Make Your Resume Stand Out with This One Skill

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Most applicants don’t know that businesses are looking to fill positions with individuals who are leaders—people who aren’t afraid to take charge, organize, and grow with the company.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that administrative assistant positions will grow at a slower-than-average rate of just 3 percent between the years 2014 and 2024. For a position whose prospects could stagnate over time, it’s more important than ever for applicants to set themselves apart, both in person and on their resumes. By including leadership skills and experience on your applications, you’ll indicate to employers that you’re someone who will exceed expectations and help their business thrive. Here are a few ways to demonstrate leadership on your resume and in your role.

Take initiative

The easiest way to demonstrate leadership as an administrative assistant is by showing initiative. For instance, if an old filing system isn’t the most productive method, don’t continue using it—take the initiative to create and implement your own improved version. Proposing solutions to your manager for problems they may not even be aware of is a great way to showcase your creative thinking, project management skills, and assertiveness; even if they don’t approve a project, they’ll remember the unprompted initiative you took when new problems arise.

Another example: if you’re put in charge of scheduling a meeting, take the initiative to see the smaller details through—finding space, ordering food, ensuring that all technology is working, etc. Think about how you can go above and beyond your standard duties to let employers know that you’re thoughtful and don’t always need to be told what to do; after all, the mark of a leader is leading!

Communicate

Good leaders are effective communicators. Since many of the tasks of administrative assistants involve working closely with other employees, having strong communication skills ensures that all interactions and transactions are clear. This includes having proper email etiquette—written communication is even more common than verbal for administrative assistants. Listen attentively, but don’t be afraid to ask clarification questions if something isn’t obvious; the last thing you want is to inadvertently cause trouble for your manager, team, or company. Effective communication across all methods can also help build an effective rapport between you and your supervisor, expediting tasks in the future.

Be adaptable

The best leaders don’t boss people around—they adapt to different people’s different personalities and working styles. As an administrative assistant, you’ll be interacting with a multitude of people on different teams, in different departments, and often at other companies, each with their own quirks. Good leaders are adaptable, and they’ll be able to recognize personality differences and work with them rather than against them, making sure everyone’s needs are met. Good communication skills (including being a good listener) are key to adaptability.

How to include leadership on your resume

When composing your administrative assistant application, you may not know how to convey leadership skills and experience, especially if you haven’t previously held a leadership position. As a workaround, think about times when you showed initiative, facilitated communication, or demonstrated adaptability, perhaps on previous projects or as part of other groups. What steps did you take to help a project come to fruition successfully? How did you mediate communication between two groups, or change tactics when it was clear one wasn’t working? Even in the absence of formal leadership positions, there are so many ways to show you’ve got what it takes to thrive as an administrative assistant.

Leadership is a multi-faceted skill comprised of a wide array of valuable personal qualities; putting them on your resume tells potential employers that you’ll be an asset to their company, and they’ll also help you advance into positions with more responsibility in the future.

Source: By CareerBuilder

How to dress for every stage of your career

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By Lydia Dishman

There are a lot of unspoken rules in the workplace, and one of them is often how to dress. Today, fewer than half of American workplaces have an office dress code, according to a recent survey by Simply Hired. But even among companies that have published guidelines regarding apparel and accessories, the parameters can be rather opaque.

For instance, in a memo to staff about its new, more relaxed dress code, Goldman Sachs stated: “Goldman Sachs has a broad and diverse client base around the world, and we want all of our clients to feel comfortable with and confident in our team, so please dress in a manner that is consistent with your clients’ expectations.” Leaving employees to use their best judgment is the reason many offices allow a vast array of clothing choices, from jeans and sneakers to suits and heels.

What we wear to work does make a difference, even in an era of anything goes. In a recent study by Robert Half, the majority of professionals (86%) and managers (80%) surveyed said clothing choices affect someone’s chances of being promoted. And 44% of senior managers said they’ve had to talk to an employee about their inappropriate attire, while a third (32%) have sent staff home based on what they were wearing.

Throw in the fact that most people will cycle through several different careers during their working life, and the daily conundrum of what to wear becomes far more fraught than ever.

Luckily there are experts to guide us through best practices for how to dress at every stage of our careers. Here’s what they told us:

Entry-level to early career

When you are starting out, making the right impression is crucial. However, Alexandra Howell, assistant professor of fashion merchandising and design at Meredith College, says the old adage “Dress for the job you want” is kind of outdated in 2019.

Howell notes that if you’ve been hired, you’ve already spent time in the office and know at least a little bit about the company culture, which includes some expectations regarding what’s appropriate to wear to work there.

