How to Change Silicon Valley's Brofest: Diversity

"Brofest" epicenter. Courtesy: CNN Money Ellen Pao's lawsuit against the famed venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins has done more to shine a harsh spotlight on Silicon Valley's lack of diversity, specifically the dismal number of women and the humiliating practices to which Ms. Pao was allegedly subjected. However, to rectify the diversity gap and foster workplace equality and innovation, we must move from a conversation of discrimination to action items that will break the Valley's brofest and create "ladders in" to one of the most creative and lucrative sectors of our economy.

Let's begin by broadening the definition of diversity that's been circulating in the media. Ms. Pao's case focused on discrimination against women such as being excluded from travel because a woman would complicate the bunking situation or being exiled to the periphery of a conference table. The gender element strikes a cord and has been magnified in part by a more diverse media--the reporters and editors on this story and the tech beat are increasingly women.

Point of view is critical, making an issue out of a once overlooked topic. However, we must be cognizant and vigilant of all exclusions. In the case of Silicon Valley and technology, if women are not well represented, minorities such as African Americans and Latinos are virtually invisible. "Ethnic minorities and women are generally underrepresented, sometimes severely so--particularly in management roles. White and Asian males often dominate their fields," according to a CNN Money investigation which also revealed how many tech companies "stonewalled" the journalist's attempts to get this information. In 2014, Google attempted to get in front of its own gender or minority gap when it released a self-ordered autopsy of workplace diversity (disclosure: I co-founded a summer reading program targeting Latino students supported by Google). The numbers of women and minorities (again with the exception of Asians and Asian Americans) are dismal, especially at the highest management levels.

These examples show how the gender and minority tech gap has become a mainstream conversation. But what is it going to take to create structural change that will create "ladders in" to the tech field? Companies such as Facebook point to employee resource groups (ERGs), Facebook pages, and events such as the Pride Parade or Women's History Month as evidence of their commitment to support diversity. I consider these "ladders up" in an organization once a person is hired. Mentoring and creating community are crucial to recruiting, retaining, and promoting employees from diverse backgrounds. But are ERGs enough to change the game and its rules or even more basic, how do these efforts help a talented candidate get hired in the first place? Does the virtual absence of diversity in the management and employee organizational chart from Day 1 at white hot start ups such as Uber and Airbnb suggest it's business as usual?

A total workplace shift will have a seismic impact on the economy and our society. Look no further than your iPhone and its solutions as evidence of the critical role of different points of view to foster innovation. There's also the ripple effect for students and future employees from minority backgrounds who make up a growing segment of the U.S. population. A better paid labor force not only strengthens a community's tax base. But imagine the impact a well-paying job in tech can have to lift out of poverty not just one worker but all who look up to her in her family and neighborhood.

When faced with big issues, you will often times hear leaders and experts begin their change theory with the phrase:

It's not a question of if, but when.

Tech leaders have the money. But do they have the political will and muscle to make this cultural and workplace change?

If so, when?

Please check back since I'll be exploring the topics of  technology and diversity in future posts, including the role of education and politics.

Monday Inspiration: Network to Get Work / Lunes Inspiración: Conseguir Puesto

At times a late adopter, I binge watched this summer HBO's Veep with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Not confirming or denying that I may not have left the house for one week while I became current reaching the end of Season 3, I love everything about this comedy and the clever, funny, incisive, and insightful characters that give the show dimension. Dan Egan, played by actor Reid Scott, tops my favorites list not just because he's such a nugget. This ambitious communications underling trying to back stab his way to the top adds humor and humanity to the millions in real life clawing their way in the D.C.s, New Yorks, L.A.s, or Silicon Valleys of the world (Those who roll in this set can lack self-awareness. At dinner this summer, one said: you can tell when Tammy Haddad started consulting for Veep. The characters stopped being so mean. And then I choked on my Prosecco). In Season 3, Dan Egan runs into former flame, boss, and competitor Veep chief of staff Amy while both are schmoozing on the down low. His answer when she confronts him?

