I’ve been contemplating around writing this piece for a few months. However, I’ve finally decided to put pen to paper and share a few thoughts. As one ventures through different paths of life, one learns and grows through different experiences and it is these experiences that I hope to speak to. And thus, the focus of this article – which is around the known and unknown boundaries faced before and during corporate, and as a point of reference how to possibly navigate the path to overcome the boundaries.
Let’s begin as far back as high school, there are many choices one makes or has to make. For instance in this phase one is faced with one of the hardest lifelong decisions which is what to study and where. With this, already comes certain perceptions and choices – such as the best fit both personally and in terms of location. It is here (and probably before) that the known boundaries related to corporate begin to arise. A perception often made of such boundaries is that around the stereotype of engineers, which is that the make-up of this profession is dominated by a majority of males, almost around a 80/20 ratio. This than leads to a historic factor, where one than goes through a gender divide which prevails from a previous time passed – where statistically more men have graduated than females – especially in the previously male dominated fields. Taking a step forward into the working world, if a female finds herself in an oil and gas industry or the likes such as in a data science field she (and other females) are competing against 80% (male dominated) of her workforce. As equality is on the rise and the benefit of diversity recognized – the divide will not be as prevalent in the future. However, these boundaries open up a space to grow, develop and stretch one to the next level.
As I took the leap into data science, I decided to do a masters where I could develop the skills needed to take on this career path more realistically. I arrived at my masters class with more boundaries (known and unknown) than ever faced before. My first encounter of one of the most unknown boundaries arose, that of language. Coming from South Africa English was the only medium required, however across the rest of the globe I have seen the necessity and importance of speaking many languages. Prior to my shift to Europe it was never a boundary yet, it has become one of the largest ones. I have come to see, learn and appreciate the importance and power of languages – for they can open many doors and unlock some boundaries faced.
Thus, moving forward how to navigate through this unknown boundary. The need required here is to adapt and integrate – it is of utmost importance. After all, it is survival of the fittest. Further to the language boundary I sat in a class that had the brightest minds I had ever come across – the calibre of people I sat with were unlike ever before. They were the brightest, most creative and extremely determined bunch of people that I had ever had in one room together. The boundaries faced in this group of people was that we all came from all over the world, with our own thoughts, own culture and own desire to win (in each ones own way) – however when these boundaries crashed it often gave rise to the best diverse produce. It is these results that boundaries can create if they are overcome and used beneficially.
The unknown boundaries dig deeper, as you cross paths with people from different walks of life you will understand that we are all not made of the same cloth. Some will be younger but more advanced, or naturally have stronger aspects and some will carry wisdom that will be to the benefit those entering corporate or taking their next leap. These are the unknown boundaries that are beyond one’s control and it the power to utilize all of these aspects to create a dynamic team, and to build on ones own attributes.
Therefore, leading me towards the end – how to advance and use these boundaries to the benefit of the whole. Firstly, boundaries are bound to exist. The means to navigate through them requires tenacity and resilience, it requires the need to constantly adapt and advance. I leave you with this, to truly become a master of the boundaries that will arise, one needs to accept that the cure for all is in the desire to constantly overcome the known and unknown boundaries, and to challenge the boundaries in ways that allow you to grow and develop into the best version of yourself. For when you walk away from the once known or unknown boundaries may it be to your benefit that you transformed into the best version of yourself!
So how will you navigate your way through the known and unknown boundaries, to your next level of stratified learning in your career?
In closing I’d like to say be grateful for the teachers whom have crossed your path, for they have transformed you from a state of being into a level beyond your own conception.
Until I write again….