Like a sore thumb you stick out in an office populated by people of a particular race, gender or supposedly able bodied. It is only natural to feel that you are under undue scrutiny, real or perceived.
Don’t feel guilty for securing a job through Employment Equity. Honestly, if there were no such a piece of legislation, the hidden talent and potential in someone like you would have been denied exposure.
You have to get a manual titled: How to survive at the workplace 101. Who told you that the workplace is a perfect world? Not everybody will be on your side, you are not Mahtma Ghandi out to extend an olive branch to everyone. That said, do not elect to see threats when there are none.
The following tips could prove practical:
- Bear in mind, action speaks louder than words. Ultimately, you will be judged by your performance. As top golfer, Tiger woods observed: “Excellence overcomes barriers”.
- Exploit the diversity of your workplace to interact with others. You might discover that you can learn a lot from them. They are as human as you are.
- Make your colleagues realise that perceptions they have about you are only stereotypes. Get them to appreciate your uniqueness
- Don’t give your colleagues carte blanche to walk all over you because they think you are ‘not of their standard’. Set the boundaries. Saying “No” should not offend anyone.