“Whether they require streetwear, business casual, or even formal,” says Howell, “I recommend dressing up or more formally when you first start out.” You have to keep this within reason, she cautions. If, for example, during your interview, your manager was wearing jeans, sneakers, and a hoodie, “it may be overkill to show up in a full suit [regardless of your gender], but at the same time simply replicating what your boss was wearing can seem like an overstep.” That’s why Howell advises sporting business casual. She says fitted dress pants and a button-down shirt with loafers for men and a pixie pant with a comfortable blouse or sweater and flats for women are generally safe bets. “As you become more comfortable and familiar with the culture of the company, you can reassess your wardrobe,” she says.

Dana Goren of Hibob also notes that it’s important to remember that as the youngest or newest employee, you are beginning to establish yourself and must show that you are prepared for whatever tasks you are given. “Even if you are productive and a high achiever, looking disheveled or inappropriate can undermine your credibility and cause others to doubt your abilities,” says Goren. Not only do others size you up in seven seconds or less, but research suggests that someone can determine whether or not they think another person is trustworthy within one-tenth of a second, she says.

That’s why she says, “If you work directly with clients, take care that you’re dressing in a way that’s appropriate to meet with them, as their office dress code may differ from yours.”

If you’re still struggling to figure out what’s appropriate, Scott Young, managing director of client delivery at CultureIQ, suggests simply asking the recruiter or HR leader. “You can certainly deviate in a dress code-free office,” he says, “but you want your new colleagues to focus on your performance, not your appearance.” Young says it’s perfectly appropriate to be more formally dressed than everyone else—at least to start. “Most people will accept that you are still in the post-interview process and want to put your best foot forward,” he says. “But being underdressed may signal that you don’t care about the job.”

Moving up the ranks

Yes, your dress code should change if you get promoted, says Laura Handrick, a career and workplace analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com, “but only slightly—in subtle ways.” Handrick says clothing choices help establish authority over your former peers. For example, if your team members wear vintage band T-shirts, she suggests wearing a polo shirt instead.

“Senior leadership is watching,” she says. “They’re assessing your ability to contribute at higher levels, and likely with more clients, vendors, executives, and investors.” So, if you continue to dress like your staff, you’re essentially telling your leadership team that you align better with workers than leaders, says Handrick.

Keren Kozar, who oversees human resources and hiring at January Digital, takes the opposite approach. She believes that if you’ve been dressing for the job you want the whole time you were an individual contributor, you may not need to change much. However, “if the transition requires newly added face time with clients,” she says, “make certain to dress for the client environment. If this means keeping a blazer or change of shoes at the office for client-facing meetings, do so.”

Patricia Brown, chair of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising, believes it’s always good to keep reevaluating what you wear to work. “If suits are appropriate in your work environment, then maybe a newer suit or two would be warranted,” she says. Or you could add a jacket, topper, or, in some cases, a refined cardigan to elevate an existing outfit. “A ‘third piece’ or jacket adds polish, a little bit of perceived authority, and often that extra element of style,” she says. Bonus: They double as extra warmth when summer air-conditioning turns your office into a meat locker.

Second or third act

Really, the advice for first-time job seekers still applies no matter your age or career stage, says Young of CultureIQ. More than half of U.S. employees say they feel comfortable wearing jeans in the workplace, and over one-third say the same thing for sneakers, according to the same SimplyHired survey. “That is something to keep in mind if you are an older worker coming from a more rigid, formal, hierarchical workplace into what is likely to be a less formal one,” says Young. While erring on the side of formality may work to start, Young says it could be a signal to coworkers that you are seeking a more hierarchical structure, which runs against the one encouraged in your new workplace.

Mary Lou Andre, a coach, speaker, and corporate image consultant, believes that this is an ideal time to properly reassess your closet. “Schedule an appointment to retire the accumulated clothes and accessories that have the potential to dismiss your relevance as a key contributor to your evolving industry and company,” says Andre. Next, she suggests upping your game by updating your look with clothes and accessories that are age-appropriate, yet communicate a sophisticated and modern approach to dress. “This doesn’t mean changing who you are and what you stand for,” Andre says. “Rather, it means paying attention to workplace trends and following suit in a way that gives you clout with a multigenerational workforce.”

Brown recommends giving thought to what is flattering for your age and body type and what makes you feel confident. “Your clothing should accentuate your feeling good about your ability to do the job,” she says, adding, “You should dress to feel polished, and to earn respect, even if you are learning a new role.”

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

10 Reasons to Work for the Federal Government

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Are you thinking of working for the federal government? If so, opportunities and benefits lie ahead. Check out these ten reasons to pursue a career in the field.

