Updated: Jul 11
JOB DISCRIMINATION IS NOW FURTHERING PAST OUR SKIN COLOR OR ETHNICITY. IT CAN SHOW UP WHERE EVER YOU POSE A THREAT AND IN THE LEAST LIKELY PLACES
Although, there are hurdles being a black woman and trying to obtain a position in the work force, it isn’t just the color of your skin these days that you have to be aware of. If only it was so simple to go in an interview and let your credentials and talents speak for themselves, however, we live in a world where selling is key. Everyone, nowadays, want to be sold on things to give them the extra confirmation that they don’t allow their conscious to do for them; or maybe they do but just would like to see how convince you are of yourself. Whatever it may be, it’s clearly not the four years you put in as an undergraduate or the extra three years that you interned without pay.
What they don’t tell you when entering the work field is that jobs are all about politics. So, when you go apply for that job and prepare for that interview, you could be walking into a trap of “not outshining the master” from “giving it all you have”. How confusing is that? When do you know to turn off the innate glow and when to let it shine all the way through? They always taught me in school to do my very best, push to your fullest potential; and now it’s as if your innocence was ripped away from you like when you first realized Santa Clause was a fake. You walk into a job expecting to give everything you can only to be stopped with insecure behavior because your superior feels threaten.
I remember some years ago (before I realized that entrepreneurship was more my speed) when I was going to my second interview for MAC. I was a little nervous because this was the part of the interview where I had to show my talent and actually attempt a look on someone else’s face within 30 minutes. I already had a boost of confidence because when I came in earlier I was greeted by a customer who mistook me as an employee who worked there. That gave me the extra confidence I needed. I was on cloud nine because, I had my face already done up and for someone to seek for my help and believed I worked there must have meant that I had some sort of potential. I finished the look on the individual and the hiring manager gave it a thorough look. I even overheard a customer asked one of the makeup artist could she have a look similar to the person’s face I did. So by this moment I just knew I had it in the bag! I came in with the first interview and aced it with the questions claiming that I wanted to grow with the company; seek some sort of upward mobility in the product and development department. Went so far as to show how I had a personal blog I did about makeup because that’s how much I loved it. Hey, it got me a second interview so I figured I was in there like swimwear.
I left my second interview feeling like I just open the door for opportunity… before it even knocked. But long and behold I was called with a “Sorry we just think you need more time to perfect your craft and come back later.” Of course I took heed to that and worked more and attempted to come back but of course I was met with the same demise. I eventually decided that maybe these closed doors meant that this wasn’t the direction I needed to go and decided to journey off on my own.
Now this could clearly be that I had more work to do, despite the indirect admiration of my work or this could be the case of discrimination. Is it possible to be discriminated on for having potential or too much potential? Why yes, yes it is. Sis your skin color doesn’t have to be the only thing that’s working against you and that promotion on that new job. It could be your intelligence; your “good looks”, your youth, your financial status and anything that poses you’re destined for greatness. See, these are precisely the things I don’t believe we are prepared for but it’s real life. The best doesn’t always get the position and sometimes the mediocre lands it every time.
In a world where they make you believe your best is all that’s required but that only applies when it’s your best invested in your business. What should you do when your best is keeping you “overqualified” or dimming your light is keeping you “pigeon held”? Why do I have to dumb down my gifts for a paycheck and jeopardize my job if someone catches on that I maybe more valuable then I’m letting on. It’s as if I have to be cut throat and thoughtless to achieve success and maintain a living. Furthermore, I contemplate if these companies know the people they assign in the position to hire talent and if they know that there looking for the companies best interest or the best interest of themselves?
Entrepreneurship isn’t meant for everyone, or is it? I mean everyone may not even want to take on that type of task if the opportunity presented itself. So how do we combat the trickery and politics in the workforce for my sis who wants to help brand and build someone else’s company without having to deal with the extra headache of discrimination based on your assets? How can we protect ourselves from the coworkers or supervisors who use their position as a weapon to uphold their agenda?
Have you ever felt that you gifts, talents, or accomplishments hindered you from getting jobs or a position in the workforce? How did it make you feel? How did you handle it?
I wanted to speak on this because I know I’m not the only one who has been frustrated by these situations but I also wanted to raise attention that it is happening; and I want us to be more prepared for going on these jobs to defend ourselves from the politics of jobs and solidify our positions with our skills.