You need to network, to get work.

Monday_Inspiration_Veep_Network_to_Get_Work_Viviana_Hurtado-TheWiseLatinaClub

Nothing funny or fictional about these words. Rather, they are pearls of wisdom. We know this to be true. But for how many us:

Networking has gone by the wayside.

We are too busy keeping up with our daily tasks, we don't have time.

We've become complacent with our current network we've cultivated.

Even though networking--why you do it to advance your career and when you do, how to blow the doors off--is central to the mentoring I offer my interns, I'm guilty of having committed all the above offenses.

Despite what the headlines suggest, many Americans, especially millennials and young men of color, are still in a personal economic recession. Instead of waiting for a company to hire you or a government report to tout some tone deaf GDP number, network smartly and with purpose.

Viviana's 3 Tips to "Network to Get Work"

  1. Identify your affinities: To what networks do you already belong? Alumni groups, state associations, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) organized around ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, and veteran status--even social activities such as my running group--are where you can find professionals with whom you have a natural connection. An affinity can be the ice breaker to begin cultivating a relationship that could develop into a job lead or professional recommendation. Read Career: 4 Reasons to Start Utilize Your Alumni Networks for great pointers.
  2. Get a Mentor, and Yes, That May Mean Asking Her to Be Yours: As I write in Audio: 4 of My Mentor-Seeking Mistakes You Should Avoid on NPR, not having a mentor is the single most detrimental factor in my career development. While I have had guardian angels, madrinas, and padrinos, a mentor, unlike our career fairy god parents are invested not just during moments, but for the long haul. Click on Video: Career: You, Inc. to watch my video interview with Daisy Auger-Domínguez (during the interview she was at Time Warner, Daisy is now the Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Organization & Workforce for the Disney TV Group) where she explains how to not just secure a mentor, but assemble a board of directors of advisors, sponsors, and mentors who together can help guide your professional and even personal development.
  3. Network intelligently: Nothing bugs me more than when I hear from someone only when she needs something. Do you reach out every month or a couple of times a year? Do you send a note about your mentor's interests, field, or something related to her kids? It's not rocket science but basic psychology: make someone fall in love with you and nurture that relationship. Nurture your relationship so that in the words of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, your mentor will be more apt to "lean in" when you need her to.

Like all the Veep characters, Dan Egan makes us laugh. But with these words, he casts insight and an action item you can add to network intelligently to advance your career. Within reach, delete it from the socializing and add it to your strategy category.

To read more Career posts, click here.

Don’t forget to share your mentoring tips and stories by leaving a comment here and sharing using the easy peasy social buttons below.

xo ~ Viviana

Monday Inspiration: Gossip / Lunes Inspiración: El Chisme

This summer I've had a few brushes with the role of gossip in career, particularly from women. The first was when I heard from Superstar Intern that her executive producer at a global satellite network had poo poo'ed her guest pitch. Executive Producer was the most senior person at the editorial meeting and badmouthed a female colleague, as it turns out incorrectly. Not only was she violating basic human resources protocols and employment law to not discuss previous employees. But the information was incorrect. So much for a journalist's accuracy. It is clear to me that this senior professional woman wanted to throw her weight around, asserting her power over a humiliated intern. Real leader. The second situation concerns Woman #1 who has been relentlessly asking Woman #2 for work/leads at her new company. However, I remember Woman #1 gossiping about Woman #2's interview, alleging that a friend of hers works at the company and upon meeting Woman #2 declared her "a mess" (Woman #2 must not have been that much of  "a mess" because she landed the position). In this case, I am astounded by the level of hypocrisy of Woman #1. This incident reminds me of Papi's pearls of wisdom on being careful of those who are:

Abrazándote con una mano y apuñalándote con la otra

(translation: patting you on the back with one hand while stabbing you with the other).

