Top 8 Simple Must Do’s for Media Interviews: It’s Your 15 Minutes of Fame, So Make It Count

You could say it was my 15 minutes of fame back in 1997 when I stood on the front steps of the Miami Beach Police Department shielding my eyes from the South Florida sun as I stared into the lens of a TV camera. I had a plastic device nestled into my ear with a live feed from news anchors in Atlanta who quickly rattled out questions about the unfolding high-profile serial killer saga involving the murder of Italian designer Gianni Versace on the steps of his Ocean Drive mansion. There I stood like the cliché of a deer caught in the headlights. I heard voices saying something faintly in my ear as the producer waved her hand prompting me to answer. I had no idea what they were saying. And to top it all off, it was live and in Spanish. That’s right, en vivo y en español. ¡Ay Dios Mío! For the life of me, I cannot tell you what I said that day, but in the chaotic days that ensued in the aftermath of Versace’s death and subsequent hunt for serial killer, Andrew Cunanan who was holed up in a houseboat off the intercoastal, CNN en Español Read More...

Balance Is A Myth!

In my office is a tall figurine of my favorite super hero: Wonder Woman. My staff members gave it to me as a birthday gift. When I received it, one of them said, No one can see that cape you have on, but we truly admire how you balance it all. Daily I manage my career, handle an intense workday, care for two children, and run a small business. Then around 11 pm or so, I try and get in some work for my doctorate dissertation. Like many women with similar loads, I get asked how I manage to balance it all. I too have asked the question of others, both men and women. Every single person eludes that this demon called balance can actually be tamed. It cant. Balance is a myth. Bull. A fallacy. A perfect day at work means no drills, drama or interruptions, and I get to eat at a reasonable time in a relaxed setting. On the really good days, I may get to the gym. Home is also easy. We get through homework, dinner and everything else smoothly while still having time to relax and get to bed at a descent hour. Ha! There Read More...

Why Immigration Might be the Salvation for America

With the presidential election less than 70 days away it’s just a matter of time when the heavily contested topic of immigration will be debated by political parties to persuade potential constituents and voters. In the end, whether or not laws are reformed or introduced the action itself will significantly impact the people but more importantly the future of the United States. If you’re a world traveler like I am then you will immediately agree that the hardships in a 2nd or 3rd world country have taught many of their citizens to confront life with a keen sense of survival, work ethic and sacrifice. The old cliché “I came to America with zero dollars in my pocket” really isn’t a cliché after all, it’s actually the modus operandi for many immigrants that come to the United States. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule and for those that come here to exploit the American taxpayer and mooch off I will not support you or your lifestyle. What type of immigrant should America welcome and retain? Well, how about the talented and gifted A+ students who dream of becoming doctors, engineers and neonatal nurses? Unfortunately, for many of these overachievers Read More...

Five Ways to Make Your Mark in the Workplace: Show Them What You’ve Got!

I never thought I would have missed it, but on my first day at my new job, the beauty of wood-trimmed cubicle walls, the luminous fluorescent lights hanging overhead, and the feel of high pile carpet underneath my high heels was a sight for sore eyes. As I strolled down the hallway towards my new office, lyrics to a song bounced in my head, It’s a new dawn, it’s new a day, it’s new life for me, and I’m feeling good. Yet, at the same time I carried an air of confidence, it also felt a lot like the first day of elementary school -- the same excitement and nervousness rolled into one but with an adult twist. The first few weeks were a blur, so many new faces, so many departments, so many systems and passwords, and so many products and initiatives. I thought to myself (in a slight panic) how am I ever going to keep up? And more importantly how am I going to contribute in a significant way? After all, this is the big leagues, and I am the new kid on the block. I am going to have to show them what Ive got. That’s Read More...

Puma moms- The Latin version of the Tiger Mom

In my field of work where I am exposed to working with the community all the time,I get excited every time I see Latina moms establishing their authority between themselves and their children. It takes me back to when I was a child and it was crystal clear who was boss in our household. In the Latino culture, we practice old-school values of respecting our elders and to never question, negotiate or demand in an aggressive, vulgar or disrespectful tone at risk of getting a “chanclaso”.According to urbandictionary.com, a “chanclaso” is an Hispanic term used when a flip-flop is tossed on your head as a form of disciplinary action the minute you crossed the line. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=chanclaso Ask any Latino what that is and they will start off with a personal story of their own. Nowadays with so many regulations, laws and political correctness in our communities, “spanking” or being strict with your kids has been eradicated as an instrumental form of parenting. Unfortunately, this leaves many parents frustrated in child rearing because they fear that 1) the police may get involved or 2) fear of being ostracized in public by other adults or parents because disciplining your kidsis “uncool” in Read More...

