Conclusions about the workplace

It’s been nearly 11 years that I’ve been working full time, and in that 11 years, these are the conclusions I’ve come to:

  1. HR is pretty useless when it actually comes to making employees feel heard, appreciated, or like their opinions and feelings matter. They do not exist to protect you; they exist to protect the company, its reputation, and its senior leadership.
  2. White men still have all the power.
  3. Discrimination and bias are nearly impossible to prove.
  4. Even when you work at a company that is, by industry standards, “progressive,” you still realize that there’s an impossibly long way to go and that there’s really no use in comparing yourself to the lowest of the low in life. You won’t feel better.
  5. When recruiters, internal or external, say they are looking for a diverse set of candidates who are truly “culture adds,” they’re definitely lying unless they are actually financially incentivized to do exactly that. And we know none of them are.
  6. As I meet younger and younger people who are just getting out of school and into the workforce, I cannot help but notice how entitled they are to demand salaries that are $100-200K+ just a year or two out of college. Entitlement seems to be a common of those younger than me. But… did people who were in their 30s think that of me when I was at that age…?
  7. Doing your job and doing it well isn’t enough. You have to play the political game to get ahead. That means sucking up in some cases, and in others, socializing with colleagues and higher-ups you wouldn’t otherwise care to be around.
  8. Just because you are kind and friendly and helpful does not mean everyone at work will like you. In fact, there will always be someone out there who secretly, or not so secretly, doesn’t like you, and will make sure you find out some way, somehow.
  9. When your manager tells you that she wants to hear your opinions, she really doesn’t mean that. What she really means is… she wants you to package in a certain way that sounds good to her ears. In other words, don’t be a complainer. Figure out how to do to that, and you will get along just swell.
  10. What you might consider “common sense” in the workplace really is not so “common.” Sad, isn’t it?

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