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Anyone like this as much as we do ?

People often find comfort in black-and-white thinking. While choosing from two clearly defined categories might seem easy, the truth is, it rarely serves you well. Rather than black and white, the world is largely composed of shades of gray, or even different colors entirely — this is especially true when it comes to gender. To apply this-or-that thinking to gender is to deny the existence and experiences of a broad range of individuals: those who are genderqueer, non-binary, agender, gender-nonconforming or anything between or outside the male/female gender spectrum.

If you identify as a member of one of those groups, you may be all too familiar with that sort of thinking, including at work. It’s not always easy to be an LGBTQ+ individual in the workplace, and identifying outside of the traditional gender spectrum comes with its own unique challenges. You might find your pronouns, attire and expression being invalidated, unintentionally or not, by your colleagues.

The good news? The increased visibility of non-binary identities means that more companies and employees are opening up their minds. So if you’re a gender-nonconforming individual, or just an ally, there are more opportunities for you to bring your authentic self to work than ever. But how, exactly, do you go about doing that?

We chatted with Sam Brandt, a Technical Writer at life insurance startup Haven Life who is genderqueer and has openly identified as such in their last two workplaces. Our conversation below covers advocating for yourself in the workplace, evaluating companies for inclusion and how to support your trans and gender-nonconforming colleagues at work — here are the highlights.

Glassdoor: Can you talk a little bit about how being a genderqueer, non-binary individual has impacted your career journey thus far?

Sam Brandt: I’ve identified as genderqueer since college, but I only decided to change my pronouns in 2015. That was the first thing that I did that affected not only how other people talk to me, but how I’m talked about. When I came out and started to change my pronouns, though, I didn’t do it at the company where I worked at the time. I’d had several indications that it wouldn’t really go over well, and that it would be asking a lot from the leadership team to try and get them on my side. So I held off, and then around that time I moved to New York City.

After I moved to New York, I put my pronouns on my resume and on my LinkedIn profile because I wanted to make it very clear to wherever I applied that these are my pronouns and if you question whether or not you want to hire me because of it, I don’t even want to hear from you. If you think that’s going to be too difficult for you, don’t even call me, because I wanted to bring my entire self to work. I had a good experience with all of my coworkers at the company I ended up working for — I wasn’t afraid of using my pronouns and I didn’t have any problems.

Then I was actually recruited to Haven Life, which was cool because they already knew about my pronouns and they wanted to make sure I was comfortable. I actually had a brief conversation with the head of our people and culture team and she asked if I had any questions or if I had anything I wanted to talk about — they made sure that I knew I could ask, and they were on my side.

Glassdoor: That’s great to hear. What has working at Haven Life been like since that initial interview experience?

Sam Brandt: I started on January 2nd, and they sent a little blurb about me on Slack that included my pronouns and a few fun facts about myself. It was on a day where a lot of people were still out of town for the holidays, though. After a month or two, I felt like I was getting stared at a lot. I was having to have the pronoun correction conversation a lot so I went to Janna, the Head of People & Culture, and told her I thought we could do something about it. She sent an email to all the tech leads asking them to talk to everyone in their group and say something like, “We have a new employee and they use these pronouns. Can you try to be aware of it?” which was awesome.

Janna and her team also started putting their pronouns in their email signatures, which was great. And then I suggested to them that we put pronouns in our face gallery, which is an image gallery of everyone at the company with bios included. That was amazing because it wasn’t just singling out my bio as different — everyone’s got their pronouns in theirs. People here want to do the right thing. If I have to correct anybody, they always apologize and we just move forward. It’s been a really good experience.

Not every person you look at may identify in the way that you see them. 

Glassdoor: Have you always taken such an active role in educating your colleagues about gender identity, or is it something you’ve had to work up to over time?

Sam Brandt: I’ve always been in employee resource groups for queer and trans employees, but it was only with my own pronoun change that I’ve had to really become an advocate. Within employee resource groups you do events and things, but getting people to use the right pronoun for you can be an everyday challenge. I don’t always correct people. I’m not talking to every barista that says “Ma’am, can I help you?” or “Sir, can I get something for you?” I don’t have the time for that. But at work, I see all these people 40 or more hours a week. It’s important to me to make sure not only that they know this about me, but that I create a space where anyone who comes in after me doesn’t see it as quite as much of a challenge — that more people know that some people use different or alternative pronouns.

So it is something I’ve worked up to over time, but I had a lot of help and that is so important. It makes it easier to step forward in confidence and say, “This is who I am,” and know that I have the backing of the people here. People here are open and respectful and on my side, which is not always the case, and that can really help make someone more comfortable advocating for themselves.

Glassdoor: Deciding whether or not to come out in the workplace can be tough. In your experience, what are a few signs that a company is likely to be accepting and supportive? Conversely, what are some red flags that a company will NOT be accepting or supportive?

Sam Brandt: You can always ask questions in your interviews and you should, because you’re shopping around just as much as they are. Find out if they have an employee resource group or if they have gender-neutral or all-gender restrooms available. That’s one thing I’m lucky for here, we have a gender-neutral single bathroom. It’s nice because having to make that conscious decision of going into a restroom that isn’t aligned with my gender is something I deal with all the time, and I didn’t realize how much of a relief it was to not have to think about it. You can also ask if they cover medical transition costs and if anyone at the company has transitioned or come out before. One of the things that made me comfortable at my last company was that I knew that two women had come out and transitioned before I got there so there were two other trans people at the company.

Another thing that people can do is use their base instincts. Think about how comfortable you are in you interview. How do people introduce themselves when they meet you? Do they add their pronoun, or is it listed somewhere? Do they seem weirded out when you add your pronoun? If the people interviewing you sort of blow by your pronouns and your identity, they’re likely going to continue to be uncomfortable. Sometimes a company that says all the right things will still have employees that don’t treat you well, or a company that says the wrong thing may be staffed with employees who care a lot, so it’s not simple. I say trust your gut and also know that your experience as a non-binary person or gender-fluid person is valid.

Glassdoor: Of course, coming out is an experience that’s always unique to the individual — but do you have any broad pieces of advice or words of wisdom for individuals who are in the process of doing so?

Sam Brandt: Coming out in the workplace is about bringing your whole self to work. You’re valuable — they’re hiring you not just for your job experience or skill set but for your knowledge, including your knowledge about yourself. Don’t be afraid to see that as a value that you bring to the table. If you decide to come out and you want to make changes in your organization, find people who are allies at the company. It’s really easy to burn out if you try to deal with pushback by yourself, and it will make you feel stronger to have people who you can go to, even if it’s just to vent when you’re struggling.

You’re going to have days where it seems really difficult, and you’re going to be tasked with people who consistently get it wrong. That doesn’t mean they aren’t trying, though — some people get scared. I have a very nice coworker who misgendered me the first moment I met her, but she had no way of knowing — I’m bad at remembering to add my pronouns as part of an introduction — and I said, oh, no, actually my pronouns are they, them. She froze over, apologized, felt really bad and then avoided me for four months because she was so embarrassed. There are a few jerks out there you’re going to encounter and that’s tough, but a lot of times people do want to do the right thing — they want to treat you with respect and when they mess up, they’re mortified. I think just recognizing that it’s mostly about them and not about me has really helped.

We should broaden our understanding of each other and the world, even if some changes challenge you.

Glassdoor: Some people want to be supportive but are unsure how to do so. What do you think are some of the best ways employees can show up as allies for their trans and gender-nonconforming colleagues?

Sam Brandt: For individuals, I would say introduce yourself with your pronouns, put your pronouns in your Twitter bio, put them in your email signature. Putting your pronouns out there shows that you understand that pronouns matter and they’re not just something you can assume about each other. Then, just accept that you might have to be corrected over and over again. It’s not only frustrating for you, it’s frustrating for the person. Everybody feels differently, but for me being misgendered is like listening to music and someone plays an incredibly wrong note.

I talked with that same coworker who panicked and then avoided me because she felt so bad — she told me that she didn’t want to mess up. Her husband suggested that she tell him a story about me every day to practice using the right pronouns. My heart warmed so much when she told me that. Another friend told me that he would just stop dead in the middle of a sentence when he got my pronouns wrong and just repeat the whole sentence again with the correct pronouns. It’s about being deliberate and thinking before you make assumptions. When people started coming out more about their sexual orientation in the workplace, people had to learn that not every man they work with is married to a woman, and vice versa. It’s the same way with gender — not every person you look at may identify in the way that you see them. 

Glassdoor: What about employers — how can they create a sense of inclusion and belonging for trans and gender-nonconforming employees?

Sam Brandt: For employers, I’d say think about gender-neutral bathrooms, transitioning policies, what your health plan includes and adding pronouns in bios, introductions and email signatures, and then making sure your human resources people are advocates for their employees. I also think that when companies are selecting partners or vendors, they should ask, “What do you do for your employees? How do you help everyone at your company come to work as themselves, or help affirm your consumers?” Companies can use their leverage, their power, their money to be advocates for their employees.

Glassdoor: Is there anything else on your mind right now?

Sam Brandt: I think it’s easier than people think to make their non-binary, gender non-conforming, genderqueer and trans coworkers feel respected. Maybe it takes a little extra thought before you speak — a little more revision — but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Many people want to act like everything we do should be easy, and if it’s not easy, we shouldn’t actively challenge it because we don’t want to be a burden. But that’s not what I want. I think we should broaden our understanding of each other and the world, even if some changes challenge you.

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Open Jobs at Haven Life

Pricing and Technology Actuary
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
DevSecOps
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Data Analyst
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Full Stack Developer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Front End Developer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Product Actuary
Haven Life
Boston, MA
23 hours ago 23h
QA Manual Engineer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Legal Counsel
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
UX/UI Designer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
User Experience Designer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h

by MMS Group
0Comments

Anyone else like this post as much as us ?

People often find comfort in black-and-white thinking. While choosing from two clearly defined categories might seem easy, the truth is, it rarely serves you well. Rather than black and white, the world is largely composed of shades of gray, or even different colors entirely — this is especially true when it comes to gender. To apply this-or-that thinking to gender is to deny the existence and experiences of a broad range of individuals: those who are genderqueer, non-binary, agender, gender-nonconforming or anything between or outside the male/female gender spectrum.