  1. Make a difference
    The work of government employees impacts the lives of every American and the lives of people around the world. Federal employees can play a vital role in addressing pressing issues, from homelessness to homeland security. Students interested in working in government can engage in high-impact work, such as helping disrupt the laundering of billions of dollars derived from illicit U.S. drug deals.
  2. Great benefits/competitive pay
    Average government salaries are competitive with the private and nonprofit sectors. Recent graduates can expect a starting salary from $32,415 to $42,631 a year. Pay can also increase fairly quickly for top candidates with experience and a strong education. Federal benefits, including health insurance, retirement and vacation, are extremely competitive with, if not superior to, other sectors.
  3. The government is hiring
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an employment increase of ten percent through 2018 in federal employment.
  4. Location, location, location
    Federal opportunities are not only found in the D.C area. Eighty-four percent of federal government jobs are outside of Washington, D.C. If students are interested in international job opportunities, more than 50,000 federal employees work abroad.
  5. Jobs for every major
    Working in the federal government is not just for political science majors. In fact, 28.4 percent of federal employees work in STEM fields. There are federal jobs for every interest and skill, from art history to zoology.
  6. Opportunities for advancement and professional development
    Federal employees have many opportunities for career advancement in government. An internal Merit Promotion Program helps ensure that new employees succeeding in their job have easy access to information about job openings within government. The government also offers excellent training and development opportunities and has human resources personnel to help connect current employees with these opportunities.
  7. Interesting and challenging work
    Today’s government workers are leading and innovating on issues, such as developing vaccines for deadly diseases, fighting sexual and racial discrimination, and keeping our massive systems of transportation safe.
  8. Work-life balance
    Flexible work schedules, including telework, are a major plus for those with busy schedules or long commute. Competitive benefits also include generous vacation time combined with federal holidays and sick leave. All of these packaged together make government an attractive employer for students looking to successfully balance their work and personal lives.
  9. Job security
    Government work is steady and secure, an attractive selling point, especially during difficult economic times.
  10. The federal government can help pay for school loans
    Some federal agencies can help pay back up to $10,000 per year in student loans, up to a total of $60,000.

Source: ourpublicservice.org

The Top 25 Highest Paid Federal Jobs

Did you know that the 25 highest paying government jobs all pay over $50,000 per year?

Below is a list of 25 of the most sought after federal jobs, ranked by the Office of Personnel Management as the highest paid jobs currently offered by the U.S. Government.

1) Astronomer – $116,072

2) Attorney – $114,240

3) Financial Manager – $101,022

4) General Engineer – $100,051

5) Economist – $94,098

6) Computer Scientist – $90,929

7) Chemist – $89,954

8) Criminal Investigator – $88,174

9) Microbiologist – $87,206

10) Architect – $85,690

11) Statistician – $81,524

12) Librarian – $78,665

13) Accountant – $78,030

14) Chaplain – $76,511

15) Ecologist – $76,511

16) Human Resources Manager – $76,503

17) Health and Safety Specialist – $73,003

18) Air Traffic Controller – $72,049

19) Budget Analyst – $71,267

20) Correctional Officer – $67,140

21) Nurse – $65,345

22) Technical Engineer – $63,951

23) Border Patrol Agent – $63,550

24) Medical Technician- $59,840

25) Customs Inspector – $59,248

Source: Office of Personnel Management

Job Ghosting Is Real: Here’s What You Need to Know

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Did you know job ghosting is real? And could be happening to you? You’ve probably heard of “ghosting” in the context of dating: You go out with someone cute, have a great time together, and come back home expecting a second date.

You wait by the phone nervously for the next few weeks to hear nothing at all, finally realizing that you’ve been ghosted. Believe it or not, ghosting happens in the working world, too. Job ghosting is becoming incredibly common, with one-third of candidates reporting that they were rejected from a job position by never actually getting a response in the first place.

This means hiring managers and employers are leaving candidates to wait in agony only to be ghosted after submitting their resume, after the interview, or even getting ghosted after multiple interviews. So, why would a hiring manager do this? Amanda Augustine, our career advice expert, weighs in on this practice.

You don’t make it through the ATS screening

When you don’t hear back from the hiring manager, you might be wondering if you’ve made a mistake on your resume. Of course, it’s entirely possible that you might have made spelling errors or missed critical information that led to your resume being thrown aside. However, if your resume is solid and you’re still getting ghosted, this might simply be due to the sheer volume of resumes being submitted for the job opening.

“The reality is that, on average, companies receive 250 applications per job advert — far more than an HR manager could possibly review by hand,” explains Augustine. “Which is why nearly all large organizations use software known as an applicant tracking system (ATS) to scan resumes and eliminate the least-qualified candidates for a role.” However, the ATS can easily reject more than half of the resumes before the recruiter even sees them! So how do you beat this system?

