I frequently tell students that fear is a good thing. It’s your body’s signal that something may not be quite right and in the case of the workplace it may be a signal for change. Sometimes you have to do some brave things to overcome fear and in those moments you will decide what kind of person you are based on the choices you make.
Throughout this blog and in my book I talk about bullies and the extent of their reach in the workplace. As a consultant, I have seen genuine attempts to fulfill the mission of companies get in the way of egos and an almost maniacal state of engagement that fosters on the absurd. It’s interesting to watch these things play out from the perspective of someone who experienced such hardship at a young age.
I like to remind my friends that silver spoons don’t always shine and the tarnish that builds up comes from a selfishness that eventually falls to something grander. Every great civilization that has fallen has learned the lessons of arrogance, conceit and dominion over those made voiceless. To our students, know that your journey in the workplace is about discovery of self. Set goals that extend beyond the reach of a particular job or company and find ways to continue to be the best you, even in the face of extreme circumstances.
Know that the challenges you are overcoming right now are the very things that will help you stay true to who you are when you become tested in the workplace. To my friends at P.S. No 6 in Paterson, New Jersey, know that you matter. I know how hard it is and I certainly know how limited the options are but know that there are paths to a better place.
Your teachers have your back, trust them. People like me have your back as well. Keep pushing forward, I promise that if you do, it will get better. Finally, know that help comes in all colors, shapes and sizes so learn to open your world and expose yourself to all of the possibilities.