Chandria Lucious – the GetHired Guru – has aspired for great things and achieved great success because of the confidence she has in her abilities and the work she puts behind her brand. Her larger than life personality, coupled with her work ethic and servant-like heart, has led to a career that allows her to change the trajectory of people’s lives – literally! Not only has her passion for helping people “land their next big role” propelled achievement within her workplace but it has also given her the vision to create her own company: Be Young and Determined. Continue reading on to learn more about the HR Diva!
Name: Chandria Lucious
Hometown: Columbus, Mississippi
School: Mississippi University for Women
Undergraduate and/or Graduate Major: Social Science (it’s a very broad field that encompasses public administration, human resources management, and public policy)
Current Job Title: Human Resources Professional
Why did you choose the college you went to?
Originally, I attended Meridian Community College on a full-ride scholarship. I was there for a year but had to leave when my mom got sick so I could be closer to home. Because I could no longer be on campus, I lost my scholarship, but I was able to finish my Associate’s degree program online. After that, I transferred to Mississippi University for Women where I received my Bachelor’s in Social Science.
What organizations did you join while in college? Were any influential to your current career?
Once I moved on to MUW, I had the opportunity to join Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated as well as an organization called Sigma Alpha Leadership and Success. Those were the main two organizations I participated in because I worked full time as a college student. I was very untraditional in that manner – I worked full time and I went to school full time so most of my “after-school hours” were in class from 6pm to 9pm which left me just a little bit of time to squeeze in some service.
And while those two organizations were influential to my current career, I can’t forget about my role as Ivy League Ambassador at Meridian. As an Ivy League Ambassador I was a recruiter for the school and I learned early on how to recruit, how to retain students, and why enrollment was important – skills that are vital for my job now.
Now you mentioned, you were apart of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Why did you decide to join?
I joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated because they were the epitome of what I looked for as to build my professionalism. They were so on point, they always had on business suits, they had this character that I loved. And me, as a professional woman always looking to advance, I thought those groups of professional women really had their face strong, they were really detailed and all about the business which made me want to join them. Secondly, they were always doing things, and I’m a servant at heart, so I’m thinking this would be so ideal to connect with like minded women who all had the same purpose and were big on cultivating and helping each other.
Was interning helpful to landing your current position?
My internships were mostly project management roles, which I believe has prepared me to be the professional that I am today. Project management doesn’t translate specifically to Human Resources because the functions are different but being able to handle different functions and projects came from my experience as a project manager.
What was your first job out of college?
I had a couple jobs while I was in college and they were very serious. One was being the secretary for a principal for a K-12 school – I was literally 19 years old as a secretary and that was really fun and insightful. But after college, I was Project and Program Manager for this large educational company in St. Louis and that was as awesome opportunity because it gave me transparency and leadership skills right away. I feel like I gained so much experience from being a manager, handling the projects, working with the directors of different educational facilities, and also establishing different partnerships.
What is a typical workday like for you?
My workday is typically unstructured. It really depends on the demand of the Healthcare company I support. I handle the on-boarding process, which includes pre-screening applications, interviews, offer letters, reference checks, and background checks. After the automated applicant tracking system, the application goes to me and I chose applications based off facts – I don’t care what school you went to, what your mom’s name is, etc. I have to be that way because I’ll have like 1600 applications with only one position to fill.
The applicant tracking system narrows it down significantly but there will still be a lot of applications to review. And most of the time people put themselves out of the competition with careless mistakes.
How do you balance your day job with your personal business?
It’s very tough. I plan everything out from spending time with my fiancé, to dinner, to even watching TV. I probably only look at about 2 hours of TV a week because I really don’t have time to watch someone else build their life. I have things to do!
Usually in the morning and late afternoon it’s Be Young & Determined, my day job is 100% work, and my lunch hour is 100% me. I start off my mornings by meditating and working out. Then I’ll switch gears to reading an article I wrote the previous night for my website, then I head to work. I’m also currently pursuing my Master’s so lunch hour can become homework hour. After work I’ll go home and enjoy dinner with my fiancé, then go back into working on Be Young & Determined. I usually don’t have a lot of time for error or just to fool around but it’s okay because I have seen the results from working hard.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
In HR I’m a servant, there’s no better feeling than to see someone getting hired. Literally the company invests so much into a new hire, training, and background checks etc. To create that win-win – someone’s hired and a company acquires new talent – it’s just the most amazing feeling. With HR you have to have a poker face and be very stern unless you’re one of the emotional savvy type HR professionals. Usually I’m the emotional one that will make you connect because of my psychological background. I’ll make you get comfortable enough to tell all your business. I just love being in the atmosphere and understanding the cause. Someone gaining quality talent and someone is actually getting into a role they really want.
