Leaning In: Latinas Take Control of their ProfesiĆ³n

Despite the controversy surrounding the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, many women, including professional Latinas, are joining what is now a movement to help women achieve their career and life goals.

The concept of “leaning in” means different things to different people. Adriana J. Moreno, the Art Director at US Squash and Squash Magazine, believes that this new way of thinking has completely changed her life. Moreno says, “To me ‘Leaning In’ means letting go of fears. Many times I was afraid of stepping up with confidence and saying I was able to do a certain task or role, and watched other people with less experience get ahead of me.” Moreno also learned that making mistakes is part of the process of becoming better.

Moreno says that she has also faced many roadblocks in moving up the professional ladder due to her accent and gender. She learned how to articulate her skills and abilities using the lessons of Sandberg’s book. Now she believes that learning to “Lean In” is not just for the professional world. She explains, “It is important to understand that this is our time to shine. Behind are the times when machismo dominated the Hispanic home. Learning to ‘Lean In’ will guarantee you not only financial stability, but also a happier life.”

For Marie Ferraro, “Leaning In” has a different meaning. It means saying “no” and enforcing boundaries with other people. Marie has a typical problem that many children of immigrant parents feel: The constant pressure to offer support and to be available. “I don't have the time to play to the archaic gender roles and be the woman behind the stove or follow these long-standing traditions upheld by Latino culture,” she explains. “My time is valuable and it is a resource that I need to protect if I want to get ahead.”

Marie has learned that “Leaning In” is all about putting her own needs first instead of the needs of her family. She says, “There's a satisfaction and self esteem boost that comes with working on improving yourself.  You are your greatest asset and you can bring more to the table by changing your focus.”

Hierbas Buenas: Immune System Boosters

With the change in seasons, now is the perfect time to strengthen your immune system. So how do you boost your immune system? You eat a healthy dieta that includes natural immune system boosters, especially since the immune system and digestive system are linked -- 70 percent of your body’s immune cells are found in your gut!

In addition to healthy foods, herbal remedies can help stimulate your immune system when you are sick. “Some herbs stimulate certain white blood cells that fight the viruses, whereas other herbs and remedies have direct anti-viral or anti-bacterial properties,” says Dr. Paul Gannon, doctor of naturopathic medicine and member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. “Many times, natural remedies are just a little extra push to help the body’s own mechanisms.” Las Fabulosas has the rundown of cinco hierbas naturales that will give your immune system a boost.

1. Oregano

You’ve most likely consumed this herb as an ingredient in many popular dishes. Oregano has been found to contain up to 20 times higher antioxidant levels than other herbs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Oregano oil also has active compounds, including carvacrol and thymol, which have antiviral and antibacterial properties.

2. Turmeric

Found in many types of curry, this herb can strengthen the immune system through its active compound, curcumin. Curcumin works by increasing levels of a protein that is important to the immune system, according to researchers from Oregon State University. Turmeric is an antimicrobial, which makes it help fight off viral infections.

3. Peppermint

Go ahead and have another candy cane. Peppermint and its primary active ingredient, menthol, work to thin and loosen phlegm, and break up a cough. This herb, found in teas and cold medicines, may have the ability to kill bacteria and viruses too.

4. Astralgus

According to researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, this Chinese herbal medicine may enhance the immune system and fight diseases by helping the cells of the immune system. Some studies have also found this herb to reduce the duration of the common cold.

5. Garlic

Found in many recipes, this antimicrobial has antiviral properties. It contains compounds including allicin, ajoene and thiosulfinates, which help attack infections. This flavorful herb works by stimulating natural immune cells found in your body, and may help to prevent colds.

Want to know how to incorporate these ingredients into your dieta? For starters, put that turmeric and garlic to use with these Latin-fusion dishes.

Responsabilidad: Senior Care for Your Parents

As nuestros padres grow older, we face the realities of having to care for them. According to AARP, family caregivers shell out about $5,500 every year to meet an relative’s  senior care needs. Adding to the financial burden of caring for elderly parents are the emotional and physical stresses that can zap joy from the family unit. Las Fabulosas gets expert advice on how to keep the family fuerte by preparing and organizing for the senior care of our relatives.

Financial Well-Being

Deborah M. Higgins, President Higgins Capital Management, Inc., has seen an increase in clients asking for help with planning for the costs of senior care. Taking care of a parent “can be daunting and leave you feeling overwhelmed,” says Higgins, who has spent the past three decades working as a financial advisor. “You have to look at the big picture,” which can be done with a checklist that identifies and lists the tasks associated.

  1. Balance your parents’ housing needs and wishes by speaking to them at length. Can they live independently? Or does the parent need assisted living, day care or nursing home care?
  2. “Has a list of important financial documents and records been prepared,” asks Higgins on sample checklists she drafts for clients. This list includes all bank and investment account records, credit card statements, mortgage, insurance, utility bills, retirement plan statements and income tax returns for the last three years.
  3. Plan when you will start gathering your parent’s “relevant personal information,” such as passwords or their Social Security number, and start coordinating “long-term care with government benefits.”