The best way to work the ATS to your advantage is by looking up three to five job positions similar to the role you’re applying for and identifying the keywords in each of these descriptions. Include these words two or three times in your resume, particularly in the “Key Skills” and “Work History” sections. If you’ve already sent in your application, try to search for the hiring manager’s contact information on the company’s website or social media pages and reach out. “Keep your note short when you do — only say enough to reaffirm [your enthusiasm] and quickly summarize your relevant qualifications,” suggests Augustine.

The job opening was put on hold

Sometimes, you might’ve been ghosted simply because the job opening doesn’t exist anymore. This is not uncommon at all. Perhaps the department’s budget was cut, leading to a hiring freeze. Or maybe the management team is still debating the requirements for this role in particular. More often than not, an internal reorganization could have taken place and the position you applied for just vanished. Unfortunately, there are no laws requiring hiring managers to give you feedback after an interview. So, what do you do to ensure that you get an update?

If you made it to the interview stage, it’s best to end your interview by asking when you can expect to hear about the next steps. If you don’t hear anything by then, send an email reminder that highlights your interest and politely ask for an update. Be more specific in your message to stand out. Something along the lines of “Can we hop on the phone for a few minutes? I have just one more question about this position” is more likely to get a response than a generic email. However, Augustine says you should cut your losses five weeks after the interview. After all, how the future employer treats you now says a lot about how you will be treated once you join the team — and making you wait isn’t the best sign.

You finished second to an internal candidate

Some companies tend to post job openings and interview external candidates even when they already have an internal candidate in mind. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to avoid getting ghosted for this reason. However, if you love the company and really want to work there, don’t hesitate to follow up.

Continue on to Top Resume to read the complete article.

Master These Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

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By Casey Imafidon

To get ahead in your career, you have to bring something new to the table. While it may go beyond skill sets, other requirements for being selected for a position could be based on personal involvements, attributes, or extracurricular activities.

In this digital age, you’ll need these set of skills to stay ahead.

Accountability

There is a difference between passionately volunteering for a project and being committed to its execution. This is where accountability comes in. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew when you take that assignment.

In the modern workplace, be aware of what you are getting into when it comes to accepting a task, and you have to be accountable for the success of such task.

Adaptability

Change is not something you should shy away from in the modern workplace—it is something you should embrace. Getting stuck to old ways of doing things or old rules may not help the advancement of your career. Open your mind to new approaches and thoughts that would help you solve problems faster and better for your organization.

It is all about responding to what the current situation requires. You may have to bend your own rules and beliefs, but this will eventually make you a good people person and next in line for that promotion.

Networking

A simple conversation could pivot your career. You never know whom you are going to meet and how he or she can influence your career.

It becomes important to hold a conversation with anyone at any time and make it drive your progress in the workplace. From speaking to attending events to sending out your business card, consider what networking could do for you.

Focus

This one comes down to how productive you want to become. It is hard to focus or concentrate when there are many things begging for your time in the workplace.

We all reach that point or know that scenario when it is more fun to accomplish the easier things, such as checking emails or going through our social media page.

When it comes to standing out and staying ahead, you may need to practice focusing more so you have more satisfaction and meaning in getting work done.

Listening Attentively

Listening attentively is backed by taking the right actions after you understand a matter. You wouldn’t really understand a matter if you don’t listen or question every decision that is made.

You should be asking for specifics and getting to the root of behaviors or observations. This way, you would have clearer judgement and take smarter actions.

Being Innovative

It all comes down to asking the right questions and thinking of smarter and better ways of getting results. It could be your approach; it could be positioning yourself stronger and meeting the right people in the right way.

You may not necessarily be the hardest worker in the room, but you would be more effective if you push yourself to look for creative solutions to a problem in the workplace.

Confidence

There is a difference between misguided arrogance about your achievements and developing the ability to stand up for ideas. Sometimes, developing confidence helps you ensure and promote the achievements of others. You need confidence in the workplace if you are to deliver, engage, and reach certain goals.

Leadership

Leadership skills could be a source of influence for your co-workers and would get them on board to reach future objectives. Anyone with leadership skills will always gain visibility within an organization and be considered for more opportunities or promotions.

Communication

Whether written or verbal, communication skills help foster relationships with co-workers and superiors in the workplace. With good communication skills, clear expectations can be extracted so that you meet deadlines and deliver excellent work. Workers are more productive when they know how to communicate with their colleagues in an organization.

Teamwork

There is not much a company can do if it all depends on the activity of a singular person. Success is achieved when different people are working together for a common objective. Team players tend to build a friendly office culture and aid collaboration. Moreover, an organization will fare better when its employees can synthesize their varied talents or strengths.

The modern workplace is looking for persons who can collaborate well with co-workers. If you are a good team player, then you are going to be considered for promotions and career advancement.

