The qualities that can help Latinos compete on the job can also hold them back, according to a new book co-authored by a Briarcliff Manor writer.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Latino Advantage in the Workplace Ã¢â‚¬â€ Use Who You Are to Get to Where You Want to Be,Ã¢â‚¬? (Sphinx Publishing, $19.95; thelatinoadvantage.com) explores some of the cultural ground that Mariela Dabbah covered in her previous book on helping immigrants find employment.
That book, Ã¢â‚¬Å“How to Find Work in the United States,Ã¢â‚¬? was written in Spanish and aimed at helping newcomers take the first step toward adapting to a new culture. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Latino AdvantageÃ¢â‚¬? is written in English for an audience that includes second-generation Hispanics who are already employed and looking to take the next step up the career ladder.
Dabbah and co-author Arturo PoirÃƒÂ© of New York consider various Latino cultural traits, such as adaptability, respect for authority, and a tendency to speak indirectly. (The authors say in the preface that the generalizations are necessary to help understand behaviors, and readers shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t assume that the qualities are exclusively Latino.)
Those qualities are valued by employers. The book warns, however, that bosses can also exploit them. Latino workers may allow a natural tendency toward avoiding confrontation and deferring to authority to work at cross-purposes to their own advancement.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not even aware of them. You might undermine your career and not know why,Ã¢â‚¬? Dabbah said.
The book is filled with anecdotal examples of behaviors and, in the American spirit of self-improvement, exercises that allow the readers to explore their own mindsets.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a very down-to-earth, theoretical book,Ã¢â‚¬? Dabbah said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It gives you the instruments to be aware of what you have and what you need to work on.Ã¢â‚¬?
She and PoirÃƒÂ©, a senior human resources executive at a global financial corporation, worked on the book for about a year before its release last month. PoirÃƒÂ© was one of the people that Dabbah had interviewed for her previous book, and the exchange led to subsequent discussions that produced the latest project.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Latino AdvantageÃ¢â‚¬? is already in its second printing. The two writers are working on a workshop program for corporations that uses the bookÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s principles. While aimed at Latinos, non-Hispanic managers will find its observations helpful as well.
PoirÃƒÂ© said an Irish-American manager told him that some of the stories resonated with her.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There are things that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m reading here that are very powerful,Ã¢â‚¬? he recalled her saying. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a very positive book. It talks about success and dreams.Ã¢â‚¬?