By: Murray A. Mann and Rose Mary Bombela-Tobias
For many Latinos, a key personal barrier impacting success in career management and job interviewing is cultural modesty: hesitancy to communicate one’s accomplishments and abilities to the employer. Self-promotion is the number one issue raised by the two hundred+ Latino managers, recruiters, and CEOs we interviewed and surveyed for Barron’s The Complete Job Search Guide for Latinos. It has also been the experience of many of the thousands of our readers and Latino clients we have served.
Latinos are often raised to think that speaking about themselves and their accomplishments is boastful, rude, disrespectful, and “mal educado.” As the dicho goes, “La persona no ha de ser de dichossino de hechos A person is not made out of talk, but of deeds.”
We are taught not to brag about our efforts and to let our work speak for itself. However, holding back can be a disadvantage in our competitive society. Instead, we should choose to speak honestly about ourselves and build our personal power.
Tueres el arquitecto de tupropiodestino – You are the master of your own destiny.
Yasmin Davidds-Garrido, motivational speaker and author of Empowering Latinas: Breaking Boundaries, Freeing Lives, often expresses the following quotation in her presentations.
“Personal power comes from within and when you embrace it, you feel as though there is nothing in the world that you cannot handle. It helps you recognize that everything in your life is a choice, and it reinforces the truth that you have complete control over each and every one of those choices. While we may not have control over the events that occur in our lives, we have control over how we react to these events. You, alone, are in control of your destiny.”
We have earned our academic and professional credentials, worked hard to develop our expertise, and sacrificed to make it in our careers. We also bring to the table the rich assets of our heritage. Our multicultural experiences and/or language skills are critical business assets employers are seeking (read ’Maximize Your Culture and Language in Your Job Interview).
Self-confidence is a concept that for some appears to be unattainable. For too many years Latinos have been hounded by the “peon” imagery that has unfortunately been stereotyped in media. But the heart of our combined Latino cultures is a proud one; consisting of outstanding attributes that fuel modern Latino success. Embrace your value to unleash your personal career power.
As we navigate through the workplace, we must learn to value our abilities and present ourselves with“confianza” confidence! When we learn to do this, we build personal career power and begin to feel more comfortable communicating our value to employers and making more headway in our careers.