Today on Pearls And Heels we feature Josephine Mwangi. Josephine Mwangi is a communications professional with a passion for bringing brands to life and driving change for individuals and businesses through communication. She is currently the head of communications and marketing at Nailab. Josephine has over the last 10 years worked on developing and implementing communication and marketing strategies for brands in different sectors from oil, FMCG’s, aviation and financial industries. She is now focused on sharing that experience with startup businesses who have limited budgets and she says she thrives on the challenge.
- Describe your typical day?
I don’t quite have a typical day, nothing at Nailab qualifies as typical. However, some of the elements that will be similar from time to time are engaging with Nailab clients, managing mainstream and digital communication activities, reading the paper and blogs especially opinion pieces on direction innovation and entrepreneurship is taking. There is nothing constant with my work
- What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a banker because my mum was one…Needless to say, my short stint in the bank was not quite what I dreamed of. My palate for careers changed as I grew up and it moved to being a lawyer then to a psychiatrist, an air hostess, the glamour was too enticing to pass on and eventually a broadcaster which landed me in my current field. Clearly, I wanted to deal with people, speak to people, help people, and learn people so communications came on just naturally
- If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Everything I have excelled in and failed at has made me who I am today. I have come to learn how to enjoy the journey, though that was never quite easy and still isn’t.
4. What would you say are the top three skills needed to succeed at your job?
- People skills – PR is all about people. Grievances and complaints are inevitably part of the job and you have to make everyone know their opinion matter and they are paid attention to, even on your worst days
- Analytical skills– Learning how to create several scenarios of any action/ campaign. The good the bad and having a thoroughly thought out plan B.
- Listening skills – It’s necessary to learn to listen more than you talk. That way you will know best what works for the client and their audience and how you can make the relationship better
- Crisis management – Always be prepared for a crisis. Preparation of a crisis communication plan is critical before rolling out an activity. Just like a scout “Be prepared.”
5. As a professional how is it working in Nairobi? Is Nairobi open to what you do or what could be better?
Nairobi being quite cosmopolitan is quite open to different cultures thus allowing new and different ways of doing things. It’s in Nairobi where digital communication caught on and this is slowly spreading. It allows you to learn, move quickly, change quickly and adapt. Also seeing that most if not all communication agencies are stationed in Nairobi, the competition to be the best is rife and you have no choice but to be the best at what you do. On the downside, it is too fast paced that if you don’t plan your life well, you will be sucked into the rush of everything and forget what is important in life. Living!
- What motivates you?
Oh men, the answer to this question has changed a lot over time but the one thing I know is true, is being a better version of my yesterdays self keeps me motivated in all ways.
- How do you define success?
Success to me is getting a deep understanding of the value of life, and making the most of it for those that are around you. That is success
- Who has been your greatest inspiration?
This will sound so cliché but my mother is. She is what I call an all-roundwoman. Spiritually, career wise and at home. She managed to learn how to strike that balance and still be the best self in every circumstance. Strong, resilient yet the most loving human I know.
- What is your favorite aspect of your job?
That every day I am learning.
- What would you say are the key elements to being successful?
Being true to yourself and others, being sensitive to others and knowing that nothing in this life is definite and knowing that no one person is the spring of information. Whether valuable or not, everyone brings something to the table.
- What advice would you give somebody just starting out in your line of work?
Learn. There is no text book formula to making anything work. Experience coupled with and open and yearning mind will get you where you want to be
- What has been your most satisfying moment in terms of career?
Bringing to life the Kenyans4Kenya project and watching Kenyans unite in giving for a brother/ sister in need and watching startups stabilize to employ hundreds of people with a deep understanding that what you do goes beyond you. No greater joy
- What makes you happy?
My nephew, watching him grow, learn to do things that I considered normal and seeing him learn the world through eyes of innocence and no judgment. I could gush all day.
14. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I am a sucker for quiet time, beautiful worship music and reflecting on what I am doing right and not so right……a movie, long distance drive and dinner with great company is always welcome. Oh yeah, discovering new places to eat J
- Where you see yourself in around 10 years?
A ball of wisdom accumulated through life’s lessons and experiences and sharing those experiences to help someone struggling with similar or different things as we navigate through this terrain of life.