Written by: Javon Ogbeide
Is being a minority an advantage in the search of a job, career and/or in other opportunities? I think so!
From personal experience I believe being a minority in today’s world is advantageous as far as career opportunities go. In my previous internship, I worked with a company that had recently implemented an initiative to promote diversity in the workplace. The company wanted to become more diverse, because they believe ideas coming from a myriad of backgrounds would lead to more effective solutions. I whole-heartedly agree with this belief, which is why I feel being a minority is an advantage. However, this is not to imply that being a minority will singlehandedly get you the job, but it does provide you with an opportunity to potentially set yourself apart from the competition.
So the next question may be how to take full advantage of your diversity?
First, you must understand what makes you diverse whether it is your culture, beliefs, race, ethnicity, age, gender, etc. For me, my ethnicity is the most prominent aspect of my diversity. Next, you have to understand how being diverse shapes you and how it can help you add value in the workplace. For example, if a company is attempting to reach a new market, you could greatly assist if you have an expertise in that market or are immersed in that particular market. During my internship, store management asked for my advice in their shoe department, because their men’s shoe sales were struggling in comparison to women’s. They wanted to reach the urban youth market, which I understand because I am a part of that market. My diversity proved to be an asset in this situation and allowed me to positively affect the marketing efforts of the company.
One last piece of advice, embrace your diversity; however, don't allow it to singlehandedly define you. Use it to supplement your skills and experience and become the best version of you.