Airport Stories: Original Boss Lady

When you spend a lot of times in airports like I do, there is a good share of people watching (some of it pretty epic) and a lot of conversations you overhear. Mostly it’s loud businesspeople on conference calls acting like they’re more important than they are, but ever so often, you hit story gold.

Today as I waited for a flight in South Florida I overheard an older lady talking about her career and life — and it was fascinating, a real treat. It may be my admiration and love of my grandmother, but I have always loved older women and their incredible stories. Life was so different for them.

This woman, who is now in her 80s, always wanted to be an engineer, but when she was growing up that was not a possibility. She went to school and ended up working on some of the first computer chips. Later in her career, she decided to go back to grad school and became an engineer at age 52. She went on the job hunt and attended engineering conferences, bringing her resume along — determined to find a job. At her age, she said a lot of people thought she was overqualified, but she convinced a company to take a chance on her rather than a young graduate. She worked as an engineer for 13 years! Her career goals and dreams realized.

As a working mom who loves her career as well as her family, it was so inspiring listening in on a story of perseverance. This woman had a vision for herself and she worked at it even if it took her well into her 50s to make it a reality.

Know we have a long way to go, and there are still challenges women face, but I absolutely love eavesdropping on the stories of women trailblazers who paved the way for the lady bosses of today.

So let’s keep making power moves and raise our children to dream big, be kind and make this world a better place.

XO,

Ivette

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Working Mama Debut

So excited to report that we made it through the first week of daycare + work with flying colors. Angel baby was happy as a clam and literally smiling and laughing with his teacher five minutes into his first day of daycare.

Leaving a happy baby with strangers is a much easier feat than leaving a crying baby who is scared and uncomfortable. Luckily W is so social and loves all people. 😉

I was able to pick up where I left off at work and was welcomed with framed pictures of my little one, new business cards (promoted to VP in Dec. WOOT!) and an Orchid (hoping not to kill it with my less than green thumb). These little gestures meant so much to me. The great thing about my job is that 1. I LOVE it and 2. it’s so fast paced and exciting that I rarely have time to contemplate or dread anything. This makes 5:30pm arrive rather quickly.

The hubby sent pics of Mister Man every afternoon and I spent a few hours after work hanging out with W, which made every evening so special. I’ve also changed my schedule to wake up at 6am and work out, so I can spend my evenings with the family.

Overall the transition went surprisingly well. Just a new routine we’re now getting used to. And so the adventure continues.

Making the Most of Maternity Leave

WBeach

With 3 weeks left of my maternity leave, I’m taking in every moment and enjoying this precious time with my baby boy who is almost 10 weeks (YIKES…they really do grow up so fast). He will never ever again be this small and I will never have this much time to spend with him.

In the spirit of living in the present and making the most of every day, we ventured to the beach today for a mini Spring Break as the older kids are currently on break from school. My dear friend Jill invited us out to a beach house and after sunscreen, baby sunglasses, rash guard and hat, W was ready to hit the beach. (My half Cuban son definitely DOES NOT take after his mommy…he is 100% pale…) It was a ton of fun he won’t remember and I’ll never forget. 😉

Lucky to live in Florida and enjoy this fabulous weather. Cheers to many more beach trips. Next time with daddy and our sweet Boston Terrier, Lucille Ball.

For next few weeks, I am trying to plan a daily activity from lunch with friends to walks in the park before it’s back to the grind. My goal is to be described as one of my friends’ described another woman today during our waterside chat — “She is a bad ass. A career woman who has her shit together and really balances work and family.” Here’s hoping that I come close to being described that way moving forward. It’s gonna be quite the ride…

XoXo,

Ivette

New Year’s Work Resolutions

2010 was one for the books – personally and professionally I had a phenomenal year. I got engaged, became the president of the Capital Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, am a board member of the Junior League of Tallahassee and took on a new position as the PR Director at Kidd Group. Some of the these things happened within a week’s time, so if 2011 is anything like 2010 it will be another record year.

As I think about the end of 2010 and the beginning of a new year, the possibilities are endless. With a new year come resolutions from being kinder to losing weight to meeting a new goal, there are countless things we aspire to each yea. Although it’s safe to say that most people end up giving up on their resolutions right around February.

In terms of work resolutions, I thought it would be appropriate to list some of my personal goals for the 2011.

  • Collaboration – Although you can succeed alone, most people attribute their success to teamwork, collaboration and those who influence and shape their lives. Work wise there is no better feeling than to work together to win big, from new business to implementing a successful campaign. In 2011, I plan to continue collaborating with co-workers, FPRA members, Junior Leaguers to continue kicking butt and taking names!
  • Being a Motivator – Positivity is key. Having a good attitude at work and giving 100 percent every day makes work and life that much more fulfilling. I want to be a motivator to everyone I come in contact with and help them reach their full potential. Helping others always feels good and is extremely satisfying.
  • Leading by example – The best way to get people to do good work and be motivated to perform and exceed your expectations is to BE the person/employee you want them to be. Practice what you preach in 2011 and reap the rewards!
  • Continue growing and learning – You should never be satisfied with the status quo. I never want to settle or stop learning. There are always ways to improve, continue challenging yourself and growing. I want to stay on top of new industry trends from social media to measurement to PR – I want to constantly be learning new information and sharing it with my network.

