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Life and Work with Laura Paez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Paez.

Laura, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’d say my story began when I discovered, at a very young age, that I had a strong desire for self-expression. This desire to express my thoughts and feelings through mediums that have evolved over time, along with my eternal love for words and passion for connecting with other humans brought me to where I am today.

Choosing a career path was very daunting for me because I wanted to do it all. I worked full-time during college and gained experience in various industries and fields including customer service, advertising, e-commerce, digital marketing, internal communications, public relations, and more. I explored the world of high-end fashion, beauty, technology, consumer products, and entertainment.

I am currently a communications professional at a global media company. I am also the Communications Director at myFinTect, a modern financial planning and coaching company, and I offer consulting services for clients in retail, real estate and more. I’m a true Gemini and a jack of all trades.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think it’s ever a smooth road! You’re always dealing with internal or external challenges. In my case, I feel many doors opened because of my experience and I always counted on the support of my family and friends which was great. I also had talented mentors along the way, but I did struggle with the challenges of indecisiveness and self-doubt, as a lot of people do.

My advice for young women (and men), — for humans — is to keep going. Don’t be static in life. As long as you’re doing something… working somewhere, gaining a new skill, meeting new people, you’re getting closer to figuring out what you want or don’t want. Try and be fearless when you’re fearful. I know it’s easier said than done, but perspective is key. The only way to learn is to make mistakes and in order to do that, you need to explore new and unfamiliar territories. Know when to move on. This is a tough one because if you’re anything like me, you take your job and everything in life way too seriously. You want to make it work. You want to make it happen. But if you’re no longer gaining much value where you’re at — it’s time to move on and it’s totally OK. Make sure you evaluate what worked and what didn’t work when moving forward, this applies to all areas of life.

Please tell us about your work.
As I mentioned earlier, I currently work in a global media company as a publicist and communications professional managing internal and external communications for Latin America and US Hispanic. I am also the Communication Director at myFintect, a modern financial planning and coaching company focused on the development and optimization of clients’ financial lives. This is a project that is dear to my heart because I was a client before I managed their communications so I know their capabilities and I believe in their mission and work. This also lead to work with other clients. Aside from my PR work, I am the artist behind Lola Mento, Spanglish webcomics/illustrations that use wit and humor to depict realities around topics like mental health, love, break-up, and grief.

I am most proud of the relationships I’ve built along the way. As a PR and communications professional, I understand the power in relationships and I highly value my personal and professional relationships.

What sets me apart from others is that I constantly aim to add value to those around me. I am eternally curious and I have a knack for being able to communicate what others have trouble expressing.

There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
LinkedIn is a great tool! I’ve landed some great jobs there and I’ve made interesting connections via LinkedIn so take some time to polish your profile and reach out to contacts that you find valuable.

On the other hand…

Introspection is a wonderful thing. Introspection is free and it will allow you to get to know yourself better. Mentors are always great to find and you will most likely find a mentor at home, at school or at your job, but none of this makes sense if you don’t take the time to know yourself first.

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