Some people say that they don’t see color and that we are all the same. To an extent, that may be true. But it is really hard to ignore a person’s skin color and ethnicity. If anything, it is one of the first things you notice about a person. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s just the way it is.
Being known for your skin tone or ethnicity is a completely different ball game within a professional setting. There is a negative notion that surrounds being identified by your uncontrollable appearance. Having someone say ‘he’s the black guy next to the copy machine’ or ‘the Chinese woman in the cubicle next to David’ is seen as rude. The victims of these verbal sayings may also feel like outsiders looking in or uncomfortable. But there is a bright side to being one of a kind at your job. Here are five perks of being the minority in the office.
1. You Stand Out
Instead of blending into the crowd, you stick out like a sore thumb. Your name will be remembered by executives and people will remember you because you didn’t fade into the background. You can use this to your advantage when meeting new people throughout your career. Whenever you voice your opinion about a new business venture or submit an idea for a new marketing campaign, your co-workers will remember who said it.
2. You Could Be First
Everyone loves to be the first to accomplish something. Just think about how President Obama felt after becoming the first African-American president, or how Laverne Cox must have felt when she became the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine. You could feel the same way and I am pretty sure that is an amazing feeling.
3. Tear Down Stereotypes
You have the opportunity to represent a large group of people. Take that opportunity to break down barriers and tear down ridiculous stereotypes. You will be able to create the new normal for a specific group of people -which, ideally, should be the same for everyone across the board.
4. Prove Others Wrong
Do you remember the guy that said you couldn’t do that or the woman that told you that was impossible? You didn’t listen to anything they had to say because you knew they were wrong. You can prove them wrong and gloat about it. You certainly deserve too.
By default, you become the expert of a particular race, which doesn’t make sense because you can’t speak for everyone, but you do. Your colleagues ask you questions that they believe you are the only one who can answer. Although the concept is annoying, you can use that chance to meet new people.
6. Encourage Others
You can lead the way for people that are just like you. When the younger generation sees what you have achieved, they will strive to achieve the same success. They will strive to be even more successful than you. Paving the way for future generations gives you an intrinsic motivation to keep doing what you’re doing.
Have you ever felt like an outcast at work? How did you handle it? Did you make the best of it or did you sulk?