Persuasive Skills

There is always that point in your career when you have to tell others about your ideas, services or products. Persuasive skills are necessary for career advancement because you have to be able to form a strong, convincing argument for why the other person should buy your products or services.

Negotiating Skills
In today’s workplace, good negotiating skills are beneficial during both internal and external discussions. Sellers of a new product or idea and customers always require negotiations to thrive in the marketplace. If you can have this quality and maximize it, then you have a great chance of moving upward in your career.

Knowing When and How to Show Empathy

Building relationships and sustaining them is important to long-term career success. Having the ability to place yourself in someone else’s shoes helps foster relationships and is a key ingredient to getting ahead in your career.

With empathy, you can provide insights and offer support that will help them grow in their job. You don’t have to be in a robotic work environment that limits growth, but with compassion you can steer your coworkers to performing at their peak.

Learn to offer support, sympathy and feedback every day you do business. You will have a more human work environment and be blessed with positive emotional returns.

Problem-Solving Skills

Your work environment presents a series of problem-solving situations. Be proactive at solving problems in an organization by going the extra mile to take the pressure off your boss and colleagues.

Patience with Others

Your patience with others could be vital in a tense situation. While the modern workplace could present stressful situations, how patient you are with coworkers and your superiors could determine your career advancement.

Patience will be noticed by management and perceived as a strong asset in pushing the company forward. There will be times when troublemakers are brought to book for their actions, but you wouldn’t be one of them if you have patience as an asset or skill.

Source: lifehack.org

9 Reasons You Should Be in Health Care

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hispanic nurse

Healthcare careers can provide the challenge, security, and salary you’re looking for in a role, while also fulfilling your humanitarian side. Read on for nine reasons the healthcare industry can offer you the career of your dreams. The variety of occupations and settings in health care allows those in the field to change their environment without necessarily changing careers.

For instance, medical professionals typically work in doctors’ offices or hospitals, but many also work in laboratories, public health agencies, insurance companies, universities, and other varied settings.

 

  1. Job satisfaction

By and large, healthcare workers are satisfied with their jobs and don’t regret their career choices. For example, an AMN Healthcare survey revealed that 83 percent of registered nurses are satisfied with their career choice.

  1. Job security

While legislation will continue to change the healthcare landscape, the Affordable Care Act has increased the demand for health care, thus leading to the need for more workers in the industry. Likewise, as people age, they typically require more medical care, and America’s Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age by the millions every year.

  1. Positions for all education levels

While doctors still spend several years hitting the books, health care has many other careers that require far less education. In fact, you can find many positions that pay well and don’t require a bachelor’s degree. For instance, to become a surgical technologist, you only need a postsecondary non-degree award, and the job pays $22.68 an hour.

  1. Explosive growth

Jobs in health care are projected to grow 18 percent by 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Here are the expected growth rates for a few of the fastest-growing medical professions:

  • Home health aide – 41 percent
  • Nurse practitioner – 31 percent
  • Physical therapist assistant – 30 percent
  • Dental hygienist – 20 percent
  1. Free schooling

Within the healthcare industry, you can find many programs that repay student loans in exchange for a certain number of years of service. For example, the National Health Service Corps asks medical residents to work for two or three years in an underserved area of the country in a primary care specialty. In exchange, the federal government will then repay as much as $120,000 of participants’ student loans.

  1. Generous salaries

The burgeoning demand for health care has more benefits than just job security – medical careers also pay well. The 2017 median pay for physicians and surgeons is $208,000, while nurse practitioners can make $110,930 per year, according to the BLS. As mentioned before, even healthcare careers that don’t require advanced degrees can still pay a pretty penny.

  1. Flexibility

The flexibility of healthcare careers is especially attractive to job seekers. Geographically, healthcare workers can go almost anywhere they want, provided they have the appropriate licensure. Some programs, like Doctors without Borders, send medical professionals abroad to deliver services where they are needed the most. Similarly, traveling nurses receive assignments all over the United States and receive benefits, such as relocation and housing allowances.

  1. Variety

The variety of occupations and settings in health care allows those in the field to change their environment without necessarily changing careers. For instance, medical professionals typically work in doctors’ offices or hospitals, but many also work in laboratories, public health agencies, insurance companies, universities, and other varied settings.

  1. The chance to make a difference

Although jobs in the medical field can be stressful because lives are often at stake, the profession is unquestionably rewarding. Healthcare professionals are desperately needed, and they use their education and training to better people’s lives.

Source: careerbuilder.com

HGTV Star Izzy Battres’ Journey from Day Laborer to Entrepreneur

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Izzy Battres poses with HGTV stars

Israel “Izzy” Battres owns multi-million-dollar construction company Battres Construction in the heart of Orange County, California. But it did not come easily for him—he learned how to work hard at a young age, and it paid off.

