Young Professionals in the workplace (some of my experiences)
Being a young, black woman in the workplace is hard. In my opinion, some people in higher positions just don’t want to see success outside of their norm or comfort.
That is why it is time for the emergence of more African-American owned and operated businesses. It is time for us to have more of our own. No more complaining about work, shifts or hours, make your own! We all have to start somewhere. Grab a notebook and write all of your ideas down so you can see them. Write down everything you dislike about your current/past job(s), positions, the way you are/were treated as an employee, and make a note of it. This way you know exactly how NOT to run your own business.
We need to change our mindset. We were not created to live and work for another person or their success.
I struggled to find my strengths and pinpoint my interest at first. I knew that I just wanted to be successful. Now I discovered that I like to write, and it is one of my strengths. I like to communicate with people and provide inspiration and encouragement when I can. As I self-evaluate and work with my strengths, I am finding how I can make myself work for me.
Your goal should not include punching the clock or pleasing a manager for the rest of your life. I always say “I’ll now when I’ve made it when I decide when I start work.”
My first position was an eye opener as much as an introduction into the work force. I got my first full-time job when I was 18 years old, and it was mind blowing to witness the lack of professionalism in some adults. I ran into so many issues and here it is seven years later, things haven’t gotten any easier.
I was catapulted into a leadership role with determination, motivation, and the desire to grow. As this came naturally to me, I began to learn everything possible and surrounded myself with people in leadership positions that helped me learn. I was called an ass kisser by men that were twice my age. I was talked about by women who were old enough to be my parents. People talked down to me, but this was only motivation and inspiration.
My skin was extremely thin, and to be honest, it still is a bit, but the bigger picture is a fulfilling life.
When I started to wearing my hair natural, my manager (older black woman) pulled me aside and attempted to comb my hair and told me I looked a mess and needed to put my hair up.
It hurt me to know that SOME black woman doesn’t want to support others. I thought to myself that she just didn’t love herself as I was a reflection of her, we are all family, that was my sister, auntie, whatever. I would have expected that treatment from another race. It just threw me off. We need to be stronger and united. We need to eliminate the word “I” and replace it with “we” when something happens to one it is all of us. When some insults one of us to glorify another it affects ALL of us just as much as withholding a resource, or propaganda in the media.
Moving on to my next position, I was flat out asked by my misogynist manager “How did you get this job?”
Because I’m the shit and highly favored.
My thoughts, but not my reply.
He tried the same types of shenanigans and occasionally tried to blow up. He had esteem and anger issues. The biggest lesson I learned is that the only way to go is up, and no one can stop you; people have opinions, but you shouldn’t mind what people think because people do not think.
The only thing that separates us from each other is an opportunity. I’ve taken the good, and the bad and I are trying to apply those lesson as I am growing and developing my character. I realize everything that I don’t want to be and the ways that I don’t want to treat people. Out of these experiences I just gathered that I don’t want to be someone’s reason for not wanting to come to work.