Living Your Difference

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Ever since I was a kid, I knew there was something uniquely different about me from the rest of my family. For example, my family enjoyed watching television shows every Friday night while I was in the back room alone reading The Boxcar Children books. I have always been more interested in activities that I felt would benefit me in the long run. Hence why I read a lot of books as a kid.

However, due to me being different, I was teased at a lot by my family and classmates growing up. There were other things mentioned to me such as, "You're just a nerd," "You're weird," or "You'll never amount to anything because you're different." I carried this weight of hurt from those I thought cared for me and the guilt thinking that I was not good enough for quite some time. Everything changed at the age of 19.

One of the first jobs I acquired in corporate America was working at a bank as a teller. Although I had a few mishaps at the beginning, all of the attributes of me were not made fun of, but instead, I was praised for being me. For example, me being a "nerd" helped out my manager and team a great deal when they were confronted with computer issues. It was then that I realized me being different from my family was more valuable than I had ever imagined.

My skills and expertise in the field of Information Technology (IT) grew over time as I learned more about salesforce.com, one of the largest customer relationship management (CRM) software applications widely used in several countries, which accounted for my career growth in corporate America with a six figure income. I would not have the courage to advance in my career if I had the mindset of downplaying my difference as an individual set apart from my family. Embrace your uniqueness and how different you are with your gifts, talents and abilities as it relates to your career path.

Be you, live in your truth and live differently.

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Joshua Jackson