About Dr. Norma Reyes
Hi, Dr. Norma Reyes here. Here's a little about me and my own career journey up until now. I grew up with both her parents in San Antonio, TX. Both of my parents are from Mexico. My mom immigrated when she was 6 years old and was raised by her aunt. And my dad came to the US at age 17. Unlike, how the media portrays Mexicans, I didn't grow up with a closet-knit family. Oftentimes, I felt alone and ostracized by my own community. Growing up in San Antonio, you don't really feel like a minority. And honestly, I felt more like a "weirdo" growing up than confident in my future.
Even growing up, my story feels weird. I have three siblings, but at age 9, my sisters left to live with their dad. So, it was just me and my brother. We're four years apart and most people didn't even know I had a sibling. Or that he had a sister. I was the first and only in my family to earn a college degree. (Though I will be the first to say, you don't need a degree to be successful!). And throughout my years I learned to "figure it out." Through earning my degrees and navigating my career. If I could do it all over again, I would ask for more help. A lot of times, I was my own block to faster success.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
When I was young and people asked who did I want to be, I can't even recall anyone asking me. In 4th grade I made a diorama of court room showing that I wanted to be a judge. Other than that, I just remember people telling me to go into computers. That the money was there. I was pretty good at learning and catching on. So I did what others told me to do. This led to a rough start in college. My freshman year I struggled to navigate college and ended up with a 2.3 GPA. Not knowing how to ask for help, and this being my first academic failure, I was really embarrassed. I panicked. I immediately changed my major. I went from a Computer Science major to Communications Design. Which is really an art major. I took art in HS and thought ok, I’ll do that. I like that. Not really talking to anyone about what I should do. Or what I might be a good fit for. I thought knew what I was doing. And I was too scared to ask anyone for help. I just didn’t know what to ask.
Getting through College.
That lasted about another year, then I changed my major again. I really debated if I wanted to do that or not. I didn’t want to, but I didn’t think I’d be successful in the communications design field. Looking back, I would have told myself that it’s ok. Go with your gut. The job will come, regardless of the degree. I took an intro to psychology class and was in love. I felt like they were so easy, and I didn’t struggle as much as before. Finally, after 5 years, I graduated with a bachelor's in Psychology.
Lack of Support & Role Models
Growing up my earliest career role models, we’re from my books. Books like When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago and In the time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. I wanted to be like them. In that they overcame their circumstances. As I got older, I found a lot of resistance in those that I wanted to be ‘role models.’ I felt like teachers, those I admired, disliked me. In college, I saw my first Latina PHD professor. I knew I wanted to be like her. I never had the courage to ask to be a mentor. I really just wanted people to notice me, without me being the one to initiate the connection.
No Post College Career Plan
Before graduating I hadn’t really put any effort into figuring out what I wanted to do. I knew I like the career center and had tried to get a work-study job there. After not hearing back, I just didn’t try again. I really just let whatever came my way, that didn’t scare me, guide me. (Totally NOT the ways to navigate your career.)
My first job after college was a temp job. I was making $10/hour. I was in the middle of a relationship and thought it was going to be temporary. Instead of looking for a real job, I got a temp job. I felt qualified for it. Then while there, I saw an old HS classmate, who had been a year ahead. She basically said, "well have a degree is worthless without experience huh?" Not really knowing my circumstance, but she was sorta right. It’s not that I didn’t have experience. It was that I didn’t dare to really get a real job. My next job was working for Human Resources for Six Flags. By far one of my most favorite jobs. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay well or have benefits. I learned quite a bit. I also learned that bosses could really treat you like garbage (even in HR) and almost get you fired. There I learned how to stand up for myself. How NOT to allow others to push me around. And really defined me, and what I had to offer to a company.
Early Career Growth
My next job was at a community center. I worked with at-risk youth, helping them complete their GEDs and planning their future. There I remembered, something I always knew. I wanted to help others navigate their careers (their lives really). And empower them to believe in themselves. I remembered there, that no matter how hard I had it. I made it. I made it out of my circumstances. And there were others still there, that needed someone to believe in them. To give them hope.
From there I decided to pursue a Masters's in Counseling. I had some life events happen during this time. Leading me in a different direction. I began working at a Mental Health agency. I provided Behavioral Health Case Management to adults. It took me away from working with youth. I learned a lot about adults, and how they too needed someone that believed in them and gave them hope.
Hustle & Bustle Mode
Then for some years, I was just in what I call Hustle & Bustle mode. This is when you’re in life. Living life and really just thinking that’s all there is for you. Wake up, Work, and Sleep. I got married, started my PhD. Program, had baby boy #1, finished PhD., had baby #2. In the middle of that, I was working full-time and dealing with a condensing boss. At that time, I knew hustle & bustle mode was ok for me. I just need to keep going to finish my goal of completing a PhD. I also kept getting a NO on my career growth towards higher education. I really wanted to get in, and while I was doing some things to get in. I have now learned that there was so much more I could have done.
As life would have it, I had an opportunity come to me. Once I was able to get more in the flow. Re-start my spiritual journey and growth. I decided to let go. Stop trying to force things aka my career growth. Where it just wasn’t working. I spent two years applying and applying to jobs. Feeling even more exhausted, lost, and confused. One day, I decided that’s it. I can’t do this anymore. The very next day, I swear it was like the Universe said. FINALLY GIRL. And I had 3 recruiters reach out to me asking me if I was interested in working for a particular company. At the time, my first reaction was NO, NO, NO. I don’t want to do that, in that field. But then, I heard something within me say. What do you have to lose? What you’re doing is obviously NOT working…. Fast forward to the interview phase. I am waiting and I get escorted to the interview room. I get greeted with, well you’re in a unique position, were actually interviewing you for 3 positions. I thought to myself, welp. I have to at least get one right? And fortunately, the RIGHT one picked me. In six months, in working with that company I was approached by my boss asking me if I was interested in leadership. My initial reaction was heck yeah. But having been burned in the past, I kept myself muted and said. Yeah maybe. She quickly said to me “well girl, you’re not getting any younger.” I love her for that. Not because I was even close to being old. But because she saw me for me. For my aspirations despite me playing them down. And 10months from starting the company I had literally doubled my pay from what I was making the year before.
Growth and more Growth.
As I continued (and continue to) grow in my leadership skills I yearned for more. I wasn’t sure what the more was. I completed my PhD. In May of 2019. I had my 2nd son in Aug of 2019. During my maternity leave, I got the clarity I wanted. I wanted to do more than just be a leader. I wanted to help other women like me. Other Latinas like me so that they could have the opportunity to have the career growth they wanted. How many other women like me were being overlooked, lost, or stuck in their careers? Just because they didn’t know how to navigate their career. Because their parents look like mine. Who didn’t and don’t know the questions to ask.
And as I continue on this journey to help women gain clarity on their next career move. I continue to grow in my skills, knowledge, and my spiritual journey. I am here to change the world, helping women remember why they came to this earth. To manifest the career of their dreams.
My ultimate vision is to help my clients transform their careers and in turn their lives so that they can have lasting healing.
Ready for Coaching? There are three ways to get started.
Dr. Reyes offers private one-to-one coaching services to women that are ready to stop feeling lost, plan their next step, and take action.
Dr. Reyes offers quarterly group coaching programs to help women build strong networks while learning valuable skills to Transform their Careers. Join our email waitlist to get notified of the next enrollment period.
Dr. Reyes offers Career & Life-related webinars and workshops. These workshops can help you figure out what to do next in your career. Join our email list to be the first to know about the next webinar
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