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  • 24ckthompson

Is There a Glass Ceiling or Just a Lead-lined Umbrella Over Your Head?

June 28, 2023

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot about that damnable “Glass Ceiling” that prevents deserving, intelligent, motivated people from getting to the next level (their words, not always mine). Generally, this sentiment comes from people with an entitlement mentality who believe they deserve more and are being cheated out of advancement. On a small scale, this belief may be justified, but . . .

The sad part in this excuse is that it blames others for their personal lack of success. They claim “victimhood” rather than poor work ethics, business know-how, or lack of desire. Those struggling to get ahead are using their own criteria which they believe they have far exceeded rather than doing research into what those same leaders really need and want to advance their companies. Most of the complainers are focusing only their own trajectory--their own success story—rather than the success of the business.

Several years ago I worked in a governmental agency that catered to this “lifting hand” approach to help less qualified people get ahead. Sadly, the powers that be placed several unqualified people in our department at higher pay grades and left them to “grow.” The other members of the department might have helped the newbies catch up, but many of these new hires sat back demanding more attention which kept the others from getting their own jobs done. This attitude understandably alienated the hard-working people who had trained and worked hard to achieve their pay scales. Over time, the newbies were dissatisfied and blamed the remaining staff for their lack of success. They were then moved to another department to “help them along.”

The reason these people failed so miserably was not some glass ceiling that was prejudiced against them, but rather their own attitude of entitlement. Had they exhibited comradery, open-mindedness and consideration, the people around them would have jumped in without exception to help them learn their new jobs.

But the “princess mentality” (or “prince mentality”) where others were expected to see how smart and deserving they were set them apart from the team.

Perhaps it’s time to stop looking at your entitlements and begin looking into your real talents to see what you can contribute to the overall picture. Teamwork, honesty and a desire to do better can crack that glass ceiling like a slingshot loaded with a torpedo.

Be honest with yourself in your work environment and see how you can improve your circumstances rather than waiting for others to “give” you a job.

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