Darman Foundation’s Uyghur Spirit Youth Conference was successful in hosting different speakers who focused on their journey towards achieving success in various areas of their lives. Last week, our first article in the Uyghur Spirit Youth Conference Series, looked at Success in Activism.

Today, we’ll be sharing the advice given on the importance of relationship building in professional success as shared by Rayhan Asat during her talk.

Rayhan Asat is an international specialist Attorney in Hughes Hubbard’s Washington, D.C. and a Graduate of Harvard University. Rayhan has extensive experience in Central Asian, Canadian, Turkish, and Chinese law. In 2019, she was announced the president of the American Turkic International Lawyers Association and since then has been a mentor for Laws without Walls.

Asat’s talk emphasized the importance of accepting and respecting the diversity of the world we live in today. When asked what she means by that, she explains that to live a life of professional success, you will encounter wide diversity, and it is when you truly become open minded about the nature of society that you will be able to connect with people in a real manner. 

To Asat, relationship building is an integral part of being successful. It isn’t just about “tolerance”, it is much more. It is about respecting other people’s beliefs and values. Being open minded and respectful to other people’s cultures, beliefs, practices, and mindsets helps you understand and appreciate how diverse the world is, and how flexible we need to be when meeting people of diverse backgrounds. It can be the smallest of gestures that make a difference to others. 

Success can have different meanings at different stages in your life. It may mean publishing an article, or getting a promotion but as you progress through your life, you realize the holistic experience of success. Success is to be shared. Shared with people, with your communities, with relationships you make throughout your life. Cultivating a career is also about cultivating personal relationships. 

Asat emphasized the importance of paying it forward, 

“It’s a full circle. It’s about community.  I’m a big believer in paying it forward. I love mentoring students or people just stepping into their new profession. It is those meaningful relationships that are my source of energy and inspiration. Success to me is complex, it is not neither nor. It is career, it is family, it is friends, it is those personal relationships…it’s care for the world. Being an informed citizen. Not just a domestic citizen. It means caring about what’s happening in Syria, or to the Uyghur region or in Darfur”. 

While success has many aspects to it, and balance is crucial, neglecting our connections to people would be doing us a disservice in the long run. Asat urges youth to focus on their internal traits, as it is very easy to be tempted into this world and the material benefits that will never truly bring a person the same assurance that caring does. 

Success as Asat puts it, comes with truly trying to be a better person, an informed citizen and painting the seeds of friendship along every step of your career. 

Link to Rayhan Asat’s full talk here