Job searching in general can be its own challenge for any student and let’s face it, deciding how “out” you want to be during your search and in your career can be another variable to throw in the mix that you may not have previously considered. On the other hand, you may be thinking about identity a lot in the workplace, but are unsure of the best way to address it during your job search. Never fear – Career Development is here! Here are a few things to start thinking about:
How does the company celebrate LGBTQ employees?
Working for an organization that supports you not just as an employee but as a person (identities included) is paramount for some graduates today. Does the company you want to work for have an affinity group or resource group that is active and valued? This is a great way to take a temperature of how supportive a workplace can be. These groups allow for positive celebration and inclusion of identities, and act as a way for employees to voice their opinions within a business. It’s also a great way to meet other likeminded employees who identify in the LGBT community.
How does the company protect LGBTQ employees?
While celebration is important, having appropriate rights is equally critical! Refer to the organizations antidiscrimination policies to see whether or not there is specific language for LGBT individuals. How about benefits packages? Are partners covered under insurance plans? What about hormone treatment for medical coverage?
Still having trouble finding information?
If you are unsure of where a workplace stands on LGBT rights, find some current employees and pick their brains. A good old fashioned informational interview is always a simple approach! If you aren’t comfortable talking about LGBT specific topics in this situation, try asking more general questions like “What kind of diversity initiatives does your company support?” There is a plethora of online resources that can be found on our website. Consider getting involved with NU Pride, the student organization Northeastern for LGBT students. Don’t forget about making appointments with our staff. A majority of our counselors are Safe Zone certified and would be happy to work with you to begin your job search right!
Mike Ariale specializes in disability employment, self- advocacy, disclosure and accommodation strategies for the workplace. You can schedule an appointment with him through MyNEU or by calling the front desk at 617-373-2430.