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Don’t let jealous people stand in the way of your professional success!

How to stand out at your job & every day life!Julia had lived in New Jersey for 10 years and was working as a waitress at a local restaurant when she started taking night classes at her community college. Her goal was to earn an associate’s degree in nursing, and to that end she slept little and socialized even less. She spent weekends studying and finishing her assignments online.

When she finally got her degree and she started looking for work in different clinics and hospitals, she noticed that some of her friends and some relatives looked at her differently. Instead of feeling proud of her, they’d make comments like: “You think you’re better than us because you’re going to be a nurse?” or “You don’t have time for me now that you want to be a doctor?”

Of course, Julia was hurt by these verbal attacks, even more so because they came from people close to her, people who she thought would understand her and support her. But she never let any of this stand in her way.

The truth is, it’s not easy to stick to your decision of trying to make a leap that will put you above the educational or socioeconomic level of those around you. These are moments when envy starts to rear its ugly head and can make your doubt your decisions. Below, I want to share with you some advice that has worked for me when I found myself in a similar situation:

  • Never feel guilty for being successful in what you set your mind to.
  • Always remember that your success is a fruit of your vision, your intention, and your dedication.
  • If you put yourself in the shoes of the person who is jealous of you, you’ll understand why for him or her, your success is a sign of their failure. In other words, these people feel that if you get ahead, then they’re lagging behind. But the reality of it is that when you better yourself, your family and those around you also improve because you can inspire others to break barriers and to go after their dreams too.
  • Instead of wasting energy on getting angry with people who envy you, you should actually pity them for their limited view of the world–and keep your distance.
  • If you can’t distance yourself from these jealous people, try to avoid discussing with them your projects or your accomplishments. You really don’t have to be an open book with everyone. There are certain things you should keep to yourself and share only with those you know will be happy for your success.
  • Reinforce your decision to get ahead by surrounding yourself with positive people who will support you.
  • There are times when finding these types of positive people means finding new friends. Try forming friendships with your new classmates or work colleagues.

Sadly, jealousy is a very common feeling in humans and we all fight it on a daily basis. The important thing to remember is to never give up! And to do this you have to always be clear about your goals and to surround yourself with an army of cheerleaders that will encourage you along your journey.

This article was originally published on Mamas Latinas.

7 Tips to make as much as a man in the workplace

How to stand out at your job & every day life!A recent study confirmed that women in the United States continue to earn less than men in the workplace–and Latinas earn even LESS. For every dollar that a man makes, a Latina earns 60 cents (on average, women make 77 cents for each dollar a man makes). It’s estimated that in a lifetime, Latina women earn about $800,000 LESS than a man. As a country, we should be ashamed of these numbers!

Aside from encouraging legislation that will eliminate this salary gap and to continue working so that employers decide to change their own internal policies that favor this difference in wages, there are things that you can do yourself so that you don’t fall behind when it comes to your salary.

• Find out how much men charge for services comparable to the one you’re offering or how much a man makes in a similar position to yours and with the same educational level. Find a way to ask delicately so that you’ll get the information you need.

• Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. From the time you receive the initial offer, you should negotiate throughout your entire career. Take what you’re offered at first as a starting point instead of simply accepting it as a final number. This works whether you work in housekeeping or at a high-level job at a big company. These are the two possible conversation scenarios:

Employer: “I’m going to pay you $60 to come an clean my house once every two weeks.”

Your answer should be: “Thank you for the offer, but my regular rate is $85. I’m a completely trustworthy person, I have 10 years’ experience, and I can provide references. Do you think you can pay me my regular rate?”

or…

Employer: “We’d like to offer you $57,000 to start the first of next month.”

Your possible answer: “Thank you for your offer and I’m very excited about the possibility of working for XYZ. But I thought the salary would be closer to $65,000, which is what colleagues working in similar positions in the industry are making. I have 10 years’ experience, I know I can help XYZ do X, and I’d love to be part of your team. What is the possibility that you can improve the offer?”

• Keep negotiating. If you are self-employed, adjust your rate for your services every year, even if it’s only 5 or 10 percent, to account for inflation and a small increase for yourself. If you work on salary, sit down with your supervisor every six months to evaluate your accomplishments and make sure you’re equally compensated for those with salary increases or extra benefits.