If you identify as a member of one of those groups, you may be all too familiar with that sort of thinking, including at work. It’s not always easy to be an LGBTQ+ individual in the workplace, and identifying outside of the traditional gender spectrum comes with its own unique challenges. You might find your pronouns, attire and expression being invalidated, unintentionally or not, by your colleagues.

The good news? The increased visibility of non-binary identities means that more companies and employees are opening up their minds. So if you’re a gender-nonconforming individual, or just an ally, there are more opportunities for you to bring your authentic self to work than ever. But how, exactly, do you go about doing that?

We chatted with Sam Brandt, a Technical Writer at life insurance startup Haven Life who is genderqueer and has openly identified as such in their last two workplaces. Our conversation below covers advocating for yourself in the workplace, evaluating companies for inclusion and how to support your trans and gender-nonconforming colleagues at work — here are the highlights.

Glassdoor: Can you talk a little bit about how being a genderqueer, non-binary individual has impacted your career journey thus far?

Sam Brandt: I’ve identified as genderqueer since college, but I only decided to change my pronouns in 2015. That was the first thing that I did that affected not only how other people talk to me, but how I’m talked about. When I came out and started to change my pronouns, though, I didn’t do it at the company where I worked at the time. I’d had several indications that it wouldn’t really go over well, and that it would be asking a lot from the leadership team to try and get them on my side. So I held off, and then around that time I moved to New York City.

After I moved to New York, I put my pronouns on my resume and on my LinkedIn profile because I wanted to make it very clear to wherever I applied that these are my pronouns and if you question whether or not you want to hire me because of it, I don’t even want to hear from you. If you think that’s going to be too difficult for you, don’t even call me, because I wanted to bring my entire self to work. I had a good experience with all of my coworkers at the company I ended up working for — I wasn’t afraid of using my pronouns and I didn’t have any problems.

Then I was actually recruited to Haven Life, which was cool because they already knew about my pronouns and they wanted to make sure I was comfortable. I actually had a brief conversation with the head of our people and culture team and she asked if I had any questions or if I had anything I wanted to talk about — they made sure that I knew I could ask, and they were on my side.

Glassdoor: That’s great to hear. What has working at Haven Life been like since that initial interview experience?

Sam Brandt: I started on January 2nd, and they sent a little blurb about me on Slack that included my pronouns and a few fun facts about myself. It was on a day where a lot of people were still out of town for the holidays, though. After a month or two, I felt like I was getting stared at a lot. I was having to have the pronoun correction conversation a lot so I went to Janna, the Head of People & Culture, and told her I thought we could do something about it. She sent an email to all the tech leads asking them to talk to everyone in their group and say something like, “We have a new employee and they use these pronouns. Can you try to be aware of it?” which was awesome.

Janna and her team also started putting their pronouns in their email signatures, which was great. And then I suggested to them that we put pronouns in our face gallery, which is an image gallery of everyone at the company with bios included. That was amazing because it wasn’t just singling out my bio as different — everyone’s got their pronouns in theirs. People here want to do the right thing. If I have to correct anybody, they always apologize and we just move forward. It’s been a really good experience.

Not every person you look at may identify in the way that you see them. 

Glassdoor: Have you always taken such an active role in educating your colleagues about gender identity, or is it something you’ve had to work up to over time?

Sam Brandt: I’ve always been in employee resource groups for queer and trans employees, but it was only with my own pronoun change that I’ve had to really become an advocate. Within employee resource groups you do events and things, but getting people to use the right pronoun for you can be an everyday challenge. I don’t always correct people. I’m not talking to every barista that says “Ma’am, can I help you?” or “Sir, can I get something for you?” I don’t have the time for that. But at work, I see all these people 40 or more hours a week. It’s important to me to make sure not only that they know this about me, but that I create a space where anyone who comes in after me doesn’t see it as quite as much of a challenge — that more people know that some people use different or alternative pronouns.

So it is something I’ve worked up to over time, but I had a lot of help and that is so important. It makes it easier to step forward in confidence and say, “This is who I am,” and know that I have the backing of the people here. People here are open and respectful and on my side, which is not always the case, and that can really help make someone more comfortable advocating for themselves.

Glassdoor: Deciding whether or not to come out in the workplace can be tough. In your experience, what are a few signs that a company is likely to be accepting and supportive? Conversely, what are some red flags that a company will NOT be accepting or supportive?

Sam Brandt: You can always ask questions in your interviews and you should, because you’re shopping around just as much as they are. Find out if they have an employee resource group or if they have gender-neutral or all-gender restrooms available. That’s one thing I’m lucky for here, we have a gender-neutral single bathroom. It’s nice because having to make that conscious decision of going into a restroom that isn’t aligned with my gender is something I deal with all the time, and I didn’t realize how much of a relief it was to not have to think about it. You can also ask if they cover medical transition costs and if anyone at the company has transitioned or come out before. One of the things that made me comfortable at my last company was that I knew that two women had come out and transitioned before I got there so there were two other trans people at the company.

Another thing that people can do is use their base instincts. Think about how comfortable you are in you interview. How do people introduce themselves when they meet you? Do they add their pronoun, or is it listed somewhere? Do they seem weirded out when you add your pronoun? If the people interviewing you sort of blow by your pronouns and your identity, they’re likely going to continue to be uncomfortable. Sometimes a company that says all the right things will still have employees that don’t treat you well, or a company that says the wrong thing may be staffed with employees who care a lot, so it’s not simple. I say trust your gut and also know that your experience as a non-binary person or gender-fluid person is valid.

Glassdoor: Of course, coming out is an experience that’s always unique to the individual — but do you have any broad pieces of advice or words of wisdom for individuals who are in the process of doing so?

Sam Brandt: Coming out in the workplace is about bringing your whole self to work. You’re valuable — they’re hiring you not just for your job experience or skill set but for your knowledge, including your knowledge about yourself. Don’t be afraid to see that as a value that you bring to the table. If you decide to come out and you want to make changes in your organization, find people who are allies at the company. It’s really easy to burn out if you try to deal with pushback by yourself, and it will make you feel stronger to have people who you can go to, even if it’s just to vent when you’re struggling.

You’re going to have days where it seems really difficult, and you’re going to be tasked with people who consistently get it wrong. That doesn’t mean they aren’t trying, though — some people get scared. I have a very nice coworker who misgendered me the first moment I met her, but she had no way of knowing — I’m bad at remembering to add my pronouns as part of an introduction — and I said, oh, no, actually my pronouns are they, them. She froze over, apologized, felt really bad and then avoided me for four months because she was so embarrassed. There are a few jerks out there you’re going to encounter and that’s tough, but a lot of times people do want to do the right thing — they want to treat you with respect and when they mess up, they’re mortified. I think just recognizing that it’s mostly about them and not about me has really helped.

We should broaden our understanding of each other and the world, even if some changes challenge you.

Glassdoor: Some people want to be supportive but are unsure how to do so. What do you think are some of the best ways employees can show up as allies for their trans and gender-nonconforming colleagues?

Sam Brandt: For individuals, I would say introduce yourself with your pronouns, put your pronouns in your Twitter bio, put them in your email signature. Putting your pronouns out there shows that you understand that pronouns matter and they’re not just something you can assume about each other. Then, just accept that you might have to be corrected over and over again. It’s not only frustrating for you, it’s frustrating for the person. Everybody feels differently, but for me being misgendered is like listening to music and someone plays an incredibly wrong note.

I talked with that same coworker who panicked and then avoided me because she felt so bad — she told me that she didn’t want to mess up. Her husband suggested that she tell him a story about me every day to practice using the right pronouns. My heart warmed so much when she told me that. Another friend told me that he would just stop dead in the middle of a sentence when he got my pronouns wrong and just repeat the whole sentence again with the correct pronouns. It’s about being deliberate and thinking before you make assumptions. When people started coming out more about their sexual orientation in the workplace, people had to learn that not every man they work with is married to a woman, and vice versa. It’s the same way with gender — not every person you look at may identify in the way that you see them. 

Glassdoor: What about employers — how can they create a sense of inclusion and belonging for trans and gender-nonconforming employees?

Sam Brandt: For employers, I’d say think about gender-neutral bathrooms, transitioning policies, what your health plan includes and adding pronouns in bios, introductions and email signatures, and then making sure your human resources people are advocates for their employees. I also think that when companies are selecting partners or vendors, they should ask, “What do you do for your employees? How do you help everyone at your company come to work as themselves, or help affirm your consumers?” Companies can use their leverage, their power, their money to be advocates for their employees.

Glassdoor: Is there anything else on your mind right now?

Sam Brandt: I think it’s easier than people think to make their non-binary, gender non-conforming, genderqueer and trans coworkers feel respected. Maybe it takes a little extra thought before you speak — a little more revision — but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Many people want to act like everything we do should be easy, and if it’s not easy, we shouldn’t actively challenge it because we don’t want to be a burden. But that’s not what I want. I think we should broaden our understanding of each other and the world, even if some changes challenge you.

Evergreen Banner 1

Open Jobs at Haven Life

DevSecOps
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Product Actuary
Haven Life
Boston, MA
23 hours ago 23h
Site Reliability Engineer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Front End Developer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Pricing and Technology Actuary
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
QA Manual Engineer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
UX/UI Designer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Legal Counsel
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Data Analyst
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Full Stack Developer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h

by MMS Group
0Comments

Will you give a share for for job search?

People often find comfort in black-and-white thinking. While choosing from two clearly defined categories might seem easy, the truth is, it rarely serves you well. Rather than black and white, the world is largely composed of shades of gray, or even different colors entirely — this is especially true when it comes to gender. To apply this-or-that thinking to gender is to deny the existence and experiences of a broad range of individuals: those who are genderqueer, non-binary, agender, gender-nonconforming or anything between or outside the male/female gender spectrum.

If you identify as a member of one of those groups, you may be all too familiar with that sort of thinking, including at work. It’s not always easy to be an LGBTQ+ individual in the workplace, and identifying outside of the traditional gender spectrum comes with its own unique challenges. You might find your pronouns, attire and expression being invalidated, unintentionally or not, by your colleagues.

The good news? The increased visibility of non-binary identities means that more companies and employees are opening up their minds. So if you’re a gender-nonconforming individual, or just an ally, there are more opportunities for you to bring your authentic self to work than ever. But how, exactly, do you go about doing that?

We chatted with Sam Brandt, a Technical Writer at life insurance startup Haven Life who is genderqueer and has openly identified as such in their last two workplaces. Our conversation below covers advocating for yourself in the workplace, evaluating companies for inclusion and how to support your trans and gender-nonconforming colleagues at work — here are the highlights.

