I’m an only child of an only child. Only children are stereotyped as introverted, spoiled, or high maintenance. I’ve been accused of being most of those at some point in my life but I have been able to overcome the “only child syndrome.”
I learned early in my career that if I lived up to the stereotype of an only child and was seen as introverted, spoiled, or high maintenance, I was not going to get far. And I learned very quickly.
A few months after accepting a new position, I wanted to attend an out of town conference. My boss asked me to write up a proposal to support my request and get it to him by the end of the day. After fretting over it, I sucked it up, and typed a lengthy proposal. When I submitted the proposal, my boss said, “I don’t want that, I just wanted to know how badly you wanted to attend. Go register.”
That clicked. I can still get what I want and not be seen as spoiled or high maintenance – I just have to be able to justify it. I have to talk to the right peo
ple and be able to show how what I want is best for the business. Over the next few years, I was able to attend conferences, get the system upgrades I needed and have benefit changes approved.
I climbed out of my only child shell.
Even though I was still introverted (some habits are hard to break), I spoke at board meetings. I sat in VP offices to talk shop and strategic plans. I gave my professional opinion about where HR in the company needed to be to make the company grow. And I forged my way into a position that didn’t exist.
I was still accused of always getting what I wanted. I was still accused of being high maintenance and a bit spoiled. But I didn't care. I know I worked my ass off for it and it was all, well mostly all (sometimes you just want a new computer), for the betterment of the employees and the company.
So yes, I’m an only child who usually gets what I want. And I’m ok with that.
Photo credit iStock Photo
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