If you’re lucky, you’ll meet someone in your life who you can turn to for advice, comfort and inspiration – for Huma Abedin, that person is one of the most powerful women in politics.
When she first met Hillary Clinton in 1996, Abedin was just shy of her 21st birthday. At the time, she was an intern in the office of then First Lady Clinton at the White House.
After four years at the White House, first as an intern aide, Abedin, now 46, went on to serve as a senior adviser to Clinton during her time as a U.S. Senator, Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. As traveling chief of staff for the campaign and deputy chief of staff for the US State Department between 2008 and 2014, when Clinton was Secretary of State. She currently serves as Clinton’s Chief of Staff.
As demanding as a career in politics can be, Clinton was the first to tell Abedin that her life “should never just be work,” she told CNBC Make It at the New York Women’s Foundation breakfast earlier this month. , where he was receiving an award. , “She taught me the importance of work-life balance, it’s something I’ve really been exploring and enjoying over the years.”
This includes spending more time in New York City with her son, Jordan, and exploring new creative pursuits – she publishes her memoir, “Both/And,” in November 2021.
Early in Abedin’s career, Clinton gave him a different “life-changing” piece of advice that has stuck with him ever since: “Trust yourself.”
“She told me, ‘Never let anyone else tell you what to do with your life,'” Abedin recalled. “You have to make choices that you feel are best for you, no matter what people say around you… Ultimately, you need to do what you feel is right for you.” and let your values guide your decisions.”
That advice has helped Abedin become “brave and courageous” in her professional life outside of politics.
“The biggest career decision I had to make after leaving the White House was to force myself to step out of my comfort zone,” he said. “Forcing myself to do things I wasn’t sure I was going to be good at—writing a book, public speaking—was hard for me.”
“I didn’t think I’d have the eloquence or courage to formulate a sentence or speak in front of a crowd. But what I discovered is that I was able to do the things I was afraid to do and come out on the other side , so it’s encouraged me to try more new things.”
Using his intuition has also helped him make better decisions for his career and take risks with confidence. Abedin said, “I have never made a choice for work or done anything that I later regretted.” “It’s always been something that in hindsight, I was like, ‘I’m really glad I tried.'”
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