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Latinos and Careers in the US/
Carreras y Liderazgo Para Latinos en Los EEUU

by Dr. Karen Otazo

Last week I was asked to talk about my books in the Truth About series for Conexion Latina on Station KYST 920 A.M. in Houston. I had a blast talking with Marco Bracamontes for a half hour in Spanish. I realized that there was a lot of important work to be done with this Hispanic community in the US. Latinos will be more than half the population of Houston, and other cities in the US, by the end of this decade. Like everyone else, they are vitally interested in the concepts of networking, trust, communication and liderazgo which is the modern word for leadership in Spanish.

Like many cultures, the Hispanic culture cares deeply about family including being respectful to elders. I’ve found that Latinos connect with the ideas of respect in general and talking with others before making decisions. The growing edge for some may be to challenge and question others since that does not seem to show respect. There is a need to make an adjustment to working in an organization which has different expectations.

Many Latinos in the US may be semi-assimilated second or third generations Hispanics who use Spanish as home yet are US citizens who learned English in school. In Texas it’s amazing. Fourth generation They watch Spanish language television and listen to Latino music. They do What is happening is that these are people who are eager to work. As a prosperous home builder told me today “These folks have an amazing work ethic. I am in my position today thanks to them.”

So what do these hard-working folks want most of all? To find a way to achieve their potential. In my book The Truth about Managing Your Career and Nothing but the Truth, FTPearsons/Prentice Hall there is a chapter called “When You Run out of Real Estate Move On.” In this true story about a Mexican working for an American Multi-national, a highly successful employee decides to move on. In real life he decided to start a business with his brother. After spending years working with Chinese factories he decided to import some manufactured products to Monterrey, Mexico where his research showed that their company would fill a niche in the local market. His corporate experience made a difference with his business planning but most of all, his robust network in southern China was the key to opening a new door for his career. He realized that he needed to move on with his hard-won knowledge.

Juan started his own business. That seemed the best path for him to put his hard-learned skills to work. When I talked with my editor at FT Pearson/Prentice Hall about the importance of the Latino readership in America she told me that she’d received three book proposals that month for books on entrepreneurship for the Latino population. When a the spirit of the times, the Zeitgeist, shows up it’s time to pay attention.

 

 

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