LGBTQ+ Pride in the Workplace

June 2021 marks one year since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a person can’t be fired due to their sexual orientation or gender identity under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yet, the ruling from the high court does not address all workplace concerns for the LGBTQ+ community. The federal law doesn’t protect those who work at businesses with fewer than 15 workers. It doesn’t address bathrooms for transgender people. It does not apply to small businesses with fewer than 15 employees and does not address firings for religious reasons.

Then there are gaps in employee benefits. Some employers may not pay for medical care for transgender people, or could leave out LGBTQ families.

That’s not to diminish the significance of the Supreme Court ruling, which some advocates say was an even bigger deal for LGBTQ Americans than marriage equality.

The “decision was a watershed,” said Kasey Suffredini, CEO of Freedom for All Americans, which advocates for LGBTQ rights. “But at the same time it’s so basic and entry level. Now we actually get into the details into how that discrimination plays out in everyday lives.”

HEALTH CARE BENEFITS

Transgender workers and people in same-sex relationships often face disparities in access to health care. Employers play a role because they work with insurance companies to decide which treatments should be covered under their employees’ health insurance plans.

For example, an insurance plan that a company crafts for employees may cover hormone treatments for a woman undergoing menopause, but it might not cover hormone treatments that a doctor prescribes for a transgender patient. And same-sex couples sometimes are shut out of benefits such as access to fertility treatments, which are in some states only offered to couples that are not the same gender.

Treatments for HIV, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says disproportionately affects gay and bisexual men, are sometimes shortchanged by insurance plans.

“Some HIV drugs may be outright not covered by insurance at all, or may be covered with copays or deductibles that make the drug essentially inaccessible,” Suffredini said. “It’s like the functional equivalent of denying coverage altogether.”

SMALL BUSINESSES

Not all workers are protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which only applies to business with 15 employees or more. But some states have laws that do cover those workers.

Fifteen states have nondiscrimination laws that cover all employers, regardless of size, according to Freedom for All Americans. Another 22 states have laws that cover workers at employers with at least two employees or more.

Connecticut, for example, extends the protections to workplaces with at least three employees, and Arkansas extends it to employers with nine, Freedom for All Americans said.

UNIFORMS

Dress codes and uniforms can present challenges for transgender employees. Rachel Mosby, who was the fire chief in Byron, Georgia, says she was fired from her job after she began showing up to work in feminine dress suits and skirts instead of one of the masculine suits she had been wearing for the last decade. Mosby spent more than $500 of fire department money on the suits, but was issued a written reprimand and required to pay the department back. When she bought herself male suits a decade earlier, there had been no issue.

“These implicit biases and systemic discrimination against people that are others, none of that has gone away,” Mosby said. “It’s still there, and that’s what we have to fight against. That’s what we have to work to remove from our system.”

Mosby filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the city for her termination.

RELIGIOUS REASONS

In their ruling, the Supreme Court judges made clear that they weren’t going to make a call on whether a business can fire an employee for religious reasons, leaving that an open question.

“It kind of punted on those issues and said we can address these at a later date,” said Todd Anten, a lawyer at Quinn Emanuel.

Employers that have religious objections to employing LGBT people might be able to raise those claims in a different case, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the court.

BATHROOMS

Another issue the Supreme Court said it wouldn’t decide this week: same-sex bathrooms and locker rooms.

Jerame Davis, executive director of LGBTQ workplace advocacy group Pride at Work, said employers right now have a lot of leeway in how they respond if a colleague doesn’t want a transgender person to use the same restroom or locker room as them. Often times, the transgender person is singled out and asked to use a different facility, which isn’t ideal, Davis said.

“We shouldn’t be singling out individuals,” he said.

PARENTAL LEAVE

Most workers in the U.S. do not have access to paid family leave to care for a newborn. But among those that have access to family leave, the policies often favor birth mothers, said Gabriel Dobson, 34, a gay man who is married to another man.

