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.