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Empowering Latinas: 3 Tips To Enter Corporate America, Succeed In A Tough Economy

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Advice for Latino young professionals to climb the corporate ladder in America.

By Yvonne Garcia (National Vice President, ALPFA)

According to the U.S. Labor Department, job openings rose in July. However, the continued high unemployment underscores weakness in the labor market which must be daunting for recent graduates.

Today, even a college degree from a top-notch school is no guarantee for a job, but here is some advice young Latinas can embrace to succeed as they embark on their careers.

In today’s workplace, only those who can keep learning, stay current on business trends, find mentors and embrace their talents and knowledge are those who will be sought out for opportunities.

After many years in business and attending conventions, I hear a number of tips given to young Latinas. Here are three that have worked well as I have climbed the corporate ladder.

Tip #1 – Learn your craft well.

Take the opportunity to learn every part of an assignment and make sure to ask questions. Look around for successful professionals in your industry. Identify their habits and traits that put them on that high level. When you know your craft and understand the work habits needed to succeed, you will naturally exude self-confidence.

Tip #2 – Find a mentor.

One of the best career moves you can make is to seek out and find a mentor. A truly effective mentor is someone who will have the capacity to be loyal to your goal, make him or herself available, and be very honest with you, too. The level of candor is key to your success.

Tip #3 – Embrace your “Latina”.

As Latinas, we understand the value of family and hard work. The strongest bonds in business occur when employees, partners and vendors alike are treated with respect… like familia. The treatment is reciprocated and opportunities continue to arise. That’s the kind of mentality we need in building corporate leaders.

Next week at a convention in Las Vegas, ALPFA, the country’s premier Latino professional association, will be hosting the Women of ALPFA 10th anniversary luncheon honoring Latinas who have made exceptional business and community achievement.

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Yvonne Garcia is National Vice President, ALPFA, the largest Latino association for business professionals and students. She is also Senior Vice President at State Street Corporation. She is on the Investment Manager Services team, part of the Global Services business. Yvonne has global responsibility for new client engagements and provides consulting services to existing State Street clients. She has two young children, a busy career and robust volunteer life.