Glassdoor: Can you talk a little bit about how being a genderqueer, non-binary individual has impacted your career journey thus far?

Sam Brandt: I’ve identified as genderqueer since college, but I only decided to change my pronouns in 2015. That was the first thing that I did that affected not only how other people talk to me, but how I’m talked about. When I came out and started to change my pronouns, though, I didn’t do it at the company where I worked at the time. I’d had several indications that it wouldn’t really go over well, and that it would be asking a lot from the leadership team to try and get them on my side. So I held off, and then around that time I moved to New York City.

After I moved to New York, I put my pronouns on my resume and on my LinkedIn profile because I wanted to make it very clear to wherever I applied that these are my pronouns and if you question whether or not you want to hire me because of it, I don’t even want to hear from you. If you think that’s going to be too difficult for you, don’t even call me, because I wanted to bring my entire self to work. I had a good experience with all of my coworkers at the company I ended up working for — I wasn’t afraid of using my pronouns and I didn’t have any problems.

Then I was actually recruited to Haven Life, which was cool because they already knew about my pronouns and they wanted to make sure I was comfortable. I actually had a brief conversation with the head of our people and culture team and she asked if I had any questions or if I had anything I wanted to talk about — they made sure that I knew I could ask, and they were on my side.

Glassdoor: That’s great to hear. What has working at Haven Life been like since that initial interview experience?

Sam Brandt: I started on January 2nd, and they sent a little blurb about me on Slack that included my pronouns and a few fun facts about myself. It was on a day where a lot of people were still out of town for the holidays, though. After a month or two, I felt like I was getting stared at a lot. I was having to have the pronoun correction conversation a lot so I went to Janna, the Head of People & Culture, and told her I thought we could do something about it. She sent an email to all the tech leads asking them to talk to everyone in their group and say something like, “We have a new employee and they use these pronouns. Can you try to be aware of it?” which was awesome.

Janna and her team also started putting their pronouns in their email signatures, which was great. And then I suggested to them that we put pronouns in our face gallery, which is an image gallery of everyone at the company with bios included. That was amazing because it wasn’t just singling out my bio as different — everyone’s got their pronouns in theirs. People here want to do the right thing. If I have to correct anybody, they always apologize and we just move forward. It’s been a really good experience.

Not every person you look at may identify in the way that you see them. 

Glassdoor: Have you always taken such an active role in educating your colleagues about gender identity, or is it something you’ve had to work up to over time?

Sam Brandt: I’ve always been in employee resource groups for queer and trans employees, but it was only with my own pronoun change that I’ve had to really become an advocate. Within employee resource groups you do events and things, but getting people to use the right pronoun for you can be an everyday challenge. I don’t always correct people. I’m not talking to every barista that says “Ma’am, can I help you?” or “Sir, can I get something for you?” I don’t have the time for that. But at work, I see all these people 40 or more hours a week. It’s important to me to make sure not only that they know this about me, but that I create a space where anyone who comes in after me doesn’t see it as quite as much of a challenge — that more people know that some people use different or alternative pronouns.

So it is something I’ve worked up to over time, but I had a lot of help and that is so important. It makes it easier to step forward in confidence and say, “This is who I am,” and know that I have the backing of the people here. People here are open and respectful and on my side, which is not always the case, and that can really help make someone more comfortable advocating for themselves.

Glassdoor: Deciding whether or not to come out in the workplace can be tough. In your experience, what are a few signs that a company is likely to be accepting and supportive? Conversely, what are some red flags that a company will NOT be accepting or supportive?

Sam Brandt: You can always ask questions in your interviews and you should, because you’re shopping around just as much as they are. Find out if they have an employee resource group or if they have gender-neutral or all-gender restrooms available. That’s one thing I’m lucky for here, we have a gender-neutral single bathroom. It’s nice because having to make that conscious decision of going into a restroom that isn’t aligned with my gender is something I deal with all the time, and I didn’t realize how much of a relief it was to not have to think about it. You can also ask if they cover medical transition costs and if anyone at the company has transitioned or come out before. One of the things that made me comfortable at my last company was that I knew that two women had come out and transitioned before I got there so there were two other trans people at the company.

Another thing that people can do is use their base instincts. Think about how comfortable you are in you interview. How do people introduce themselves when they meet you? Do they add their pronoun, or is it listed somewhere? Do they seem weirded out when you add your pronoun? If the people interviewing you sort of blow by your pronouns and your identity, they’re likely going to continue to be uncomfortable. Sometimes a company that says all the right things will still have employees that don’t treat you well, or a company that says the wrong thing may be staffed with employees who care a lot, so it’s not simple. I say trust your gut and also know that your experience as a non-binary person or gender-fluid person is valid.

Glassdoor: Of course, coming out is an experience that’s always unique to the individual — but do you have any broad pieces of advice or words of wisdom for individuals who are in the process of doing so?

Sam Brandt: Coming out in the workplace is about bringing your whole self to work. You’re valuable — they’re hiring you not just for your job experience or skill set but for your knowledge, including your knowledge about yourself. Don’t be afraid to see that as a value that you bring to the table. If you decide to come out and you want to make changes in your organization, find people who are allies at the company. It’s really easy to burn out if you try to deal with pushback by yourself, and it will make you feel stronger to have people who you can go to, even if it’s just to vent when you’re struggling.

You’re going to have days where it seems really difficult, and you’re going to be tasked with people who consistently get it wrong. That doesn’t mean they aren’t trying, though — some people get scared. I have a very nice coworker who misgendered me the first moment I met her, but she had no way of knowing — I’m bad at remembering to add my pronouns as part of an introduction — and I said, oh, no, actually my pronouns are they, them. She froze over, apologized, felt really bad and then avoided me for four months because she was so embarrassed. There are a few jerks out there you’re going to encounter and that’s tough, but a lot of times people do want to do the right thing — they want to treat you with respect and when they mess up, they’re mortified. I think just recognizing that it’s mostly about them and not about me has really helped.

We should broaden our understanding of each other and the world, even if some changes challenge you.

Glassdoor: Some people want to be supportive but are unsure how to do so. What do you think are some of the best ways employees can show up as allies for their trans and gender-nonconforming colleagues?

Sam Brandt: For individuals, I would say introduce yourself with your pronouns, put your pronouns in your Twitter bio, put them in your email signature. Putting your pronouns out there shows that you understand that pronouns matter and they’re not just something you can assume about each other. Then, just accept that you might have to be corrected over and over again. It’s not only frustrating for you, it’s frustrating for the person. Everybody feels differently, but for me being misgendered is like listening to music and someone plays an incredibly wrong note.

I talked with that same coworker who panicked and then avoided me because she felt so bad — she told me that she didn’t want to mess up. Her husband suggested that she tell him a story about me every day to practice using the right pronouns. My heart warmed so much when she told me that. Another friend told me that he would just stop dead in the middle of a sentence when he got my pronouns wrong and just repeat the whole sentence again with the correct pronouns. It’s about being deliberate and thinking before you make assumptions. When people started coming out more about their sexual orientation in the workplace, people had to learn that not every man they work with is married to a woman, and vice versa. It’s the same way with gender — not every person you look at may identify in the way that you see them. 

Glassdoor: What about employers — how can they create a sense of inclusion and belonging for trans and gender-nonconforming employees?

Sam Brandt: For employers, I’d say think about gender-neutral bathrooms, transitioning policies, what your health plan includes and adding pronouns in bios, introductions and email signatures, and then making sure your human resources people are advocates for their employees. I also think that when companies are selecting partners or vendors, they should ask, “What do you do for your employees? How do you help everyone at your company come to work as themselves, or help affirm your consumers?” Companies can use their leverage, their power, their money to be advocates for their employees.

Glassdoor: Is there anything else on your mind right now?

Sam Brandt: I think it’s easier than people think to make their non-binary, gender non-conforming, genderqueer and trans coworkers feel respected. Maybe it takes a little extra thought before you speak — a little more revision — but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Many people want to act like everything we do should be easy, and if it’s not easy, we shouldn’t actively challenge it because we don’t want to be a burden. But that’s not what I want. I think we should broaden our understanding of each other and the world, even if some changes challenge you.

Evergreen Banner 1

Open Jobs at Haven Life

Pricing and Technology Actuary
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Site Reliability Engineer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Product Actuary
Haven Life
Boston, MA
23 hours ago 23h
Legal Counsel
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
DevSecOps
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
QA Manual Engineer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
UX/UI Designer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Data Analyst
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Front End Developer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
User Experience Designer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h

by MMS Group
0Comments

Anyone else enjoy job hunting as much as us ?

People often find comfort in black-and-white thinking. While choosing from two clearly defined categories might seem easy, the truth is, it rarely serves you well. Rather than black and white, the world is largely composed of shades of gray, or even different colors entirely — this is especially true when it comes to gender. To apply this-or-that thinking to gender is to deny the existence and experiences of a broad range of individuals: those who are genderqueer, non-binary, agender, gender-nonconforming or anything between or outside the male/female gender spectrum.

If you identify as a member of one of those groups, you may be all too familiar with that sort of thinking, including at work. It’s not always easy to be an LGBTQ+ individual in the workplace, and identifying outside of the traditional gender spectrum comes with its own unique challenges. You might find your pronouns, attire and expression being invalidated, unintentionally or not, by your colleagues.

The good news? The increased visibility of non-binary identities means that more companies and employees are opening up their minds. So if you’re a gender-nonconforming individual, or just an ally, there are more opportunities for you to bring your authentic self to work than ever. But how, exactly, do you go about doing that?

We chatted with Sam Brandt, a Technical Writer at life insurance startup Haven Life who is genderqueer and has openly identified as such in their last two workplaces. Our conversation below covers advocating for yourself in the workplace, evaluating companies for inclusion and how to support your trans and gender-nonconforming colleagues at work — here are the highlights.

Glassdoor: Can you talk a little bit about how being a genderqueer, non-binary individual has impacted your career journey thus far?

Sam Brandt: I’ve identified as genderqueer since college, but I only decided to change my pronouns in 2015. That was the first thing that I did that affected not only how other people talk to me, but how I’m talked about. When I came out and started to change my pronouns, though, I didn’t do it at the company where I worked at the time. I’d had several indications that it wouldn’t really go over well, and that it would be asking a lot from the leadership team to try and get them on my side. So I held off, and then around that time I moved to New York City.

