Today is our Pearls And Heels segment where we feature women and their careers. Our Pearls And Heels lady today is Rachel Njoroge. Rachel Njoroge likes to describe herself as a lover of brands. She loves watching brands tell their stories to appeal to various audiences and making a difference. The conceptualization of the story is the most exciting part. She works in digital advertising as an Account Manager at Squad Digital.
1. Describe your typical day.
I wake up at 5.30 am and get to work by 8.15- 8.30 am. A big chunk of my job is managing diverse personalities, strategy development and follow-ups. I like to have music playing in my ears as I work. The by-product of my work day is normally either a huge sense of satisfaction/pride or Mara Moja.
2. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I actually had ‘ambition phases’ growing up. My earliest memory involves me wanting to be a pilot, I then went through a lawyer phase in lower primary, a dancer/artist phase in upper primary (thank you Faith Hill) and eventually a Developer phase. Look at me now.
3. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Two things: I would definitely get into advertising earlier, I took too long to get that eureka moment where you discover your passion. I would also work on my self-confidence from the very beginning.
4. What would you say are the top three skills needed to succeed at your job?
Interpersonal skills – this goes hand in hand with excellent communication skills. In my job, I encounter clients and colleagues with very diverse personalities. I have to be patient with people, and know how to get the best out of each team member and when to pull back.
Perseverance – I could be juggling a thousand projects at the same time. I learn new things every day and that’s enough motivation to find the next solution to a challenge and keep on moving.
Great business judgement – This means spotting opportunities for growth for both my clients and the company I work for. I have to have my ear on the ground at all times or make time for it!
5. As a professional, how is it working in Nairobi? Is Nairobi open to what you do or what could be better?
Nairobi is the home of opportunities. There is always a door open somewhere willing you to be great. It is also very open to digital advertising with more and more companies willing and needing to engage with their customers online. The sore thumb is traffic.
6. What motivates you?
A happy client, an inspired team and the fact that I have an opportunity to learn and also live out my purpose and passion every day.
7. How do you define success?
Success for me is that internal fulfilment and satisfaction. Whether you derive it from love, following your passion, a happy family or even money.
8. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
I derive inspiration from my parents. My mum has persevered so much in life and business with immense grace and my dad who taught me that self-discipline is the only way to get through life. My SO’s selflessness deserves a special mention too.
9. What is your favourite aspect of your job?
When all the meetings, occasional fights, lessons and late hours culminate in a beautiful campaign.
10. What would your say are the key elements to being successful?
Gratitude for your now and optimism for your tomorrow.
11. What advice would you give somebody just starting out in your line of work?
If you do not have a passion for it, do not even get in.
12. What has been your most satisfying moment in terms of your career?
The first time I applauded the dedication of a gentleman who was an intern at my previous job (hi Wilfred) and he told me that he ‘learnt from the best’. It taught me that even in those moments of uncertainty, there is always someone watching, learning and getting inspired.
13. What makes you happy?
My loved ones, Kenyan Chevda and Kaldis Tropical Mix smoothie. 🙂
14. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I do a lot of watching. My favourite shows are reality shows, epic and award shows so this is clearly my favourite time of the year.
I also love to read blogs.
15. Where do you see yourself in around 10 years?
Surrounded by love in the shape of a loving (and loved :-)) husband and kid, prospering in a position that gives me more power to decide on the ideas that get implemented and of course running a couple of side hustles!
If you would like to interact with Rachel you can find her on Twitter at @Iam_RachelN.