Assia Jarmouni, pictured, was born in Morocco and grew up and studied in Belgium
Find out how this young woman quit her job and found her calling
Starting over: Assia Jarmouni’s foray into radio inspired a complete career change. Now with a radio programme, “Spirit of Africa”, and a handful of cultural projects under her belt, she tells Delano magazine how she has found her calling.
Jess Bauldry: Tell us a bit about yourself
Assia Jarmouni: I was born in Morocco and grew up and studied in Belgium. After graduating in commercial sciences, I came to Luxembourg. That was nine-and-a-half years ago.
What was your career path?
The first job opportunity I had was when companies came to the campus and offered contracts. I came to Luxembourg to work in fund administration in an advice and management company until August, 2016.
Why did you quit?
In life people ask you ‘what’s your passion?’ I think that’s a very difficult question. Some people know from the beginning what their passions are. But for me I always had the feeling it wasn’t my place in my job. I was there because someone offered me a contract. You are happy because you work and have money to travel.
I began questioning things when I turned 30, maybe before. I also really believe in the law of attraction. I think I had a lot of encounters. They were all pieces in the puzzle that drove me and gave me the strength and clarity to leave my job.
Tell us more.
Two and a half years ago I met a lady who had a show on Ara Radio. She invited me onto the show and I really liked the experience. I checked if Radio Ara had a programme dedicated to Africa. I felt guilty coming form the north of Africa, not knowing anything about sub-Saharan Africa. There were a lot of programmes but not one fully dedicated to Africa. So I wrote to the management to propose a programme and did a trial.
Assia Jarmouni handled the communications for the European Month of Photography exhibition in Luxembourg
How did it go?
Recording is technical. If you don’t know that you have to open the session there is a risk it will not record.
I was talking for half an hour and it was terrible. I was interrupting the music and hesitating. When I looked to see how long my recording was I realised that none of it had been recorded. So, I started over. I think it was part luck because then it went really well. Now I can do it blind. I call the show “Spirit of Africa”. I really like the experience and receive guests from the African diaspora. It’s been two years, since last February, that the show has been running.
Was that what made you quit your job?
A lot happened over three years. I met a guy who gave me some free coaching when I was still working.
With this guy I realised I needed to inspire people so we created a movement called Lovemob. It’s a philosophical movement to inspire people to bring people together, to be more involved in social action.
It’s also to help people to accomplish things and become successful themselves in following their passions.
We held the first event in December 2015. Little by little I was starting to change. I think at a certain moment it had to come out. Crazy or not, I quit my job in August 2016 without really having a back-up.
What has happened since then?
I had saved enough money to live on for a year. Then two months later I got hired as an employee working on shifts at the Cercle Cité Ratskellar gallery space (see top photo). In October 2016 I had the idea to set up a business, Heartz Sport Lux. I hosted two evening events, “Music Touched My Heart” and “The Magic of 1001 Nights”, where we had live performances and food and dance. The idea was to connect people through art. I then took a break to coordinate the European month of photography exhibition.
Now my idea is to have my own venue for Heartz Spot Lux. Finding a venue in Luxembourg is a big challenge. There are a lot of concert venues where you’ve gigs but you don’t have one single place or network where you’ve access to different artistic expression in one after work session. For now I’m building up the data base, trying to categorise all the artists I would like to bring on board and I’m working on finding the partners, writing the business plan and doing marketing.
What did you learn from your experience?
I quit my job to have more time to dedicate to this. It’s been ten months but I’ve been doing a lot in between. I think it’s important to make the break…I think it is only when you leave this everyday routine that your creativity increases. You have the luxury of time.
Have you changed careers in Luxembourg? If you want to share your story, let us know by emailing [email protected] with a summary of your old and new career.