Also, something I think is often overlooked:
A lot of the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” people have an outdated model in mind when they preach this mantra.
They still think things are like they were, say 40 years ago when you could get a job running a cash register at a grocery store at 19 and slowly move up the ranks and, if you work hard at it, end up as a company executive by the time you’re in your 40s.
But it doesn’t work that way anymore. The expendable nature of front line labor and the ever growing glass ceiling means that advancement opportunities are harder to come and by no means a given, even for the hardest workers.
Here’s a good example: A former manager of mine did a great job, ran his store well, made good money for the company. Basically he did everything right. He wanted to move up, his manager kept telling him it was only a matter of time and to keep doing this and that in the mean time.
Finally, a position at Regional opened up…and the company hired someone who HAD NEVER WORKED THERE before to take the role instead of my manager who had been busting his ass for FIVE years and knew the company inside and out.
The response he got from them was basically a nicely worded version of: Tough shit.
There are MANY front line employees who bust their asses and have remarkably little to show for it. It’s not that we don’t (I say we because I’m one of them too) want to move up, it’s just that it’s so damned difficult to do so, even if you’re a model employee.