Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .
Ken recommends the following next steps:
'Win' can mean many different things to different people. So my first recommendation to you is to determine what "winning" means to you (e.g., college degree, successful career, great salary, having a family, obtaining recognition in a certain field, etc.). Based on what "win" means to you, establish goals that you want to accomplish. Identify resources that will help you achieve those goals (this can be mentors, specific classes, etc.) Continue to work at whatever it is you are pursuing to get better at it. Be honest with yourself on your weaknesses and areas for improvement, and work on those constantly.
Frankly, as a black person myself, I realize that there is the unique obstacle of racism that presents an additional challenge to overcome. However, I always suggest focusing on what you can control, and that is the betterment of yourself.
This is a deep question. I hope I can give you an answer that will change your perspective.
- Do you believe that being black is a disadvantage? Then stop seeing yourself as being black and start seeing yourself as this human being with these amazing qualities who can make a difference is this life.
- You are the best example of how you want others to treat you. So treat yourself with respect, love yourself and believe you can achieve anything in this world. All it takes is determination and a winners mindset
- Find your dream, your passion and don't let anyone tell you, you can't. Because there is no such thing as 'you can't'. Determination, a good plan and a back up plan and a plan C and D, maybe even a plan E but just never give up.
- Look at these amazing persons who touched so many lives: Jim Kwik, Jay Shetty, Will Smith, Martin Luther King Jr., Oprah, Beyonce etc. Do you know why they are amazing? Because they knew exactly what they wanted and nobody could stop them.
Don't see life as fair/unfair or a skin color as a disadvantage. Maybe your challenge is bigger then it is for this rich white boy/girl but we all have the same opportunities in front of us. Open doors, keep moving and you will be a winner!
Krista recommends the following next steps:
This is such a powerful question! As a person of color, I have so may feelings behind this question. I guess it would depend on what's going on. Are you feeling like you can't win at life? What obstacles are you facing? Here's what I would recommend:
- Believe in yourself. I tell my daughters constantly that they are deserving of whatever they want in life.
- Work hard for what you want. I know that's vague, but your mindset has to be..."I can do better" which means that you are always aiming to do better than the day before.
- I am not saying that color isn't a factor in what obstacle you are facing, but be sure that it isn't just a problem that would happen regardless of color.
I would tell anyone to believe in yourself and work hard regardless of color. I knew you may see things online or in the news that make it hard to go on sometimes, but its important to be the change that you want to see. I hope that this helps!
Rebecca, my first thoughts are look at yourself differently and ask , how can I win at life. Believe, embrace and understand you can be and do anything you want to do. Your fate is 100% in your hands. Dedicate yourself to
working hard towards your goals. Seek out a Mentor. Write down your goals and review them every week. Start researching what steps you need to take to work towards reaching your goals. Research via the Internet, Library, professionals you may know, volunteer opportunities. Surround yourself with people who share the same or similar goals. Look at each step you accomplish towards your goal as a success. You will find a large part of success is having a positive attitude, being the best at anything and everything you do. As an African American woman I can agree you will face some challenges simply because you are who you are. You must not allow that to block your success or opportunities. The most perfect person no matter what race or nationality will face challenges in life. It is your attitude that will help you overcome those challenges and move forward. College is quite costly, but is affordable. Consider attending a local Community College first . You can then transfer to a 4 year college. New York has outstanding CUNY and SUNY schools.
I have included some educational and informational links below for you to review. I wish you much success!
https://bcwnetwork.com/ ( Black Career Women's Network)
As a (white) woman who went into law enforcement when there were very few women in the field (1984), I found that I had to excel at everything I did in order to be accepted by the male officers. Thankfully, I got assigned to a call early in my career where I was able to demonstrate my skill in using physical tactics. Beyond that, I was able to carve out a niche that others did not excel at - so they would come to me for help. This had to do with my writing skills. When they had to defend their own actions in answering complaints from Internal Affairs, I helped them craft their responses. What I learned from my time as part of a shift of officers is that in a really good team, each member has strengths and weaknesses. Together, we are a whole. Be a part of the team. Don't be apart from the team.
There will be times when you will experience injustices. Sometimes real. Sometimes perceived. Not everything needs to be reported back to mgt. Learn to handle your own problems, sometimes. This means to develop verbal skills so that when someone puts you down, you can come right back at them, but in an educated way rather than in a street way.
To win at life, you will want to define that term, up front. Success means different things to different people. You need to know when you have achieved it. Is it status? money? Being happy at work? Having a family? Whatever it is you want, pursue it! If someone tells you "no," consider it a challenge. Life is exciting!
I hope this is some help to you!