#HowIMadeIt 2017

Liza Solomon, Nurse & R&B Singer

FLARE #HowIMadeIt celebrates 100+ talented, ambitious and driven Canadian women with cool jobs. Want what Liza has? Here's how she did it

Liza Solomon Headshot
Liza Solomon; Toronto

Let’s say we’ve just met at a cocktail party. How would you describe, in a nutshell, what you do?

My name is Liza, I’m a nurse by day, as well as an aspiring R&B singer/songwriter and author. I’m currently writing a children’s book about embracing the skin that you’re in—the idea stemmed from my own insecurities and obstacles that I dealt with growing up.

Where did you go to school and what did you study?

I completed my bachelor of science with honours at Ryerson University.

What was your first paying gig out of school? (In your field, or not.)

My first paying gig was working in nursing research. A few months after I finished school, I was also given my first opportunity to perform my music at a venue in Toronto.

What was your BIG break? How did you land it?

My definition of a big break hasn’t occurred yet. But there have been several that have made me extremely excited for the future.

Describe the moment in which you first realized, I think this is actually going to work out?

Every day is a realization that my dreams are going to work out. I work really hard, taking small but important steps to move closer to my goals.

What would you say has been your biggest failure or shortcoming, career-wise, to date? How did you bounce back?

I work really hard and when things don’t go the way I want them to, I tell myself that I need to triple the amount of effort I’m putting in. For example, I was working on a project that had a specific deadline and when the deadline approached and the project wasn’t near completion, I realized that I had spread myself too thin. So I re-set my focus onto what I believed to be my most important priorities.

Did you deal with barriers in your field because you are a woman? If so, what were they?

I believe that women face several barriers every day. In nursing, I’ve either experienced or witnessed stereotyping, pay inequality and organizational barriers, which consequently result in the underrepresentation of women in higher management positions.

Are you making a fair income for your work? Why or why not? Do you have a side hustle/day job for extra cash? If so, what is it?

I believe when you’re passionate about your career you have to forego the desire to make your preferred income from the onset. I’ve been lucky to work as a nurse and have also have been able to book several paid shows as a musician.

What’s the worst stereotype you’ve heard about millennials at work?

There’s a stereotype that millennials want everything to happen instantly and lack patience. I believe this is untrue because I am surrounded by people who work hard for what they have.

Photographer, Nathan Cyprys; stylist, Corey Ng, P1M; hair, Cia Mandarello, P1M; makeup: Vanessa Jarman, P1M.

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