Whoever told you that promotion comes from above is a LIE!!! Okay, I won’t say a lie…because my momma told me this. However, I do believe it is a crock of shit….okay, I won’t call it that. My mom is a sage matriarch. I have to take all of her advice seriously. But that doesn’t mean that I have to abide by it or agree with it. And I definitely don’t agree with her advice on how to get promoted.
One of the hardest criticisms that I’ve ever received in life is that I’m too humble and quiet. In the corporate world, it’s never a good thing to be quiet, meek or humble. I prefer unassuming. I was raised to, in so many words, let my work speak for itself. That’s a lie. You have to speak for your work and let “these heauxes know.” Otherwise, you’ll consistently be overlooked and stuck in your career. You’ll see people with less experience and knowledge climbing the corporate ladder while your career remains as stagnant as Donald Trump’s weave closure.
I can’t completely fault my mother for this train of thought though. One, she’s very religious. And one of the pillars of her Christian faith is to be meek and milled mild and to “wait on the Lord.” Now, I don’t know which scripture this is based off of. But as a church kid, I’m pretty sure that there’s one that solidifies her stance.
Two, she comes from a different time and era. During that era, you stayed with a company for years and years in the hope of getting your “return on investment.” Those investments included home ownership, 401k, etc. However, times have changed. You cannot bank all of your interest in one company. You have to manage your career from the perspective of a business. You offer services for that company in exchange for goods. If that company doesn’t offer you the opportunity to expand your business with an increased exchange of goods, you take your services to another business that’s willing to do so. Like any other business, you have to anticipate changes in the market and take advantage of them. Otherwise, they’ll take advantage of you.
Three, we’re both from a smal townl, working-class background. With that background, a career is considered becoming a store manager at Wal-Mart within 20 years. That doesn’t require the consideration of many optics or market changes. In addition, those optics don’t change much.
One of the things I’m learning is to focus on me and not anyone else. My manager even exclaimed that I should be selfish when talking about my accomplishment. And that’s it. I’m being selfish. Here are some things I’m no longer being humble about:
- I want my extra biscuit from Popeyes. I just can’t let anything I’ve earned or paid for slip through my hands. If I paid 43 cents for my extra biscuit, and it’s not there when I get home. You best believe I’m going back and will hold up the line for my 43 cents biscuit…And I expect to be compensated for my pain and suffering. I paid for it. I earned it.
- My looks. Look, I’m working hard on my body. If I wanna show a little chesticle cleavage, I’m gonna let these puppies breathe and get those 10 Instagram likes. I used to be really humble and sometimes insecure about the way I look. Well, look out, baby. There’s a new me. Twenty-four karats magic in the air, head to toe so playa.
- I earned my degree. I’m becoming one of those pretentious douchebags that always brag about his/her education. Those people usually annoy me, but now I see why they do it. “What college did you go to?” “I went to so and so state college.” “Really, what did you get your bachelor’s degree in?” “No, no, no honey. I went to a state college to take advantage of the in state tuition for my master’s degree. For my bachelor’s degree I went to a small private university on scholarship because I’m smart…did I mention I was magna cum laude…and I didn’t have to sleep with any of my professors? Did you…you know, have to sleep with your professor to graduate on time?” SHADE!
- Exquisite cuisine. My dishes are beyond food. It’s an experience. Too many people operate in the spirit of jealousy and try to come for my cooking. But none of my foods come from processed powdered cheese and milk. Okay, my delicacies are not allowed on TV because their rated MA for food porn. Try me nots! I’m going to brag about the things I put time and effort into learning.
- I’m multitalented. Many people tell you to perfect your craft—to focus on one thing and to be great at it. No Plan B. But what if I want to try more than one thing. Sure, I’m getting older. Yet, I’m still discovering things and talents about myself that I didn’t know I had. In the past, I relied on others to affirm my talents instead of recognizing and standing firm in what I had. Next year will be the year of the renaissance man.
Going from being humble, to being “That Bitch” is a chore, especially when you’ve been taught to “keep your head to the plow” and “let your work speak for itself.” I’m sure there are five other things I don’t need to be humble about any longer, but I have to take it one step at a time. Next year, I’ll be bragging about how Barack Obama summoned me to co-write his biography and to call him Barry. Now, that’s a “humbling experience.”