Posts Tagged ‘job search’

No powerful Latinas in New York City. Seriously?

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

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During the last few months I’ve been sending letters to the editors of general market publications such as Time magazine and Crain’s New York Business complaining of the fact that there are either too few or no Latinos at all in the lists they love to put together. Whether it Time’s Most Influential People or Crain’s “40 under 40″ or “50 Most Powerful Women”, there’s a worrisome absence of Latino leaders in these lists. Is this because there are no Latino leaders? No entrepreneurs under 40? No powerful women in New York? No. It’s likely because the committees that nominate and select the winners are not diverse enough. They make recommendations based on who they know and they ask their own network to suggest others that they know, perpetuating the nomination and selection of the same kind of people. If you look at this week’s 50 Most Influential Women list, you’ll see that it is a white girls club.

Why is this important? Because visibility breeds more visibility and opportunities. It also perpetuates the perception that there are no Latino and Latina leaders out there, nobody worth mentioning in a general market list. And what’s worse, no inspiration for our younger generation. If they don’t see diversity in the higher ranks, how are they expected to believe there’s a path for them?

I’m not saying that Latinos are not being honored in lists by Diversity Inc.magazine, Hispanic Business and Latina Style magazine amongst others. But Latinos and diverse talent in general should be featured alongside white talent if we are going to continue making inroads at the higher levels of society. So, here’s the letter that I sent to Crain’s New York Business. Feel free to use it as a template to create your own letters and send them to all the publications and media outlets that don’t realize that Latinos are more than just 50.4 million consumers of their advertisers’ products. We are powerful, we are leading companies and industries and contributing enormously to the growth of this country.

Letter to the Editor, Crain’s New York Business,

I was thrilled to see that you decided to publish again the “50 Most Powerful Women” list to highlight the great accomplishment of women in New York City. They are an inspiring, accomplished group of professionals who prove that women make great leaders.

As I went through the list though (just as when I go through all of your lists), I noticed that it really only features the “white girls club.” With the exception of one African American (Edith Cooper), one Chinese American (Andrea Jung) and one Indian born American (Indra Nooyi) there is little diversity in this list and there’s a blatant absence of Latinas.

Maybe you haven’t heard of Mónica Lozano, CEO of Impremedia (just named by Adweek Magazine one of the 10 Most Influential Executives in U.S. Hispanic Media), Jacqueline Hernández, Chief Operating Officer Telemundo; Ruth Gaviria, Senior Vice President Marketing Univision; Lucía Ballas-Traynor, recently named co-founder of Cafemom’s Hispanic site and former publisher of People en Español; Lisa Quiroz, Senior Vice President- Corporate Responsibility Time Warner; Galina Espinoza, co-President Latina Media Ventures (which publishes Latina Magazine), Ana Duarte McCarthy, Chief Diversity Officer Citigroup, Jessica K. Asencio, Chief Administrative Officer Investment Bank JPMorgan Chase; Enedina Vega, Publisher Multicultural Ventures Meredith, and many, many others.

As you must know, according to the U.S. Census there are now 50.4 million Hispanics in this country and this group was responsible for 50% of the population growth during the past decade. As a loyal reader of Crain’s New York Business, I can’t help but wonder why your magazine so seldom covers positive stories about this community and seldom (if ever) features Hispanic entrepreneurs and executives.

With one out of every four people under 18 in the U.S. being Hispanic, this population is not only where consumer growth is today but also the workforce of the future. Something both your magazine and your readers need to start giving serious consideration.

Cordially,

Mariela Dabbah
Author Latinos in College: Your Guide to Success, co-author The Latino Advantage in the Workplace and several other books on success for Latinos.

Where will the jobs be?

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

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Most experts believe the economy is showing signs of recovery. Officially, the Great Recession ended in June 2009. But if you were one of the 8 million people who lost their jobs or if you’re a recent college grad, the picture doesn’t look that bright, does it.