Emotional Well-Being

When it comes to caretakers, there are two kinds, according to financial planner Francine Russo: primary and secondary. “If you are your parent’s primary helper,” says Russo, “ask yourself what you really want.” It helps to take an honest turn with yourself about whether it is more help, appreciation or control that you desire. “Lots of caregivers feel lonely and unappreciated.”

  1. Be specific. “If you’re feeling lonely, let other family members know that you would consider it a big help if they would just call more regularly,” says Russo, author of They’re Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents’ Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy. “If you think you ‘shouldn’t have to ask,’ think again, and request the help that you can get realistically.”
  2. If you have siblings: Band together. Whenever possible, “change places for a few days or a week,” with your sibling, suggests Russo. Otherwise, pool enough cash “to hire paid help, arrange meal deliveries, or a car service to take your parent to appointments.”
  3. Avoid “Should-ing” others. Making a sibling feel guilty will only drive “them to defend themselves, often in angry ways,” says Russo. Instead, remember that “your siblings may not have had the same relationship with your parents that you did. There’s no reason they ‘should’ feel the same way you do.”

Our padres taught us that family always comes first. Here are more family values we’ve learned from nuestros padres.

Entrevistas: Tips for Successful Job Interviews

Despite upbeat reports about the country’s economic improvement, employers have remained cautious when it comes to hiring and job interviews. That’s why making a lasting impression during a brief in-person interview is especially important. But hitting the right notes requires properly preparing for a job interview. Las Fabulosas speaks to three experts who share simple and surprising techniques to help you ace your next interview.

Use Social Media: According to Shay Olivarria, author of 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money, understanding what your prospective employer does will give you an idea if the job and environment are a good fit. “Use Google, LinkedIn and Facebook to look up the company and the person” that will be interviewing you if possible,” says Olivarria. “Find out any professional history about the person,” and the company’s clients.

Ask Critical Questions: Before you show up to job interviews, come prepared with at least two thoughtful, researched questions to ask. “The interviewer wants to know that you will able to contribute something to the company,” says Olivarria, founder of BiggerThanYourBlock.com. “Asking thoughtful questions shows that you understand how your job will contribute to the overall well-being of the company.

Know Your Personal Brand: “Articulate your capabilities and skill-sets succinctly and how your personality traits will add-value to the workplace,” says Annette Prieto-Llopis, director of the Center for Hispanic Leadership. Prieto-Llopis also suggests being specific with your techniques and approach to your work.

Draft Talking Points: Olivarria emphasizes going to job interviews with a game plan. Write down at least three things, such as previous experience, that you want to get across before an interview is over, she says. This is an opportunity to “showcase your ability to see the big picture and that your interest in contributing to the organization is well beyond the job you are interviewing for,” says Prieto-Llopis.  

Dress to Impress: “Know what you are wearing the night before,” says Andres Gutierrez, a financial expert and speaker whose website, andresgutierrez.com, offers tips and products to improve financial literacy. “Plan on what time you are leaving the office so no matter what, you’ll be there on time.”

Get Excited: Get pumped by reviewing the positive aspects of the job opportunity and “stand tall” during the entrevista. Gutierrez adds, “If you are not excited about working there, they won’t be excited about hiring you. Shake hands firmly, look people in the eye and have a good posture during the interview.”

Career Change: The Right ProfesiĆ³n for You

You’ve made the decision to make a career change. So now what? It’s important to know where your interests lean when finding a job, says Boni Candelario, Career Strategy and Empowerment Life Coach and founder of Coach’m Up. “The biggest mistake, and a guaranteed path to unhappiness, is only focusing on the financial aspect of a position,” she says. Once you feel fulfilled personally, you can focus on increasing your income.

How to Begin a Career Change

Candelario suggests utilizing tools like The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to help with your career change by assessing your interests. Answer questions like ‘do you like jobs with heavy interpersonal contact, or do you prefer to work alone?’ Take that information and research those industries and jobs that are in line with your interests and work style.

Descúbrete Who You Are

Observe yourself during a typical workday to find out who you are as an employee, says Candelario. Write down which activities energize and which drain you for clues to your ideal work style and career enjoyment. Also, pay attention to what time of day is you’re most productive. If you are a night owl, for example, a day shift job may feel exhausting, so think about finding a job with a night shift.

“Fulfillment stems from doing work that is meaningful,” says Candelario. Ask yourself if there is a cause that is important to you or a demographic you want to serve. “Feeling that your work is making a difference and that you play an important role will put you on the path to fulfillment.”

Get Informed

A bachelor’s degree is becoming more common and expected. However, there are positions for which it still isn’t a requirement. Want to channel your inner tech-geek? A recent study found half of all high-tech positions are held by employees without a bachelor’s degree. Top careers without a college degree include registered nurse, real estate broker, veterinary technologist and dental hygienist.

No matter the career change you make, the most important personal factor in finding a job is finding on that makes you happy and leaves you fulfilled.