Managing anxiety and 3 career tips!

Fam,

Today is one of those days when I feel FREE and in control of my emotions. I’ve been feeling a lot more like that lately, but not naturally, I had to work on it VERY HARD.

I was in Naivasha last week with my high school best friend and other really good people that I value so much. We arrived there on Thursday and guys I can’t explain the mad time we had. It was awesome and to be honest there is no point trying to narrate the experience because you just needed to be there to understand.

So by Friday evening I started getting some anxiety. If am brutally honest the only alcohol left was beer and since I prefer to go the Russian way with some hard liquor, I was quite sober. Being sober in this case meant being aware of how happy I was in that moment, but then my brain decided to get it twisted and started freaking out about what’s next for my career.

So obviously I start getting irritated because I am like “now why in the freaking Naivasha awesome vibes would anxiety decide to kick in now? All I want is to have a great time with my friends. I am leaving on Sunday and this is literally the only time I have with them until we are back in the same country. Arrrrrrgggghhhhh, A.N.X.I.E.T.Y why?

There is a story behind my anxiety. I’ve been through a lot guys and I guess you are probably thinking – well anyone can say that, what’s unique about your situation? I think the first thing I want to address is that we should never compare anyone’s pain, everyone with their journey.

I am honest about my challenges because I meet people who tell me things like – “I wish I had your Life” and I often wonder if they are aware of the tough battles I am fighting behind the scenes. In hindsight, I have learnt to count my blessings, and if they had My Life, they would thank God countless times. I am just not sure if they have the capacity to fight my battles, food for thought!

Here is the thing, we were never taught to anticipate tough challenges in the work place, which we all come to learn is a standard experience. You are indeed lucky when you don’t have challenges and ideally the dream is to work smart so that you are surrounded by amazing colleagues. That’s the dream, right? But the reality on the ground is that there are more than enough roadblocks, causing anxiety, depression and other mental/emotional issues amongst the African youth today.

I am definitely not an expert in managing anxiety, but I have most certainly gone through anxious moments which led to really bad panic attacks. I am a strong woman, at least that’s what people tell me, so before I am down on the floor having a panic attack, just know that there is something up and I am doing my best to deal with the situation. I feel like I am literally scaring you right now with what’s going in with my Life, but don’t be, it’s shaped me to be stronger and better.

I wasn’t going NOT to have fun in Naivasha because of anxiety. I was tired of anxiety controlling me randomly and I was determined to overcome it sooner than later. So what I did is that I chose to sleep for an hour, took a hot shower after and joined my friends in the dance and just being happy. That was the first time I managed to control my anxiety, and it started by not fighting it. I read online that you shouldn’t fight it because it causes more anxiety. Since I wasn’t about to tolerate my anxious self, I chose to sleep it off , shower and quite frankly it worked.

I am not saying this is something that will work for you. I am just sharing my journey, how I handled it an anxious moment and hopefully that will inspire you to find something that works for you. I believe some of these things is just about finding what works for you, which is all that matters at the end of the day. Now as for career tips, I believe as African youth, bulk of our anxiety issues are influenced by worries around careers.

These are the 3 career tips I would share with you today

  • You actually have 100% control of your career: Many a times we are caught up believing that other people are in control of our careers, be it your managers or colleagues. Which in essence is totally absurd because you are literally the one person that has 100% control. And here is the thing, I know sometimes you can be like “but my manager is the one that can promote me“. Look, if you don’t get promoted, that doesn’t mean that you can’t quit and look for another role that will help you shine and exude that awesome person you believe you are.

 

  • Believe in the spirit of abundance: So this is a follow up from the first career tip. I understand that it’s not easy to just quit your job and get the one that fits your preferences immediately. And this is made worse if you factor in that you have invested so much in a particular role/company – you are probably more likely to compromise on personal well being and happiness as you pray for that promotion or appraisal. I get it and I’ve been there. What’s interesting is that I was literally pushed to the edge of the cliff where I could not rely on anything but myself. I have been forced to take a step back and reflect on what I have that can help me get to that next stage. That process involved thinking big, not limiting myself to the bubble I was forced to burst out of. Don’t think that you can’t be successful without your company, YOU CAN!

 

  • Ask for help: Shit will hit the fan in some stages of your career and this is the time to ask for help. It’s important that you also help others help you. Be clear and concise about the issue and how exactly you think they can help you. Always remember to communicate that you are open to new solutions you hadn’t explored before. Be cautious who you seek help from, not everyone is there for you. The good news is that there are amazing people out there and they are more than happy to walk with you, even if that just means sharing their wisdom!

Battling Low Self-Confidence?

Fam,

After laughs, good food with my mentor he asked me “what happened to the girl I met 4 years ago?

