On this segment of Women In Marketing, we are joined by Ana Karic who also happens to be our first Serbian entry! Ana shares with us the importance of keeping an open mind and being teachable. Let’s learn more about her
LET’S GET PERSONAL
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WOMEN IN MARKETING SERIES, ANA. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MEMORIES GROWING UP?
It is a pleasure and an honour to contribute to such a lovely community!
I was born and raised in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, Europe. I must say that I had a wonderful childhood, even though the political situation in my country was horrible at that time. As a child, I probably wasn’t aware that the majority of the population was unemployed, that the inflation was high, that I had limited opportunities. I realized only after many years, and now I am even more proud of where I come from and what I have managed to achieve.
Because of the mentioned crisis, I’ve spent some time in the US and was lucky to learn English without any hassle – it came in handy during my career!
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN YOUR HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE YEARS?
I was a hard-working student with good grades (it’s okay to brag a bit here and there, right? 🙂 ). I had an active social life; I went out A LOT. I was always into sports, travelling. At the end of high school, I began working as a model. It allowed me to live in many wonderful countries, meet, work and live with people from all around the world and learn a lot.
I must say that I’ve learned a lot through modelling and that those couple of years completely changed me as a person. I matured and was prepared to cope with stressful situations, to be a team player and to take care of myself at the same time.
I’ve graduated from the University of Economics. My focus was on trade marketing and management; the experience I’ve got by working as a model came as a great addition to my overall knowledge.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL? THAT ONE MEAL YOU WOULD FEEL NO SHAME FOR NOT SHARING!
Ha! Tough one!
Hm…well, even though I am all about living and eating healthy, a good pizza is something that would always make me happy 🙂
IMAGINE WAKING UP $10 MILLION RICHER TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FORTUNE?
Well, an exotic trip with my family to some fancy hotels is a no-brainer. Afterwards, when I am all tanned and recovered from jet lag, I would invest a significant amount of money in various businesses (not yet sure which ones), but spend some millions on charity as well. I am such a cliché, right? 🙂
WHAT IS THE ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN’T FIND ON YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE? ANY HIDDEN TALENTS PERHAPS? PREVIOUS WOMEN IN MARKETING CANDIDATE, ANASTASIA HAMEL SAYS THAT SHE CAN BREATHE FIRE!
Drawing and all stuff related to arts & crafts. I often wonder if I should have focused on becoming a (web)designer. Also, I am pretty good at learning foreign languages.
Another thing, not a talent, but worth mentioning so you don’t mess much with me 🙂 – I very often have psychic dreams!
CAREER AND WORKPLACE
WHAT ENCOURAGED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN MARKETING? AFTER ALL, MOST OF US GREW UP WANTING TO BE DOCTORS, RIGHT?
I never dreamt of becoming a doctor, believe it or not! Marketing somehow came naturally to me. After high school, I knew I wanted to go in that direction, I just needed to figure out which University and what should I focus on. Digital marketing was a good choice, I must say.
GIVE US A SNEAK PEEK OF HOW YOU TYPICALLY START YOUR DAY. ARE YOU #TEAMCOFFEE OR #TEAMTEA? OR BOTH? YOU BEAUTIFUL REBEL!
Do you think that I’ve started this interview without a coffee? I mean, I am a tea lover, but coffee keeps me alive!
THE PANDEMIC DISRUPTED OUR ROUTINES AND DAILY COMFORTS. HOW BEST DO YOU MAINTAIN A WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
I was on maternity leave during the peak of the pandemic. My day-to-day activities haven’t changed. It’s not like I was partying till 5 AM…well, I was, but a different type of party. Moms reading this will feel my pain :).
WORKING FROM HOME/HYBRID MODEL OF WORKING MAY SOON BECOME A REALITY FOR MOST ORGANISATIONS GLOBALLY. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON REMOTE WORK AND WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR CHALLENGES AS WELL AS WAYS YOU’VE MITIGATED THESE?
I have been working remotely for years now, sometimes full-remote, sometimes just partially since most of my clients aren’t from Serbia. I love going to the office and socializing, yet prefer to have an option to work from home, if needed.
ACCORDING TO A REPORT COMPILED BY MCKINSEY, THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS HAD A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE. THE REPORT FURTHER ILLUSTRATES THAT WOMEN HAVE INCREASINGLY BECOME MORE EXHAUSTED AND SUFFER FROM BURNOUT AS COMPARED TO THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW CAN ORGANISATIONS PROVIDE THE NECESSARY SUPPORT FOR WOMEN AS WELL AS MOTHERS?
Flexible working hours, remote work. It would be great if we could have an option to work six-hours without the fear of losing our job titles, or the job itself (this is something I often heard that happened when women started to work part-time).
2021 AND BEYOND
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN SINCE THE START OF THE PANDEMIC? ANY PIVOTAL MOMENTS IN YOUR PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL LIFE YOU CAN SHARE WITH US?
At the beginning of the pandemic, in the middle of my maternity leave, I experienced some unpleasant situations, work-related, but I knew immediately that that would turn out to be a great thing – and it did.
I’ve changed the company I work for, and I am very happy with my new employer. I’ve started some entrepreneurial work (so far so good) and this is something I will focus more on. Besides, I’ve met some great people I’ve teamed up with and I am eager to see where this takes me.
KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW TODAY AND IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Don’t hustle that much for other people’s dreams; work on your own.
ANY BUCKET LIST ITEMS?
Ah, a bunch of them. Let’s say…to visit Japan, to build a successful business and to expand my family. Again, a cliché :).
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR SHEROES?
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I prefer paper books, but due to the lack of free time, I also listen to audiobooks, podcasts…
It is crucial to educate yourself constantly, to always learn new things no matter the format.
WHAT IS ON YOUR NETFLIX WATCHLIST?
Breaking bad, The Startup, Narcos, but a bunch of documentaries about random stuff, as well.
WHAT WOULD YOU COME BACK AS IN THE NEXT LIFETIME CAREER-WISE? DO YOU THINK YOU MISSED A CALLING?
Perhaps I would try being somehow related to design, as mentioned.
WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE HOW FORBES CURATES THEIR MARKETING-CENTRIC CONTENT. HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO READ THROUGH THEIR CMO NEXT 2021 FEATURE? WHILST ON THE TOPIC OF GREAT MARKETEERS, WHEN YOU RETIRE ONE DAY, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED AS A PROFESSIONAL?
I would like to be remembered as someone who helped certain businesses to grow, but people as well. I will try to leave something behind that younger generations will find useful and helpful.
WHO HAVEN’T YOU SEEN OR TALKED TO IN A LONG TIME AND HOPE THEY ARE DOING OKAY?
I am active on social media, so I can stalk whoever I want 🙂
A UNIQUE MESSAGE FOR ALL YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE MARKETING INDUSTRY
Work hard in silence. Let results make the noise. Learn, test & trial. Stay humble.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME ANA. WE HOPE THIS INTERVIEW WILL INSPIRE FUTURE LEADERS AND OTHER WOMEN IN MARKETING. HOW CAN PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU AND YOUR COMPANY ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Globally, women hold just 24% of senior leadership positions. On the other hand, the stats go in favor of women employees in PR and marketing. Let’s join forces and make women in marketing stand out in leadership positions!