Is Corporate America For Me?

Growing up, Corporate America was something that primarily existed on television or in the movies. It was a world Latinos did not enter. Neither at home, nor in school, was there any aspiration, or expectation that one day I would. That didn’t stop me from trying anyway. Yet when I entered, I was oblivious to the disparities and the challenges. Having entered to “make it like everyone else”, I never considered how much gender and race mattered, and how they both affected my advancement. Additionally there were way too many unwritten rules and more diplomacy than one can take in a lifetime. Was Corporate America for me? There were just so many obstacles designed to discourage, break and push you right out the door. Unless you know exactly why you’re there. Despite the challenges, I knew I was definitely there to succeed and so I had to learn how to navigate around them. I started by carefully outlining my career goals, putting together a strict, yet flexible timeline for what I wanted to accomplish. I then took personal stock, focusing on what I did not know and how I could learn more. This was my opportunity. I had to own Read More...

E-mail and Modern Manners

I think it’s safe to say that most of us in the business world rely heavily on e-mail communication – and tons of it. For some, it’s a primary source of communication and interaction with employees, clients, and other business associates. As a communications professional who is constantly communicating with people throughout several time zones, e-mail is critical to my business. Like many of you, I personally write and respond to more e-mails a day than make phone calls or meet people in person. According to The Radicati Group, Inc Marketing Research Firm, the average number of emails sent and received per day is 192 (for the record, today I received 317 e-mails and probably responded to about 60% of those). It’s a job on its own. With so much of our daily communication dependent on the magic of e-mail, I started thinking about what makes a good e-mail and why some e-mails just don’t receive the intended responses and reactions. After all, I see e-mails that run the gamut from short, sweet, brief, very specific, disorganized, unclear, exciting, disheartening, happy, “winky” and sometime downright rude. Could a little e-mail etiquette be in order? Here are some general guidelines to Read More...

The Enigmatic “It” Factor: We All Got It, So Sell It

In my professional career, I have always been the type of person who worked diligently, produced good work, and excelled in my roles. I always assumed that by doing a great job I would automatically be rewarded, promoted, and given that coveted pat on the back. After all, weren’t we always taught – especially women – that good things come to those who wait? So why was it that individuals in the workplace, who were inept and inefficient at their jobs, somehow move up the corporate ladder and succeed time and time again? Believe me, I have experienced my share of this and have always had the same question pinging in my head. Does the leadership not see what seems so clear to me? As the years have passed, it finally dawned on me that these individuals were actually quite astute and strategic. Whatever skills and abilities they lacked they made up for in presentation, in the ultimate sale. They had the “it factor.” Suffice it to say, it rarely mattered that they could not really execute nor deliver because they usually found someone on their teams who could. With these experiences in mind, I decided that instead of focusing Read More...

Are you a Latina Expert?

On Naming and Claiming our Latina Expertise Expert = adj thoroughly skilled; knowledgeable through training or experience. Noun a person with special skills or training in any art or science. (Webster’s New Century Dictionary, 2001) When we first considered what to name this website, we considered a wide range of choices before arriving at LATINA EXPERT. It seems important at this point to be explicit about what our intention is in choosing this name and also about our vision of how this site can be used by all Latinas to further grow our sense of ourselves individually and collectively. In my work with Latina professionals in organizations, I am constantly amazed at the wide range of talents and depth of experience these women have developed. I am sometimes also amazed at how unaware or unassuming they can be of their capacities and how remarkable they are. There are many people in organizations with much less going for them who are more than willing to “toot their own horns” and make grandiose claims about their abilities. I wonder about how we as Latinas can best acknowledge and utilize our gifts in ways that feel right to us and yet allow others Read More...

Take the Lead On Your Career

More than often, Latinas leave the responsibility of advancement in the hands of their immediate manager, or hope it will happen by chance or solely because of hard work. If only it were that easy. So what exactly are you responsible for? What do you need to do to advance, secure that promotion, or move up the career ladder? The answer lies in taking the lead on your career and committing more energy to it than anyone else. Below are a few pointers to help you gain some perspective. Start With A Self Inventory Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. Identify the things you are exceptional in and those in need of improvement. Solicit formal and informal feedback from trusted individuals that can help you identify those areas. Leveraging your strengths and working on your weaknesses will make you a well-rounded professional and better prepare you for advancement. Set Goals and Envision Yourself Where You Want To Be What are you working towards? What heights do you want to reach? Identify your goals and get a realistic perspective of what you are aiming for. Review your goals regularly to ensure they are in line with what’s really Read More...





   

 
 

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