Whether you’re a new professional or a seasoned leader, there is important content in this post for you to consider about career advancement advice received and given.
Something for new professionals to consider
Be very mindful of who you take career advice from and how you internalize it.
Be cognizant of the lived experiences of very well-intentioned people who may mentor or advise you.
It’s not to say that you can’t learn from people who’ve had very different lived experiences from you. You can learn from absolutely everyone. And you’ll benefit from keeping a growth mindset and learning new things every week.
But when it comes to determining what works for your career development and advancement? What has worked well for people who may be less “other” than you, may not work the same for you.
Please do not go through your early career beating yourself up just because well-intentioned advice from someone didn’t work for you, even if you put in all the effort required. They may truly and honestly have no idea that it was their privilege that was working for them.
In summary, you can learn from everyone, but be mindful of the lived experiences of those whose career advice you take.
For the leaders reading this
I’d encourage you to really think about the basis of the advice that you give to newer professionals.
While it’s possible your experience may have been that of a meritocracy, depending on your lived experience, your staff who are othered may have a very different experience, even if they’re incredible smart and capable.
Your meaningful championship and advocacy of them will go much farther than giving them advice that worked for you but likely won’t be meaningfully supportive of them. Perhaps you can share this post with your network, to help your peers also meaningfully help the people in their organizations.
For the leaders out there who are othered
I see you.
I see how much effort you put into supporting others, while trying to uplift yourself in the face of regular systemic barriers and well-meaning people who have no idea how much their lack of ability to see the barriers drains you and invalidates your experience every single day.
Do your best to change the systems from within, jealously guard your boundaries and wellbeing, and also, don’t be a martyr. You can find better. Your longterm health, wellbeing, joy and satisfaction require it. You’re worth it.
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