1. What was the purpose behind writing Careeranista?
I wrote Careeranista because I saw there was a definite void in the marketplace for a career guide geared toward young professional woman that provided more than just common-sense advice and was also inspirational. Most career guides just stick to the basics of how to find and keep a job; women—all college graduates actually—need to be armed with more information than that. My book touches upon nearly every major issue young women face.
2. Why is it important for young professional women to read your book?
While college gives women the book smarts they need to launch their careers, we seldom receive the professional smarts that are just as crucial. My book provides a blueprint to success for women seeking to land a position, succeed in it, and then get ready for her next level of success, and covers nearly every issue they may face, including topics rarely discussed such as work-life balance, salary negotiation, and sex discrimination. It’s also a very inspirational and humorous read.
3. Which chapters have readers found most beneficial?
For women who are job searching, I’ve received emails saying that the chapter titled “Job Searching in a Tough Job Market” helped them finally snag an interview because there were so many key things they were not doing. For women who are trying to get to the next level in their careers, I have received a lot of kudos on “Succeeding in Corporate America” and “Building a Positive Professional Image—which is one my more funny chapters. But perhaps readers’ overall favorite chapter is “Overcoming Self-Doubt & Fear of Failure” because this is a topic that is not often discussed. I received so many emails about how this chapter really opened a woman’s eyes with regard to the self-esteem issues she has ignored that I created a workshop around the chapter.
4. Why do you think Careeranista is a good fit for the Fly High Coaching community?
I’ve found that people who seek career coaching, such as your clients and potential clients, are usually very focused on positioning themselves for success, both personally and professionally. Careeranista can help reinforce the many things a professional career coach shares to help someone thrive in her or his career.
5. What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you earlier in your career?
Negotiate your salary! Like most new college grads, I was just happy to have a job when I graduated and didn’t give much thought to the salary or benefits. But this was a mistake. The salary you start off with in your first professional position often dictates your income-earning potential down the line. This is especially true for women—and research shows the pay inequity we often experience begins with our first job out to college. But too often, women stay mum during the salary negotiation process out of fear they will be looked upon as ungrateful if they ask for more.
6. Other than writing, what are your passions?
I love traveling and so far have been to France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Mexico. My goal is to visit a new country with my husband at least every two years. Incidentally, he is a retired Marine and plans to join the State Department as a foreign service officer, so hopefully that will be soon so we can travel for free!
7. If you could only use three words to describe yourself, what would they be?
Creative, entrepreneurial, and forward-thinking.
8. How have you been brave in the face of adversity?
I am sure someone can relate so I will share this: All my life I dreamed of being a mother, and when I finally got married at age 33, I assumed, like many women do, that having a child would be easy. It has been anything but. I had an ectopic pregnancy (and lost one of my fallopian tubes because of an emergency surgery) followed by a miscarriage within a span of five months. All the doctors could basically say was that I had very bad luck, as there were no health reasons for these reproductive issues. Yet, even when I was in the hospital being told I was losing a baby and one of my fallopian tubes, I didn’t break down and cry or start having a pity-party. I immediately began thinking about how I would just have to try again. When I was in the hospital three months later after I had conceived despite having one fallopian tube BUT was now losing this child because of a miscarriage, I still held it together and began focusing on what I could control, what I could do. So, I think that being brave in the face of adversity simply means accepting what has happened, but not allowing it to make you less faithful, hopeful, and focused on what you still desire.
9. What else would you like to share with the Fly High Coaching audience?
I am also a speaker focusing in the areas of undergraduate success, career preparation, diversity, and women’s empowerment. If you are in the Washington, DC area and are a part of a women’s organization (school related or professional), feel free to reach out to me about offering a workshop/book signing.
10. How can people find out more about you and your mission?
Please visit www.thebook.careeranista.com and also check out www.careeranista.com, my website for young professional women. You can also find and like me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Careeranista and follow me on Twitter at @Careeranista.
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