Eight years ago, his reputation and impeccable work ethic opened doors for him to star on the HGTV reality show Flip or Flop. He has worked alongside Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead for eight seasons and is ramping up for more. Battres is set to appear on the network’s new show, Christina on the Coast, premiering this month.

HISPANIC Network Magazine caught up with Izzy to talk about his journey from day laborer to HGTV star, as well as his secret to success.

HISPANIC Network Magazine (HNM): You run a very successful construction company. Where did you get your work ethic?

Izzy Battres (IB): As children, we were taught to be contributors to our household. My dad would take us to work and assign us two small tasks. When I was 9, I was a paper boy for the Orange County Register. I would wake up Sunday mornings at 4 am to deliver to my customers. I was even entrusted to pick up monthly subscription fees—it taught me sales and what I know now is accounts payable. I realized quickly that I was only getting a portion of the fees so it gave me the idea to make my own money, I started a second job that was more of a side hustle.

HNM: At the age of 9, you were working two jobs! Tell us more about that.

IB: My grandmother used to pick lemons from her tree and have me sell them for 25 cents; she would then give me a small cut. After I was done working for her, I would go pick my own lemons off the same tree. But instead of selling them for a quarter, I decided to make lemonade and sell it for 50 cents a cup. I would sell it to people playing soccer at the park by my house.

HNM: So, you were an entrepreneur from a very young age. Let’s fast-forward to the start of your business. How did it come to be?

IB: I have two brothers, and we all followed my dad into the construction trades. If my current boss had no work for me, I would stand in front of Home Depot looking for day labor. We never had a problem with working hard, but sometimes there wasn’t enough work to go around. I decided to start a business so I would be more in control of the workflow. Instead of working on someone else’s construction site, I decided to bid for my own jobs.

HNM: Ten years later, you are now on television and own three companies. How would you say you became so successful?

IB: I believe we as Latinos have a natural instinct to survive. It develops at a very young age when we begin to understand that nothing will be handed to us. I learned very young that whatever I earned was to be used to help my family and community. Today, I employ 43 local families—I have a responsibility to make a difference for others.

HNM: Can you expand on what you call an “instinct to survive?”

IB: Latinos are very hard workers; they are innovative and passionate about what they do and have a stellar work ethic. But even then, they have to stay on the cutting edge. Eight out of ten workers are going to stay average, but I look for the 20 percent who are fighting to survive and have the “eye of the tiger,” as I call it. I employ anybody who has that motivation. Whether they are purple or polka dot, race does not matter to me, but that survival instinct does.

HNM: How does your ability to speak English and Spanish help you as a business owner?

IB: In my geographical area, 80 percent of the construction workforce is Spanish speaking. It can be a barrier, so I try and help them by speaking Spanish on the job sites. I will also make it a point to speak Spanish to my work crew when we are filming the TV show. I always want to put out a positive image and help keep Latinos on the map.

HNM: What advice would you give a young Latino entrepreneur who is starting his own business?

IB: I would tell them to never let the environment dictate your success. People will read into your mentality about life, and that creates a culture in your business. So, you need to stay away from toxic people and conduct business with gentleness and humility. Don’t be arrogant or prideful, because people will read into that.

Author: Mitzi Magos

Inspiring Young Girls to Believe

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Zaida Hernadez poses in an outdoor setting

Zaida Hernandez-Irisson is an engineer and a mentor. A senior at Milwaukee School of Engineering, Zaida also works in the engineering department at FISCHER USA.

She’s the first in her family to attend college, and she’s now involved in several programs that allow her to mentor young girls interested in engineering. She wants to help them believe in themselves, to succeed. The obstacles she overcame in her own life to become an engineer make her uniquely positioned to help others break through such barriers as language, financial issues, or the difficulty of the field.

Zaida began her engineering education at Gateway Technical College, where she earned her associates degree in both biomedical engineering technology and electrical engineering technology. During her time there, she was named the Student Star Ambassador and Ambassador to the Wisconsin Technical College System, giving her the opportunity to share her story of perseverance.

And Zaida shared some of her story with Diversity in STEAM Magazine, when we asked her about her journey to becoming an engineer.

What made you pursue electrical engineering?

Desire to help people is one of the most influential reasons for me pursuing engineering. After realizing in high school that my original interest in the medical field was not for me, I started to look into fields that could allow me to better fulfil my calling. After stumbling across an aptitude test, I found out engineering was a possibility for me. Learning how engineers help communities through the betterment of communication, transportation, medical instrumentation, and day-to-day devices really confirmed that engineering was the path I wanted to pursue.

