In The Community
How does one measure success? We surely all have different ideas about what being successful means, but wouldn't you agree that in this day and age, we're bombarded with the idea that money and a career equal success?
Not long ago, gymnast Simon Biles made headlines when she announced that she was retiring from the Olympics; this got many people talking about how she could have given up on something after working so hard for it, but it also opened a discussion on why it’s essential to know when to quit something for your own sake.
We’re often told that working hard should be a priority, and this thought is heavily perpetuated in Latino households, and with good reason. Immigrants and children of immigrants often have to overcome more obstacles than their white counterparts to achieve their goals, and many are trying to break generational economic instability to create a better future for themselves moving forward.
The burden of seeking security and safety in a system not built for feels daunting, but no matter what the circumstances are, if you don't put yourself as a priority in your life, nothing you achieve will ever be fulfilling because your mental and even physical health will always suffer from it. And what is the point of achieving success if you can't enjoy it?
Knowing when to leave something behind for your own good is just as important as achieving goals. As backward as it sounds, sometimes growth comes from knowing when to quit and when to change paths. So if you think you might be reaching a breaking point, here are some signs that you've burned yourself out, and that it’s time to take care of yourself:
Your Body is Telling You
Mental exhaustion can often manifest as physical exhaustion. Stress-related illnesses are way more common than they should be, and signs that you've exhausted yourself can be anything from headaches to insomnia. So listen to yourself and rest.
You've Lost Passion for your Work
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Not everyone has the privilege of having a job related to their passions, but burnout can be even easier to detect for those who do. When something that you were passionate about before becomes a tedious task that you almost have to force yourself to complete, it's probably time to move on. And this doesn't mean quitting your passion forever; sometimes you just need a break or a change of scenery, but whatever it is you need, forcing yourself to do something you don't want to will only make you resent it.
Your Work-Life Balance is Becoming Non-Existent
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A job shouldn't be your whole life; it should only be a part of it. If you find yourself completely consumed by your work, to the point where your personal life is affected, there's something wrong. Burnout is unavoidable without a work-life balance and is essential to a healthy work environment. You should always be able to spend time with friends and family or simply do whatever you want in your free time, which is genuinely free.
You Feel Undervalued or UnfulfilledPhoto by Pavel Neznanov on Unsplash
If you often ask yourself, what am I even doing this for? And if you can't find an answer, it's probably time to reconsider your goals. Working hard will get you nowhere if you've lost sense of what your end goal is, and the thing is, it is normal for our end goals to change constantly. Just because you desperately wanted something before doesn't mean you can't change your mind. Once that mindset shift happens, we often try to convince ourselves to just power through it and keep going, but we could also use those feelings to ask ourselves, is this really what I want to be doing? Furthermore, you might feel like it isn't you that's the problem, but how those around you perceive your work, being upset because you feel undervalued, is perfectly reasonable and also calls for a goal realignment.
You're Not Yourself Anymore
Photo by Caique Nascimento on Unsplash
And living your best life is what you deserve. If the path to your goals has become a burden instead of a hard road, losing track of who you are and what you want to achieve is easy. But at the end of the day, your life is yours only, and if you don't make yourself a priority, who will?
So yes, hard work might be important, but it'll never be more important than your mental health, stability, and personal life. For more on how to take care of yourself, please visit our mental health and resources guide, and remember you are never alone.
You might have come across the descriptor “Latina-owned,” but have you taken a moment to truly grasp the profound meaning behind these two words? This form of self-identification is gaining momentum, symbolizing a powerful and continuously expanding Latina-led movement.
The label "Latina-owned" signifies a unique intersection of gender, ethnicity, and culture, shaping a distinctive identity within the entrepreneurial landscape. It goes beyond a simple ownership tag, blending economic and social realities.
In a landscape historically dominated by men, being "Latina-owned" challenges traditional gender norms and underscores the dynamic role played by women in steering businesses and the U.S. economy toward success. It’s not widely known that Latina-owned businesses are growing the fastest among all women. Latina-owned businesses grew 164% from 2007 to 2018, which is almost three times more than the growth of women-owned businesses overall.
Latinas also come in as the second-largest group of female workers in the United States, with a total of 12.8 million Latinas in the labor force. This makes them just over 17% of the overall female workforce.