Would you recommend people choose this profession?
OMG yes! HR is one of those professions you don’t hear a lot about. No one knows who HR is, like what does it even stand for? But then you get in the field and realize everyone is so much older. The roles are so mature, people retire in this job. It’s not a huge turn over. It’s one of those fields that once you get an opportunity in, you stay in it. It’s fun, your day is different, you’re interviewing, you’re talking to people everyday. It’s so much fun but getting in it is hard and growing in it is hard.
Unconventional or Conventional career path? Explain.
I personally think there was no trace of me to HR other than me putting my steps together. I majored in Psychology, which actually helps with the assessment side. It’s one of my winning differential factors when I interview. I had to sit down and align my degrees and make sense of them both. On paper social science and psychology don’t say HR. I had to create that path to show why they needed me in HR. They want to know what you have done to benefit their company. It’s those skills you have to highlight and really elaborate on how it can transfer. That’s where I come in with resume and cover letter writing.
Has being Black affected your career? If so, how?
I don’t think so. I think we can all play the blame game and we can all sit around and have a pity party but I think we’re in charge of ultimately our life decisions, goals and who we will allow to be in control of us. If you want to work at McDonald’s that is your choice. Working at McDonald’s then going into another role can definitely transition. I think we as black people need to understand our power and how our power is what actually affects us. We lose our power when we give it to different companies and give people the opportunities to affect our career, and I’m not one of those people. I’m do not play when it comes to the things I want and getting it. I will get it if you allow it or if you don’t. Someone will give it to me. Either you want me or need me on your team because it’ll be beneficial to you or someone else will. So I don’t really spend time trying to figure out if someone discriminated against me. I’m in HR, I know how it works, you can get around so much and hardly ever prove that you were not chosen because you were Black. So I wouldn’t sit there and throw a pity party about me being black. But I will say being younger has been a challenge for me. I hardly every tell my age because it really affects the workplace. You can try to hide it on your resume but it will show. In HR the more certifications you obtain the more money you can earn. These roles are centered towards mid-level people. They’re not discriminating they’re being selective. Being younger has the disadvantage but there’s still ways around it.
How did you receive insight into your career? Do you have a mentor?
I’m one of those people that you would describe as a dare devil No one chooses my path. I’ve had enough circumstantial things happen that I choose what I want. I have at least 6 different mentors. One for sanity, one for finance, one for career, etc., but they don’t tell me what to do, they advise what I want to do. I think that’s important to highlight because millennials look for mentors that will show them the way. No they’re not going to do that, mentors really want to help you but they want you to already have it together. They want to be able to tell you what’s not going to work but they don’t need to suggest options for you. If you want a good mentor they’re busy, they’re powerful, and they have their own things going on. You have very little time with them, you need to come to them with your questions, not you coming to them about building your life for you.
I have some very confidential and elite mentors, you’d be amazed, but I do not look for them to give me my next step. I look for them to advise on my next goal. I often hear people ask how do you get mentors. Literally, you don’t send out applications for mentors or ask anyone. It’s a very sticky situation. If you ask they’re going to say yes but they’re not going to be as powerful as someone who takes you under their wing and sponsor you. Someone who will take you on all your trips and make sure you have the best suits and even give you a pair of red bottoms. You have some people who want to put you where you need but they have to see you grow and see you in that stage where you’ve already started. And I’ve spoke with some celebrities and most of the time they pick people who’ve already started and not looking for the handout. Word to the wise, or word to the one who wants to be put on, you need to get started! Just go! No one’s going to have it right in the beginning but growth is what makes mentors help. They want to help, they want to be a part of your lives but you have to show them why they should invest their time in you.
How long have you been growing Be Young & Determined and why did you start it?