After I moved to New York, I put my pronouns on my resume and on my LinkedIn profile because I wanted to make it very clear to wherever I applied that these are my pronouns and if you question whether or not you want to hire me because of it, I don’t even want to hear from you. If you think that’s going to be too difficult for you, don’t even call me, because I wanted to bring my entire self to work. I had a good experience with all of my coworkers at the company I ended up working for — I wasn’t afraid of using my pronouns and I didn’t have any problems.

Then I was actually recruited to Haven Life, which was cool because they already knew about my pronouns and they wanted to make sure I was comfortable. I actually had a brief conversation with the head of our people and culture team and she asked if I had any questions or if I had anything I wanted to talk about — they made sure that I knew I could ask, and they were on my side.

Glassdoor: That’s great to hear. What has working at Haven Life been like since that initial interview experience?

Sam Brandt: I started on January 2nd, and they sent a little blurb about me on Slack that included my pronouns and a few fun facts about myself. It was on a day where a lot of people were still out of town for the holidays, though. After a month or two, I felt like I was getting stared at a lot. I was having to have the pronoun correction conversation a lot so I went to Janna, the Head of People & Culture, and told her I thought we could do something about it. She sent an email to all the tech leads asking them to talk to everyone in their group and say something like, “We have a new employee and they use these pronouns. Can you try to be aware of it?” which was awesome.

Janna and her team also started putting their pronouns in their email signatures, which was great. And then I suggested to them that we put pronouns in our face gallery, which is an image gallery of everyone at the company with bios included. That was amazing because it wasn’t just singling out my bio as different — everyone’s got their pronouns in theirs. People here want to do the right thing. If I have to correct anybody, they always apologize and we just move forward. It’s been a really good experience.

Not every person you look at may identify in the way that you see them. 

Glassdoor: Have you always taken such an active role in educating your colleagues about gender identity, or is it something you’ve had to work up to over time?

Sam Brandt: I’ve always been in employee resource groups for queer and trans employees, but it was only with my own pronoun change that I’ve had to really become an advocate. Within employee resource groups you do events and things, but getting people to use the right pronoun for you can be an everyday challenge. I don’t always correct people. I’m not talking to every barista that says “Ma’am, can I help you?” or “Sir, can I get something for you?” I don’t have the time for that. But at work, I see all these people 40 or more hours a week. It’s important to me to make sure not only that they know this about me, but that I create a space where anyone who comes in after me doesn’t see it as quite as much of a challenge — that more people know that some people use different or alternative pronouns.

So it is something I’ve worked up to over time, but I had a lot of help and that is so important. It makes it easier to step forward in confidence and say, “This is who I am,” and know that I have the backing of the people here. People here are open and respectful and on my side, which is not always the case, and that can really help make someone more comfortable advocating for themselves.

Glassdoor: Deciding whether or not to come out in the workplace can be tough. In your experience, what are a few signs that a company is likely to be accepting and supportive? Conversely, what are some red flags that a company will NOT be accepting or supportive?

Sam Brandt: You can always ask questions in your interviews and you should, because you’re shopping around just as much as they are. Find out if they have an employee resource group or if they have gender-neutral or all-gender restrooms available. That’s one thing I’m lucky for here, we have a gender-neutral single bathroom. It’s nice because having to make that conscious decision of going into a restroom that isn’t aligned with my gender is something I deal with all the time, and I didn’t realize how much of a relief it was to not have to think about it. You can also ask if they cover medical transition costs and if anyone at the company has transitioned or come out before. One of the things that made me comfortable at my last company was that I knew that two women had come out and transitioned before I got there so there were two other trans people at the company.

Another thing that people can do is use their base instincts. Think about how comfortable you are in you interview. How do people introduce themselves when they meet you? Do they add their pronoun, or is it listed somewhere? Do they seem weirded out when you add your pronoun? If the people interviewing you sort of blow by your pronouns and your identity, they’re likely going to continue to be uncomfortable. Sometimes a company that says all the right things will still have employees that don’t treat you well, or a company that says the wrong thing may be staffed with employees who care a lot, so it’s not simple. I say trust your gut and also know that your experience as a non-binary person or gender-fluid person is valid.

Glassdoor: Of course, coming out is an experience that’s always unique to the individual — but do you have any broad pieces of advice or words of wisdom for individuals who are in the process of doing so?

Sam Brandt: Coming out in the workplace is about bringing your whole self to work. You’re valuable — they’re hiring you not just for your job experience or skill set but for your knowledge, including your knowledge about yourself. Don’t be afraid to see that as a value that you bring to the table. If you decide to come out and you want to make changes in your organization, find people who are allies at the company. It’s really easy to burn out if you try to deal with pushback by yourself, and it will make you feel stronger to have people who you can go to, even if it’s just to vent when you’re struggling.

You’re going to have days where it seems really difficult, and you’re going to be tasked with people who consistently get it wrong. That doesn’t mean they aren’t trying, though — some people get scared. I have a very nice coworker who misgendered me the first moment I met her, but she had no way of knowing — I’m bad at remembering to add my pronouns as part of an introduction — and I said, oh, no, actually my pronouns are they, them. She froze over, apologized, felt really bad and then avoided me for four months because she was so embarrassed. There are a few jerks out there you’re going to encounter and that’s tough, but a lot of times people do want to do the right thing — they want to treat you with respect and when they mess up, they’re mortified. I think just recognizing that it’s mostly about them and not about me has really helped.

We should broaden our understanding of each other and the world, even if some changes challenge you.

Glassdoor: Some people want to be supportive but are unsure how to do so. What do you think are some of the best ways employees can show up as allies for their trans and gender-nonconforming colleagues?

Sam Brandt: For individuals, I would say introduce yourself with your pronouns, put your pronouns in your Twitter bio, put them in your email signature. Putting your pronouns out there shows that you understand that pronouns matter and they’re not just something you can assume about each other. Then, just accept that you might have to be corrected over and over again. It’s not only frustrating for you, it’s frustrating for the person. Everybody feels differently, but for me being misgendered is like listening to music and someone plays an incredibly wrong note.

I talked with that same coworker who panicked and then avoided me because she felt so bad — she told me that she didn’t want to mess up. Her husband suggested that she tell him a story about me every day to practice using the right pronouns. My heart warmed so much when she told me that. Another friend told me that he would just stop dead in the middle of a sentence when he got my pronouns wrong and just repeat the whole sentence again with the correct pronouns. It’s about being deliberate and thinking before you make assumptions. When people started coming out more about their sexual orientation in the workplace, people had to learn that not every man they work with is married to a woman, and vice versa. It’s the same way with gender — not every person you look at may identify in the way that you see them. 

Glassdoor: What about employers — how can they create a sense of inclusion and belonging for trans and gender-nonconforming employees?

Sam Brandt: For employers, I’d say think about gender-neutral bathrooms, transitioning policies, what your health plan includes and adding pronouns in bios, introductions and email signatures, and then making sure your human resources people are advocates for their employees. I also think that when companies are selecting partners or vendors, they should ask, “What do you do for your employees? How do you help everyone at your company come to work as themselves, or help affirm your consumers?” Companies can use their leverage, their power, their money to be advocates for their employees.

Glassdoor: Is there anything else on your mind right now?

Sam Brandt: I think it’s easier than people think to make their non-binary, gender non-conforming, genderqueer and trans coworkers feel respected. Maybe it takes a little extra thought before you speak — a little more revision — but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Many people want to act like everything we do should be easy, and if it’s not easy, we shouldn’t actively challenge it because we don’t want to be a burden. But that’s not what I want. I think we should broaden our understanding of each other and the world, even if some changes challenge you.

Evergreen Banner 1

Open Jobs at Haven Life

Pricing and Technology Actuary
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
DevSecOps
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
UX/UI Designer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
QA Manual Engineer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Site Reliability Engineer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Full Stack Developer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Product Actuary
Haven Life
Boston, MA
23 hours ago 23h
Data Analyst
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Front End Developer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
User Experience Designer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h

by MMS Group
0Comments

IOO information about job hunting is good to read

People often find comfort in black-and-white thinking. While choosing from two clearly defined categories might seem easy, the truth is, it rarely serves you well. Rather than black and white, the world is largely composed of shades of gray, or even different colors entirely — this is especially true when it comes to gender. To apply this-or-that thinking to gender is to deny the existence and experiences of a broad range of individuals: those who are genderqueer, nonbinary, agender, gender nonconforming or anything between or outside the male/female gender spectrum.

If you identify as a member of one of those groups, you may be all too familiar with that sort of thinking, including at work. It’s not always easy to be an LGBTQ+ individual in the workplace, and identifying outside of the traditional gender spectrum comes with its own unique challenges. You might find your preferred pronouns, attire and expression being invalidated, unintentionally or not, by your colleagues.

The good news? The increased visibility of nonbinary identities means that more companies and employees are opening up their minds. So if you’re a gender nonconforming individual, or just an ally, there are more opportunities for you to bring your authentic self to work than ever. But how, exactly, do you go about doing that?

We chatted with Sam Brandt, a Technical Writer at life insurance startup Haven Life who is genderqueer and has openly identified as such in their last two workplaces. Our conversation below covers advocating for yourself in the workplace, evaluating companies for inclusion and how to support your trans and gender-nonconforming colleagues at work — here are the highlights.

Glassdoor: Can you talk a little bit about how being a genderqueer, nonbinary individual has impacted your career journey thus far?

Sam Brandt: I’ve identified as genderqueer since college, but I only decided to change my pronouns in 2015. That was the first thing that I did that affected not only how other people talk to me, but how I’m talked about. When I came out and started to change my pronouns, though, I didn’t do it at the company where I worked at the time. I’d had several indications that it wouldn’t really go over well, and that it would be asking a lot from the leadership team to try and get them on my side. So I held off, and then around that time I moved to New York City.

After I moved to New York, I put my pronouns on my resume and on my LinkedIn profile because I wanted to make it very clear to wherever I applied that these are my pronouns and if you question whether or not you want to hire me because of it, I don’t even want to hear from you. If you think that’s going to be too difficult for you, don’t even call me, because I wanted to bring my entire self to work. I had a good experience with all of my coworkers at the company I ended up working for — I wasn’t afraid of using my pronouns and I didn’t have any problems.

