August 09, 2019 | 14 min read
Humans of MacKeeper: Krikris, PR Team Lead
Humans of MacKeeper is a series of interviews with our team. We talked to engineers, designers, product managers, analysts, marketers, and many others to take you backstage at MacKeeper. We believe that people are the heart of any business, and we want you to meet the heart of ours. Welcome behind-the-scenes!
Position: PR Team Lead
Random fact: Once a month or so, Krikris makes short trips to unknown places. She believes it’s a great way to unwind, change her environment, and relax.
Let’s travel back to your first day at work. What was it like?
I remember how my new manager met me. She said, "Hello. How are you?"—and took me to my workplace. From the very first day, it felt like the beginning of a warm relationship. Because I already perceived Alf as a friend, not a boss.
We talked for two hours straight, two job interviews in a row, just because we enjoyed discussing all the thoughts we share about our profession. Probably, that was the reason I realized that Kromtech was the place I wanted to be.
How did you understand that?
Because there were people who did things that I understood—things that were incredibly interesting to me. Campaigns ranging from how to make the product grow to how to make the world a better place were all given potential to become real. The coolest thing about it all was that I started doing my job right from the very beginning, working with everyone, side-by-side. So, essentially, we skipped the boring onboarding part and proceeded to action.
Did you hesitate before accepting the job offer?
Honestly? I had doubts. The decision was difficult. On the one hand, it was the best company I could work in, and actually one of the best companies in our market—in terms of experience, responsibilities, and growth you could get here. But on the other hand, there were some concerns. I lived too far away from my future workplace. And given the time needed for me to go across the whole city and get to the office, I would literally lose sleep [laughing].
But in fact, one of the main reasons I accepted the job offer was the opportunity to work together with Alf, my manager. In a previous role, she had really put a lot of effort into building a stand-out content marketing function. And of course, I was curious to work with such a person.
Your nickname is Krikris. What does it mean for you?
When I was a child, everyone used to call me Khrystyna. It’s a Ukrainian version of my name, which I never liked, actually. When I entered university, I set my rules right away, saying, “My name is Kristina, but you can call me Kris.” Since then, everyone started calling me Kris, and I loved that.
When I joined Kromtech, I didn’t want to come up with a new nickname—but I had to, as mine was already taken. So instead of being a double Kristina, I decided to be a Krikris. And in fact, this nickname is very fun.
If you needed to come up with a nickname again, you’d still be Krikris, right?
Yes. But I must admit that some people have very cool nicknames here. Let’s be honest: when you’re sad, and you get a message from a person nicknamed Cat’s Ear or Woodpecker, you smile immediately. It’s so cute.
Let’s talk business. What team you are a part of? What role does your team play for MacKeeper?
I have a great team. Our goal is to tell the world that our product and company are transforming. MacKeeper does have a past, but it’s time to move forward. Some mistakes were made, and we cannot hide or forget them. But we can turn this bad past into a good present with an even more successful and promising future—not for the company, but for its users and customers.
Describe your typical day at work.
Actually, the most important task for me is to plan my day. As a creative—and a little chaotic—person, I find it difficult to force myself to do one task at a time and stay focused. That’s why I try to do my planning first thing in the morning.
Another important thing that I have at the very beginning of the day is coffee with my best office friend. Yes, I have a coffee-friend—a unique and wonderful soul who I really love having a morning talk with. Usually, we go upstairs to the cafeteria, grab a delicious cappuccino, drink, and talk about everything that has happened since our last coffee chat. And, believe me, we always have a lot of things to discuss.
After that, I usually roll back to my desk and do what I’ve planned with a clear conscience and an open mind.
What are your most and least favorite tasks?
Planning is probably my least favorite task while developing a strategy is definitely my most favorite one. When you have a step-by-step plan, you can turn it into a long-term strategy, then put all your ideas on a timeline and clearly understand when, realistically, you can achieve the result you want.
First off, it seems crazy. But when you sit down and write the plan for yourself, you set yourself up for achieving what seemed to be impossible at the beginning.
You work in marketing, PR, where everything changes rapidly. What helps you keep up with trends?
As a creative person, I love the fact that in marketing, there are no things you get bored with. It’s interesting to watch how our competitors and the companies we admire are embracing new trends and instantly see the human response. I love to keep track of this and immediately catch up with the latest trends out there.
