April 29, 2021

How to Develop Your Career Without Losing Your Latinx Identity

Growing up as a child of immigrants had its struggles. I could see my parents’ difficulty adjusting to a new country, culture, and language. I didn’t want to have the same challenges, so I got into a habit of not mentioning my heritage. While doing volunteer work, I learned a lesson.

I shared with colleagues that I grew up in the U.S., but one of them realized I was leaving out vital details, my heritage. With a sparkle in her eyes, she wanted to know all about my home country and its culture. Her excitement made me reflect on my own perception of my heritage and how I had tried to hide my roots because I felt I would be more successful in my career that way, but this attitude only hurt my career development.

Let me share some life lessons my Latin heritage has taught me that have transferred on to help me develop my career.

Keep Up to date with your Profiles and Resume

After having to redo my resume completely within a few years, I quickly learned having an up-to-date running resume is essential. Keep a running master resume where you include all your experience, skills you are acquiring, and accomplishments as they are happening, even if you are not looking for a job. One of the many things that will always be part of my identity is speaking multiple languages, which adds value to a resume.

I had always shied away from online profiles until I unlocked the power of LinkedIn Profiles. My sister took time to update her profile, adding her current role, accomplishments, and a professional photo. A week later, she was contacted by a recruiter and landed her dream job.

Now, I keep my Linkedin Profile up to date with my accomplishments and a professional picture. Being raised bilingual had an everlasting impact on me. It sparked my passion for learning languages. I include this in my about section, along with sharing Mexican culture pictures on my banner.

Visualize your career and life goals

My dad once told me, “pursue a career you will be able to do and enjoy until your old age.” Take time to think about what you want in your life and career. Don’t just go along with what everyone else is doing. Sit down and analyze what you want out of life and your career in the long run.

Ask yourself these questions: Will your planned lifestyle require a specific salary amount? Do you value flexibility in a schedule? Would you rather be doing something you love even if the pay is not great? What will you need to get to the ideal career and lifestyle? These questions must be answered before you create a plan.

Create a career plan and write down career goals

Now that you know where you’re headed write down a plan. I have learned that I am much more likely to accomplish a goal if I write it down. Write down your starting point and your end goal. Create deadlines, and even if you end up readjusting dates later, this will keep you motivated through the process. Take time to list out all you will need to get from point A to point B. Include performance objectives in your plan that will help you do each goal and reach possible promotions.

Become an Expert

Learning new skills will help you become a more valuable asset to any employer. Going through your plan, take notice of all the steps that require additional skills, certifications, or training. Start going through each item one by one. Never stop learning. Ask to be trained in the skills you need to master. Take classes to improve your skills. I try to collaborate with resume writers and career coaches to build new skills in my current role.

Create Relationships

My mother used to urge me to be community-focused by building relationships and learning from those I admire. She was right all along. When it comes to career development, you can learn so much from others. Look to create relationships with the experts in your field through networking and within your current company. Search for someone you admire and ask for mentoring. Never be afraid to ask for feedback from upper management. Collaborate with your peers and subordinates. This will show your supervisors that you are ready and willing to learn new things. I have learned so much throughout my career from my co-workers and managers. My colleagues have taught me so much about resume writing services, creating professional LinkedIn profiles, and networking, among many other things I did not know a year ago.

Our cultural identities can teach us powerful life lessons that can help us succeed in any environment. We just have to listen, acknowledge, and apply them. Learning to appreciate every part of who you are can help you become the best version of yourself and help you achieve your life and career goals. What do you appreciate most about your identity?

Liz Hogan

Liz is a freelance writer writing about careers in tech

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