Guys, it’s the return of Career Girl Chat!! It’s been a hot minute since I last interviewed and wrote an episode. The very last career girl we chatted was Jennie Yoon from Casetify and Kinn, and before that, it was Amanda Weiss from Poshmark. And speaking of Poshmark, I actually met today’s Career Girl, Paulina Mo at a local San Diego Poshmark in May of 2015. Paulina, aka Lil bits of Chic, was one of the local OG fashion bloggers that Poshmark invited to the event, and I was a newbie Poshmarker that wanted to meet other Poshmarkers. We didn’t exactly connect at the event, but I started following Paulina on her Instagram account.
Fast forward to 2018, with me cranking up my blogging efforts and Paulina being on her maternity leave (Paulina and her husband recently welcomed this little bundle of joy into their world), we had the chance to catch up and I decided to learn more about her professional career in finance, and invited her to share her career experience with Cubicle Chic readers.
Rapid fire questions – what was your 1) college major, 2) your first job, and 3) how many resumes you sent out before you got your first & current job?
Paulina: My college major was Management Science (Economics), my first job was a cashier at a water park, I only sent one resume to my old boss as a courtesy because she had already recruited me, and for my current job I sent one resume in to be considered for an open position and received a call back shortly thereafter.
When you first graduated from college, did you know that you’d end up where you are today, why or why not?
Paulina: When I first graduated, I knew that to be financially secure I would be doing some form of a job like the one I am in today- in the financial services industry, working with finance.
Are you happy with where you are in your career? If you were to name three things you have to have in your career/employment, what are they?
Paulina: I am satisfied where I am in my career, I also feel like starting a family has had me rethink my priorities and requirements in a job. Now I like flexibility (work-life balance), a good workplace culture and great benefits.
What’s your experience with mentorship like, who were your mentors and are you mentoring anyone now?
Paulina: Mentorship was vital to my success. I had great bosses and mentors who believed in me, but there was one who really invested in me. She recruited me as her assistant when I was a college student and had seen my work ethic when I worked in a bank branch. She mentored me, pushed me to get my securities licenses, went so far to sponsor me in them and opened my eyes to the career track I’m on. I’m currently not mentoring right now but it is definitely something I would like to pay forward in the future.
If you look back in the past 5-10 years, what were the most important experiences that propelled you to where you are today? These could be lessons you learned from failures, being part of a special project, or pursuing (or not pursuing) a passion you really have.
Paulina: I learned very important lessons from failures as they taught me not to repeat the same mistake, one of them being my relationship with credit cards or living outside of my means. Once I paid off every cent of my debt and student loans (which took me 3.5 years) I felt so unburdened and I vowed never to let that happen again. I live within my means, I have a good relationship with money and feel financially secure.
Now the dreaded “what do you want to be in 5/10 years” question…how do you typically answer questions like this?
Paulina: In 5 years, my son would be 5 years old, I would hopefully (God willing) have another child and be happy in my full-time career and blogging career. I’m sure blogging will have evolved by then but hope that I can continue utilizing it as a creative outlet. Professionally, I would like to still be challenged and (for lack of better words) kicking butt!
If you have experience in interviewing/recruiting new employees, what do you look for in candidates for positions that don’t require years of experience?
Paulina: I look into their track record, or some sort of indication of their work ethic, either by checking on their references or if they were referred by a colleague. I think work ethic and attitude is essential especially in positions that don’t require years of experience because there is a lot of continuous learning so a go-getter attitude is better than an experienced whiny worker!
Lastly, what’s your go-to office outfit, and what is one piece of clothing you can’t live without?
Paulina: My go-to office outfit tends to be a fit and flare dress (that is not short of course) with a fitted blazer. I alternate between high heels and black flats. After working in Corporate America for so long I have discovered that this combination is a comfortable yet stylish option!