On Saying Yes (And No): Priscilla Castro
Leading up to our Summer ‘19 iteration of WORK, we'll feature select interviews with some of our conference's speakers and thought leaders. In this interview, content creator Priscilla Castro talks about her exploration of personal and professional brand values. Click here for a look at Summer 2019’s conference schedule.
Priscilla Castro is the Brand Partnership Manager at Planoly, the very first visual Instagram scheduler backed by Instagram as an o cial business partner, and it’s newest app, StoriesEdit. Prior to Planoly, Priscilla lived as a Los Angeles native creating digital content and social strategies for brands like Create & Cultivate and it’s partners, Makeful, the Canadian Broadcasting Corpora- tion, BeautyCon, Filter Magazine, and many others. With 6 years working in social media, Priscilla has witnessed the ever-changing landscape of digital and has taken note in how brands and content creators can maximize their use of social media through unique, valuable, and impactful content.
what kind of support do you wish you had had when you were just starting out?
For me, I had tons of moral support when I was getting started. I was, and still am, so lucky to have such a supportive circle, and a smart supportive circle that is willing to share their knowledge and expertise with you in the same industry is so, so valuable, too. However, when I was straight out of college, I was very "wide-eyed and bushy tailed," excited to take on jobs without actually reading the fine print of what responsibilities I needed to do financially. Nobody ever tells you in high school or college that being a contractor means that you need to put money aside from your paychecks, so my first year getting taxes done with the IRS was rough. I've been best friends with the IRS now for four years, and finally finished my overwhelming debt this month. I'm sure that if I had more financial education and actual advice on what to beware of financially when starting work, I would have saved myself years of stress with the IRS, but at least we learn from our mistakes, and boy, do I love learning.
How do you exercise personal and professional patience?
It's an interesting balance keeping personal and professional patience, and I feel that over the years, I've been able to transition my professional patience to the way I practice my patience personally. As a typical Aries, I am pretty stubborn and impatient, mostly with my immediate circle and my family which they kindly call me out on. As I've matured, I've been able to decipher when I'm being irrationally impatient (jumping to conclusions, rushing things just to get them done) and when there's a valid reason to be impatient (i.e, deadlines, not being able to do the next part of a project without another thing being finished, being professionally ghosted and never getting a response back from an email). And when I do get impatient, I take a step back and ground myself, get myself back to realistic expectations, be okay with the fact that things will never go my way because the world doesn't revolve around me, and if they don't go my way, it won't be the end of the world. It's a humbling practice.
when do you know it's a "yes?" when do you know it's a "no?"
Before I learned my guidelines to know when to say yes or no, I was so afraid of missing out on opportunities, that at one point I worked two part time jobs and two internships—being a total workaholic. I am still a workaholic, but for me, it comes down to a few factors:
1. Time Constraints: Do I have the bandwidth to participate in the opportunity (rather than stretching my time and myself thin)?
2. Excitement: If it's a "sure" instead of an "OH YES,” I have to ask myself, "Wait, is this worth your while doing this and are you going to put your 100% into it, or just half-ass it?"
3. Long-term v. Fleeting: It doesn't necessarily mean that I want a 6-month long project, but moreso, will I be able to make long term connections with awesome people, rather than just work with them and never hear from them again? I don't like just making contacts that will end up on my LinkedIn inbox—I want actual strong connections.
4. And most importantly—does it aligns with my personal brand and personal values?
what are your thoughts on concepts of work/life balance?
It's something that has become so critical in my own career. Before moving to Austin, work/life balance was nonexistent for me, and I just worked 24/7, hardly giving time to my friends, family, or to myself to recharge. Coming to Austin and working for Planoly was a breath of fresh air, because it's something that's so essential to the way we work as a team to ensure we're happy and also the most productive without burning out. I don't understand how I used to think that working 24/7 was just a way to be the "most productive" I could be, without taking time to take care of myself and reset to actually create productive work, rather than work that was just being done with my brain running at 20%. For anyone that is on the verge of burnout, take a step and know that a work/life balance does exist and take control of your life back by setting boundaries that are so necessary to your well being.
how do you take care of yourself?
My list goes pretty long. Calling my family and talking to them for hours, cleaning up my apartment to have a clear space and a clear mind, bullet journaling, journaling, taking care of my pants (I like to think I should hydrate myself enough, as I hydrate them to stay alive and thriving), boxing, practicing yoga, hiking, swimming and paying my bills on time. Also, I've gotten to the point where I try to be my own parent, so if I need to go to the doctor, therapy, or nutritionist, I will make sure that it's top priority over everything, because my mental and physical health is the most important thing and it's something that you should never put on the back burner. (I was guilty of that when I did not have a work/life balance.)
what's something you've unlearned lately that you're grateful for?
I used to think that if things did not go according to plan, it was going to be the end of me, and people would know that I'm a fraud and all the expectations that people set for me would be out the window. They would remember me by mistakes, and that was it for me—done.
But honestly, nobody really cares as much as you do. And while that may sound a little negative, it really isn't because at the end of the day, we're the ones that are the most critical and strict on ourselves that it makes us think everyone else looks at us the same way. Once I let go of that, I was able to speak in front of audiences a little more freely and ride the wave of work with its successes and mistakes. I still deal with imposter syndrome on a daily basis, but putting my mentality in this state and letting go of the fact that people are judging my work and my mistakes on the most granular level has helped mitigate it, and I'm very thankful.
do you have any daily habits that are crucial to your workflow?
Getting in a workout before I get to work is like the cup of coffee that I need to get the day going. Starting my day early and getting a few errands done before work helps me feel the most productive, and then once I'm at my office, I write down everything I need to do, from pen to paper. Writing lists in my notebooks and actually scratching off tasks makes me get in a better flow than having to write to do lists on my computer. A good playlist will definitely make a difference too, when you want to get in the right mind state for work (shoutout to all the Soulection playlists and radio shows). I don't know who needs to hear this, but you definitely need to run through all the tabs that you need to close on Safari or Chrome. I've had such a bad habit to have over 50 tabs open on my computer at once, so now when I come to the office the next day, I cannot get my workflow started if my brain has 50 tabs open. Finally, I have to keep myself accountable and put my phone down to get down to work, so the Flipd app has been really helpful in allowing me to be mindful during my workflow without having to try to open Instagram or Twitter.
About WORK: WORK is a biannual pop-up space, designed for sharing new ideas and approaches to creative and entrepreneurial work. The event's panels, workshops and speaker sessions explore personal and professional curiosity, storytelling, diversity and equality, business management and creative entrepreneurship. Our next conference pops up in July 2019 at Rowling Hall in Austin, Texas. ✨Click here for more information.