Strategies for Succeeding in Your Career


Find Jobs, Post Resumes

Ask Sue 

Choosing Careers 

Job Search Strategies

Interview Tips 

Resume Tool Kit 

Cover Letters 

Sample Resumes 


Home Business  

Human Resources & Management  




Book Excerpt
Achieving the Colorblind Career
by Ollie Stevenson
(Peterson's, $16.95 U.S./ $23.95 Canada)

The Colorblind Career
Achieving the Colorblind Career

Exactly what is a colorblind career? It is a career that reaches beyond color to enable you to achieve success in today's mainstream business culture. And, like it or not, to reach this success, you have to follow standards of behavior and attitudes and a set of business values that are based, for the most part, on the business values, work ethics, and the business mind-set of the white male. The simplest way to think of this business mind-set is to understand that the majority of people in a given situation set the standards for that situation; the ideas and values they adhere to become the mainstream standard. Currently, the majority of people in American big business are white, so the standards are most heavily influenced by them.

As more and more people of color enter the business arena and move to higher levels of influence, this mind-set will change to incorporate a greater diversity of values. As a person of color, you can be part of that change only if you're on the inside. Once you adhere to the scandals - the values, attitudes, and behaviors - of today's corporate business culture, you will be in a position to add your perspective to it and, together with other people of color, also steadily change it.

Avoid Stereotypes

I've noticed in counseling people at all levels and in many fields that our decisions are influenced even more than we realize by other people and by society. We've all heard the stereotypes: Women don't make good truck drivers or police officers; Asian people should stick to hi-tech or numbers-oriented jobs; people with a scientific or technical leaning shouldn't take jobs that require strong interpersonal skills. And the list goes on. Don't let these kinds of stereotypes deter you from following a career path that fits your aspirations and talents. When someone you respect or someone who holds a position similar to yours makes a recommendation about your career, you probably take it very seriously. In fact, your thinking may be strongly influenced by her advice. But now that you've accepted responsibility for your own career, you'll need to carefully evaluate these recommendations t determine how they align with your goal If you find that the advice does not support the career path you've laid out for yourself, then you'll simply have to challenge it

Begin by looking at where that person is coming from - in terms of background, age, culture, work history, and the like. An older person's recommendation, for example, may be tainted with an outdated cultural belief about gender roles On the other hand, someone who's suffered through hard times might make recommendations based on survival issues rather than personal satisfaction. Then there are the people who claw their way up the ranks, taking any opportunity that comes their way, and feel lucky to have arrived at their current position; these people, who are motivated merely by need to secure a job and who have not developed their own careers, often place little value on choosing the right job -- one that fits a career plan. Such people might suggest, for example, that you take a secretarial job only because it pays more than an analyst position, when the analyst position would, in fact be more in line with your career aspirations. Or, if you're being paid well as a foreman, they might encourage you to stay in this position rather than accept, say, an accounting position at a company where you'll have the opportunity to advance in management at a corporate level.


Your first job is important because it starts you on your career track. Whether you already have a job or you're just starting to look, you will fall into one of the following categories and will confirm that you are headed in the right direction or provide guidance in getting on track. Choose the one category that best fits your current status.

  • I am looking for a position now, and I realize that I need to choose carefully. I am clear about the skills I need to develop to advance my career and will be seeking a job along those lines (Excellent. You are on the right track).

  • I have already accepted a job and can see that it will be vary beneficial to my skill development and in advancing my career (Excellent. You are on the right track. Start planning now for your next job move, whether in your company or to another company).

  • I have accepted a job, but I am not sure that it will help my career in the long run. I plan to seek advice from a mentor, a career counselor, and a human resource professional at my company to determine if I am on the right path to reach my goal. (Very good. But don't delay seeking guidance to ensure that you are on track. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to make a change).

  • I accepted a position outside my career goal because it was readily available. I like what I am doing so much now that I want to rethink my career goal. (It is good that you recognize the need for reevaluation because you always need a plan based on a goal if you want to achieve success. Rethink your goal as soon as possible and set up a new career plan).

  • I accepted a position because I needed immediate money, but I am still looking for a job that will support my career goal, and I will not stop until I have secured one. (Do not delay in getting on track. Temporary jobs can turn into permanent delays where you end up feeling frustrated and unfulfilled many years later if you have to accept another "temporary" job try for something that will allow you to build skills or get exposure in your chosen profession).

Copyright 1997 by Ollie Stevenson. Reprinted with permission from The 90 Minute Interview Prep Book by Peggy Schmidt (Peterson's, $16.95 U.S./ $23.95 Canada

Share This Page




Source of images:

Privacy Statement

The information compiled on this site is Copyright 1999-2016 by Attard Communications, Inc. and by the individual authors.
Career Know-How is a service mark of Attard Communications, Inc.