Spotlight on Lina Abisoghomyan
Meet Lina Abisoghomyan: The daughter of two diplomats, Lina is a global nomad and emergent technologies enthusiast who is fascinated with foreign policy.
What were your ambitions when you were younger, and what are they now? How have they changed?
Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be a diplomat. What exactly that will look like for me has changed dramatically over time, and continues to morph based on experiences gained from travel, work, social life, and personal projects.
As a kid, I didn't know exactly how I would do it, or what that would look like to me, but being the daughter of two diplomats gave me my whole childhood to think about it. Growing up, I had the opportunity to travel very extensively, reaching 27 countries by the age of 13. Initially, I thought I would want to join a government entity's diplomatic core to be a part of implementing a foreign policy vision. I considered the United Nations, and the Department of State.
In college, I majored in International Relations where I gained a breadth of knowledge about the world at large and how it functions. I realized that I wanted to be part of implementing a foreign policy vision on a much larger scale - larger than that of any one single country. I wanted to be a part of the creation of the underlying processes and methods of how countries work together on the global stage to solve all kinds of problems, from health crises to international trade disputes. To help give me perspective and direction in pursuing this very big idea, I interned, worked or consulted for 4 government entities, a think tank, and 2 private-sector companies.
At 22, soon to be 23, I can't say that I know what the exact 'ideal outcome' of my ambitions would be. But I do know that the work I have been exposed to in the diplomatic sphere thus far has greatly contributed to both my knowledge of and the direction of my ambitions.
What is the advice you would give to young entrepreneurs who hope to be like you one day?
I attended a leadership conference recently, where we talked about measuring and tracking your growth and success. It made me think about how I personally have internalized, analyzed, and drawn from my own journey.
I think the biggest piece of advice would be to never compare yourself to others. Learn from others (on both what to do, and not to do!), converse with others on their approaches to accomplishing goals similar to yours, look to others for help and guidance… but never compare yourself to them.
In this day and age, especially with the widespread use and easy access we have to social media and other forms of fast-communication, it’s easy to get caught up in who’s accomplished what, who’s going where etc. But it’s also important to remember that there are a lot of things we DON’T see about people’s journeys. After all, they don’t always share the full story. I think comparing yourself to others can actually hinder your success because it can misguide you. It’s just like looking at professionally photo-shopped photos and thinking, “Well I don’t look like that.”
I think comparing yourself, to yourself is A) a far more accurate indicator of how well you are doing, and if you are heading in the right direction and B) a far more honest conversation with yourself.
I keep a very detailed journal of my accomplishments and challenges faced, big and small, so that I am able to go back and read about my thoughts, strategies, and feelings towards getting there and apply lessons learned in the future. There are tough times, where it is actually even MORE important to keep detailed notes of what is going on around you and how you are interpreting and handling things. There are good times, where your journal is a slight brag to yourself. Regardless, keeping a timeline of my own journey has helped keep me accountable, and has been valuable to me in mapping my growth as a leader, professional, and individual.
How do you create a work/life balance?
Work/life balance is something that I think is different for everyone, and what's most important is that one take the time to think about what exactly that actually looks like for themselves day to day.
For me, my best tool for my work-life balance has been keeping a clear and consistent calendar. It's important to keep appointments big and small. Consistency is key. Of course there will be times when things come up, and priorities need to be re-prioritized, but overall having a routine has helped greatly in allowing me to not stress about forgetting about, or not having time for something. I am a martial artist of 17 years, and a fitness and fashion model of about 4 years now. Continuously making time for these things allows me to keep in touch with facets of myself and my personality that ultimately help me be my best self, and thus contribute to the person I bring to work every single day.
Another important part of my work/life balance is keeping myself engaged in areas of interest daily, even if it is not necessarily directly relevant to my work. I am very interested in marine biology, and in architecture, areas that have almost no relevance to the work I do every day. So during my commute, I will listen to podcasts or read articles about these things, to stimulate my brain in ways that allow me to take some mental time off work while keeping me engaged and learning.
Sunday afternoon nirvana: Tea, a blanket, and a view of nature
Spirit animal (and why): Jaguar, because... the eyes
Breakfast of Champions: Omelette with extra cheese and the most bitter black coffee possible