[Throwback post taken from HRPassionista.com April 2015]
During an interesting conversation with a college junior on the bus ride home, he said something that lingered with me for the remainder of the day. The young man relayed a common scenario that involved two colleagues vying for an internship. Although both candidates met the prerequisites, one of them clearly possessed talent and skills that impressed most if not all his peers. But within moments that seemed to have felt like a lifetime, the aspiring career professional soon learned that his intellectual ability and drive was shelved in the final decision. Because the other candidate’s father had an inside contact, one phone call changed the game and the internship offered to the other candidate.
For some, this kind of thing is an accepted norm that should be expected. However, I take exception to that! What disturbed me most was when the young college student sharing the story told me “So you see…this ain’t about what you know, but who you know. I understand college now.” I wanted to disagree with him so bad, but didn’t have the courage at that moment simply because in my heart I knew he was making a valid point. And if that wasn’t bad enough, this young man was a visible minority just like his peer who was passed over for the internship in favor of the non-minority candidate.
So when I arrived to my apartment I pondered for a bit, challenging myself as to what can be done to remedy this and what part can I play? Then the words of the following came to mind:
When association outweighs knowledge
Why continue on?
Because you need a voice
Because it needs to be heard
And while your creative mind and skill may be overlooked for now,
See it as an opportunity for your net worth to gain interest.
After all, you can’t always place a value on unique qualities
If you should ever find that the environment you’re in prefers the convenience of the known
Perhaps its myopic outlook was a gift in disguise,
Granting a rare view into the shallow reality of a system confined to boundaries
So…fortify the dream, aiming towards your goal
It’s not a moving target
Strategy calls for wisdom, and wisdom requires thought
Be your own professional.
℘Passion On & Let’s Partner Up!