Going with the flow

I’ve really grown to despise the idea of “going with the flow” in my old age.

Things that make me particularly rage-y:

  • Students staying in school to get additional degrees because they haven’t taken the time to think about what they want to do
  • People who remain in jobs they hate, not because they’re providing for their family or because of a particular financial need, but because it’s what they’re used to
  • Employees ceding more and more control of their lives (staying late, working on “off” days, taking work home with them) at the expense of their happiness, simply because it is requested of them
  • “Lovers” who stay in unhappy or unhealthy relationships out of habit
  • People devoting their entire life to a field or career that’s of no interest to them, simply because there was a convenient “in”

I guess this stems from my desire for everyone to get what they deserve out of life. The older I get the more I realize that many (most) Americans live a partially-realized version of the life they may or may not have imagined at one time when they were younger.

And now for a tangent

It makes me want to throw chairs and medium-sized objects when I hear of someone not bothering to negotiate their salary after a company makes an offer.

There’s this sinister, irrational fear that the employer will respond by saying, “We’re so offended that you asked for an additional $10,000, we are no longer interested in hiring you. You are actually going to be unemployed forever and die in a van by the river now.”

The truth is that in situations like that, the best thing a new hire can do for their career is make it clear that they know what they’re worth and that they demand respect.

I used to work myself into a frothy lather when sharing the above sentiments with my friends, and the phrase (which I may come to regret publishing here) is, “Too much bending over leads to a bad back.”

You deserve the very best.

Act like it.


Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.