How valuable are merits and achievements today?

Sometimes, I am of the belief that, gone are the days when your hard work and achievements are at the helm of your success.

In today’s age, people seem to get by from networking and allowing their personalities to do the talking. On one hand, we can praise the social media age for allowing individuals to become connected to their favourite influencers and organisations. We see the likes of Linkedin, which in my opinion, does a great job of keeping us posted with the latest jobs and news which are of personal interest. We also praise this modern age for business and networking meetings, conferences and trainings, which allow us to meet and build some amazing connections. We cannot doubt that these networking spaces are in fact helping us to build a resource base which can be tapped into at any time. Might I just add also, that long lasting friendships are sometimes the end result of these connections.

But, with all of these connections which we make, I have to wonder about the importance of my personal merits and achievements. Like most, my successes are buried in the investments which my parents and myself have made. Like many, I wasn’t afforded a scholarship to pursue any of my degrees nor was I fortunate enough to be “blessed” with jobs because of my relationships with individuals. I can attest to the fact, that I have worked my behind off to get me to this stage of my life.

Now, I am not knocking anyone who would have benefited from scholarships and the likes, or those who were in privileged spaces and received amazing job opportunities.  How can I? I would be hypocritical, because I too would have applied for scholarships and on numerous occasions, only to be told, “…Regrettably, we wish to inform you… ” And because of the many rejections, be it for scholarships or jobs, we become stronger and more resilient, and might I say, fearless.

What gets under my nerves though, is seeing people who would have earnestly spent time and effort into building and crafting their skills; those who have personally invested so much monies into their education; those who are legitimately diligent and dedicated workers, being refused positions and being second best to those who are the complete opposite.

Sometimes, it seems like good looks complimented with some charisma are the drivers for success. And we’ve all been following stories in the media surrounding these sexual assault cases with women and men feeling the need to slide things under the rugs for a come up. Not to mention, how people are promoted and given job opportunities because of political affiliations. I may sound naive because, we’re basically living in a world where favouritism and nepotism are the new equivalents to hard work and merits. But, why can’t we advocate for fairness? Why can’t we sometimes get a chance to prove ourselves to this heartless world that curses those who are less fortunate or do not have the opportunities to travel in influential circles?

I’m soon to be a graduate… again, with hopes of further developing my career goals and I know that I will be met with rejection and scepticism. That’s ideally the world that we live in. But, I want to be judged by what I would have done and what I am able to do, as opposed to where I come from, how I look and who I know.

Maybe it may not mean much to a lot of people these days but, merit and achievement are still my hallmark criteria for grading success.




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