It’s not only that companies are hiring at a slower speed but also that whole industry sectors have been destroyed and certain jobs just won’t come back. In the global economy some manufacturing jobs, for example, have been lost to other markets with cheaper labor. So have jobs for people with less than a high school diploma or even for high school graduates without any college.

According to a Moody’s Analytics for TIME magazine, in the next couple of years, 37.6% of jobs will require a Bachelor’s degree or higher; 10.2% will require an Associate’s degree and another 17.5% will require some college. How are you positioned to get or keep your job?

One of the greatest problems we are facing as a nation is the mismatch of labor needs and workers’ skills. Even during the worst of the recession there were companies that couldn’t fulfill their open positions because there were few candidates with the right skill-set. People who work with technology: engineers of all kinds, artists, designers, programmers are at the top of the list for companies across the globe.

Opportunities in the professional services are also growing because as large companies have downsized they are now looking to outsource the capabilities that they don’t longer have in house. So, you may need to consider setting up your own consulting firm to serve several clients rather than seeking a full time job.

And looking beyond your own city and state may be more of a necessity than a choice as well. When you think that North Dakota has the nation’s lowest unemployment rate (a mere 3.8%) you realize that you may want to move from Detroit were the unemployment rate is anywhere between 30-50% depending on who you believe.

It’s a great time to leverage your Latino nimbleness: To become independent if you were used to full time employment, to get extra certifications and higher degrees if you notice that the available jobs require them, and to move wherever the jobs are. Keep in mind that you were raised with the ability to adjust to change, to try new roles, and to think out of the box. This is the time to make those traits work for you!

Diversity best practice: networking and recruiting

Friday, December 18th, 2009
    Soledad O'Brien and Mariela Dabbah at NAHJ gala '08

    Soledad O'Brien and Mariela Dabbah at NAHJ gala '08

How many networking events have you attended lately? If you are anything like me, the answer is akin to: “I don’t remember anymore!” In my case, networking is not just something I do to grow my career but one of the themes I weave into most of my presentations, regardless of the particular topic.

In the last two years, conferences and industry shows where I often present have become the favorite place for job hunters to get a chance at connecting with prospective employers. The trouble has been that even at “job fairs,” participating companies have not been actively recruiting; and the ratio between candidates and job openings has been stacked against the candidates.

Enter CNN’s networking event series conceptualized by their Diversity Council with the goal of developing strong relationships that lead to increased hiring from a diverse pool of candidates. Because they reached out to many of the diverse journalistic associations, I had the good fortune of receiving an invitation from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), to which I belong.

I made my way up to the rooftop of the Empire Hotel in NY, a beautiful room overlooking the Lincoln Center area, and was welcomed by a smiling woman who checked off my name on a list and stamped my hand. Right away, I felt part of a select group of guests that had been hand picked to attend. This was a great first sign which, combined with the top quality hors d’ouvres, the open bar and the attentive waitresses, all contributed to making it a first class experience.

As I walked around meeting people, the multicultural feel of the room was amazing and although this is not unusual in New York, it is less frequent in newsrooms and networks across the country.

What caught my attention was that, unlike many events where the candidates have nametags and the recruiters hide their positions so you can’t bother them, the CNN hosts were clearly identified. But that wasn’t all. The recruiters made sure guests were meeting the right people, and they officiated many an introduction with key contacts.

The event was so impeccably run that at times it felt surreal. From a relationship-building point of view, a big part of the success of the event was the level of CNN’s staff that was present and actively engaged. From CNN USA’s president Jon Klein to Soledad O’Brien to senior HR executives who flew from Atlanta for the occasion, everything spelled: “We are interested in you and we are committed to diversity.” This is not always the message that well intentioned companies send when they host diversity activities. Most commonly the Executive Sponsor of the diverse group says a few words at the beginning of the event and then leaves.