Dobson left his last job because he felt his employer was not promoting him because he is black and gay. Now, at a company that’s more culturally inclusive, Dobson is facing subtler challenges. His new company offers 16 weeks of family leave to a mother who gives birth to a child, but only four weeks to a parent who did not give birth. That’s making him wonder how he and his husband would manage if they adopt a child.

“When you are both non-birth parents and you have a child, who is going to get that time off to take care of the child?” Dobson asked. “It makes you feel like your situation is odd, when that’s not typically how I feel about my situation.”

RECOGNIZING LGBTQ WORKERS

Many employers may not know how many LGBTQ people it employs, which makes it hard to make sure they’re invited or included in particular programs.

Some big employers do allow employees to indicate on their human resources forms that they are LGBTQ, like they do for gender and race, said M.V. Lee Badgett, an economics professor and co-director of the Center for Employment Equity at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“I think employers that are trying to be proactive and are looking at gender gaps or maybe racial wage gaps, they should try to think about ways that they could do the same for LGBT people,” Badgett said.

Source: AP News

3 Signs of a Miserable Job

You don’t need to be reminded if you have a miserable job. You already know if you’re reluctant to get out of bed in the morning, if you’re scouring job boards, and if you’re emotionally exhausted and defeated at the end of each workday. But it’s important to know the root cause of your job misery so you can find a way out of it.

Author Patrick Lencioni addresses the problem of job dissatisfaction in his book, The Truth About Employee Engagement, which was originally published with the title “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job.” The book is for managers improving the health of organizations but knowing Lencioni’s three signs is also helpful for employees. Being aware of these three signs, you can take better actions that bring satisfaction to your current job and, if your action is leaving your job, asking interview questions to detect another miserable job.

First, you must distinguish between a bad job and a miserable job. A bad job, as Lencioni explains, can be based on pay, prestige, process, or whatever a person values in their work. A miserable job is objective. It’s largely the same if you’re a university president, a professor, admissions counselor, maintenance worker, or anyone else on campus who dreads going to work.

Also, the manager is often a reason why employees are miserable. There’s truth to the saying that people quit bosses, not jobs. According to a 2019 survey by DDI, 57 percent of employees have left their jobs because of managers (another 32 percent considered it), while Gallup research shows that managers account for at least 70 percent of variance in employee engagement scores. No wonder Lencioni’s book is directed at managers.

Managers influence each of the three causes of job misery, but that doesn’t mean employees should be absolved from their own job satisfaction. For example, if your boss doesn’t give you feedback, don’t sulk in the misery of not having adequate feedback — ask for it! The same goes for a miserable job that you’ve attempted to remedy: eventually you need to move on and find a better job.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are Lencioni’s three signs of job misery, followed by one action and one job interview question for each:

#1 Anonymity

If nobody cares what you’re doing and you feel anonymous, you’re not going to feel satisfied with your work. Although you might profess modesty and say you don’t need praise from your boss, not being recognized for your work has both conscious and subconscious psychological effects on your wellbeing. Consider Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: once your basic human needs of food, clothing, shelter, and security are met, what’s important is a sense of belonging and love. One of the many lessons learned from the pandemic, and remote work, is that the higher education industry desperately relies on an environment with human contact, which means less anonymity and more human interest.

Action to take in your current job: Make it easier for your manager to recognize that you’re a human being and not an agent for workplace transactions. Talk to your boss about what you’re going through and what you’ve accomplished. Don’t conform to his or her lack of empathy or social skills. Act more like the manager you want. “Employees who take a greater interest in the lives of their managers are bound to infect them with the same kind of human interest they seek,” Lencioni told Fast Company.

Question to ask in a job interview: “What do employees at your institution do well and how are they recognized or rewarded for their work?” Give hiring managers a chance to talk about their employees because that’s how they’ll describe you if you’re hired.

