A diverse career
Al-Najjar, who has Syrian ancestry, was born in Bahrain, grew up in Dubai and studied in the US. “I’m very proud of the diversity and mix which has moulded me into who I am today,” she says. After studying counselling technology at Hawaii Pacific University, Al-Najjar started her career in counselling, followed by education and later advertising before moving into HR.
In 2003, she joined Pepsico’s HR management trainee program, which was designed to build the capability of young, talented UAE national candidates and prepare them for managerial roles in the HR field.
“I was attracted to a career in HR, as it seemed to me the perfect blend of ‘people’ and ‘business’,” says Al-Najjar. “What could be more perfect than to use my counselling knowledge and experience of advertising and the corporate world, and combine them into something that serves humanity?”
From there, Al-Najjar went on to work for several organisations in HR roles in the public and private sectors, including Gillette, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the General Civil Aviation Authority, before setting up her own business, Impact HCC in 2013.
“I’d been toying with the idea for a while,” she reveals. “Working in both public and private sector organizations gave me the insights, knowledge and understanding of the main challenging trends and concerns of the HR profession in our local market.
“I became determined to address them and drive the wave of change where I was working, yet being an employee can sometimes present its own limitations in terms of decisionmaking. “As a consultant, I’m better positioned to share the tools that can truly impact the way we do business and build our most valuable asset – people – in a market that welcomes change and growth. What better place is there to be than the UAE, where the main infrastructure nurtures such burning ambitions? And what better timing to live in, than this time and especially with announcement of the Dubai EXPO 2020? This is truly an opportunity not to be missed, for making your mark, learning and overcoming new challenges, as well as, growing and expanding your business to new levels and horizons!”