Minorities in Marketing

I'm not perceived as meek in Asia but when i moved to NA my reviewer told me I am. He told me to be more confident & cited some coworkers (all white)Now im getting crappy jobs because of my 'meekness'

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Welcome to how Americans perceives Asians. I’m an American-Born Asian and have been consistently getting this feedback throughout my career. It’s just our values are different. Asian culture values humility, respecting your superiors, and only speaking when there’s an absolute need. In American culture, there are values in playing “the game”. Making sure you’re the loudest in the room so you can demonstrate your perceived value. I’m also the type of person who feels like I don’t need to contribute to a meeting for the sake of contributing. I will contribute if it’s productive. But Americans will see that as “meek and not confident”.

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Sorry about this. If it’s any solace being a non-white person means you’re always going to be too much of this or too little of that. And I don’t know your gender identity but that can add even more to navigate. Sometimes it can help to take the conversation in the direction of culture and how one can misread others — their strengths, motives etc. You can try the “I see how someone could misunderstand the meaning of my tone of voice or style because of the cultural differences. Actually, I’m being thoughtful before I chime in, or that I’d like to hear everyone else out to see how I can add, or it’s really important to me to be business like and respectful...” Good luck.

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I had a mentor who perceived me as too quiet send me to a several-week improv comedy class on their dime. Best opportunity (and subsequent outcomes) of my life. So I’d say, do that.

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I totally feel you on this, friend. As much as I hate talking to “just talk” it keeps you on the radar. A friend recently told me that she always makes it a point to contribute in a meeting. Questions are her go-to and asking insightful/clarifying questions could be a great way to engage. Gonna try it for myself tbh. You got this.

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