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25 Feb 2021

Humans of Kent: Indira Kadyrkhanova, Training & Development Manager, Kazakhstan

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Gratitude is the right attitude

Born in one of the most beautiful cities in Central Asia, Almaty, is also known as ‘the city of apples’ alluding to the many apple trees seen in the locality. With its European style architecture and breathtaking mountains just minutes away, I’m grateful to have spent my childhood surrounded by natural beauty.

I would alternate between the scenery of mountains in Almaty and the banks of Caspian Sea in Aktau where my parents worked as lawyers. My father spent 40 years helping people, then went on to become a famous Judge and my mother became famous for publishing notary legislation. I think it’s because of them I’ve had overflowing compassion in my heart for wanting to be of service to others from a young age.

I got divorced when I was pregnant and, as is the Kazakh tradition, I came back to my family home to live with my parents who were extremely supportive. During such a difficult time in my life, I delivered my premature baby girl during my 6th month of pregnancy – she weighed only 980 grams. We fought and prayed for her life as she was in incubation for the next 3 months. It was one of the toughest phases of my life, yet it was a time that gave me incredible strength, courage, and wisdom to go through this life and all its experiences with grace and positive surrender. Aisha, like her name, is a survivor. She’s now thriving as a 15-year-old with resilience in her bones and gratitude in mine.

The one theme in my life has been gratitude – it makes us feel happier, healthier, and more optimistic. Gratitude is far more complex than saying a quick “thank you”. There are a multitude of ways of interpreting it’s meaning. It is one of the universal themes from our shared experience of what it really means to be human. I’ve learned that when you’re in the habit of acknowledging all the good things you have and the people in your life, it’s easier to care of yourself and bounce back from any adversity.

Since Aisha’s birth, I have been a part of Charity Knitting Club for premature babies, engaging mothers to knit clothes for premature babies and abounded children, for anyone who would like to contribute to this charity @club28petelastana, please get in touch.

My path towards HR though, was becoming clearer when I worked in the role of Director of Advising. From then on, I naturally gravitated towards roles like HR & Training Advisor, Senior HR Manager and Training & Development Manager before joining Kent. When I got to speak with a few powerful women of Kent like Albina Li, Mandy Kennedy and Zhanar Ablayeva who made a great impression when they talked about the people and culture of Kent, the decision to join Kent became an easy one. It’s been two years, but it feels like I’ve been here for much longer. My father used to say, “Indira, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. If a door is closed, there’s window open for you.” How true… Kent was my window to a fulfilling career. This is a company where you have true freedom of expression, it is home for growth, creativity, challenges, and innovation.

Words don’t do justice to express my heartfelt gratitude that Kent chose me to be part of this wonderful family. With over 50 nationalities, we get to learn so much about our colleagues around the world and their culture. Since joining Kent, I’ve bloomed like a flower – my mental health has been at its best in a long time, I’ve become calmer and happier. What else can you expect when you have a creative, hot blooded and caring team who are your support system. Kent is about heart and soul and this is where home is.

I’m grateful for campaigns like Movember at Kent that have helped me to further engage with my team and got us closer as we talked about the various mental health issues faced by men. It was in the middle of Movember when my lovely father passed away. The doctors could’ve saved him in time but due to their poor knowledge they couldn’t – they had been treating his stomach, while he was dying of a heart-attack. These are the times when you know the real meaning of forgiveness and gratitude. With forgiveness and gratitude comes grace. As the news reached my Kent family, the support and good wishes came flooding in. This is about being human and a family – much more than any monetary value.

I would like to thank Kent for supporting small families like ours with Aisha. Do come visit our beautiful mountains and our culture. We welcome you with open hearts.

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