Then I was actually recruited to Haven Life, which was cool because they already knew about my pronouns and they wanted to make sure I was comfortable. I actually had a brief conversation with the head of our people and culture team and she asked if I had any questions or if I had anything I wanted to talk about — they made sure that I knew I could ask, and they were on my side.

Glassdoor: That’s great to hear. What has working at Haven Life been like since that initial interview experience?

Sam Brandt: I started on January 2nd, and they sent a little blurb about me on Slack that included my pronouns and a few fun facts about myself. It was on a day where a lot of people were still out of town for the holidays, though. After a month or two, I felt like I was getting stared at a lot. I was having to have the pronoun correction conversation a lot so I went to Janna, the Head of People & Culture, and told her I thought we could do something about it. She sent an email to all the tech leads asking them to talk to everyone in their group and say something like, “We have a new employee and they use these pronouns. Can you try to be aware of it?” which was awesome.

Janna and her team also started putting their pronouns in their email signatures, which was great. And then I suggested to them that we put pronouns in our face gallery, which is an image gallery of everyone at the company with bios included. That was amazing because it wasn’t just singling out my bio as different — everyone’s got their pronouns in theirs. People here want to do the right thing. If I have to correct anybody, they always apologize and we just move forward. It’s been a really good experience.

Not every person you look at may identify in the way that you see them. 

Glassdoor: Have you always taken such an active role in educating your colleagues about gender identity, or is it something you’ve had to work up to over time?

Sam Brandt: I’ve always been in employee resource groups for queer and trans employees, but it was only with my own pronoun change that I’ve had to really become an advocate. Within employee resource groups you do events and things, but getting people to use the right pronoun for you can be an everyday challenge. I don’t always correct people. I’m not talking to every barista that says “Ma’am, can I help you?” or “Sir, can I get something for you?” I don’t have the time for that. But at work, I see all these people 40 or more hours a week. It’s important to me to make sure not only that they know this about me, but that I create a space where anyone who comes in after me doesn’t see it as quite as much of a challenge — that more people know that some people use different or alternative pronouns.

So it is something I’ve worked up to over time, but I had a lot of help and that is so important. It makes it easier to step forward in confidence and say, “This is who I am,” and know that I have the backing of the people here. People here are open and respectful and on my side, which is not always the case, and that can really help make someone more comfortable advocating for themselves.

Glassdoor: Deciding whether or not to come out in the workplace can be tough. In your experience, what are a few signs that a company is likely to be accepting and supportive? Conversely, what are some red flags that a company will NOT be accepting or supportive?

Sam Brandt: You can always ask questions in your interviews and you should, because you’re shopping around just as much as they are. Find out if they have an employee resource group or if they have gender neutral or all-gender restrooms available. That’s one thing I’m lucky for here, we have a gender neutral single bathroom. It’s nice because having to make that conscious decision of going into a restroom that isn’t aligned with my gender is something I deal with all the time, and I didn’t realize how much of a relief it was to not have to think about it. You can also ask if they cover medical transition costs and if anyone at the company has transitioned or come out before. One of the things that made me comfortable at my last company was that I knew that two women had come out and transitioned before I got there so there were two other trans people at the company.

Another thing that people can do is use their base instincts. Think about how comfortable you are in you interview. How do people introduce themselves when they meet you? Do they add their pronoun, or is it listed somewhere? Do they seem weirded out when you add your pronoun? If the people interviewing you sort of blow by your pronouns and your identity, they’re likely going to continue to be uncomfortable. Sometimes a company that says all the right things will still have employees that don’t treat you well, or a company that says the wrong thing may be staffed with employees who care a lot, so it’s not simple. I say trust your gut and also know that your experience as a nonbinary person or gender fluid person is valid.

Glassdoor: Of course, coming out is an experience that’s always unique to the individual — but do you have any broad pieces of advice or words of wisdom for individuals who are in the process of doing so?

Sam Brandt: Coming out in the workplace is about bringing your whole self to work. You’re valuable — they’re hiring you not just for your job experience or skill set but for your knowledge, including your knowledge about yourself. Don’t be afraid to see that as a value that you bring to the table. If you decide to come out and you want to make changes in your organization, find people who are allies at the company. It’s really easy to burn out if you try to deal with pushback by yourself, and it will make you feel stronger to have people who you can go to, even if it’s just to vent when you’re struggling.

You’re going to have days where it seems really difficult, and you’re going to be tasked with people who consistently get it wrong. That doesn’t mean they aren’t trying, though — some people get scared. I have a very nice coworker who misgendered me the first moment I met her, but she had no way of knowing — I’m bad at remembering to add my pronouns as part of an introduction — and I said, oh, no, actually my pronouns are they, them. She froze over, apologized, felt really bad and then avoided me for four months because she was so embarrassed. There are a few jerks out there you’re going to encounter and that’s tough, but a lot of times people do want to do the right thing — they want to treat you with respect and when they mess up, they’re mortified. I think just recognizing that it’s mostly about them and not about me has really helped.

We should broaden our understanding of each other and the world, even if some changes challenge you.

Glassdoor: Some people want to be supportive but are unsure how to do so. What do you think are some of the best ways employees can show up as allies for their trans and gender nonconforming colleagues?

Sam Brandt: For individuals, I would say introduce yourself with your pronouns, put your pronouns in your Twitter bio, put them in your email signature. Putting your pronouns out there shows that you understand that pronouns matter and they’re not just something you can assume about each other. Then, just accept that you might have to be corrected over and over again. It’s not only frustrating for you, it’s frustrating for the person. Everybody feels differently, but for me being misgendered is like listening to music and someone plays an incredibly wrong note.

I talked with that same coworker who panicked and then avoided me because she felt so bad — she told me that she didn’t want to mess up. Her husband suggested that she tell him a story about me every day to practice using the right pronouns. My heart warmed so much when she told me that. Another friend told me that he would just stop dead in the middle of a sentence when he got my pronouns wrong and just repeat the whole sentence again with the correct pronouns. It’s about being deliberate and thinking before you make assumptions. When people started coming out more about their sexual orientation in the workplace, people had to learn that not every man they work with is married to a woman, and vice versa. It’s the same way with gender — not every person you look at may identify in the way that you see them. 

Glassdoor: What about employers — how can they create a sense of inclusion and belonging for trans and gender nonconforming employees?

Sam Brandt: For employers, I’d say think about gender-neutral bathrooms, transitioning policies, what your health plan includes and adding pronouns in bios, introductions and email signatures, and then making sure your human resources people are advocates for their employees. I also think that when companies are selecting partners or vendors, they should ask, “What do you do for your employees? How do you help everyone at your company come to work as themselves, or help affirm your consumers?” Companies can use their leverage, their power, their money to be advocates for their employees.

Glassdoor: Is there anything else on your mind right now?

Sam Brandt: I think it’s easier than people think to make their nonbinary, gender non-conforming, genderqueer and trans coworkers feel respected. Maybe it takes a little extra thought before you speak — a little more revision — but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Many people want to act like everything we do should be easy, and if it’s not easy, we shouldn’t actively challenge it because we don’t want to be a burden. But that’s not what I want. I think we should broaden our understanding of each other and the world, even if some changes challenge you.

Evergreen Banner 1

Open Jobs at Haven Life

UX/UI Designer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
DevSecOps
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Head of Product Innovation
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Pricing and Technology Actuary
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Data Analyst
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Site Reliability Engineer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
QA Manual Engineer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Full Stack Developer
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Legal Counsel
Haven Life
New York, NY
23 hours ago 23h
Product Actuary
Haven Life
Boston, MA
23 hours ago 23h

by MMS Group
0Comments

We wished to get you another idea about job search

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. 

Whether you’ve just been diagnosed, are in the midst of treatment or have recently completed treatment, returning to work can be a daunting experience. As you gear up for work, you might feel like there’s no roadmap to navigate some of your challenges and concerns. Everyday Cancer and Careers, the only national non-profit with a mission to educate and empower people with cancer to thrive in the workplace, supports people as they figure out how to balance work and health demands. While there are many considerations as you think about returning to work, a few key things can make the experience more manageable:

Think about your privacy preferences

Deciding whether to tell your employer and/or co-workers is an intensely personal decision and requires weighing several factors. You have a clear sense of your workplace’s culture and who your allies are, so trust your instincts. Generally, you are not obligated to disclose any information about your health (though there are some exceptions). If you do decide to tell, talk to those you’re most comfortable with or who will be most useful in creating a workable solution for you (possibly your supervisor and/or HR). If you think you may need to request a reasonable accommodation (more on that below), you might have to disclose a medical condition although not necessarily an exact diagnosis. Already shared the news with a select few at work? Make sure to reiterate how private or public you want to be about your diagnosis so they can respect your wishes around disclosure. If you need help figuring out how to reset the view your colleagues have of you, see tips below.

Understand your side effects, and how they might impact your job

Cancer treatment and recovery affects everyone differently. There are many possible side effects from treatment, both visible (hair loss, weight changes, surgery scars, etc.) and “hidden” (fatigue, pain, mental health, etc.). It’s important to figure out how those will impact you at work and determine a course of action. This involves an ongoing conversation with your healthcare team about the specifics of your treatment and how it might affect you at work, including details about the mental and physical demands of your role. Once you have a better idea about potential short and long-term side effects and how to manage them, that can help you make informed decisions about work modifications you may need (such as adjustments to your work schedule, making changes to your physical workspace, etc.). All of that is to make returning to work more comfortable and feasible. 

Get informed about legal protections in the workplace

The law is one of the many tools you can use as you figure out how to best balance work after a cancer diagnosis. If you need to ask for a job modification, look into both federal and state fair employment laws. One way you may be able to access job modifications is through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which is a federal law that requires private employers with 15 or more employees or state or local governments to make “reasonable accommodations” to allow eligible employees to continue doing their job.  Also review your state’s fair employment law, as these may provide even more protections than the ADA. Keep in mind that even if your employer doesn’t have to provide you with an accommodation, it doesn’t mean they won’t. Typically, companies want to retain their good employees, so it never hurts to ask for what you need to keep working. Before approaching your employer, consult with a legal service organization to understand your options, so you can make an informed request. It’s also important to learn more about health insurance laws and job-protected leave laws (FMLA, state laws), in addition to your company’s policies on disabilities, flex time, telecommuting, etc. 