What are your New Year’s work resolutions?

Work Family: Building Relationships That Last

In honor of October being National Work and Family month, I thought it would be appropriate to address the idea of a work family. Most of us spend more time at work every week than we do with our loved ones. For better or worse your co-workers are your work family and like every relationship, you have to work at it.

When I joined Kidd Group five months ago, I was hopeful I would have a warm and welcoming work family and that I would one day consider them friends. I must say they did not disappoint. I received flowers from Trish on my first day and was invited to countless lunches by different co-workers my first few weeks on the job. I never felt like the newbie or like I didn’t fit in. It was such a relief.

I’m happy to say my co-workers and I continue to spend quality time every week, from exploring the newest eateries in town to having ice cream sundaes on Friday – there’s never a dull moment. I also love being able to introduce some of them to new events – just this Friday we attended the Greek Food Festival as our lunch adventure of the week! We also make a point to celebrate each person’s birthday with something sweet, whatever their vice, whether cake, cupcakes or ice cream – or a combo.

Part of the company culture is to celebrate each other’s accomplishments. When the 3W studios web team received a Silver W3 award, we celebrated with ice cream floats. When I participated in the 2010 American Lung Association Oxygen Ball earlier this month, I received votes from my co-workers and kudos when I brought home the Judge’s Award.

As if spending time in the office weren’t enough, we’ve been known to spend a few weeknights and weekends together. This is especially fun because we get to bond outside of the workplace and get to know each other’s families, loved ones and pets. We’re working on “bring your dog to work day”…we’ll see if that happens!

Taking the time to get to know each other and spending quality time building our relationships makes us a better, stronger team and it shows in our work product. From spa parties to spending the day on the range, shooting guns and eating BBQ – we make the best of our time together on and off the clock!

What do you think about a work family? What is your experience like?

 

 

Pay It Forward

As I’m gearing up for a business trip out of town, I just said goodbye to the last of my summer interns. As she thanked me for the opportunity to work with me and build her portfolio, I started thinking about the important role we play as mentors to our interns.

I honestly can say that I wouldn’t be at this point in my career today without the support and knowledge I gained from my mentors. From my parents to high school teachers to college internship supervisors to supervisors, friends and colleagues – there are so many people who have shaped me and cheered for me, I couldn’t name them all for fear of leaving someone out.

The lessons you learn from your mentors and from internship experiences and entry level jobs are priceless and they truly make a difference in the professional you become. I have been incredibly lucky and am grateful for the vast network of friends, colleagues and professional peers who challenge me everyday. Now I’m in a position to shape the lives of others and I really believe in the importance of paying it forward.

I’ve had many interns in the last few years and each one has taught me something. I hope I have left them with some valuable lessons. My goal is always to share my knowledge about the industry, helping gain the real-world skills and the confidence that will help them land a job post-graduation. Aside from interns, I also have a mentee who is a PR student at FSU and that has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I was able to help her with her application to the College of Communication and was able to celebrate with her when she was accepted. These experiences make me a better professional and make me appreciate all of the successes I’ve enjoyed and the people who have helped me along the way.

As humans, we should never stop growing and learning and finding people to inspire us. There will always be those who are more successful or have more experience, but wherever you are in your career, think about serving as a mentor or friend to a younger person who may be in school or just starting their career. We’ve all been there and we should never forget it!

What Social Media Means to Me

In honor of social media day, I decided to write a quick post about what social media means to me. I was always on the Facebook bandwagon and have had an account since it premiered in 2004, but in the last year or so I’ve really gotten into social media – learning more about it and participating in more platforms.

I resisted Twitter for a long time and now I can’t imagine not being able to tweet. I have to thank Deirdre Breakenridge who was a speaker at our local FPRA chapter meeting and really got me thinking about Twitter. I decided to look into it and gave it a try. I have met so many interesting PR professionals through Twitter, made connections with people in my own community, made great friends (shout out to Niki Pocock!) and have learned so much from 140 character postings.

A lot of people who are not fans of social media argue that these types of platforms make it easy for people to disconnect with reality, staying away from connecting with people in the “real world.” But I must say, Twitter, LinkedIn, Brazen Careerist, Foursquare, Facebook – all of these sites have allowed me to connect with a much larger network than would have been possible without them. Even locally, I have met so many people through Twitter and then turned that into lunch meetings, face to face conversations, new business and new friendships. If anyone thinks social media is not powerful…think again!

Starting this blog also has been an amazing experience. I love being able to share my thoughts and ideas with a global audience and connect with other people through my posts. My blog and Twitter lead me to find Brazen Careerist a career focused social networking site that connects professionals and allows us to discuss countless topics. It’s amazing what you can discover and who you can meet through social media.

For me, social media has been a new education and a place for me to share information and insights with others. It has given me an online voice and has helped build my personal brand. I’m excited to see what new networks and ideas emerge in the coming months or year…I love that it’s so fast and transformative that you can’t keep up. Social media keeps you on your toes and for that I’m grateful.

So what does social media mean to you?