Being The Only Black Woman Can Be Isolating

Now hear me out about this, it can be extremely isolating being the only black woman in my group. It can be extremely isolating being the only mother in my group. I lost a lot of friends in the lay-off three years ago, and now I’m in a stage where there’s a big gap of ages.

Everyone seems to be fresh out of college, and it’s honestly hard to relate. I’ve been out of undergrad for almost four years now, and it’s amazing how much can change in so little time.

Others assume that I don’t like them because I don’t join in on their sex talks or about getting drunk. I think there is a time and place for everything, and work is not the place for such talks. I feel as though I’m in the minority on this.

I saw an article that explained how you can’t be black and an introvert in the work place. Black women have a stereotype of being angry, and so when I keep to myself, working on projects, I’m seen as not social by my group. I’m seen as not being helpful because I choose be productivity over standing around in a room, chatting, while others do a task that only takes thirty minutes.

I’ve tried to shift the conversations away from unsavory topics onto more work related or at the very least ‘PG’ subjects.

I titled this post, Being The Only Black Woman Can Be Isolating, because I have noticed over the years how much harder I have to work than my coworkers. I have noticed that if I’m not in everyone’s face, telling jokes, than I’m seen as having an attitude.

I think the only way these stereotypes will change is by talking about our challenges. I could keep all this bottled up, but that would only serve to hurt me or come out in a negative way.

Quick Question About Pregnancy And Work Place Safety

Hey guys,

I’m currently working on putting together a PowerPoint for work about how we can make the environment safer for our pregnant employees. I was just curious if you could comment down below or send me an email at thelifeoftroysmama@gmail.com about some of the challenges you faced working while pregnant.

I’ve just been amazed at the number of people that I have talked to, that don’t even have a space where they can pump at work. So please comment or send me an email. The only way we can make improvements is if we speak up.

Positive Employers Should Be The Norm

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, when I came across an article about how this man’s mortgage was preventing him from retiring. In the headline, the article stated how the elderly man’s employer actually paid off the man’s mortgage, so that he could enjoy retirement. The article had a lot of likes and reshares.

I’ll admit, I didn’t click on the article and read it through. My first thought was how wonderful that employer was for lifting his employees financial burden. My second thought was, how awful it is that stories like these aren’t the norm.

Now, I’m not saying that employers are responsible for their employees’ financial choices. What makes me sad is that we have gotten into this cycle of being replaceable. So many employers aren’t keeping employees to retirement anymore because it’s much cheaper to higher someone younger, than to reward loyalty.

Employee retention rates would probably be higher if employers made them feel valued. After a certain point, money doesn’t keep employees happy and engaged. Security, feeling appreciated, and work life balance is what attracts company loyalty.

I would like to imagine that sometime down the line, stories about wonderful employers will be the norm.

The Waiting Season

I feel as though a lot of you are in a season of waiting. You are waiting for that new job, for that new position, for that spouse, or for that new financial breakthrough.

Just waiting.

Maybe you get upset because things are not progressing at the pace that you would like. Maybe you are depressed because you thought, that surely, this job will hire me. Or, maybe, you are just anxious because you feel stuck and do not know where to go from here. Sometimes, though, it is the wait that shows God if we are truly ready. Sometimes, you have to go through some things to reach the next destination.

You, see, you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Anything that is worth having, is worth the effort. So, what I mean by this, is that if you had to save and save for a car, you would appreciate it more. When you know what it is like to have not, you appreciate the blessings more.

This is not the season to be rushing into new ventures and into new relationships. No, this is the season of waiting. A season of grooming, where going backward will lead you so much further than trying to rig something in your own strength.

Every attempt at a promotion or job change this year has been blocked. I had to check myself by spending time with God. It was during this time that I realized that I was trying to make moves without Him. I was trying to chase the dollar signs and the status symbol of the world, and as a result, I was not walking in alignment with Him. So, this season, I have gotten used to being uncomfortable. I have made it a habit to seek Him first thing, to seek Him before bed, and to just seek Him when I feel like I’m being attacked.

Whatever it is that you are waiting for, pray to Him and ask if it is the route that He wants you to take. Pray that if the opportunity is right for you, that those who need to like you, will. Pray that you will have peace about the situation and thank God for taking care of all of your needs regardless of what your current situation looks like.

Ask yourself and God, what is it that You want me to learn in this season? Transparency from me, God told me that I would have a ministry and be an entrepreneur. I need this season to grow in my understanding of Him, and how to let people in. Am I terrified? Yes, but I welcome the uncomfortableness, and so should you.

Promotion is not always the Solution

I have been reflecting these past few days about how straightforward my view of life has been. First, it was attend this college, so that I could become a veterinarian. Well, chemistry and I just could not make it work. So, I had to actually consider other career options.

Since I was no longer going to be able to be a vet, I changed my mind about wanting to have my own practice, to just getting a job and staying there.

Ha!

Move up in the company, stay diligent, and so forth. Just one problem, company politics. I do not know how to play the game. I naively thought that if you were a hard worker, that you would naturally move up. I envisioned myself becoming a supervisor and maybe one day becoming a manager. I wanted to be someone that by paper, seemed very important.

Here’s the thing though. Is it worth it? Some will say the money would make it worthwhile. If money is all you care about, then you would be making an idol out of money, and the Lord told us to do no such things. Is the stress worth it? The isolation, the responsibilities, or the extra workload with no real downtime?

As a mother and as a wife, I no longer see a promotion as being the solution. Chasing a title or money does not equate to happiness, and sometime, the Lord wants us to stay in our current situation. He does not do this to harm us, but to show us something, to teach us. I have found that while the one late night that I work is kind of sucky, my current position works. When I am off of work, I am off of work. Moving towards a supervisor role or any other leadership role would cause me to never be completely off of work, and, for me that is unacceptable. Giving my all to a company that views me as replaceable, does not help my well-being, nor would it help the company in the long run.

If I were you, I would take some time to just sit in God’s presence, and ask Him what your next moves should be. Ask Him if a certain role is for you or if He wants you to hang tight in your current role a little while longer. I know for me, the Lord has called for me to make the transition from being an employee to being an entrepreneur. Pray on it, fast on it, and seek Him in all that you do.

Have a blessed day.