Control the conversation at work 

One concern may be the fear that, if you disclosed, when you go back to work, you will always be seen as the “cancer person” in the office and that coworkers will assume you can’t do your job in the same capacity as you could prior to your diagnosis. This may come out via well-meaning but not helpful comments. It might take time to recast yourself in the eyes of your workplace but try not to get too frustrated or take it personally if a co-worker or manager makes an awkward or insensitive comment. If you find that your co-workers are dwelling on your diagnosis instead of work-related topics, try a technique we refer to as “the swivel.” For example, you can take a question like “How are you feeling today?” and swivel away from the cancer topic and back to work. For instance, “I’m good, thanks. While I have you, do you have time this week to go over the new expense reports?”  The key is to acknowledge your colleague’s comment and then swivel the conversation to a place where you feel comfortable and empowered. By focusing on work, you will help your co-workers see you how you want to be seen.   

Create an Action Plan 

Having a plan can help restore your sense of control but keep it flexible because things may change over time. Start by making a list of everything you need to do – breaking it up into small parts can make things less stressful – and then prioritize. Always carry one notebook with you that contains important notes, lists and priorities for work and home so you never find yourself with the wrong pad at the wrong time (a key strategy if you’re experiencing chemo-brain). It’s also important to learn to delegate effectively. Review your workload, determine what requires your personal attention and what can be distributed to others so that you don’t get overwhelmed. 

Returning to work after a cancer diagnosis can be an important milestone in your journey as a cancer patient or survivor. Remember that while you try to gain some normalcy after a cancer diagnosis, you may find getting back to normal requires additional effort or that your needs may change as your treatment continues or concludes, so it essential to be patient with yourself (and the process) as you get back to work.

Rebecca V. Nellis is the Executive Director of Cancer and Careers. Since 2004 she has helped evolve the organization from early concept to national prominence. Rebecca oversees CAC’s programming and fundraising strategies to ensure long-term growth and sustainability. Under her leadership, the organization’s services transform the everyday lives of survivors, while promoting lasting, systemic change for tomorrow’s workplace. Featured in The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Women’s Health and on the TODAY show, Rebecca Nellis is a subject matter expert on cancer-workplace issues. She travels the country presenting at national conferences, leading hospitals and community events about the intersection of life, work and cancer. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York University and a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University. 

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We thought to show you another post about job hunting

More companies than ever are making conscious efforts to support their LGBTQ workers, yet 46% of LGBTQ employees remain closeted at work. Facing a rapidly changing corporate world, the LGBTQ community is still discovering how to merge their careers and their identities.

Glassdoor’s mission is to find you a job that fits your life, and that means helping LGBTQ professionals determine the right employer and company culture that will provide them with support and success in their career. With our Workplace Guide for LGBTQ Professionals: Embracing Your Authentic Self in Your Career, LGBTQ job seekers can find expert advice on navigating their job search, workplace and the unique experiences and challenges they encounter in their professional lives. Download the full eBook PDF here and read below for a preview of what the eBook includes!

Finding a Job That Welcomes Your Full Self

For LGBTQ job candidates, finding an inclusive workplace results in increased job commitment and satisfaction — which means it’s important to determine whether or not a potential employer is LGBTQ friendly. Get tips on using networking, interviewing and other stages of the hiring process to find the right company for you — and know the red flags to avoid.

Pro Tip: If you’re unsure if a company is inclusive, LGBTQ workplace advocacy non-profit Out & Equal recommends asking these questions during your interview:

  1. What are your core values?
  2. What resources do you provide to employees?
  3. How would you describe your company culture?
  4. What are your inclusion policies and practices?

Finding Community at Work

Finding allies within the workplace is instrumental to feeling supported at your job. Learn the benefits of forming an LGBTQ employee resource group (ERG) and how to form a group at your office.

Pro Tip: Many organizations show their support for the LGBTQ community during Pride Month in June, but there are opportunities year-round to demonstrate your commitment. Lead your coworkers in a volunteer outing to a local LGBTQ organization.

Transitioning at Work

For transgender employees, transitioning can result in a lot of life changes — including some at the job. Read what steps to take with your HR team and colleagues to find the support you need to navigate your transition in the workplace.

Pro Tip: Gender and workplace inclusion organization the Argo Collective advises transitioning employees to request an LGBTQ competency training for their team. Co-founder Jay Bendett says, “Most people in the company may have no tools or language to begin to understand what the transition process is like, so having a presentation for the teams that introduce them to some basic terminology, including pronouns, can be helpful to minimize misgendering and pain/discomfort.”

Know Your Rights

While many more organizations are taking measures to improve work environments for LGBTQ employees, the LGBTQ workforce still encounters disproportionately high rates of workplace discrimination. Learn how to identify and respond to cases of workplace discrimination due to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Pro Tip: If you are facing an instance of workplace discrimination, Argo Collective co-founder Max Masure advises reaching out to community beyond your workplace: “You are not alone and feeling supported by external organizations can be a huge help in those types of situations. Look for LGBTQ groups on Facebook as well as local queer organizations.”

Want more career advice? Read the full Workplace Guide for LGBTQ Professionals: Embracing Your Authentic Self in Your Career!

 

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Always want to share everything related to getting a job

When you hear the term “leadership expert,” you probably picture someone with an artificially large smile pacing around on a stage while dropping phrases like “synergy” and “There’s no I in team.” But this is decidedly not the case with Brené Brown, a born-and-raised Texan with a warm smile and a fiery wit. Although Brown’s latest book, Dare to Lead, has spent 33 weeks at the number one spot on the New York Times’ Bestseller list in the business category, she’s far from a corporate type.

A research professor at the University of Houston, Brown has spent much of her career studying shame, guilt, empathy, vulnerability, courage and how they affect the way we show up in our daily lives, and most recently, how they affect leadership. But it’s not just her research that people can’t get enough of — it’s her radical candor and powerful storytelling. Whether you’re watching her in person, in her viral Ted Talk or in her latest Netflix special, Brown exudes authenticity in a way that’s both relatable and riveting. She’s not afraid to share personal stories about her family and her journey of sobriety, and she certainly doesn’t pull any punches.

“Our lack of self-awareness and ability to be in pain constructively is directly proportional to the amount of pain we cause in the world. But if you can’t be brave, you can’t lead. And you can’t be brave if you’re tapping out of hard conversations about painful, hard topics,” Brown says. “That’s what it means to lead. That’s why there are so few courageous leaders.”

In the first episode of Glassdoor’s podcast, IN PURSUIT, Editorial Director Amy Elisa Jackson catches up with Brown to learn more about the connection between bravery and pain, overcoming addiction in all its forms and her childhood dream of being a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader — here are a few highlights.

Amy Elisa Jackson: You had quite a banner year, Brené. Your Netflix special launching your Daring Classrooms curriculum debuted, and your 2018 book Dare to Lead is still the number one best-selling business book. Does it feel like all your hard work has finally paid off or does it feel like, “Holy crap, is this really me?”

Brené Brown: I live in a constant state of “Holy crap.” It’s weird — on the one hand, I can’t believe it. And then on the other hand, my team just busts their asses constantly. We work so hard that I can understand how it happened, but it’s still really humbling.

Amy Elisa Jackson: It’s good that you recognize that it’s a part of your, and your team’s, hard work. As women, sometimes it’s so easy to say, “I don’t know how I got here. I’m so surprised!”

Brené Brown: Yeah, I know. I got none of that. I know every painstaking step. It’s so funny because people in interviews will say, “Let’s talk about your meteoric rise.” And I’m like, “Oh, this is year 22 for me.” That’s a slow-ass meteor. We work really hard. We believe deeply in what we do, but I guess there’s a part of me, too, that thinks there are a lot of other people that work this hard, and so there’s a part of it that’s just being in the right place at the right time, or the right conversation at the right time.

Amy Elisa Jackson: Dare to Lead and Daring Greatly are two of my absolute go-to books. I feel like both of them are really playbooks for anyone who wants to step up and be brave and bust out of your box. Talk to me a little bit about your research and what you found were the biggest barriers to becoming a leader.

Brené Brown: After studying these big emotions — shame, guilt, empathy, vulnerability, courage — I really wanted to understand how those connected with leadership, because I found myself spending probably 90 percent of my time in organizations talking to leaders and teams. So it was a seven-year study looking very specifically at what’s the future of leadership. I was not surprised to hear that it’s courage — this is from special forces in the military to creatives in California doing animation. It’s the same answer. We need to have braver leaders and more courageous cultures.

The thing that took me by surprise was that I thought the biggest barrier to courage was fear. But in interviewing all of these folks who I thought were such brave leaders, they said, “I’m afraid every day. I’m afraid all day long.” It’s not fear that gets in the way of courageous leadership, it’s armor. It’s how we self-protect. And so as a recovering armored person, that was both hopeful and hard to hear, because I like my armor.

Amy Elisa Jackson: How has taking off your own armor impacted the way you lead?

Brené Brown: When I first started doing the leadership work, I got super buttoned-up and I stopped writing about personal things on my blog. I thought, “You know what, if I’m going to go into this lane, then I need to be leader-y.” Yet at the same time, I’m telling people to be more human — I’m the poster person for squishy, vulnerable humanity. But I came to this place where I said, “I’m going to talk about leadership and I’m going to write about my sobriety. And I’m going to talk about being a mom. And I’m going to talk about race. And I’m going to talk about politics. I’m going to be all of me. I’m not going to compartmentalize myself as I talk to other people about the dangers of compartmentalizing.” Writing Dare to Lead was very cathartic for me in that way.InPursuit quote Brene Brown 1

Amy Elisa Jackson: Your blog post about sobriety was really what opened my eyes and made me respect you. A lot of people can write books, but there’s something about putting your full self out there in front of everybody. How was your sobriety affected your leadership? What pieces of that show up every day in your life as you navigate being Brené Brown?

Brené Brown: I can’t separate anything powerful or good in my life from my sobriety. I attribute everything that is good and right and true about my life to that, whether it’s being able to look at my kids — I’ve got a daughter who’s 20 now and a son who’s 14 — and be proud of the way that I’m raising them to holding onto a marriage. My husband and I had zero model of what a successful marriage looked like. Our parents are divorced, remarried, divorced, remarried. I guess at the bottom of everything that I feel proud about or good about is my willingness to show up and keep showing up when it got hard, hard, hard. And that is because of my sobriety. That’s because I have just built a practice of not tapping out with beer, with taking care of other people, with numbing. I still have to fight it a lot. I was a partier for sure. I did a genogram in my last assignment at my master’s in social work where you did a family history and there was just a ton of alcoholism. So I decided to fully abstain right there.

