotion. Bingo! I’m athletic. I’m Energetic. You might as well tag ‘beautiful and charismatic’ on the end there.
The ad copy is incredibly vague and broad in its requirements (I later learned this was intentional). Written kind of how horoscopes are designed. I get excited thinking how perfect I am for this role (as is everyone).
I call up and speak to Miss Smoke&Mirrors. I get an interview! What a talented boy I am.
I tell the lads they should try to get interviews there too. It’s going to be pretty tough for them though: it was obvious to me that this company required a certain caliber.
They both get job interviews.
Why warning signs didn’t go off, I’ll never know….