Career Advice for Job Seekers
How LGBTQ+ workers can ensure a potential employer is inclusive and accepting
Feeling accepted and included in a workplace is as important, if not more important, than anything else when it comes to being an employee. For the LGBTQ+ community, that sort of assurance as an employee can be absolutely crucial to their job satisfaction. With society still not 100 percent there in terms of acceptance, there’s a serious risk of an LGBTQ+ employee feeling ostracized and mistreated.
The fear of not working in an inclusive organization is enough to make someone question and anguish over the entire process of applying for a job. There are ways, however, to make sure that a potential employer is accepting and inclusive so you can avoid ones that aren’t. Firstly, looking in the right place is key. While there are hundreds of job boards out there that have a wide range of opportunities, looking in more niche places will go a long way.
Find job boards that specifically cater as closely to your field as possible, and start combing through relevant positions. Make sure you read the job posting and try to spot any mention of diversity and inclusion. A company that advertises their commitment to hiring a diverse staff is a good option right off the bat. But, of course, not every job will advertise such a thing—in that case, what do you do?
The best thing you can do is use the interview process as an opportunity to get a sense of company culture, diversity policies, and the company’s overall values. Most interviews include a question portion, so using that time to get an idea of where a company stands on LGBTQ+ employment, diversity, and inclusion, is crucial. After all, landing a job at a company with a toxic work environment might be worse than being unemployed for some.
Generally speaking, finding an employer that’s a good fit really just comes down to research. Glassdoor is an excellent resource for reading reviews from former employees, and can be a great way to spot any potential red flags as early as possible. Look around the Internet for information on the company, and see if you find anything that might indicate that they’re not accepting of LGBTQ+ employees or if any company ownership has problematic views that don’t align with you or your sexual orientation or gender identity.
During your research, you should also look for employees on LinkedIn or other social media platforms to see if there are any current or former LGBTQ+ staff. If there is, that’s a strong indication that the company is both progressive in their views and accepting.
Pronouns are an important factor for many LGBTQ+ individuals, so another way of gauging a company’s inclusivity would be to simply identify your pronouns in the interview process if you feel comfortable doing so. Depending on how the interviewer responds, you’ll be able to get a good idea of whether or not they’re respectful and accepting of however you identify.
Right now, many people are reentering the workforce after a difficult year. That means it’s a tough market out there for job seekers no matter who you are, so doing your due diligence will put you ahead of the curve.
Being perceptive is key when it comes to navigating the questions and concerns you might have about an employer’s inclusivity and acceptance. Getting as much of an understanding as possible before getting in too deep with the process of where they stand on these important issues could potentially help you avoid an employer that just doesn’t align with who you are, the values you hold dear, and what’s important to you as an employee.
— Article by Sean Kelly, an analyst researching the latest industry trends for College Recruiter
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