3 Reasons Why Women Gossiping at Work Is Criminal

  1. Hurts your professional brand and credibility: I guarantee you, I will never trust, recommend, or work with Woman #1 because of her unprofessional behavior. If she's talking smack about Women #2 behind her back, what's she saying about me when I walk away?
  2. It's a chi-altering time suck that saps your work productivity: Think all your friends' Facebook posts about their great and happy lives fouls your mood and then presto, it's 5pm and you still have a lot of work left to complete? 10x this if you want to get an idea of how destructive gossip will be to your workday and emotional wellbeing.
  3. It's hypocritical: Men (who can be equally gossipy) are just straight up, cut throat a**holes at work. Women have this whole Steel Magnolias, Sex in the City, sisterly love mythology. Lies.

Monday_Inspiration_Inspiración_Lunes_Gossip_Marie_Curie_Viviana_Hurtado-TheWiseLatinaClub

Instead of talking about others, refocus your energy and time on talking, thinking, enterprising, and testing new ideas. Even better, choose a cause or a community group and get involved, for example, as a volunteer.

Thinking about ideas can lead to actions that solve problems. I promise you, that sense of accomplishment will make you feel competent with the ensuing praise giving us the credit we often yearn for but is elusive at work. Thinking and acting on ideas will also consume time, forcing us to prioritize, get organized, and be task-oriented to get it all done.

The next time gossip rears its ugly head at work, think about these wise words of Marie Curie. Find inspiration in the ideas between your ears and resist the temptation of the nasty words that come out of your mouth.

xo ~ Viviana

AUDIO: 4 of My Mentor-Seeking Mistakes You Should Avoid. On NPR

Before you #LeanIn or career climb, you have to be on your career path. This is where a mentor comes in--that person who guides your career and sometimes your personal development. In some cases, it's someone--an advisor or a heavy weight--who functions as a sponsor or champion as I write in 6 Minute Career Climb: You, Inc. Whatever the name, I have never had a consistent person or people who have committed to my professional development and success. I identify it as the single most detrimental thing to my career advancement which I discuss on the last Beauty Shop panel on NPR's Tell Me More with Michel Martin before the show's cancellation. Mentor_Mistakes_NPR_Viviana_Hurtado-TheWiseLatinaClub

4 of My Mentor-Seeking Mistakes You Should Avoid

  1. I entered a brutally competitive field: Broadcast journalism is notoriously hard on women. While not encouraging women and minorities to avoid competitive careers, I do advise going in with eyes wide open--becoming fully informed of the political lay of the land with a focus on relationship building and assembling a constellation of allies who will advise on career moves, missteps, and survival tactics.
  2. I misidentified mentors: Your boss is worried about budgets, layoffs, and staff shortages, all factors contributing to not having the time, patience, or will to mentor you. Another thing that is critical for young women is correctly identifying a male colleague's intentions. Men in positions of power still make up the majority of the workforce and many are outstanding, committed mentors. Just make sure that he shares your 100% professional intentions and doesn't want to sleep with you.
  3. Waiting for Mujer Maravilla: Along the lines of the documentary Waiting for Superman where the great revelation is that no one is powerful enough to save students in a failing public school system, I made the mistake of wanting--and waiting--for a mentor Super Sheroe who would mirror my experiences as a Latina--an Hispanic Wonder Woman which leads to:
  4. Branch Out to Others Outside Your Background and Comfort Zone: There is still not a critical mass of  Latinas in positions of power in the media and many other professional fields. However, more African American and white men and women are. The most important thing is to identify someone--regardless of background--who is senior enough in experience and power and who is willing to commit to your professional development.

To raise children, does it take a village or a family? I say both but also one important stakeholder--YOU. When mentoring a young woman of color, she will need you to #LeanIn for her, using the phrase Sheryl Sandberg coined to discuss women stepping up to advance professionally. You are not only mentoring this individual but her whole network of amigas and little brothers and sisters for whom she is a role model--perhaps the first to attend college or hold a "clean" white collar job. Your mentorship will help create a confident career woman who will pay it forward with the potential to create a multiplying effect in her community of upward mobility.