Be Young & Determined has been a baby of mine for years. It was crazy because I was sitting down talking to my fiancé who was my boyfriend at the time and I said I wanted to help people find jobs. He was like, “Well there are already career services for that,” and he was right. So as time progressed I realized that although it’s been done before, it hasn’t been done my way. I have had a job since I was seventeen, working with the big dogs. I started researching career services, and surveyed people for feedback. A lot of people said they didn’t use career services. Some responded that they use generic templates for resumes and cover letters. I knew that wasn’t going to land them any opportunities. Someone from an Ivy League school even said they have to pay money to use their school’s career service center although they pay 50,000 to go to school there. I realized I still had a chance because there are a lot of grey areas that aren’t being tapped, and there are a lot of people that need help. Looking at statistics I found that it takes two years for college graduates to find a job and 4% don’t even have a salary that is worthwhile in comparison to the loans they’re taking out. It was a problem, so I found my niche.
Be Young & Determined comes from a conversation my principal and I had. Originally, I went to visit her unannounced and told her I wanted to speak with her. I told her that I felt like I could be an asset to her team. I told her what my skills were and that I really wanted to come on board and help her team grow. She hired me on the spot, no background check, no nothing. I was overwhelmed happy but I knew I had to be on point. For two days I sat down and researched everything about secretarial work. She said she hired me because I was young and was determined. So as she said that I came up with my brand. I want people to be young and determined. I want people to be me times twenty. I want them to have an untouchable ability to excel. Just seeing people who go from not having any clue about resume writing to getting into a career, or having their own offices and being able to say they’re happy shows me how they took my approach combined with their skills and made it work. Be Young & Determined came from me being young and determined and how I can help millennials get the job they deserve. Don’t be behind the curve, start early! Internships can lead to full time opportunities. Don’t wait until your senior year to be just like everybody else.
What do you look forward to everyday?
Turning things that are impossible to possible. I remember sitting down and everybody that I talked to had an impossible situation. I remember trying to figure out how I could work to turn their impossible to possible. That’s one of my goals. Everyday I want to help someone find a job. I want to help those people that have taken time off and want to break back into their industry. I want to help military vets. I want to be one of those people that trail blaze possibilities. This is why my ultimate goal in life is to have an executive search firm where I hire talent for big corporations.
How do you escape on the weekends?
I snuggle up with a nice classic self-enrichment book. I’m always reading. Most of the time I’m reading from my field to become more of an expert in it. I’m selfish on Saturdays; I read books to enrich myself. Everything I’ve ever learned that has been a next step for me has been from reading. One person said “You’re only as smart as the books you read after college,” so I told myself I’m not going to be dumb, I’m going to read. My favorite self-help book that’s dear to my heart is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Everyone who’s been successful always quotes this book.
Coffee or Tea?
Tea, specifically lemon tea.
Favorite nail color?
Clear, I don’t wear polish on my nails. I’m always working with professionals and it’s shunned upon to have color.
#TeamNatural or #TeamRelaxed?
Team Natural! Recent natural, I started transitioning in March.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
Read a book! I’m so serious, literally read everything you get your hands on. If you’re reading, you’re ahead of the curve.
If you could have lunch with any woman, who would it be?
My girl Oprah Winfery! First because she’s from the great Mississippi. Secondly, because she’s so loved by many. There’s not many people that don’t like Oprah. That’s kind of what I want . She has an influence that is like a disease. It doesn’t matter if you’re Republican or a Democrat she works with everybody. She has an influence that is just so alarming and so awakening that she could sit with anyone and be okay. And also she’s wealthy, all of the three that I’m looking forward to. As much as I’ve learned from her books, and studying her, you would think I have a conversation with her every night. I take things from her everyday.
Does your career interfere with your relationship status?
Not at all. My finance is very career driven as well so we have to find time where we both shut it off! He’s not sitting at home watching football, like “Hurry up” because he’s working too. So most of the time we’re very busy, we find time during the day to connect and talk and during the afternoons – those couple of hours are just ours so no Tv, no facebook, no nothing. It’s important that we have that time where we balance and come back.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Being the devil’s advocate in HR and I love it. HR is not too fond of their information getting out and Im the one whose sitting behind the table saying, “you’re not getting this job” but I’m also the one who when you leave says, “girl, your resume looks a mess, come here”. So I play the role well – in the favor of both.
Favorite Quote (or lyric)?
I don’t have a favorite quote or lyric but my favorite poem is IF by Rudyard Kipling. The poem talks about the unfortunate happenings of life and how to get past it. if you understand that things are going to happen then you don’t have to prepare because you know that look, things are destined to make you stronger and that poems reminds of that. It keeps me level headed.