“We are what we air. We air what we are,” says Johnita P. Due, CNN’s Assistant General Counsel and Diversity Council Chair, sharing the council’s mission statement. “We have a recruiting booth at many diversity journalistic conferences but this is a different touch. It allows senior management to meet people. And the truth is that unless you have the opportunity to meet someone in person, it’s hard to make an impression through paper.”

In the words he shared with the audience, Klein said that the network is interested in expanding its coverage of stories about African Americans, Latinos and other diverse populations above and beyond the once a year documentaries. Increasing diverse hires is certainly a wonderful step towards that goal. Creating real opportunities that show respect for prospective employees is most definitely a positive sign in an economic environment in which this diverse community of journalists, reporters and producers has suffered more than their fair share of pain.

So, if you are a member of a Diversity Council or an Employee Resource Group and you are working with your company’s recruitment team, think of the impact that this type of best practice can have on your business. Your input can help change the way things are done.

Uncover your Latinoness

Thursday, September 24th, 2009
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The other day, after I gave a presentation about using your Latino traits to your advantage, a young female attendee asked me: “How can I advance in my career leveraging my Latino traits while avoiding the stereotypes?” It was a great question around a topic faced by many people who are second or third generation Latino and by those who have spent many years in this country and have learned to navigate the system well.

The tendency is to become overly assimilated and to forget where your roots are to the point where you may miss great opportunities to leverage that background to your benefit. This young lady avoided at all cost taking on assignments in Latin America or serving the Hispanic market as 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.

There are many Latino values that you should tap into. Having been raised by a Latino family has exposed you to certain experiences, world view and set of values that can be very useful in today’s marketplace. Finding out what they are and bringing them to the surface is the first step to leveraging their power.

So for instance, coming from an area of the world that experiences change constantly, your parents and grandparents grew up learning how to adapt. 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 didn’t realize it and in great part, you owe to your upbringing the ability to solve problems, the fact that you think fast on your feet, can change direction in a split second and can do several jobs with equal ease.

Your goal should be to communicate those unique skills as part of your value proposition to your bosses or prospective employers. That not only are you great at what you do, but on top of that, you have all of these Latino traits that will benefit the company. By aligning your value proposition to the company’s bottom line you have a much better chance to land a plum assignment or that coveted job.

Using social networks to find job opportunities

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

A short video with great tips to leverage social networks to develop relationships that may lead to job opportunities.

Online jobs: a myth?

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

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You think nobody gets jobs on the Internet, right? Wrrrrrrrrrong! Lots of people do! There are, however, three main reasons why that happens:

1. They are people who have a skill set and education that is unusual and for which there’s little supply and a big demand. For example, I have a friend who posted her resume and within 48 hours got two calls from recruiters that led to two in-person interviews and a job offer.

2. They have very well written resumes that are tailored to the positions to which they are applying. That means: if they list an objective, it is appropriate for the job they are applying for, they have included plenty of the keywords relevant to the job they seek and the resume has NO mistakes. (None, not a misplaced capital or a typo or formatting issues or grammatical errors like saying “leaves in NY” when you mean “lives in New York.”

3. They are actively engaged in the online search and not just posting resumes on every job board out there. That means: they choose certain job boards and stick to them so they can monitor the new positions that become available and they can participate in social networks on those sites; they use the job boards as a way to find out about companies that are recruiting and contact those companies directly for other opportunities; they join professional groups online and develop relationships that lead to sharing information about job openings.

These people understand that job boards are designed for the benefit of the recruiters (who pay for the service) rather than for the candidates (who access the site for free) so they develop strategies to become visible to these recruiters. For example, they answer questions on professional networks like Linkedin so they are seen as experts.

Follow these strategies and you too will cut the time it takes you to land a job online!

Students looking to make money?

Sunday, July 5th, 2009
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Latinos in College, the nationwide public awareness campaign to help increase the number of Hispanic/Latino students who graduate from college, is implementing a strategy that offers students across the country the opportunity to make money.

