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How can a black person win at life?

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Subject: Career question for you
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5 answers

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Kim’s Answer


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!


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Jacqueline’s Answer

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)


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Krista’s Answer

This is a deep question. I hope I can give you an answer that will change your perspective.

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

Look at this amazing video from Will Smith: https://youtu.be/mdyv4CcMGgs

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Jeanine’s Answer

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:

  1. Believe in yourself. I tell my daughters constantly that they are deserving of whatever they want in life.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

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Ken’s Answer

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:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##