Amy Elisa Jackson: How do you moderate the addiction to work? Because you can’t abstain from it, unless you’re just a billionaire chilling in the Bahamas in silk pajamas. 

Brené Brown: I found myself in a lake in Austin floating on a raft this summer, and I caught myself thinking, “How much more do I have to do to rest?” I thought, “Oh my God, is that the craziest bullshit I’ve ever said out loud to myself?” The thing for me is that even if I had the billion dollars and the silk pajamas and the Bahamas, I would want to work. I love work.

For me, finding balance is a daily discipline. I have to sleep eight to nine hours a night. I have to work out four to five times a week, and I have to have healthy food, which means I have to do some cooking. When work starts eating those things up, and I go three or four months without working out because I’m too busy, or I don’t have time to cook, or I’m not sleeping very much, then I know it’s gone too far.

I think everybody has to figure out what their sobriety looks like. If you think, “Man, is this an issue? Should I think about stopping?” Then the answer is probably yes. And just because you can stop for 15 days doesn’t really mean anything.

Amy Elisa Jackson: The journey of sobriety is something that millions of Americans deal with. How are you working your program these days? Because people might look at you and say, “Oh, she’s cured. 23 years, she’s fine, she’s got this.”

Brené Brown: Not drinking was the easier part. Doing these fearless inventories of who I am, how I tap out of pain, how I cause other people pain because I’m not willing to be clear since I don’t want to be disliked or disappoint people… That was the real work, and that’s everyday work for me.

I’m going to make a big leap here. Can I do that?

Amy Elisa Jackson: Yeah! Leap. Jump, sis.

Brené Brown: I’ve thought a lot about Toni Morrison since her death. I thought about her fearless accounting of the history and heart story of the black experience. I think about what’s going on in the world today when we talk about white supremacy. There just comes a point where you come across something that’s really hard, like what just happened in El Paso and Ohio, and you hear people saying, “Wow, we’ve got a white supremacy problem.” Or, “Wow, there’s a real dehumanization of people of color or women.” And there comes this tiny, tiny point where you have to decide as a person: “Do I accept what I’m hearing and the pain that comes with it? Or do I just say it’s not real, and diminish the truth of it?” When you get to that point, do you have the capacity and the courage to hold the pain, own the story and fight your way through it?

Somehow, as a collection of people, we’ve lost our capacity and our courage to hold the pain, and so we deny it. Whether we deny it around race, around gender, around transphobia, around homophobia, around a hard meeting. Our lack of self-awareness and ability to be in pain, constructively, is directly proportional to the amount of pain we cause in the world. But if you can’t be brave, you can’t lead. And you can’t be brave if you’re tapping out of hard conversations about painful, hard topics. That’s what it means to lead. That’s why there are so few courageous leaders. Coming back to Dare to Lead, that’s why brave leaders are never silent about hard things. You either own the story or, as you can see in organizations and our country today, the story owns you.

Amy Elisa Jackson: You mentioned earlier in our conversation how you don’t shy away from social justice topics. When the Twitter trolls abound, do you remind yourself that you are leading and being brave? Or do you just say, “F*#@ it. I don’t care what the naysayers say.”

Brené Brown: I try to say “F*#@ it,” but it doesn’t work because I’m usually in tears, so that’s not very convincing. I think I take my inspiration from people who are a hell of a lot braver than me, because I have a lot of privilege in a lot of dimensions. When I sign up to take on race, or even gender, I’m really privileged from both perspectives. Yes, I’m a woman, but I’m a straight woman, and I’m an educated straight woman. I have a whole list. So I really am inspired by people who are much braver than me, and I try to follow their lead, support them, yield to them.

Amy Elisa Jackson: When you look at your career, what’s been your best detour?

Brené Brown: I’ve only had two aspirations growing up. I’m a fifth-generation Texan — I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader married to a quarterback, or I wanted to drive an eighteen-wheeler and have my own CB like “Breaker 1-9. This is Brené Brown.” That’s your ambition when you’re a girl growing up in Texas, at least it was 40 years ago. So I’ve had nothing but detours. I graduated from college with my bachelor’s degree when I was 29, and if there’s one mantra that I live by, it’s “nothing wasted.” I learned more about empathy and people in that 12-year journey of bartending and waiting tables and hitchhiking through Europe than I ever could in classrooms. I live in beta — I think pivoting is the norm. Steady is not.

My team and I have been in a big pivot for a year where we thought we would produce this great research and then scale it, but I hated that. I don’t want to walk in and have 150 people working here — 25 or so is my sweet spot. So what we decided to do is continue creating world-class research and IP and then partner with people who scale for a living, like the Netflixes and Random House, because that’s what they do well. I’m better, slower, closer.

Amy Elisa Jackson: Brené, we’re approaching a new decade — it’s 2020 in just a few months. You’ve hit some major career milestones. You’ve sent a kid off to college. You’re living your best life. What are you in pursuit of for 2020?

Brené Brown: Discernment. It’s my version of the serenity prayer: “Give me the courage to change the things I can, and then grant me the wisdom to discern the difference between what I should take on and what I should not take on.”

Amy Elisa Jackson: That’s powerful. More isn’t always better — sometimes more is just more.

Brené Brown: My word of the year this past year was “focused,” and it was Steve Job’s definition where focus is not just about the things you do — it’s being proud of the thousand things you turned down and don’t do as well.

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When you hear the term “leadership expert,” you probably picture someone with an artificially large smile pacing around on a stage while dropping phrases like “synergy” and “There’s no I in team.” But this is decidedly not the case with Brené Brown, a born-and-raised Texan with a warm smile and a fiery wit. Although Brown’s latest book, Dare to Lead, has spent 33 weeks at the number one spot on the New York Times’ Bestseller list in the business category, she’s far from a corporate type.

A research professor at the University of Houston, Brown has spent much of her career studying shame, guilt, empathy, vulnerability, courage and how they affect the way we show up in our daily lives, and most recently, how they affect leadership. But it’s not just her research that people can’t get enough of — it’s her radical candor and powerful storytelling. Whether you’re watching her in person, in her viral Ted Talk or in her latest Netflix special, Brown exudes authenticity in a way that’s both relatable and riveting. She’s not afraid to share personal stories about her family and her journey of sobriety, and she certainly doesn’t pull any punches.

“Our lack of self-awareness and ability to be in pain constructively is directly proportional to the amount of pain we cause in the world. But if you can’t be brave, you can’t lead. And you can’t be brave if you’re tapping out of hard conversations about painful, hard topics,” Brown says. “That’s what it means to lead. That’s why there are so few courageous leaders.”

In the first episode of Glassdoor’s podcast, IN PURSUIT, Editorial Director Amy Elisa Jackson catches up with Brown to learn more about the connection between bravery and pain, overcoming addiction in all its forms and her childhood dream of being a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader — here are a few highlights.

Amy Elisa Jackson: You had quite a banner year, Brené. Your Netflix special launching your Daring Classrooms curriculum debuted, and your 2018 book Dare to Lead is still the number one best-selling business book. Does it feel like all your hard work has finally paid off or does it feel like, “Holy crap, is this really me?”

Brené Brown: I live in a constant state of “Holy crap.” It’s weird — on the one hand, I can’t believe it. And then on the other hand, my team just busts their asses constantly. We work so hard that I can understand how it happened, but it’s still really humbling.

Amy Elisa Jackson: It’s good that you recognize that it’s a part of your, and your team’s, hard work. As women, sometimes it’s so easy to say, “I don’t know how I got here. I’m so surprised!”

Brené Brown: Yeah, I know. I got none of that. I know every painstaking step. It’s so funny because people in interviews will say, “Let’s talk about your meteoric rise.” And I’m like, “Oh, this is year 22 for me.” That’s a slow-ass meteor. We work really hard. We believe deeply in what we do, but I guess there’s a part of me, too, that thinks there are a lot of other people that work this hard, and so there’s a part of it that’s just being in the right place at the right time, or the right conversation at the right time.

Amy Elisa Jackson: Dare to Lead and Daring Greatly are two of my absolute go-to books. I feel like both of them are really playbooks for anyone who wants to step up and be brave and bust out of your box. Talk to me a little bit about your research and what you found were the biggest barriers to becoming a leader.

Brené Brown: After studying these big emotions — shame, guilt, empathy, vulnerability, courage — I really wanted to understand how those connected with leadership, because I found myself spending probably 90 percent of my time in organizations talking to leaders and teams. So it was a seven-year study looking very specifically at what’s the future of leadership. I was not surprised to hear that it’s courage — this is from special forces in the military to creatives in California doing animation. It’s the same answer. We need to have braver leaders and more courageous cultures.

The thing that took me by surprise was that I thought the biggest barrier to courage was fear. But in interviewing all of these folks who I thought were such brave leaders, they said, “I’m afraid every day. I’m afraid all day long.” It’s not fear that gets in the way of courageous leadership, it’s armor. It’s how we self-protect. And so as a recovering armored person, that was both hopeful and hard to hear, because I like my armor.

Amy Elisa Jackson: How has taking off your own armor impacted the way you lead?

Brené Brown: When I first started doing the leadership work, I got super buttoned-up and I stopped writing about personal things on my blog. I thought, “You know what, if I’m going to go into this lane, then I need to be leader-y.” Yet at the same time, I’m telling people to be more human — I’m the poster person for squishy, vulnerable humanity. But I came to this place where I said, “I’m going to talk about leadership and I’m going to write about my sobriety. And I’m going to talk about being a mom. And I’m going to talk about race. And I’m going to talk about politics. I’m going to be all of me. I’m not going to compartmentalize myself as I talk to other people about the dangers of compartmentalizing.” Writing Dare to Lead was very cathartic for me in that way.InPursuit quote Brene Brown 1

Amy Elisa Jackson: Your blog post about sobriety was really what opened my eyes and made me respect you. A lot of people can write books, but there’s something about putting your full self out there in front of everybody. How was your sobriety affected your leadership? What pieces of that show up every day in your life as you navigate being Brené Brown?