Click below to hear the last Beauty Shop panel on NPR's Tell Me More with Michel Martin focused on mentoring. This broadcast aired on July 30, 2014.

Career: 4 Reasons to Utilize Your Alumni Network

When moving to a new city, it is important to quickly establish a contact base. Joining alumni groups are a great way to network for potential professional contacts and opportunities and easier because of the common ground of your shared Alma Mater.

Many colleges and student organizations have alumni organizations in cities across the country. To get involved, start by searching for alumni networks online. You can also find alumni networks by asking mutual friends who attended college with you. State societies are helpful for connecting with alumni, from undergraduate or graduate school.

Alumni Networking

After you have established what alumni organizations you would like to join, attend an event the organization is hosting. Consider these reasons as motivation to get involved with alumni networks in your city. You never know if the people who once sat in class with you could now be colleagues or even your superiors.

4 Reasons To Be Involved In Alumni Networks

  1. Creates a Work-Life Balance: When moving to a new city, work may be the only thing that is consistent in your life. This can be draining and lonely. Meeting alumni and rekindling your involvement with meaningful associations, clubs, or sororities provides you with an opportunity to establish a work-life balance.
  2. Potential Career Opportunities: Getting involved with alumni networks could lead to new job opportunities and career interests. Stay in touch with other professionals in alumni networks to stay abreast of current job openings.
  3. Meet a Mentor: Finding a mentor to guide and advise you early on in your career is crucial to succeeding in the workplace. Alumni associations and networks are a way to capitalize on meeting seasoned professionals to consult for advice.
  4. A Chance to Make Contacts: Developing friendships and professional relationships in a city can be tough because of busy schedules and exclusivity of social groups. Alumni networks are a chance to meet other professionals on common ground. 

Are you connected with alumni networks?

Make the benefits of receiving a degree in higher education extend beyond your years in the classroom. Boost your post-grad career development by connecting with alumni networks to establish and grow a web of career contacts

HaleyFulford-TheWiseLatinaClubA food enthusiast and native Georgia Peach, Haley recently graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Development. Currently working at the United States House of Representatives, she is passionate about the outdoors, improved access to quality education for all, public policy, and documenting “from stress to success in the city.” Click here to read more about and connect with Haley.

Edited by Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

Do you stay connected with other alumni? If so, have you experienced career benefits?

From Stress to Success in the City: Tips for Establishing a Work-Life Balance

Establishing a work-life balance is important for living a healthy, stress-free life. Your career is just one part of your life. As young professionals, making strides towards balancing your work with other responsibilities and interests will help create healthy habits that will last through your future professional career.

When you let your work take over your life, the other parts suffer. Health, social life, family, community involvement, and personal interests are all components of your life that should not be neglected due to a crazy schedule or workload.

The path to stress free living.

Taking time to prioritize your work, home life, and free time will spare you from being “all work and no play.”

Haley’s 5 Tips for Establishing a Work-Life Balance

  1. Take a Day of Rest: Pick a day of the week (usually on the weekend) to rest. Do not plan anything or do any work. Making room for rest will leave you energized and de-stressed through the rest of the week.
  2. Establish Boundaries: Create space so your work does not constantly follow you. For some people this could mean leaving your work at the office. For others who may work at home, setting office hours that you strictly adhere to will give a clear end to your work.
  3. Learn How to (Gracefully) Say No: This goes for work and social life. For your office, hours and boundaries should clearly be set. Learning how to say no to the “extras” that co-workers or bosses are unnecessarily pushing on you will keep you from working additional hours. As for your social agenda, you don’t have to go to everything you are invited to attend. For those of you who suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) like me, your friends will not forget about you. Saying no to things gives you space and time so you stay stress free.
  4. Prioritize: Figure out what is important to you. Establishing goals and interests will help you navigate life and balance your time.
  5. Clear the Clutter in your Life: Literally and figuratively clean up your life. Keeping your home clean will keep you from feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Let go of friends or activities that are holding you back from reaching your full potential.  The longer you let clutter build up, the harder it is to manage.