What do you love most about your job?

Upon graduating from Gateway Technical College, an international company, FISCHER USA, Inc., hired me to join the engineering department. I was very fortunate to find such an amazing company. Knowing that I wanted to continue my education, I found the support, flexibility, and mentorship I needed within the company. I love that our engineering team is very positive and energetic. We all work on projects together and get to grow as engineers together. Being accepted for who I am encouraged me to purse my passion, and having the ability to grow is what makes me love my job.

What advice would you give others who want to pursue engineering?

I tell students, if engineering is truly their passion, not to let anything get in their way of their education. Even though engineering is a very demanding field of study, the reward of helping others by improving technology outweighs other sacrifices. If you’re in a situation where you’re not sure how to achieve your goal, don’t be afraid to knock on doors and ask for help.

What is the most important thing you learned about your career?

The most important thing I’ve learned about my career is that my opportunities in the field are endless. I used to believe that when I became an electrical engineer I would stay strictly within that focus of engineering. It took me a while to realize that all engineers are problem solvers and that our critical thinking skills plus our educational knowledge can take us in different career paths other than just what is on our degrees.

What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve had is not losing my confidence and myself. My educational journey has not been a traditional one. Coming from an immigrant family, I had the support from my parents to go to college but no financial means to achieve it. A four-year institution was very far from my reach right after high school. I started at Gateway Technical College as an English Language Learner student to improve my English. Soon after, I showed up to my first engineering lecture at the same college with nothing but the desire to succeed and the dictionary definition of what engineering was. Being in a male-dominated field of study was hard, and it was even harder when most of my peers had engineering experience from high school or their hobbies, and I had none. It took a lot of sleepless nights and mentors to graduate with a dual degree in biomedical engineering and electrical engineering technology. Soon after I transferred to the Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I am wrapping up a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. At the beginning, I kept to myself a lot—as a Latina student, I tried to blend in with the class and not bring attention to myself. I started to lose touch with my authentic self. It wasn’t until one of my professors took me under his wing that I started to understand that being different was a good thing. That showcasing who I was could inspire girls who are like me to pursue engineering. That was the turning point of my career and the beginning of my work in the community.

Zaida has served as a chapter president for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) for three years and is the former Ms. Mexican Fiesta Ambassador, where her she used her platform to spread awareness of STEM fields. As a first-generation immigrant college student, Zaida understands the barriers nontraditional engineering students have to face. For this reason, she plans on continuing to support the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation by promoting higher education among our community.

Interviewing Tips from Behind the Desk

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professionals sitting in chairs outsde of hiring manager office

By Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC

There are many useful tips for hiring managers to help make effective decisions. Just as important as it is for an interviewee to put his or her best foot forward, it is also critical that a hiring manager representing his or her firm makes a positive impression.

The interview process will help the candidate and the company understand if there is a fit from a personality and skill set perspective and could very well contribute to making hiring decisions that promote longevity. How can you, as a hiring manager, tell if the candidates you are seeing represent a potentially smart hiring decision? While nothing in life is guaranteed, you can consider the following to facilitate smart selection decisions.

Conduct a behavioral-based interview session. This type of interview provides a more objective set of facts to make employment decisions. Traditional interview questions ask more general questions or request general information, such as, “Tell me about yourself.” Behavioral-based interview techniques work differently and are much more focused. It requires the candidate to provide details of specific incidents that allow the interviewer to understand a candidate’s true character. Follow-up probing questions about the situation prevent the candidate from being anything but honest, as lies become easily apparent. Follow-up questions include: What led you to that decision? How did your decision impact the rest of the project? What did you do to alleviate conflicts? As more and more questions are asked (and some are repeated in a different way) anything but the truth will quickly come to light.

Plan for the interview. Planning is not only the candidate’s responsibility; it is also the responsibility of the interviewer to be prepared to interview the candidate. Have a copy of the person’s résumé; review the résumé briefly before the candidate arrives; formulate some questions that you would be interested in knowing about the candidate; review the job description to evaluate connections between essential functions of the job and what you see on the résumé. Consider what you want to learn about the candidate during the interview process.

Make the candidate feel comfortable when you greet him or her. Oftentimes, people are nervous during interviews. Make the candidate feel at ease so he or she opens up to you during the interview process. Do not sit behind your desk. Pick a neutral place where the candidate feels there is more of a level playing field. Offer the candidate something to drink. Engage the person so he or she feels comfortable. This will elicit positive and honest responses during the process. Whatever you do, don’t answer the phone during the interview. The candidate deserves the respect (as you would want) during the process. You wouldn’t like it if the candidate answered a cell phone during the interview. The interview process goes both ways!