Here’s an idea of what it entails:

  • Contacting local high schools and universities to tell them about our initiative
  • Offering our student and parent workshops and the Latinos in College: your Guide to Success book
  • Conducting student and/or parent workshops

    You are:

  • Interested in helping Latinos and Latinas graduate from college
  • A college student or recent grad
  • Self motivated, perseverant
  • A great communicator
  • Good talking to groups
  • Comfortable calling people you don’t know
  • If you are interested in finding out more, contact us at: mariela@latinosincollege.com. Please share this posting with your friends and colleagues on your social networks.

    Graduating with no job?

    Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

    Graduating from college right now could be a pretty scary thought. There are less job opportunities than there used to be, the industry you focused your studies in may be in shambles and even internships are hard to get.

    Don’t despair. There are always things you can do to beat the competition and get ahead. Currently, there are three million jobs that employers are having trouble fulfilling. They are in areas such as education, health, accounting and government. The big problem right now is a mismatch between employees skills and job openings. By adapting your skills to industries that need professionals like you, you might be able to land a coveted job.

    Here are a few things to consider:

  • Expand your horizons and consider industries outside of your major. Many of your skills are transferable so focus on sectors you may have not ever considered before.
  • Look into government internships and jobs. They offer great benefits and competitive pay. www.scholarships.fatomei.com.
  • Join professional associations of your industry and other industries where you would consider working. That will allow you to meet people and to expand your network.
  • Use sites like www.linkedin.com and www.ihispano.com to join groups and to ask for referrals to people who might have opportunities. Becoming active on these sites by answering questions, for instance, will give you more visibility.
  • Be aware that many companies are not listing their job openings to avoid being bombarded by resumes and are using their internal networks to find candidates. By expanding your network you will increase your chances of hearing about those hidden opportunities.
  • Keep in mind that over 90% of the people have jobs right now and they can help you get leads within their companies. So, make your network aware of what you are looking for and update them regularly on your progress.
  • Keeping your job is not enough!

    Sunday, April 12th, 2009


    You might think that in this economy, hoping to keep your job is all you have to worry about. Well, think again. Because you should really be focused on how to bring more value to your life and to your employer. Otherwise, soon, the only way to make sure you will keep your job is by tying yourself to your desk!

    Here are a few things you can do to make sure you’re a valuable asset to your company:

  • Share ideas to improve the bottom line with key decision makers
  • Offer to help people in other departments
  • Think of new tasks you can do to improve your performance or the revenue you generate for the company
  • Continue your education (many companies are still reimbursing their employees for this, so take advantage)
  • Keep your bosses and supervisors abreast of your progress, value and contributions with frequent communications. Don’t wait until your semi annual or annual review to do this.

    Remember that as the market gets increasingly competitive it is to your best interest to actively manage your career. Remaining in a status-quo, stagnant situation will only delay an inevitable layoff.

  • Best way to find a job

    Monday, March 23rd, 2009

    Have you seen the lines of people applying for jobs every time there’s a job opening or a career fair? Have you actually stood in one of those lines yourself hoping to land a job?

    My question is: What are the chances of you getting a job for which there are thousands of applicants? If you take into consideration the waiting, the frustration, and the anxiety you experience as you talk to other unemployed people, it is definitely not the best way to spend your time.

    Volunteering in a project or organization you care about is a much more effective way to invest your time. You get to develop meaningful relationships with people who share your interests and who appreciate your dedication, you stay active and you might even learn a few new skills that will come handy when you find work again. And as 70-80% of jobs are still found through networking, building a stronger network is a better path to employment than anything else.

    But there’s an additional benefit to volunteering: you get to discover what you are really passionate about, something critical in a time when you might need to change careers or the industry where you work. Realizing that you are good with people and that you’d rather spend time helping them get healthy than, say, trading stocks, is a great first step towards a more fulfilled life.

    Take the opportunity to seriously explore your options and to connect your skills with your knowledge and passion. You may be surprised by how good it feels to do something you love even if it means you will make less money or that you will have to create your own job. Speaking of which… I think this is the way of the future. But that’s the topic for a different post!