• Maintain professional relationships with a circle of men or women who are used to negotiating so they can help you with your negotiation strategies.

• Use tools like salary.com and payscale.com to compare what you make to what is the average for your job in the industry.

• If you work for a company, look for jobs that will give you more visibility instead of support roles which are less visible. These are usually paid less.

• Getting rid of the salary gap is in your hands. There are many external forces responsible for this shameful difference between men and women. But if you do everything that’s in your hands to make that gap much smaller, you’ll keep more money in your pocket while this situation is solved on a higher level.

Image via Thinkstock

This article was originally published on Mamas Latinas.

8 Ways to Get Noticed on the Job

8 Ways to Get Noticed on the JobIf you’re determined to get a promotion, raise or even a better job this year, one thing you must ask yourself is: “How can I improve my employment opportunities?” Thankfully, it may be easier than you think to stack the deck in your favor. Here are a few suggestions to get you noticed on the job by the people who hold the purse strings:

1. Dress for Success. The saying goes, dress for the job you want, not the job you have. No, this is not an excuse to get a whole new wardrobe. But polishing your appearance to look the part, one or two levels above your current job, projects your professional potential. If your superiors can imagine you on the job, they may be more prone to offer you the job.

2. Network with the right people. Don’t just hang out with your work buddies with whom you feel comfortable. Find opportunities to chat up supervisors and executives in your department/company, even if it’s in the elevator. And whatever your field, find a networking group to meet with after work. The wider and stronger your network, the better your opportunities.

3. Volunteer for projects outside of your job description. Sometimes the thought of taking on one more responsibility seems daunting, But if you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone to take risks at work, it shows that you’re up to the challenge.

4. Bring new ideas that affect your company’s bottom line. These ideas could be big, like expanding the market (maybe you have unique insights into the Hispanic market, for example) or smaller (lowering costs on office supplies, for example). The goal is to show that you care about your employer’s business as if it were your own.

5. Promote other people’s projects. When you become the cheerleader for your colleagues’ projects and celebrate their success, you demonstrate a selflessness and overall positive attitude without bitterness or jealousy.

6. Mentor your juniors. Mentoring someone in a junior position or intern shows your leadership and team-building skills. Whether or not the mentee is a direct report, mentoring shows that you are interested in supporting the new pipeline of employees and that you have the ability and willingness to lead others to success.

7. Actively participate in meetings. Learn to voice your opinion diplomatically, even if you don’t agree with everyone in the group. If you have a well supported argument, you may be able to persuade others to consider your alternative point of view. Similarly, if you ask concerted questions, it shows you’re committed to understanding the business goals.

8. Help organize events and attend functions. This includes the office party, conferences, meetings and smaller gatherings. Whenever you are on the organizer’s side, you contribute to setting the agenda. That means you help decide the topics that will be discussed, select and deal with the speakers, and have your name included in all communications. And by all means, try to attend these functions when possible.

Adapting even a few of these ideas can quickly change the way in which you are perceived on the job. And being noticed is step Number One to accessing better opportunities.

This article was originally published on Mamiverse.

How To Leverage Your Latino Traits in the Workplace

How To Leverage Your Latino Traits in the WorkplaceNot too long ago, after one of my workshops on leveraging your Latino traits to your advantage, a young female participant asked me: “How can I advance in my career leveraging my Latino traits while avoiding the stereotypes associated with Latinos?” It was a great question about an issue that impacts many second or third generation Latinos, and even immigrants who have spent many years in this country and have learned to navigate the system well.

REMEMBER YOUR CULTURAL ROOTS
Most people tend to become overly assimilated and to forget about their roots to the point where they might miss great opportunities to leverage the Hispanic culture to their benefit. For instance, the young lady in this story avoided taking on assignments in Latin America at all costs because she believed, as many people do, that taking these kinds of assignments might pigeonhole her. And although this may be a good strategy at the beginning of your career, once you’ve proven your worth, you may want to reconsider it. Given the current interest in the Hispanic market, understanding the Hispanic culture might make you the ideal person to tackle some interesting projects.