Proactively planning and organizing your life is the key to a successful work-life balance. Carve out time during your week to check yourself and your plans. If you have trouble sticking to your goals and established boundaries, seek out an accountability partner--a friend or even professional who will check in on you and your balancing act.

Don't let your work load consume your time and leave you stressed. Enjoy putting time into your career but don't let it consume your day. Remember these tips to create a routine that balances your career with all other important aspects of your life.

HaleyFulford-TheWiseLatinaClubA food enthusiast and native Georgia Peach, Haley recently graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Development. Currently working at the United States House of Representatives, she is passionate about the outdoors, improved access to quality education for all, public policy, and documenting “from stress to success in the city.” Click here to read more about and connect with Haley.

Edited by Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

How do you balance life and work?

From Stress To Success in the City: Ten Tips for Relieving Office Anxiety

Navigating a heavy workload and performance pressure in the office can take a toll on your mind and body. For National Employee Wellness Month, make a conscious effort to reduce your stress levels to support your overall well being. While working out and eating well outside the office is necessary, bringing health goals into the office is just as important for living a stress-free life.

Low or normal blood pressure, better sleep, less sick days from work, and a healthy body are all benefits of reducing stress levels in the workplace. Remember these ten tips to curb office anxiety.

Stressing in the office.

Haley's Top Ten Tips for Relieving Office Anxiety

  1. Consider a Standing Desk: Standing desks provide you with movement and subtle exercise throughout the day. Higher energy levels, increased core and leg strength, and increased concentration are all benefits of standing at your desk.
  2. Take Short Walks: Walking around frequently increases blood circulation throughout your body, giving you more energy. If you sit at your desk, this is a great chance to check your posture and exercise your body.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water at work! Staying hydrated is important for performance inside and out of the office. The more hydrated you become the less sluggish you will feel. In return, you will be more productive.
  4. Keep a Healthy Diet: Eating healthy food helps you manage your weight and stress so that you do not turn to eating as a form of comfort in high anxiety situations.
  5. Rest your Eyes: Staring at computer screens and reading documents strains our eyes. Look away from the computer regularly to keep your eyes healthy and strong.
  6. Squeeze a Stress ball: Keeping a stress ball at your desk to squeeze on can help you release tension that you may otherwise store in your body.
  7. Invest in Essential Oils: Many types of essential oils help reduce stress. Keep a small bottle at your desk. You can apply the oils directly to the skin, smell them, or burn them (not advised because starting a fire in your office would be awkward and potentially cause you to have more anxiety).
  8. Keep a Plant at your Desk: Office space can often times be boring and monochromatic. Plants not only add color. They offer many benefits to an office space such as helping to reduce sickness, improve air quality, and calm your nerves.
  9. Counseling: If you are feeling extremely anxious and would like an objective third party to talk to about your crazy workload or M.I.A. coworker, consider counseling.
  10. Stay Involved Outside of Work: It is tempting to run straight to the couch after work, but finding interests to develop apart from work can reduce stress and just as important, create a work-life balance.

As professionals, we tend to let work become our entire lives which can lead to an overwhelming amount of anxiety. Taking steps to stay stress free in the office is imperative for your long-term and short-term health. For National Employee Wellness Month, adopt these tips to go from stress to success in the office. Don't forget to share with your co-workers!

HaleyFulford-TheWiseLatinaClubA food enthusiast and native Georgia Peach, Haley recently graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Development. Currently working at the United States House of Representatives, she is passionate about the outdoors, improved access to quality education for all, public policy, and documenting “from stress to success in the city.” Click here to read more about and connect with Haley.

Edited by Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

How do you deal with office anxiety?

