In my career, I have been told a few times that I wasn’t the first choice for a seat in a committee or for a role in my organization. I’ve been told I was given the position because there was either an extra seat or that other people didn’t want the role that was eventually given to me. At this point in my career, I am grateful for the opportunities that come my way, albeit not always how I may have wanted them. My mentality nowadays is that I am going to make the best out of my situations and the opportunities given to me. As a matter of fact, I use this information to fuel my motivation to show others what I am capable of doing.
This was a different perspective from when I was younger. Back then, I took offense to the idea that I was not the first choice and that I was deemed not as qualified as other people. As a matter of fact, I had a conversation quite a while ago with a colleague about the idea that I was added on a committee because I’m Asian. I was told I made a good addition to the group for diversity. This colleague was laughing when he said this to me so I wasn’t quite sure if it was actually true, but there was some probable truth to it. I was very offended and it took me a while to get over the idea that I was chosen not because of my abilities but because of possible tokenism. However, I’m glad I was on that committee because I think I made some contributions and I was able to meet new folks along the way.
However opportunities are given to me, I’m grateful for them. At the end of the day, it’s what I make out of them that matter.