The label also grounds itself on the diversity of Latine heritage - with roots in different Latine American cultures, each with its own set of traditions. This cultural backdrop not only adds a unique flavor to the business but also establishes a connection with consumers seeking diversity in their choices and supporting businesses with authentic cultural roots.
Culturally, the "Latina-owned" label transcends mere ownership status. It’s a symbol of community, shared experiences, and empowerment. It reflects a commitment to preserving and celebrating cultural values in business practices, whether it be through products, services, or workplace environments. This cultural infusion not only distinguishes Latina-owned businesses but also fosters a sense of pride and identity among the entrepreneurs and their customers alike.
Latina women are excelling in every way – creating jobs, sparking innovation, and tuning into what U.S. consumers of all backgrounds want.
This trend also serves to lift up Latina women, giving them the spotlight they deserve and giving them the inspiration and experience to grow into leadership roles. More Latina entrepreneurs are making their mark and bringing a whole new level of representation to the table.
The path to success for Latina entrepreneurs is inherently challenging and marked by a complex interplay of racial and gender biases, including a persistent wage gap that disproportionately affects many Latina women. Moreover, limited networking, mentorship opportunities, and a constant struggle for access to loans and investments further compound these challenges. Venture capital investments have been dismal for years, with less than a half-percent of billions of dollars of capital going to Latina-led start-ups.
Foreign-born Latina entrepreneurs, in particular, face an uphill battle with challenges like language barriers and limited access to information. Providing language support, along with greater accessibility to entrepreneurial resources, can significantly help these Latina women more effectively navigate the intricate landscape of entrepreneurship.
Actively acknowledging, supporting, and investing in Latina-owned businesses is a necessary step in building true Latino economic influence and power. As the label continues to gain recognition, it becomes not just a marker of ownership but a catalyst for conversations and action around inclusion, representation, and the evolving narrative of Latina identity.
Professionalism has been defined to me in a myriad of ways, but I distinctly remember being told once early on in one of my first office jobs that my facial expressions were “unprofessional” and “overly expressive” for the nature of my role.
This feedback was met by me with confusion. After all, what does my face have to do with being a professional? I soon realized that this feedback was given by a coworker of mine who frequently engaged in microaggressions towards me, her attributing my normally loud voice, clothing, hairstyle, direct communication style, and overall expressiveness to me being “such a Latina.”
I’ve had this conversation a lot recently with my friends. We’re finding that although we’ve always worked to be in professional roles, we’re also finding out that these “amazing” jobs we’re given aren’t all they appear to be.
Many of us grew up in homes where going to college and landing a professional job would be considered the pinnacle of success. To many Latine and immigrant parents, having their children occupy professional spaces complete with degrees and fancy benefits is the ultimate dream.
However, once we’re in these spaces, many of us discover that we’re not in a place to express anything negative with either the work or the office, only to be told “be grateful for having a job like yours, mija!”
Expressing any of this means running the risk of being dismissed as too picky and being told to be grateful for the opportunities. But doing so means we’re compromising some of the best skills in our professional toolbox: autonomy to make decisions and advocate for ourselves.
I’m far from the only Latina who has been told to deal with mistreatment from employers and that I should be happy to be included. Which is why we need to redefine how professionalism works for us.
It’s time to set the record straight on why Latina professionals shouldn’t be grateful to just be included in these spaces.
Latinas are setting the new normal of what it means to be an accomplished professional through advocacy for our working lives. Being a professional woman, especially a Latina, doesn’t mean we let ourselves become doormats to our employers. Inclusivity isn’t a reason to take mistreatment or abuse from an employer.
With a good title and salary also comes stress, obligations, and an overcommitment to work and situations we weren’t initially prepared to navigate. The leadership skills we develop can end up being reframed as too “aggressive,” while being expected to adjust to microaggressions and workloads that don’t give us any space to exist outside of our jobs. On top of all of this, the shiny benefits like paid time off don’t actually get used when we’re stressfully checking emails after working hours.
There’s real value in being a Latina professional that’s able to advocate for herself. This includes joining Latino-focused, professional development groups, finding an online community to network, working to create your own spaces/groups in your field for others, and forming camaraderie among your professional contacts that are feeling just as displaced as you are.
While I will always disagree with the notion that Latinas need to be expected to say “gracias!” for even having a space at the table, I know it’s important to use our positions of power to make sure there’s a seat for the ones coming after.
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