Plus, I read loads of cool articles on topics ranging from genetics to data science. Then I take all the exciting insights and turn them into creative campaigns. I don’t much enjoy reading professional literature, because in most cases, it’s out of date. But I really love reading art books, because they seriously push your creative limits and enrich your language.
Name a few character traits or skills that are necessary for your job.
Communication is probably the first thing a PR specialist needs.
The second is the ability to step over your “I can’ts.” Because it’s never about your true abilities—it’s about what you think you can’t do or achieve.
And the third is the ability to stay positive. When the only thing you want is to run away and cry, you should remember to stay positive. Crisis situations arise out of the blue, and sometimes there’s no one to blame. Whatever the problem is, it’s not a catastrophe. And at the end of the day, everything will be fine.
If you could choose any superpower to help you with your job, what would it be?
The ability to stop time. When I was at school, I wanted to use this superpower on exams, so that I could write tests on time or at least make them last longer so I could finish properly. Today, I face a lot of situations that require lightning-fast action. Instead of pulling people off their meetings, I wish I could just stop time, nudge these people, and ask them what I need then restart the clock.
Describe your job in three words.
My coffee-friend, my lunch company—here you can always find people who are a pleasure to talk with. We have a seat around the same table and discuss a range of things, both work-related and not.
These are the people you meet in the doing of work, not just drinking coffee. At Kromtech, you can approach any person and get help in literally ten minutes. Plus, there is always someone to look up to.
When I joined Kromtech, I started reading a lot, attending online courses, webinars, and conferences. It’s very motivating to understand that you still have a lot to learn—and that you have the people around you to learn from.
Is there something about your job you feel proud of?
I am proud of MacKeeper and its willingness to change. And I am very proud that this company decided to embrace change despite having a well set process. It’s never easy to move in one direction and then turn around and move in another one.
On days when you lack motivation for work, what helps you to pull yourself up and do it?
On such days, I just stay home and work remotely. It’s the place where I find strength. Probably because my house is my castle.
I have a cat who is always ready to support me. She lies down near my laptop and watches me work. Sometimes she interferes, but in most cases, she sees that I am focused and does not bother me at all. I have a comfortable chair and some beautiful home decor which inspires me to work with a different level of motivation. And as a result, my work-from-home routine feels like a hobby, not a job.
What is your personal anti-stress recipe? How do you recharge after a busy week at work?
Whenever I feel blue, I try to take a break in the middle of the day and go for a massage. It's a life hack: first, you deceive the universe (and your brain) by saying that the day has already ended. Then, you come back to your work and feel happy again.
Another life hack is good for overall productivity. Once every month or so, I take short trips. They always feel like a mini-vacation. You completely change the environment and relax. Plus, you meditate on your plans for upcoming trips whenever you have a free minute.
Long story short: first, you find what inspires you. Then, you make it regular, so that not only does your newly acquired habit make you happy, but also the anticipation of it does.
If you could swap places with any employee in the company for one month, who would this be? Why?
I would swap with our Marketing Director—just to reassure myself that my life is not as busy as it seems, even when the number of meetings in my calendar is overwhelming.
I could also be a developer, but I don’t have those skills. What would be even more exciting for me, would be to try being a barista—to understand how they can be so cheerful with everyone, and to hear all the fun stories that people share with them.
Describe your dream job.
Kromtech is a well-known company, and everyone on the market understands that no ordinary people can get here for work, and that everyone who does get in doesn’t want to leave because the job offers priceless experience.
This explains why so many people reach out to me with pretty good offers. But every time they write, I answer, “Thank you very much. I’m pleased that you’re paying attention to me, but the only company I will trade Kromtech for is Google.”
And I think this is not a rare answer.
Now imagine you got the job offer of your dreams. It’s too good to reject, so you’re leaving. What piece of advice would you give the company and your team before you head out?
Let’s start with the fact that I probably wouldn’t leave now. It’s ridiculous to leave on the verge of such a huge global project like ours. It’s not a question of your CV. It’s a question of you—both as a professional and a person.
I am 100% sure that this project is not yearlong. But I am ready for this, because in a year or two, I will be a completely different professional.
And actually, when this project succeeds, I can go to Google and say, “Guys, I know that you were waiting for me.” And they will say, “After turning around such a cool project, we cannot help but take you on as an expert.” [smiling]