Voices

Day of Wrk launches to help disadvantaged young people understand job roles

Zakir Hasan, Account Manager at FCB Inferno on why he decided to create an initiative to help disadvantaged young people understand the realities of job roles and gain the confidence to apply.

Zakir Hasan, FCB Inferno

Account Manager

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“What am I giving back?”

This question has been in my head over the past year or so. And for me, creating Day of Wrk is the answer.

If you’re reading this, you probably have zero idea what Day of Wrk is!

In short, it is an initiative primarily aimed at helping disadvantaged young people understand the realities of job roles, and what they really involve, through a series of authentic day-in-the-life stories. Studies have shown that people are less likely to apply for jobs due to a lack of understanding of what the role entails. This is more likely to impact those from disadvantaged backgrounds as they lack network connections to find out about these roles. This then leads to less diversity across industries. My hope is that this page serves as a space to help solve this issue. I currently have over 35 stories live on the website, and contributors from a variety of industries and companies.

Whilst I didn’t grow up privileged, I do have privilege now and I am lucky to be in the position that I am in. If I can give back, I should.

Zakir Hasan

A truth to the story

Now, you’re probably thinking that you can just Google ‘day-in-the-life of X’ for whatever job role you’re interested in. And you’re correct. You can. But they are generally full of clichés, and don’t feel authentic. For me, there’s a truth to the stories on my website, and a real personable element which helps elevate them.

As to where this idea actually came from, the short story is that my younger sister asked me what I actually did for work, and the answer wasn’t just sitting at my laptop for hours on end in my bedroom! I quickly realised that a lot of people don’t really understand the many job roles that are out there. So, I saw an issue, and came up with a solution.

But while building the initiative, and speaking to various people, I’ve discovered that it goes much deeper than that. My own lived experience has played a big role and it’s why I am so passionate about it.

Looking up to someone who looks like you

I am an ethnic minority. And growing up, my dream was to be a footballer. But I always knew that alongside not having generational talent, South Asians in football were extremely rare. And it wasn’t until I was in my late teens that I realised how powerful having someone that looked like you in a role that you aspired to actually was. It gives you confidence. It makes you think that you can do something. It allows you to take risks. And this is still a huge problem in most industries; they aren’t truly diverse.

So, there’s another aim for Day of Wrk: to champion ethnic minorities and shine a light on their achievements. Every single contributor on the site is, and will be, an ethnic minority. By having these inspiring individuals, I hope that if a young person who is an ethnic minority visits the website, they are also inspired and feel confident in themselves and their dream. Because there will be a contributor who they can relate to.

When reaching out to the contributors, all I had was the idea. They didn’t know who I was. But they all gave me their story because they wanted to give back. They wanted to inspire those that came after them. And I found that there was a common theme throughout the stories, one of struggle. They didn’t have that person that they could relate to. But they are now that person, and they are using their status and influence to be that person to look up to.

Creating this initiative has allowed me to reflect on myself, my privilege, and the position that I am in. I was lucky that my friend Eve worked in advertising, so I could speak to her before applying to FCB Inferno. And whilst I didn’t grow up privileged, I do have privilege now and I am lucky to be in the position that I am in. If I can give back, I should. I’m hoping that Day of Wrk makes a difference, in both championing ethnic minorities but also helping people understand what other people actually do.

It would mean the world to me if you could submit your own story, if you are an ethnic minority, or share this with as many people as possible and encourage them to get involved.

Head over to Day of Wrk’s website, Instagram and LinkedIn to find out more.

Guest Author

Zakir Hasan, FCB Inferno

Account Manager

About

23-year-old Zakir Hasan works as an Account Manager at leading London advertising agency, FCB Inferno. He has worked on some of the biggest brands and campaigns in the world, including BMW, EA SPORTS, Premier League, and NFL, and also mentors for the charity Arts Emergency.

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