We had the good fortune of connecting with Alina Zerpa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alina, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work-life balance can only be learned when you tip the scale too far to one side and realize you need the other half. At least for me, I get a lot of pleasure from my job. As a Social Media Manager here in South Florida, it’s a career that I happily get out of bed for and really feel fulfilled at the end of the day. I was in a job where, although I was having a blast, loved my co-workers, and really got to see how far my potential could go, the job was truly draining. I was handling about 15 clients at the same time and it came to a point where my anxiety would reflect in my sleep; either I wasn’t getting enough of it or I’d wake up with my hands hurting because they were in fists all night long. One client, in particular, didn’t understand the concept of boundaries, so I’d get requests in texts and emails on a Saturday night at 10 PM. The two gray hairs I have on my head are from this client alone. After leaving that job and going into another social media position for a different company is when I realized how much the work side of things really was taking over the life side of things. I hadn’t given any love to my blog in months, which is another source of happiness for me. Working out became enjoyable again. I could actually make plans after work knowing that work wouldn’t follow me there. It is so important to be selfish and make sure that you do have a work-life balance. It is important to give it your all from 9-5 PM and then get away from the phone to enjoy dinner. Close the laptop and actually watch a movie! That email can be answered tomorrow. The important thing I learned is that I matter. I put constant pressure on myself to be 100% all the time but if I didn’t go through the drain of over-working, I wouldn’t appreciate knowing that I deserve to have a life after clocking out.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I always wanted to be a journalist. Seeing my byline was always my favorite thing when I studied at the University of Miami. I pursued degrees in journalism and psychology and knew my passion was in writing. However, I didn’t have a job lined up after college. While I got my job in the communications department at Royal Caribbean, I knew in my gut that I didn’t want to be in this kind of corporate world. All the politics and backstabbing wasn’t in the cards for me and after a year, I left to work with a marketing agency. As their Social Media Manager, I handled about 15 clients (by myself) and learned how to think of social media in a more strategic and critical way. The year I spent there taught me a lot about the industry, how tiny Miami really is, and how hard I know I can work when I want something done. In my time there, I was able to really do a 180 online for the brands I worked for and I always look back on those accounts fondly. I am currently the Social Media Manager for Body FX, a global, at-home fitness company. My ultimate goal is to have my own social media company – which is in the works! I really am in love with my job and working the algorithm in my favor is a challenge I happily take on every day. Working on my blog alone, I was able to go from 3.0% engagement rate to 6.8% in a matter of three months! My clients get about 100-200 followers a day and being able to show them that they have new followers + engaging content + a loyal fan base-turned-customers really is the highlight of my day. I can truly say that I love my job and I enjoy elevating other people’s brands to the standard they deserve.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Monday: Start the day off with a cheesy double-decker bus that starts off at American Airlines Arena. Then, lunch at Tutto Pizza, roam around Brickell City Centre, and have happy hour at American Social for their $4 margaritas from 4-8 PM. End the night at 1-800 Lucky for their industry night, some ice cream, and great music. Tuesday: Go to La Carreta for breakfast. Go to Wynwood to walk around, take some cool photos and go to The Taco Stand for Taco Tuesday. Make sure to go to Santo Dulce Churros for dessert and then have a beer or two at Concrete Beach Brewery. We’d end the night at El Patio for a fun but chill time where their happy hour ends at 9 PM. (I swear it can also be fun on a weekday. It still gets full!) Wednesday: Spend the day at the beach and have lunch at Bacon Bitch. Go home, shower, and nap until we go get dinner at Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita. End the night with free margaritas for ladies at Cantina La Veinte until 10 PM and dance the night away there. Thursday: Go on a Little Havana Walking Tour to explore everything that Calle Ocho has to offer. Make sure to stop at the Domino Park and take all kinds of photos. Eat at Ella’s Oyster Bar and go home to shower, nap, and change. Go to Ball and Chain for their 9 PM salsa class, stay for the music, and then end the night at Los Altos. Friday: Rest a bit in the morning and go to Vicky Bakery for breakfast. Wind up in Coral Gables and take a swim at the Venetian Pool. After, we’d Grab lunch at Bulla (don’t forget the Beer Sangria) and a coffee at House of Per’La for a well-earned pick-me-up. If we’re still in the mood to drink, we’d grab free drinks at The Bar until 7:30 PM. After a shower and maybe some Redbull, head to Blackbird Ordinary for their ladies night that starts at 10 PM. After enough drinks and dancing, go to Mama Tried in Downtown for their Pornstar drink. We’re going to keep on rallying and end up in Bodega on South Beach. Saturday: Sleep the morning. Have breakfast at Versailles on Calle Ocho and end up at Miami Watersports Complex in the Amelia Earheart Park in Hialeah. We’re having lunch at the iconic Palacio de Los Jugos and people watching a bit. We go home and shower and take a nap, because we’ll need it tonight. We’re going to make the trek and go to LIV in South Beach. I normally wouldn’t go, but there’s some huge celebrity playing. So we’re putting on our heels and going. Of course, we end up at E11ven at the end of the night and order their chicken nuggets. Sunday: Wake up at 10 AM, drink a Redbull and to get to Copper Blues by 11:00 AM. We brunch there until 3 PM and go to El Patio, Racket or Dirty Rabbit, depending on the line. At around 6 or 7 PM, we get a bite to eat from La Sandwicherie, revive, and end the night at Better Days. Your flight leaves Monday where you wish you weren’t so tired, but it was worth it!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Mom deserves all the shoutouts in the world. While she doesn’t understand the ins and outs of social media, she will still listen to my ideas, challenges, and decisions I have to make. She is always there to talk things out with me or tell me when a story doesn’t make sense to the common viewer. My favorite thing that she does is she will respond to every single one of the stories I put up on my blog, even if I’ve explained I’m the only one who can see the responses. She’ll answer any poll I post, even if she doesn’t know what the question was. Her never-ending and constant support is the only way I would be where I am today. She has been with me through all of my business and personal decisions, whether they’re right or wrong. She is the reason why I’m such a hard worker. I live to make both of us proud.
I took all these photos.