Growing up in close knit, supportive, and colourful communities with lots of celebrations has helped shape and ground Luna (Loo-na) Das (she/her) - our Head of Client Success. She shares how honesty, integrity, humility, gratitude, and appreciation allow her to be comfortable with who she is and what she is achieving.
"My dad was in the Indian Air Force, and we moved around a lot when I was a child. We grew up in Air Force communities (“camps”) with other Air Force families and children. The fathers were mostly out, but there was an environment where people really cared for each other. The other families were part of our family, more so than our relatives, and they helped us in good times and in harder times. We had a comfortable upbringing, with good education. We had enough, but not too much. We went to army and air force schools. I had my sisters and lots of friends, but of course our friends changed every few years.
Initially I was quite shy. Because we moved around a lot, sometimes it felt like I’d start to grow roots and make friends, and then we would pack up and go. I would often start a new school after the school year had started and friendship groups had already formed. At school I was well behaved and academic, so the teachers were always very helpful. I was a bit of a teacher’s pet and the teachers always looked after me. I did form good friendships at school, and I still have good friends from that time.
There were so many festivals and celebrations growing up. It was so multicultural and diverse with many languages, looks, religions, and foods. It’s such a healthy concoction of cultures. From August there is Diwali, Christmas, Eid, Baisakhi - I have lived in so many places in India and they are all so different – some places are more easy going than others. And each place has a different temperament.
When I was younger, I hated moving around, but it had a huge positive impact on me personally. I believe that ‘I can’ because I have been dropped in new situations and adjusted. It has made me fearless, and I feel like I can conquer anything that comes my way. It has made me confident in my abilities, it has impacted on how I look at situations. Sometimes at work there are hurdles, but I feel like I can conquer my fears and take on problems. I am comfortable in standing up for what I believe in, and for what is right.
When my children were young, we were living in India, and we thought it would be a good time to move. We really wanted them to feel free to pursue their passions and not feel pressured to head down particular paths. We were also worried about the pollution and the deforestation making way for concrete jungles. My husband was able to work in Canada and IDP was really helpful in finding me a temporary job in Canada too. I was able to mould that into a permanent position. After a few initial hiccups which were primarily cultural, we now feel at home here in Canada. It is a truly diverse place, with great people that are the heart of the country. We have really been embraced with open arms and we’re in a happy space. I have grown, done new things, learnt a lot and worked with amazing people here.
I have mentioned the importance of diversity a couple of times. It brings new ways of looking and thinking of things. Everyone sees the world in a different way, and so they think differently about problems and solutions. There are often several aspects to an idea that you haven’t considered until someone else raises it. Different nationalities and cultures see different things. For example, a problem in the Western world such as heat or crowds, is not a problem in Asia! At IDP, we have so many languages, cultures, nationalities, and differences. It is very enriching personally and professionally.
Honesty, integrity, and humility are so important to me and are part of my character. As a human, I think you are honest, or you are not. I’m very upfront and straight forward. I don’t like excuses. I am very honest with my clients, and it helps get more business. I am a bit more toned down at work than in my personal life. In Sales, it’s really rewarding and it’s not difficult to be honest.
Integrity is huge. It’s a big pillar of my values system, of who I am and how I function. Integrity helps us to become a good human and a successful professional. Honesty and Integrity go hand in hand.
Humility is about being thankful for what you have in life. I am very thankful personally and professionally and I feel very settled. I do not believe in status quo. I believe we should use the life we have been given. I am learning guitar and exercising daily.
My goal is to learn new things, stay grounded, and help people. I encourage everyone to find meaning in their life and to appreciate what they have been given. Help each other and be kind to each other. Your mind and your health are resources that you have been given –please use them!"
Luna – we love your calm, appreciative and grounded look at life. So does Mickey, your beautiful pet bird, who spent most of our conversation walking very comfortably and affectionately around your neck. What a great friend!