Survival reflex hurts the STEM ecosystem

I previously brought up the inability of many STEMers to rise up in organisations they’d benefit.

I presume they are either apathetic (“people should value my work for what it is”) or have tried and failed at influencing others.

What I missed was the fear component in the equation.

A lot of us get into jobs that reflect our natural tendencies – we like science, technology etc. But some among us see the jobs as means to an end.

A form of survival – money to pay the bills, rent. And that survival mindset guides our actions at work – a survival reflex of sorts.

We don’t want to rock the boat, so we fly under the radar.

Whether that affects your long-term employability, I don’t know. What I do know is you’re risking getting left behind.

If you are a fly-under-the-radar, do my work and clock out type, you even risk being first to be let go when times get tough.

Influence up (towards management), across (to colleagues) and down (your subordinates) or lack thereof can affect this.

So in a way, your survival reflex for today might be counter-intuitive to getting by in the long run.

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