Within the first few seconds I thought he was going to say someone else’s name and then it hit me – he meant Miss I!

Right there and then I started crying!

I always look at this picture and I wonder if I will ever go back to this lady.

When I stopped blogging I was hoping I could get my confidence back so that I can continue sharing inspirational stories with my audience. 1 year passed, 2 years and now it’s 2018 and I still feel worse than I did when I stopped blogging. I meet people that know me as Miss I and they give me the look of “this confident, go-getter lady” and I always wish I could see myself in their eyes.

My confidence has been affected by external factors which is a story for another day. It’s important I mention that because naturally we are confident people, we are just influenced by situations around us. It’s an on-going process. One person does something that hurts you and just when you think you will have a break another person disappoints you in ways worse than the previous person. And the vicious cycle continues, decreasing your self-confidence with time.

I tried to compensate for my low self-confidence through investments. After I bought land I really waited to hold the title deed. I was hoping that when I see it with my own eyes and hold it with my own hands – I will feel a little more confident. When I finally held my title deed, things didn’t go as planned.  Can’t necessarily say I felt worse, or better – I just remember learning that you can’t buy confidence.

Don’t get me wrong, I bought the land because I also want to accumulate assets. I was just hoping that the by-product would be more confidence. But I’ve soon come to realize no amount of money and assets can make you confident. It sure can grant you the right to care less, and by that a lot of things will stop bothering you unnecessarily. When less things bother you, your confidence is less jeopardized. I mean you can do whatever you want, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

However, my confidence did increase when I started my Masters at Trinity Business School. First of all I was paying for myself fees in a European University. Not once in my Life did I ever think that I would afford that at 25. I remember in high school my classmates would discuss all these amazing international universities they planned to enroll in. I didn’t even try to dream of a scholarship in these schools, it just wasn’t a dream I could afford to have. I was wrong, because guess who just finished her 1st year at Trinity Business School – ME!

It felt nice paying for my school fees because it meant believing in myself which I am struggling to feel a lot more often. I am actually eager to pay for my second year fees because it’s just a confidence boost to see that I have continuously believed in myself to finish my Masters degree. It’s not a sustainable confidence boost model, but at least it’s a start. If you are struggling with low self-esteem/self-confidence, take yourself to school. Confidence comes from within, and investing in your knowledge will 100% increase your confidence levels.

After I dropped my mentor home I thought to myself that may be I should share this rough patch with my readers. I bet I am not the only battling with low self-confidence. I’ve received a couple of great comments on my CV article. People are really impressed with what I have managed to achieve thus far. But I don’t see myself in the eyes of my readers, and that’s a big challenge that I need to overcome.

Lastly, please don’t see me as a victim. That is the last thing I need. Truth be told I have been a victim for the last 2 years. Those that know my story tell me I’m the strongest person they have ever met. What you need to understand is that continuous fighting gets really tiring and eventually self-confidence gets affected in the long-run.  But even then, I don’t need anyone’s pity. After all, I am only a victim in one sphere of my Life. I count my blessings, and the last time I checked, they outweigh the rough patch I am in.

Things happen for a reason. May be God wanted me to know what low self-confidence is so that I am in a better position to inspire my audience. When I was blogging I was in a constant high – awards after awards, interviews after interviews and everyone including myself could see that I am acing it in Life. You know what they say, success is not end, it’s standing up each time you fall.

I consider publishing this blog post exposing my vulnerability me standing up after the great falls I’ve had since 2017. I don’t know if I will go back to the Miss I we all knew in 2014. May be I am the same person, perhaps better. I really don’t know and I don’t want to rush the reflection, I will however share the journey with you. What I know for sure is that I should love myself the same, whether I have high or low self-confidence – workin on that!

I hope my vulnerability inspires you to stand up each time you fall.

 

Miss I’s Google CV

Hey Fam,

One of my most read articles has to be the CV related ones. Shortly after I stopped blogging a lot of readers would reach out to me requesting for the link to my CV article. It hurt saying that the blog is off and I made it a commitment to publish CV related articles as soon as I started blogging again.

What I will share today is slightly different to what I shared 4 years ago, and that’s because things change and I’ve learnt a thing or 2 at Google. There are a couple of articles I want to publish in relation to CVs. They are such an important document that I need to break it down to different blog posts so that my audience can really benefit from what I have to share.

I’m going to start it off by sharing my Google CV. It’s important to note that I have a CV that I use when applying for roles internally. I wouldn’t use the same CV to apply externally, although if I chose to be lazy, I could. The first thing I am going to emphasize is that you need to invest time in your CV. It took me a couple of days plus SERIOUS mentorship to write up the CV I am about to share with you today.