From Stress To Success in the City: Dressing Professional During the Summer Swelter

Dressing well is not about being stylish or fashion forward (though that is a temptation) so don't wear your mini-skirt and tank top to the office. Your office attire is about communicating your professional personal brand. Though brains and hard work are what get the job done, dressing professionally is important for developing a career brand. When you dress appropriately for your profession, your superiors and colleagues will take you seriously. This is why your professional wardrobe is critical for continued career success

Professional attire

Summer can be hot, humid, and down right uncomfortable. Remember these tips for planning your professional wardrobe during the “fry your eggs on the sidewalk” kind of days.

Haley's 4 Tips for Dressing Professionally During the Summer

  1. Invest in Breathable Materials: Linen and all types of cotton are great alternatives to the traditional polyester suit.  Many types of dresses and suits are made out of cotton and linen for a light summer style. Breathable materials allow you to look professional without sweltering on your morning commute.
  2. Dress for Your Shape: Women come in all shapes and sizes. Dressing professionally for your shape will give you confidence and flatter your body. Rather than comparing yourself to other women, figure out what YOU look best in. If you try to dress for someone else, chances are you will not look your best.
  3. Wear Clothing that Fits: Leave the sparkles, studs, and tight dresses for the weekend. Go for a sophisticated summer look. Find clothing that fits loosely and looks classy without appearing frumpy. Be careful of outfits being too tight. For one thing, it makes for an extremely uncomfortable day at work and more importantly, leaves you vulnerable for criticism from your colleagues.
  4. Find a Love for Dresses and Skirts: Skirts and dresses are a great way to feel feminine while still looking professional plus they are breathable. A dress is a one stop shop. No matching or tucking in, just put it on and you are ready for work.

Remember to reference your corporate culture when establishing your summer closet. Professionals in the fashion industry may dress further out of the box than someone in finance. Some offices have eliminated dress codes (think startups). Know the expectations of your office to dress appropriately for your job.

Dressing for success in the summertime can be a challenge. When planning summer outfits, remember that looking neat and put together is key to career success. Use these tips to stay cool at work so that other professionals look at you and think: “She can get the job done and look good while doing it!”

HaleyFulford-TheWiseLatinaClubA food enthusiast and native Georgia Peach, Haley recently graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Development. Currently working at the United States House of Representatives, she is passionate about the outdoors, improved access to quality education for all, public policy, and documenting “from stress to success in the city.” Click here to read more about and connect with Haley. 

Edited by Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

How you dress professionally during the summer months?

From Stress to Success in the City: Employee Fitness Outside of the Office

Establishing a workout routine and intentionally exercising outside can be a key to reducing stress from the workday grind. Physical activity, fresh air and sunshine contribute to your overall well-being. For National Employee Wellness Month, consider outdoor fitness to stay in shape and healthy after work hours to reap the benefits 9 to 5.

Physical activity is one component of overall health and well-being that shouldn’t be overlooked. It gives you energy, helps you focus, and can increase your work productivity. Exercising regularly helps you maintain a healthy weight while also reducing stress levels, lowering your blood pressure, and boosting your immune system. Taking your #sweatlife outside is not only great for your physical strength, but also your mental health. It's also easier during the spring and summer when towns and cities offer plenty of outdoor exercise options.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Haley's 5 Ways for Employees to Stay Fit Outside

  1. Find Outdoor Fitness Classes: Many gyms, hotels, and hosting free outdoor fitness classes such as yoga and total body workouts. Most of these classes if taught in a studio are expensive. Grab a friend or colleague and go!
  2. Take it to the Water: Swimming, kayaking, rowing, and stand up paddleboarding (SUP) are all fun activities. You’ll get a lot of sunshine which provides much needed Vitamin D and arms that rival First Lady Michelle Obama's.
  3. Train for a Race: Races are always a great way to incorporate fitness as an outdoor activity. The training and races encourage you to get out of the gym and into fresh air. Whether you bike, run, mud run, or swim, find a training buddy and sign-up for your first race.
  4. Utilize Public Facilities: Public pools, tennis courts, golf courses, and running/biking trails are all of free resources and provide a great venue for exercise.
  5. Join a Recreational Team: Playing on a softball, kickball, soccer, or tennis team gives you fitness with a side of fun during the summer season. Intramural or recreational sports are (meant to be) lighthearted competition and time to enjoy with friends and family.