There are many Latino values, skills and world-views that are passed down from one generation to the next. Finding out what they are and bringing them to the surface is the first step to leveraging their power.

So for instance, raised in a region of the world with a high level of unpredictability and frequent change, your parents and grandparents learned how to adapt from very early on. For them, the only way to survive involved creating alternatives to the way in which they conducted business or to how they managed their daily lives. They instilled these skills in you even if you are not fully conscious of it. It’s very likely that your natural abilitiesto solve problems, think fast on your feet, change direction in a split second and to do several jobs with equal ease are, at least in part, the result of your cultural background.

Your goal is to convey these unique characteristics and talents as part of your value proposition to your bosses or prospective employers. You must be able to communicate that not only are you great at what you do, but in addition you have all of these traits that will benefit the company.

FIGHT STEREOTYPES
And going back to the question of the young lady at my workshop, to avoid being stereotyped you must keep stereotypes in mind and behave against them. For example, if Latinos are perceived as being too informal in their communication style, perhaps you can prepare a PowerPoint presentation next time you are asked to present at a formal meeting. Or send special requests in writing to your team, rather than asking for things in passing that people may not take seriously. If you know there’s a perception that Latinos are not assertive enough, make sure that you master the art of expressing your opinion when it counts.

In this tough market you should use all of the advantages at your disposal. The secret is to embrace and leverage those traits that you may have taken for granted, but that can give you a competitive edge. The beauty is that there’s little effort required of you because these characteristics are part of who you are.

This article was originally published on Mamiverse.

How to stand out at your job & every day life!

How to stand out at your job & every day life!Teachers I’ve talked to tell me that in general, when they ask a question, the boys in the class are the ones that usually raise their hands. Women, from very early on, prefer to wait until they’re absolutely sure they know the right answer before risking giving an incorrect answer. Shame on these girls if they “scream” the answer without asking for permission. The teacher will usually remind them of the classroom’s rules, something that doesn’t usually happen if it’s a boy who does the same thing.

It’s very possible that this “training” that we receive at such a young age continues to affect our actions at work in the present day. The problem is that in this stage of your life, not raising your hand (that is, asking questions, voicing your opinion, etc.) can make you pretty much invisible, something that will restrict your job opportunities in the short and long run. Why? Let me explain…

Sadly, I see this attitude each time I hold one of my conferences. When the moment comes to ask me questions, most times the hands raised belong to the men in the room. In fact, in a funny illustration of this, the other day I presented in front of an audience that was 90 percent women, and one of the few men in the room was STILL the first to raise his hand!

Read more ¿Qué más? Is it ever okay to lie in order to advance your career goals?

Why are women so timid? It’s a combination of us wanting to feel 100 percent sure about what we’re going to say before opening our mouths, and the fact that we don’t want to seem dumb by asking something that perhaps others might consider obvious. Men, on the other hand, just wing it without as much thought and with less trepidation, and as a result they get more attention and more visibility. Do you remember how teachers often paid more attention to your rowdy, problematic schoolmates than to the studious, smart girls in the class? They were working under the assumption that the girls–at least the more dedicated ones–could go at their schoolwork on their own, while the boys needed their help. The same is true in our professional lives.

When you ask a question or make a comment in front of a large group, you make yourself known. You have the opportunity to state your name, the company or department you work for, and you get to ask something that will showcase your intelligence, knowledge, or interest in a particular topic. It’s also a great way to get noticed by potential mentors or advisors.

It’s a strategy that has always given me results when I attend any conference where I can find potential clients. Without fail, after asking something relevant, people approach me asking me for my card and telling me they’d like to speak to me.

I’m not saying by any means that it’s easy to put yourself in this situation. But the truth of the matter is that with the way the job market is these days, if you don’t cast aside all those notions of what is and isn’t comfortable for you and if you don’t put yourself out there to be noticed for the value you add to any job, you could easily become a target when the next rounds of layoffs come around.

So, do your homework, prep before any work event in which you know there will be a Q and A session so you could have a really smart, relevant question ready. Or, try to think of one during the presentation and make sure you’re one of the first people to raise their hands and talk when the moment comes. You’ll stand out from the group–and you’ll open many more doors than you can even imagine!

Image via Thinkstock

This article was originally published on Mamas Latina.