I am not going to get down to the best practices of writing a CV, that will be saved for another blog post. I discovered that my readers found it useful when I published my own CV as they could use it as a guide to write theirs. Disclaimer; I wrote this CV in the context of being a Googler, therefore, it may or may not work for your company. Also, I am yet to update my CV. There are a couple of projects I’ve been involved in this year, I just haven’t had the time to update it. It takes time to write a good CV so I didn’t want to rush and come up with something sub-standard. Without further ado, below is my Google CV.

 

Esther Kinuthia - Google Resume

ekinuthia@google.com


Fast Facts

Joined Google: 2014
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Core Role:  Associate Account Strategist – UK, Ireland, Nordics, Middle East and Africa

Other roles: Communication Lead Afro-Googler Network  EMEA, StartUp Success Manager Google Launchpad 

Passions: Marketing, Sales, Business Development,Growing People & Businesses


Summary

  •  Energetic, extremely passionate and performance driven professional with over 3 years experience in Marketing, Sales and Blogging.
  • I aspire to be one of the top 10 Marketers in Africa. Currently pursuing MSc Digital Marketing Strategy at Trinity Business School, ranked 1st in Ireland and 13th globally.
  • In 3 years at Google, I have progressed from a Marketing intern to an Associate Account Strategist, with a proven track record of meeting and exceeding objectives.

 


Google Honors and Awards

  • MEA SMT Spot Bonus Award – for improving team flexibility by developing efficient working methods     
  • Carbon Rally Winner in EMEA Award – for highest $ opportunity adopted                                                 
  • Spot Bonus – 7 received for top performance across EMEA and immediate team contribution                        
  • Peer bonus – 13 received for collaborative efforts within and outside immediate team                                         
  • Kudos – 9 received for going above and beyond to help my colleagues                                                                        
  • Top 40 Under 40 Women in Kenya                                                                                                                       
  • Airtel Future Leader (link)        

 


Education and Training        

Msc. Digital Marketing Strategy           Trinity Business School Ireland       2017 – 2019

C-Level Leadership Training (link)      Ivy House London                             2017

Bachelor of Commerce {Marketing}    Strathmore University Kenya           2011 – 2015

 

Google Timeline
Associate Account Strategist July 2015-Date

Core

  • Supported 5000+ businesses troubleshoot and optimize their Adwords, google my business, tag manager, shopping and analytics accounts
  • Consistently exceed targets QoQ on Service Revenue Program,  Customer satisfaction and Same Day Resolution
  • Proactively attained the 5 Green Belts in Brand, Performance, Mobile, Measurement and Programmatic required for a sales role and applied the knowledge in a services role
  • Business Awards:

2017

– Team Contribution Award for problem solving, execution and Googleyness

– Carbon Rally Winner in EMEA Awardfor highest $ opportunity adopted                                            

2016

-CSAT Hall of Fame:  November, August, July

Customer Growth Award: June 2016

Best Team Award: Q2 2016

2015

Team Contribution Award for closing the highest number of cases

Team Roles

  • As Workflow Lead,  increased team flexibility and Googler happiness by designing language chat templates that improved the workflow structure.
  • As Knowledge Lead, reduced basic chat rate by planning relevant product trainings and doing important knowledge team updates in every team meeting
  • As Quality Lead, reviewed hundreds of cases ensuring compliance with global legal, workflow, & answer accuracy guidelines
Marketing Intern Google Kenya     
Local Doodle Manager Africa
  • Collaborated with Country Marketing Managers in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana  in selecting the right Doodles for their markets, including opt-in Doodles
  • Biggest achievement: Kimani Maruge Doodle, was highlighted by Lorraine as the Doodle of the Week. Though we did not measure the widespread recognition, the Public Relations team collected 16 stories which has a circulation of 15, 092, 000. The Kimani Maruge Doodle topped that week’s Kenya search trends – a great win!
  • Second biggest achievement: Kenya Independence Doodle 2014
Digital Business Management
  • Worked with a local agency to film 4 case studies which were used during the consecutive DBM sessions
  • Coordinated planning of the events with the agency to ensure things run smoothly during the 3-day programs.
  • Trained on “Assessing SMB Digital Needs”
  • Received Kudos from Bunmi , Growth Engine & Brand Lead, Sub Saharan Africa, “Esther, a quick note to say thanks for your help in planning the recently concluded DBM program in Kenya; coordinating things with the agency and ensuring we had some great success stories filmed.
Bebapay
  • Trained at least 200 PSV staff which created a positive lasting relationship with Bebapay.
  • Inspired natural influencers amongst the trained staff who in turn rub off a good vibe amongst their peers.
  • Designed banners and posters to be used for this trainings.
  • Created “slogans” that would relate with the PSV staff