Let’s continue to explore jobs for the queer community this week asking the question: “What are the Best Jobs for Gay Professionals?”. While there are some professions, and career paths, that any be more obvious choices, organizational culture has more to do with happiness, opportunity, and fulfillment for queer people than anything else.
The Best Fields for Gay Professionals
As we mentioned in last week’s articles, queer folk tend to cluster professionally around fields that require more social sensitivity and/or allow for a great deal of independence. We excel at psychology, training, and social work, but also as lawyers, judges, information technology professionals, and so many more. We can, and do succeed in almost every imaginable career.
On the other hand engineering and constriction, mail and freight delivery, oil and gas, as well as mining and metals are the industries that are least welcoming to us. But, there are companies in all of these fields that are welcoming.
Where You Live Matters
There are countries that are queer-friendly and those that oppress LGBTQ+ people brutally. Even within more progressive countries, there are states or provinces that are more welcoming than others. Political environments contribute to the formation of corporate cultures within them. Understanding the likely environment of a company you’re considering working for is important.
Start by looking at where your prospective job is located. If it is in a place where there are few protections for queer people or even rampant systemic homophobia, you may want to look elsewhere before ending up in an intolerable situation.
Don’t forget to consider head office location. Be cautious if the office you’ll be working in is located in a progressive city or state. If head office isn’t, the corporate culture will probably reflect the less friendly orientation of the parent company.
Always look at Values
Even in a relatively friendly place, some office environments can have specific challenges for us. It’s always worth doing your homework when applying for a job. An interview isn’t just about the company figuring out if you’d be a good fit for them. It’s also about how good a fit the company will be for you.
The company’s values are a good place to start. You can usually find them posted online. If the organization’s values align with you by supporting things like diversity and inclusion then it’s time to dig a bit deeper.
Just because a company states a value, it doesn’t mean they’re living by it. Speak to some people who work there if you can. Talking to queer employees can be particularly helpful. Take a look at things that have been written about the company, the good, and the bad. Get a sense of what they’re all about.
Then, take a look at the specific office or team you’ll be involved with. This may be challenging, but it’s still possible. Pay attention to how the company values are expressed in your interviews with human resources, and the person you’ll be reporting to. This will give you a good sense of what your day-to-day work life will be like.
Trust your instincts. If it feels like someone is only paying lip service to corporate values, you’re probably right. You may not be able to trust what you’re hearing without more information.
It’s important to find the most positive, supportive, environment within which to build your career. The more advanced your career the more important this becomes. Do your homework and find a place where you’ll be appreciated, and rewarded, for your contributions. Where your identity will be embraced, if not celebrated. That’s your path to a happy, fulfilling career.