A lot of workers today are junkyard dogs. They are scrappy, tenacious professionals who have had to work hard for everything they’ve got, often putting themselves through college (typically a state university), studying the behavior of those around them, and delivering results through hard work and common sense. I consider myself a junkyard dog. My family was working class, and we survived paycheck to paycheck with dignity and humility. I worked from the time I was 15, paying for all my clothes, my car, and all the expenses that came with furthering my education.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are the pedigrees. These workers are well-educated Ivy Leagues who have lived lives of advantage, complete with the gold-plated networking circles that have helped them skip the lower ladder in order to land in positions of power and influence. This kind of advantage can create an inequality that exists in many corporate settings. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, but career-long success does depend on balancing your junkyard dog with your pedigree.
It also depends on both types learning to live and work well with each other. If you’re a pedigree, there’s more that can be learned from a scrappy, street smart colleague than you maybe realize. Even though junkyard dogs often find themselves scrambling to keep up with pedigrees, the right grooming, training, and instinct can help a junkyard dog attain the skills and status of a pedigree. Confidence does breed success, and learning to balance out these inner traits can be a major game changer when it comes to advancing to the next level.
The power of balance is something that’s not easily mastered. It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to balance in life, it can be hard to get everything together all at once. For years, I grappled with how to balance my inner junkyard dog with my inner pedigree. With time, I realized that balancing these inner traits would take some skill, especially if I ever wanted to succeed in my career.
I learned that finding that balance didn’t mean that I had to change who I was, but it helped me make the good things in me better. I learned to play up the best parts of myself. Instead of me always being defensive, I learned how to listen. I learned how to understand issues and when to bring them up. I also learned how to balance passion and emotion.
So, are you a junkyard dog or a pedigree? Are you struggling to find that balance?
Learn more about how to balance your inner junkyard dog and pedigree in my book, The Inequality Equalizer Want it, Claim it, Own it – and Maximize Your Career Success. You’ll also learn more of my story, plus many more tips and tough love advice to help you get to where you what to go in your career. If you have any questions or want to share your stories, leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can also check out my videos on my YouTube Channel. I look forward to hearing about your success!