Girl em[Power]ment – Laney Kay

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

Over the next few months will be bringing you the Girl em[Power]ment series, which consists of interviews with several working women of all ages in different stages of their career. These are women I not only find inspiring and interesting, but who I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women hold careers in several different industries, from creative design to politics. They’ll give us an inside look into what their job is like, how they got there, share their advice for twenty-somethings, and touch on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them.

Our next influencer is Laney Kay, whom I was fortunate enough to meet this summer through my internship. She was one of my supervisors, and is relatively new to the work place having graduated last year. During my time spent with Laney, I could easily tell that she was not only driven and focused, but always looking out for the welfare of everyone who she worked with, and of course so kind. Keep reading for her insights into what it’s like to be a twenty-something in the workplace at a high profile magazine brand.

Introducing Laney Kay, of Seventeen Magazine
Insta – @laneykay
LinkedIn – Laney Kay

Q: What is your current job title, and can you please briefly explain your career path?
A: Advertising Sales Assistant at Seventeen, Hearst Magazines; I graduated college in May 2014 and started at Seventeen in September 2014 after spending the summer interning at a PR firm and deciding that PR wasn’t for me. I didn’t do many internships, which I definitely regret, but somehow was lucky enough to land the job at Seventeen! I heard about Hearst from a family friend and after extensively researching the company, I was determined to work here. I went in for an informational interview with HR and waited several weeks to hear back [the worst], when finally a position at Seventeen opened up and I knew that this job was for me. I was ecstatic when I got the offer! I have been here for a year now and couldn’t be happier. It’s a great work environment and I love the people I work with, which is definitely important.

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?
A: University of Arizona – Communications Major, Business Minor.

Q: How do you deal with negativity towards women in the work place [if at all]?
A: Honestly, I haven’t really heard of much negativity towards women in the work place recently, but if there is any negativity still going on in today’s world, it is SO untrue. I work at a corporation that is majority women and I see plenty of powerful and inspiring women on a daily basis. Anyone who still has negative feelings towards this subject [which is so old school] should spend a day in the Hearst Tower and they would walk out with a different mindset after seeing how many talented and powerful women work here.

Q: Have you ever felt unsure of yourself or felt that you weren’t “enough”, and how did you overcome that?
A: During the job search process, there were several times that I felt unsure of myself… If I didn’t hear back from a company or if I heard back saying I didn’t get the position, it was obviously a little discouraging and made me feel that I wasn’t good enough for these positions [I’m sure everyone feels this during the process, but it’s important to stay positive!!]. Everyone always said things happen for a reason and I didn’t really believe in that statement until I got the job offer for Seventeen. I had been on a couple interviews prior to Seventeen and was upset that I didn’t get the job, but if I had gotten those other offers, I wouldn’t have ended up here! To overcome the rejection from other companies, it was important to stay encouraged and keep applying at other places. If I didn’t get an offer, I always told myself it wasn’t meant to be.   

Q: What are other things you do [hobbies, projects, interest] that you feel passionate about?
A: I don’t know if these are classified as hobbies, but I enjoy eating [I guess I would consider myself a little bit of a foodie], I like to shop, I enjoy traveling and wish I could travel more often, I love to dance, but don’t remember the last time I had the chance to. A few of my interests include fashion, beauty, pop culture/entertainment, and social media. A little project that I’ve been trying to work on alongside of work is closet organizing. I know how weird this sounds and people wonder how someone could enjoy organizing closets, but I am SUCH a neat freak and my friends have always been fascinated at how crazily perfect my closet is that I’ve found an interest in organizing for other people. I’ve done a few of my friend’s closets for fun on the side, but it hasn’t gone much further than that. I’ve heard of people being “professional closet organizers” that are successful and have a big clientele, but this little experiment may stay a project and not a career unfortunately.

Q: Is there anyone you think that is making a difference in women empowerment that you think we should all know about?
A: Oprah, Beyonce, Jessica Alba, Anna Wintour… just to name a few. I know these are the most cliché people to mention, but all of these women truly show how powerful women can be!!

Q: What do you do in your free time to relax?
A: When I get home from a long day at work, all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch TV [I know how lazy that sounds, but it’s the best after a long work day, especially when Sex and the City is on]. Otherwise, on the weekends I like to hang out with my friends, go out to eat, take walks, and do a little shopping if I allow myself to! I also go to my hometown in Maryland quite often to visit my family, they’re the best!

Q: What career and/or life advice would you give to your twenty-year-old self?
A: I’m only 23, so I’m sure if I was asked this question in a few years I would have a totally different answer, but in regards to career advice, I would have told my 20 year old self to do more internships! I never realized how important they were until I started applying for jobs and realizing that I didn’t have much relevant experience for the positions I was applying to. I was lucky enough to get an offer from an amazing company, but the job application process probably would have been much easier for me if I had internships to showcase on my resume. Also, I would have told myself to network more, this is super important in today’s corporate world because you never know how helpful someone could be in the future! However, I’m continuing to tell myself not to be in a rush to grow up and enjoy the present rather than worry about the future.

I hope you enjoyed perspective from a twenty-something – keep following to see the next influencer, and follow along on insta – @girlempowerment

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Xo, Flancake