As a first generation Asian American student, I’ve had the joy and struggle of fulfilling the famous slogan, “East meets West.” I say this because I constantly see the world from various different perspectives due to my Asian culture background and American societal upbringing. The tug-of-war between both cultures has allowed me to see certain issues and topics with an open mind. A common theme that I have come to realize about myself is that I don’t embrace and express my self-identity enough in the workplace. After returning from a student leadership conference, MAASU (Midwest Asian American Student Union), I have been very passionate and motivated to have myself and others to understand what it means to acknowledge their inner identity.
In the past, and even still today, I have always been hesitant to express my personal identity, specifically cultural identity. The notion of potentially being judged or criticized for having a different perspective is dismaying especially in a professional environment. Though I find it fascinating and productive when people are able to express their self-identity, I, myself still lack the ability to do the same. After my enlightening experience from MAASU, I have come to realize the importance of embracing and expressing personal identity. The importance lies within the aspect of diversity (which will be discussed another time). The two concepts, self-identity and diversity coincide with one another in the sense that self-identity brings new and different ideas to the table because of the different perspectives and background knowledge that individuals bring forth which creates a diverse environment in the workplace.
Personal identity is an important concept because it comes up in many different areas in our lives. In terms of the workplace, it’s important to express one’s identity so that everyone can thrive in a diverse environment. To embrace and express oneself will always be a difficult thing to do under societal circumstances. Personally, I currently have the feeling of excitement as it feels that I have started a new adventure for myself. As an Asian American, I feel very passionate and motivated to entirely embrace and express who I am as an individual and the identity that coexists with it. Stick around as I will be highlighting my learning experiences as I begin to incorporate my identity into my professional career. As always, stay gold my friends!
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Photo Source: Gaylmzhan Abdugalimov|Unsplash