We have good news for you. You can have a cool career and make a good living. No need to choose between loving your job and paying your mortgage. The following profile, part of the BlackEnterprise.com Cool Jobs series, offers a peek into the nuts and bolts, perks and salaries behind enjoyable careers.
The It Factor: As the director of multicultural public relations for Ford and Lincoln Brands under the UniWorld Group, Michelle Matthews-Alexander is responsible for increasing brand relevancy and consideration in the U.S. multicultural segments for her company. What exactly does that mean? Ultimately, the 30-something manages opportunities to increase marketing to minority consumer segments and drive sales. BET Awards? Essence Music Festival? You name it, she gets brands in the mix.
Challenges: In an emerging digital market, it can be difficult to navigate what media opportunities are best for your brand. â€śI constantly have to take a look at the market,â€ť explains the Michigan State University graduate. â€śThe industry has changed so much as it relates to journalism. Itâ€™s not traditional space anymore. Now, you have bloggers who have heavy influence and staying on top of that, and finding new bloggers to connect and talk with. A hard part is also looking at whatâ€™s going on from a general market standpoint and figuring out creative ways to make it make sense so it relates back to the multi-cultural market, more specifically the African-American market.â€ť
Passion To Profit: The corporate communications executive once had a brief stint at the Fashion Institute in New York with aspirations of writing for a fashion magazine. Despite later transferring and transitioning her career success, that passion never dwindled. â€śBy nature of being in this business, you have an opportunity to work with and build relationships with a lot of great people, a lot of those being bloggers,â€ť confessed Michelle Matthews-Alexander. â€śWhat Iâ€™ve been struggling with, is that I love what I do, but I still have this passion within me as it relates to writing. When I was pregnant with my son, I was reading everything and looking at mommy blogs. I didnâ€™t see anything that I felt that really spoke to me, or mothers like myself who definitely donâ€™t want to leave their glam factor because theyâ€™ve had a child. The tagline for BlackGlamourMom.com is: ‘Who says the 6–inch heels get left behind because the pregnancy test showed double lines.’ Itâ€™s all about trying to say because you have a baby, you have to forget about the fashion or career piece. The purpose is to enlighten and providing information all in one area where people can get information for mommyâ€™s to be.â€ť
Family Focus: Wonder how the new mom balances her career and side hustle? â€śItâ€™s very hard,” Alexander says. â€śI feel like I never knew how much having a child was going to change my life overall. I work directly for UniWorld, a multicultural advertising communications firm. Our CEO is an African American woman. The whole notion of the company is empowerment and showing you thatâ€™s itâ€™s possible to have it all, and navigate the system. Iâ€™m thankful to work for a company who embraces individuals who want that balance. It really about creating lists, going the extra mile and working late into the night to make sure that everything gets accomplished.â€ť Who says you canâ€™t have it all?
Winning Advice: As a multifaceted career woman and entrepreneur, Michelle Matthews-Alexander knows the keys for success. â€śItâ€™s about staying true to yourself,â€ťÂ she says. â€śYou have to keep in mind your angles and where you want to be. At the end of the day, I still have my career so I have to make sure I stay on top of my day to day in your career and making the time to work on your personal interests. Itâ€™s about making sure that you have that balance and you make that time. There were plenty of nights I could have been hanging out with friends, having cocktails but I was home until early in the morning once the baby was asleep working on my blog. You canâ€™t get so tied up in the short term. Embrace the moment that youâ€™re in and take the time.â€ť