Brené Brown: I can’t separate anything powerful or good in my life from my sobriety. I attribute everything that is good and right and true about my life to that, whether it’s being able to look at my kids — I’ve got a daughter who’s 20 now and a son who’s 14 — and be proud of the way that I’m raising them to holding onto a marriage. My husband and I had zero model of what a successful marriage looked like. Our parents are divorced, remarried, divorced, remarried. I guess at the bottom of everything that I feel proud about or good about is my willingness to show up and keep showing up when it got hard, hard, hard. And that is because of my sobriety. That’s because I have just built a practice of not tapping out with beer, with taking care of other people, with numbing. I still have to fight it a lot. I was a partier for sure. I did a genogram in my last assignment at my master’s in social work where you did a family history and there was just a ton of alcoholism. So I decided to fully abstain right there.

Amy Elisa Jackson: How do you moderate the addiction to work? Because you can’t abstain from it, unless you’re just a billionaire chilling in the Bahamas in silk pajamas. 

Brené Brown: I found myself in a lake in Austin floating on a raft this summer, and I caught myself thinking, “How much more do I have to do to rest?” I thought, “Oh my God, is that the craziest bullshit I’ve ever said out loud to myself?” The thing for me is that even if I had the billion dollars and the silk pajamas and the Bahamas, I would want to work. I love work.

For me, finding balance is a daily discipline. I have to sleep eight to nine hours a night. I have to work out four to five times a week, and I have to have healthy food, which means I have to do some cooking. When work starts eating those things up, and I go three or four months without working out because I’m too busy, or I don’t have time to cook, or I’m not sleeping very much, then I know it’s gone too far.

I think everybody has to figure out what their sobriety looks like. If you think, “Man, is this an issue? Should I think about stopping?” Then the answer is probably yes. And just because you can stop for 15 days doesn’t really mean anything.

Amy Elisa Jackson: The journey of sobriety is something that millions of Americans deal with. How are you working your program these days? Because people might look at you and say, “Oh, she’s cured. 23 years, she’s fine, she’s got this.”

Brené Brown: Not drinking was the easier part. Doing these fearless inventories of who I am, how I tap out of pain, how I cause other people pain because I’m not willing to be clear since I don’t want to be disliked or disappoint people… That was the real work, and that’s everyday work for me.

I’m going to make a big leap here. Can I do that?

Amy Elisa Jackson: Yeah! Leap. Jump, sis.

Brené Brown: I’ve thought a lot about Toni Morrison since her death. I thought about her fearless accounting of the history and heart story of the black experience. I think about what’s going on in the world today when we talk about white supremacy. There just comes a point where you come across something that’s really hard, like what just happened in El Paso and Ohio, and you hear people saying, “Wow, we’ve got a white supremacy problem.” Or, “Wow, there’s a real dehumanization of people of color or women.” And there comes this tiny, tiny point where you have to decide as a person: “Do I accept what I’m hearing and the pain that comes with it? Or do I just say it’s not real, and diminish the truth of it?” When you get to that point, do you have the capacity and the courage to hold the pain, own the story and fight your way through it?

Somehow, as a collection of people, we’ve lost our capacity and our courage to hold the pain, and so we deny it. Whether we deny it around race, around gender, around transphobia, around homophobia, around a hard meeting. Our lack of self-awareness and ability to be in pain, constructively, is directly proportional to the amount of pain we cause in the world. But if you can’t be brave, you can’t lead. And you can’t be brave if you’re tapping out of hard conversations about painful, hard topics. That’s what it means to lead. That’s why there are so few courageous leaders. Coming back to Dare to Lead, that’s why brave leaders are never silent about hard things. You either own the story or, as you can see in organizations and our country today, the story owns you.

Amy Elisa Jackson: You mentioned earlier in our conversation how you don’t shy away from social justice topics. When the Twitter trolls abound, do you remind yourself that you are leading and being brave? Or do you just say, “F*#@ it. I don’t care what the naysayers say.”

Brené Brown: I try to say “F*#@ it,” but it doesn’t work because I’m usually in tears, so that’s not very convincing. I think I take my inspiration from people who are a hell of a lot braver than me, because I have a lot of privilege in a lot of dimensions. When I sign up to take on race, or even gender, I’m really privileged from both perspectives. Yes, I’m a woman, but I’m a straight woman, and I’m an educated straight woman. I have a whole list. So I really am inspired by people who are much braver than me, and I try to follow their lead, support them, yield to them.

Amy Elisa Jackson: When you look at your career, what’s been your best detour?

Brené Brown: I’ve only had two aspirations growing up. I’m a fifth-generation Texan — I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader married to a quarterback, or I wanted to drive an eighteen-wheeler and have my own CB like “Breaker 1-9. This is Brené Brown.” That’s your ambition when you’re a girl growing up in Texas, at least it was 40 years ago. So I’ve had nothing but detours. I graduated from college with my bachelor’s degree when I was 29, and if there’s one mantra that I live by, it’s “nothing wasted.” I learned more about empathy and people in that 12-year journey of bartending and waiting tables and hitchhiking through Europe than I ever could in classrooms. I live in beta — I think pivoting is the norm. Steady is not.

My team and I have been in a big pivot for a year where we thought we would produce this great research and then scale it, but I hated that. I don’t want to walk in and have 150 people working here — 25 or so is my sweet spot. So what we decided to do is continue creating world-class research and IP and then partner with people who scale for a living, like the Netflixes and Random House, because that’s what they do well. I’m better, slower, closer.

Amy Elisa Jackson: Brené, we’re approaching a new decade — it’s 2020 in just a few months. You’ve hit some major career milestones. You’ve sent a kid off to college. You’re living your best life. What are you in pursuit of for 2020?

Brené Brown: Discernment. It’s my version of the serenity prayer: “Give me the courage to change the things I can, and then grant me the wisdom to discern the difference between what I should take on and what I should not take on.”

Amy Elisa Jackson: That’s powerful. More isn’t always better — sometimes more is just more.

Brené Brown: My word of the year this past year was “focused,” and it was Steve Job’s definition where focus is not just about the things you do — it’s being proud of the thousand things you turned down and don’t do as well.

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We think stuff about tips to finding a job is great

A little bit of workplace stress is expected, and it’s natural to not feel gloriously happy at work every minute you’re there. But did you know that nearly half of Americans reported crying at work over the past year? Ginger, an on-demand behavioral health service, recently conducted its first annual “Workforce Attitudes Towards Behavioral Health Report.” The report shared learnings on the emotional and mental support of workplaces as described by 1,200 professionals.

In addition to the 48 percent who revealed shedding tears while on the job, 81 percent said that stress negatively impacts their work, and 50 percent admitted to missing at least one day of work due to stress.

It’s clear that today, life in the American workforce isn’t a walk in the park. The question then becomes, “Well, how can I deal with it?” To answer that, it’s also worth questioning what is — and isn’t — in your control. After all, there may be issues in the workplace, but sometimes we make things worse through our own behavioral habits. Consider these elements when trying to navigate being unhappy at work.

What You Can Control

Are you trying to be Hercules?

We get it — we all want to impress our managers. Unfortunately, this too often results in professionals biting off more than they can chew. If you have a desire to prove you can go the extra mile, focus on quality over quantity. Polish what you do take on so you can impress with your thoroughness and attention to detail. You’ll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders with a more reasonable to-do list, and the work you put out will be better than a series of slapdash presentations.

Do you use your team for support?

If you’re part of a team, you have teammates for a reason. Asking for a helping hand when you’re underwater may feel like you’re coming up short, but it actually shows that you’re realistic about your limits and open to collaboration. In the end, your boss won’t be overly interested that you completed a project all by yourself; their focus will be on the finished product. If you let your pride get in the way of your work, you may end up underperforming.

Are you making an effort to manage your stress?

Sometimes, the solutions to your work problems exist outside of work itself. With 83 percent of workers reporting that they experience stress regularly, it’s no wonder that stress-management efforts have become popular. You can do a lot for yourself at home, like these strategies:

  • Get enough rest. And no, we don’t mean four hours of sleep because “that’s what you’re used to.” Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night to ensure good health and optimal function. Waking up feeling refreshed, not exhausted, can help you start your day with the mental energy needed to combat potential stressors.
  • Meditate. Mediation is invaluable when it comes to finding mental peace, relaxing and combating stress. It takes some practice, so look into apps like Headspace and Calm that guide you through mindfulness exercises.
  • Exercise. Study after study has shown that the benefits of frequent exercise are more than physical. By releasing endorphins (chemicals in the brain that are natural pain killers and mood elevators), aerobic exercise helps alleviate stress and boost your frame of mind — plus you’ll feel accomplished after a good sweat.

What you can’t control

Is your boss a bully?

A TopResume study revealed that 71 percent of workers have felt bullied by a boss or direct supervisor. That’s… a lot. When asked about the statistic, career expert Amanda Augustine explained that “Working in a toxic work environment where bullying is part of the culture is a recipe for disaster — for both one’s well-being and career.” No wonder it leaves people unhappy at work.

You can make an effort to get familiar with your boss’ communication style so you aren’t taken aback by any comments, and try to keep perspective that it’s not you — it’s them. Keep a log of any inappropriate actions or statements to refer to if you ultimately have to go to HR.

Are expectations unrealistic?

Expectations at work can come in two forms. Sometimes, they have to do with the amount of work you have to do. Your manager has a lot on their plate, so they may not have a big-picture idea of what’s on yours. If you feel like you’re drowning, try addressing the issue in a meeting to establish how tasks should be prioritized.

The other form of expectations is trickier: the quality of the work you do. Some bosses seem to never be impressed — or even satisfied. If you’re feeling like the work you do is never good enough, you may need a new boss who will acknowledge your efforts.

The company’s culture is toxic

Company culture is often defined from the top down. If the behavior of the executives is establishing a toxic work environment — misogyny, negative reinforcement, taking advantage of employees, etc. — there isn’t much you can do. You can look out for these eight signs that a company is bad to work for, but otherwise, you may want to consider jumping ship and finding a healthier role.

If you’re feeling unhappy at work, know that you’re not alone. There are certain things that are in your control, and we encourage you to take proactive steps to improve your situation — your well-being will thank you. But if there is too much stress to manage and it’s out of your hands, there’s no shame in looking for a company that will be more conducive to your personal and professional needs. If that’s the case, be sure to pay close attention to company culture as you conduct your search to ensure you don’t end up in a similar situation.

This article was originally published on TopResume. It is reprinted with permission.

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