Fitness Money Saving Tips: Some outdoor activities during the summer can be costly. To save on summer adventures, check out websites like Groupon and Gilt City for deals and savings on fitness attire, equipmentand classes.

Summer Fitness Safety Tips: Remember to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen when planning to exercise outside. Taking care of your skin and staying hydrated is just as important as the physical activity itself which you can read more about in Fitness: 5 Tips for a Safe Workout in Summer Heat

Group Fitness in the Park

During National Employee Wellness Month, establish a regular workout routine as an investment for your health now and for the future. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle means feeling more energetic at work and taking less sick-days. Get your sweat on with a few colleagues after work or during your lunch break knowing that healthy employees encourage happy offices.

HaleyFulford-TheWiseLatinaClubA food enthusiast and native Georgia Peach, Haley recently graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Development. Currently working at the United States House of Representatives, she is passionate about the outdoors, improved access to quality education for all, public policy, and documenting “from stress to success in the city.” Click here to read more about and connect with Haley.

Edited by Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

How do you stay active outside?

From Stress to Success in the City: Using Social Media to Build Your Personal Brand

Personal branding is increasingly accessible due to social networking.

You may be asking yourself, “what is personal branding?” By definition, personal branding is the process in which we market ourselves to others.

Standing out from the crowd and making yourself known can guide you to career success. Today, branding is no longer reserved for companies and their products. Staying connected to other professionals through social media is vital to building and spreading your personal brand.

Personal branding for career success.

Your personal brand is a combination of who you are, what you do, and what you are looking to accomplish. With a competitive economic climate, professionals have to be creative, self-starters ready to market themselves in new ways. Social media is an effective method for building professional connections and spreading your message. 

Staying engaged with social media opens digital doors to connect and share your brand with people from all over the world. Rather than letting your resume speak for itself, be proactive through all types of social media.  

Haley's Must-Have Professional Social Media Accounts:

  1. LinkedIn: The Professional’s Facebook: Many people have switched over from Facebook to LinkedIn in an effort to keep their personal separate from their professional life. Companies and businesses use this website to spread information and search for potential employees which is why you should maintain a profile. 
  2. Google+: The Google Lover’s Cornucopia: In an effort to take over the (digital) world, Google took the love child between Facebook and LinkedIn and created Google+. Many professionals have Gmail accounts as personal or professional emails. Having Google+ allows you to conveniently streamline and connect with everything Google.
  3. Twitter: Rapid Fire Information Center: Twitter is necessary for building your personal brand because it allows you to quickly spread direct information. Hashtags and “mentions” of people, interests, or events bring attention to your brand.
  4. Facebook: The Original: Facebook, for many of us, was the initial way we connected with people through social media. This means that Facebook is our largest base of people to connect with and share information. 

Remember to keep all of your accounts appropriate. If you wouldn't show a post or photo to your boss, you probably shouldn't have it on your social media.

Tweet Tweet!

Never has there been a time where we can market ourselves so effectively. Keep your social media accounts updated because using these tools strategically can propel you forward to career success. Remember: the key to building your personal brand is to effectively communicate who you are to others in person and as powerfully, by connecting with them in the social media sphere.

HaleyFulford-TheWiseLatinaClubA food enthusiast and native Georgia Peach, Haley recently graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Development. Currently working at the United States House of Representatives, she is passionate about the outdoors, improved access to quality education for all, public policy, and documenting “from stress to success in the city.” Click here to read more about and connect with Haley.

Edited by Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

How to you market your personal brand?