Your identity is a catalyst to how to develop your work, your projects, and your career! It’s what makes you, you!
Microaggressions & Boundaries:
It’s important to remember there is always an opportunity to develop yourself, your organization, or your industry. It’s important to understand what diversity means to the organization you apply to and what programs have been developed. You want to make sure you’re joining a company that respects diversity but also understands your work is primary and it’s your choice to participate in diversity initiatives. Having boundaries at work with your identity is important, and being comfortable with addressing diversity should be at the forefront of your organization!
Your Unique Perspective:
Most organizations value diversity and how their employees can bring ideas from multiple perspectives. Ask yourself what values, ideas, and dreams are important to your identity. Nailing down a few pillars of what aspects of your identity are important for your career pathway is a great way to get started and a great way to find jobs! Consider affinity groups and professional organizations to get involved with, at your organization or beyond, to further foster and develop your skills. Remember, no two stories are the same. It is absolutely okay to bring your authentic self into your workspace!
How to scope out potential employers:
Researching jobs is our first step, but how do we find the right job? It’s first and foremost important to acknowledge that there is no one linear pathway. Careers aren’t solid confinements where we get one job, with one organization and that is all. We are allowed to grow, change, and experiment within our career pathways. Your values for work may change over time, but they may stay the same. What’s important is how we feel when we are working. When you find an organization that you want to work for, some quick and easy searches for you can look like;
- Do they have a diversity report?
- Do they have affinity groups or access to affinity groups?
- Does their mission statement envision or encourage Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, Sustainable, and Socially Just, (IDEAS) initiatives?
- Do they have a mentorship program? Are there mentors or alum from that organization?
If you are applying for roles at an English-speaking organization, you must first understand the multiple and many ways in which English is spoken. Vernacular is the language or dialect spoken by people in a particular country or region. There is no incorrect vernacular in which we convey language. You should feel free to be your authentic voice and authentic self in your workplace. Code-Switching, check out this article from the Harvard Business Review on The Costs of Code-Switching. Keep in mind that there are multiple intersecting identities that are affected by code-switching.
One of your goals as a professional should be to seek out companies with inclusive workplaces. These are places where multiple perspectives, cultures, and backgrounds are acknowledged and seen as integral to a company’s mission. While this takes time and is part of your career path, there are opportunities to be aware of both now and in the future. Here are some resources to take advantage of!
Color Comm: Women of Color in Communications
El Mundo: Latino 30 Under 30
Human Rights Campaign; Corporate Equity Index
National Association of Black Journalists
National Association of Hispanic Journalists
Asian American Journalists Association
National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications
T. Howard Foundation