Today on Pearls And Heels we feature Laura Kaindi. Laura Kaindi is a PR practitioner passionate about New Media – providing digital solutions to age-old problems/situations, currently working at Tell-Em PR Agency. She also keeps a few chickens on the side. Laura is the mother of one adorable, super bubbly little boy.
- Describe your typical day.
My day starts at 5 am, with lots of thoughts about fitness and exercise. Every once in a while, I do make it for the gym (within the estate) for an hour then get myself ready for work and my child for school, and then I am off to deal with the world. No two consecutive days are the same at work, and that’s the most exciting thing about what I do. Every so often there is a client or industry event after work, but when there isn’t I am home latest by 7 pm.
- What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a lawyer, with communication coming in a close second. I thought I wanted to be a reporter but that was before I found out about PR in school and it was all I ever wanted. I however tried working in journalism and film before settling in PR.
My passion for new media has played a big part in landing me where I am right now, and I am happy.
- If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I would go directly into PR since I knew from the very beginning that was what I wanted to do, instead of going around trying to be a Jack of all trades.
- What would you say are the top three skills needed to succeed at your job?
- People skills – PR is so much about relations. Media Relations, brand relations, internal relations. You must be patient with people and know what to say and when.
- Staying calm and sober thinking in whatever situation – always take a moment to think about a situation and then come up with an appropriate solution.
- Creativity and Writing – PR involves a lot of writing. Digital communication needs a lot of creativity. Content must be on point and preferably witty.
- As a professional how is it working in Nairobi? Is Nairobi open to what you do or what could be better?
I love working in Nairobi. I love how ‘chap-chap’ everything and everyone is. Nairobi does not give you a chance to slack off. Snooze for a moment and life passes you by. What could be better? Well the traffic for starters, but there’s not much I can do about it. Sigh.
There are opportunities in digital communication – More corporates are understanding the need for going digital so there is quite a bit of job openings in this. There is also an opportunity in giving training on the same to those who still think new media is all about spending the day tweeting or on Facebook
One of the challenges is that there aren’t enough jobs! So many trained professionals and so few job opportunities.
- What motivates you?
Knowing there is always room to be better. God has given me the energy and countless opportunities and I am not about to take it for granted. I am not at my best yet so I have to keep learning and growing. Also, knowing that I am the only one that can give me the kind of life I am comfortable living. That needs quite a bit of hustle.
- How do you define success?
For me, when you achieve a goal without taking any prisoners or stepping on toes. When you lift others up with you.
- Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Will I sound conceited if I say myself? 2 years ago, I came to the realization that I am my biggest fan and yet my biggest critic. Of course, I have the immediate family that I turn to for guidance and help in decision making too.
- What is your favourite aspect of your job?
The diversity in what we do and the people we meet/interact with. There is never a dull moment. The best thing about working in an Agency is that you deal with different clients from very diverse sectors/industries. Keeps your brain alert and active. I’d die of boredom if I had to run on a monotonous daily schedule.
- What would you say are the key elements to being successful?
Discipline – You need to always motivate and cheer yourself on.
Determination and resilience – Don’t give up. Try, try again.
Passion – Love what you do.
- What advice would you give somebody just starting out in your line of work?
Don’t step on toes while finding your way up and keep all your contacts. You will at one point or another need them.
- What has been your most satisfying moment in terms of career?
I am not there yet. I am still working towards that ultimate satisfaction.
- What makes you happy?
Food, LOL. So many things make me happy. I am generally a very happy person.
- What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Y’all waiting for me to say eating, right? Ha ha. I love to travel and I try to do it as often as I can. Doesn’t have to be anywhere fancy or exotic, even that 40-minute road trip to my shagz is super refreshing. Plus, the usual taking my child out to the kiddie park – I’ll so miss this when he’s older; swimming and chilling. Yes, chilling is a hobby. Just putting your feet up and not worrying or stressing? So much bliss.
- Where do you see yourself in around 10 years?
Enjoying the last of my 30s. I love PR and I plan on being in the same line of work, but preferably at that point where I’ll be able to telecommute from some exotic Island half the time.
You can find Laura on Twitter at @MissBiskweet and on Instagram as @laurakaindi.
Pearls And Heels: Adelle Onyango