Source: careersdonewrite.com

Chart a Course for Your Career This Year

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group of Hispanic professionals lined up outside building

By Alexa D’Agostino

What steps can you take now to reach that next professional level? Whether you’re starting out or are several years into your professional life, it’s always a good time to think about planning your next move. According to CareerBuilder, about 75 percent of Americans have changed careers at least once, and 33 percent are thinking about it right now.

So, if you’re contemplating a career makeover in 2019, you’re in good company.

First, you need to commit. A new or different career won’t just fall into your lap. The onus is on you to actively work toward improving your prospects. Your goals may be as small as finding one new person to network with or as large as landing a job in an entirely different field. Regardless, you need to actively engage in making the change happen.

Once you’ve committed to making a change, the next step is figuring out what that change should be. Make a plan for yourself that will help you establish a new career path. Take large goals and break them into smaller ones so that you don’t get overwhelmed, and enjoy the sense of accomplishment as you reach each milestone. Make sure your goals are detailed and clear. For example, saying you need to update your resume is not as specific as saying you need to add your latest job. The unambiguous second goal is easier to complete. A clear goal for your career simplifies the process of developing a clear course.

Track your progress, and don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t making as much headway as you’d like. Having deadlines for your goals is great, but cut yourself some slack if you aren’t always able to meet them. Your goals may be delayed, but as long as you continue to pursue them, your chosen career path will never be too far out of reach.

Track your inner animal. This may sound strange, but according to sociologist and life coach Martha Beck, this is the best way to figure out what career path you should pursue. “Grab a pen and make a list of every time you remember being utterly, happily absorbed in an activity, no matter how odd,” Beck says. “This focused attention is the hot track you’re looking for, evidence that your animal self was here.” By focusing on what your animal self loves and not what your rational brain says you should be doing, you can find a path that will lead to a career you truly enjoy.

Remind yourself that you don’t need to go at it alone. In fact, you’ll be much more successful if you have the support of a mentor or colleague who can help ease the transition and make connections. That support is priceless, especially if you’re shifting careers. Mentors are able to give you guidance, advice, and insight that can be crucial to making that next move, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. A mentor may be just what you need to move forward on your chosen career path.

Whether your next career move keeps you in the same field or shifts you into a new one, keep your knowledge and skills up to date through trainings, organizational memberships, and conferences. If you’re looking to move into a field that requires a skill you don’t currently have, take the time to learn it. You may opt to do this on your own—reading up on the topic and practicing it in your free time—but you can always attend a class or try one offered online at sites like Lynda.com that offer helpful tutorials.

Most importantly, believe in yourself. Know that you have the drive and ability to accomplish your goals and to embark on a career path that you will enjoy. Careers are ever changing, so don’t be afraid to try something new. Whether this is your first career or your tenth, use the tips above to make it your best career yet!

Source: woc.aises.org

Afro-Latina actress Tessa Thompson saves the world in ‘Men in Black: International”

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Tessa Thompson on movie set with Chris Hemsworth

By Arturo Conde

Tessa Thompson considers herself Afro-Latina, a black woman, a person of color, and Latinx. But when fans go to see the sci-fi action blockbuster “Men in Black: International” this weekend, she hopes that they will only see her character, Agent M, on the silver screen.

“I hope we can get to the space in Hollywood where it’s not noteworthy for a woman, and particularly a woman of color, to top line a franchise film,” Thompson, who has Afro-Panamanian and Mexican roots, told NBC News. “I hope we can get to a place where we don’t have to congratulate it, or comment on it because it happens with such frequency. But we are still really far away from there.”

“Men in Black: International” partners Agent M with Agent H (played by Chris Hemsworth) in a globetrotting mission that will take viewers on a fun and exciting adventure through Western Europe and Northern Africa to find a murderer, expose a mole, and ultimately save the world.Tessa Thompson headshot

Fans first meet M as the six-year-old Molly who has an unexpected encounter with an alien. This exposes her to a new world that is inhabited by unearthly beings. And after the Men in Black erase her parents’ memory, M dedicates her life to tracking down the organization and pursuing the truth.

“Memory is huge for M,” Thompson said. “She doesn’t want to live a lie, and she feels that because there’s this organization [Men in Black] that can go around wiping out memories, the only way to relive the truth in terms of the universe and its underpinnings is to be a part of this organization.” In playing Agent M, the critically acclaimed actress tapped into her gender and ethnicity as a way to understand what drove and tested her character.

“If you’re a woman, and particularly a woman of color, and you’re trying to get access to any space that has been historically white and male, you have to work harder,” Thompson said. “This was an inspiration for me when I was thinking about M because she’s so ambitious. She wants to be good, but she also knows that she has to be good — especially if she wants to get to where she wants to go.”

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.