#2 Irrelevance

Everyone needs to know that their job matters to people, not just to the manager. Employees need to see the connection between their work and the satisfaction of others, both in large and small ways. To quote the 18th-century economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith, people desire “not only to be loved, but to be lovely,” meaning that praise is not enough but also knowing that respect was earned. “There are jobs that have an obvious impact on the lives of others,” Lencioni told the Harvard Business Review in an episode of the IdeaCast. “Even a teacher needs to be reminded about what a profound impact they have on their students.”

Action to take in your current job: Have more conversations with students so you see the impact of your work through them. A 2007 study led by Wharton management professor Adam Grant showed that university call center employees, after just a five-minute conversation with a student scholarship recipient, dedicated 142 percent more time to fundraising phone calls and raised 171 percent more money.

Question to ask in a job interview: “How have students benefited from the work that your employees do that students would not otherwise experience at other institutions?” If the search committee can’t offer at least one specific example, that’s a sign they see themselves and their employees as irrelevant.

#3 Immeasurement

This is Lencioni’s term to describe the inability of employees to gauge their own progress and level of contribution. Lencioni wrote that “people cannot be fulfilled in their work if their success depends entirely on the opinions or whims of another person,” in most cases their manager. “Without tangible means of assessing success or failure, motivation eventually deteriorates as people see themselves as unable to control their own fate,” Lencioni added. Basically, if you don’t know if you’re winning or losing at work, then you’re experiencing immeasurement.

Action to take in your current job: Develop your own short- and long-term metrics to track your work and tie it to the demands of your academic discipline (tenure requirements) or the strategic plan or mission of the institution (graduation or job placement rates). Obviously, there’s a delayed return on many of your efforts, so create personal productivity metrics that you can track on a daily basis: minutes of deep work, phone calls with prospective students or donors, or students’ engagement rates with online course content. Compile a report each week, month, or semester and email it to your manager, which will also address both your anonymity and irrelevance.

Question to ask in a job interview: “How do you define success for this position/department and what do you measure to know when success is achieved?” Make sure you ask about time frames, so you know if the expectations are reasonable. Playing a losing game can also be miserable.

In conclusion, there are many signs of miserable jobs but there are also many ways to escape this misery, by addressing these three causes or finding a new job. You have the ability to take action.

Source: Justin Zackal

5 Job Search Tips for 2021

Here are 5 tips for landing your dream job:

1. Update your resume. Recent accomplishments, newly acquired skills, and current position title are a few updates that should be made to your resume at least once a year.

2. Apply to five jobs a week. Use job search filters to find new positions each week to apply to. Create a job alert and have newly posted jobs directly in your inbox.

3. Setup a mock interview. Whether it’s with the mirror, a housemate, or a professional job coach, take time to practice answering the most commonly asked interview questions.

4. Increase your online presence. If you are looking for content to share on your professional channels, consider sharing topical articles and jobs you aren’t applying for, to keep yourself top of mind with your professional colleagues.

5. Make five new professional connections. Ask these individuals about their jobs and the company they work for to develop a relationship. Leverage these contacts as references or referrals when the time is right.

Top 5 Careers Worth Chasing

1. Find your calling

“Some people are very money-motivated, but most are looking for career fulfillment, not just a big paycheck,” says Molisani. That’s especially true of the millennials: 65% of them said they took their first job because they saw an opportunity for personal development, a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey found. (Only 21% based their decision on salary.)

During the early stages of your career, one of your main professional goals should be finding what industry best suits your ambitions. “Now is the time to explore different career paths,” says Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, a New York-based job-search consulting firm. “It’s more difficult to change industries later on in your career when you have a family to support and need a steady paycheck.”

2. Develop a broad skill set

Today, you’re hard-pressed to find a job that requires one skill and one skill only. “Employers want to hire people with a spectrum of talents,” says Molisani. Hence, instead of concentrating on what you want your job title to be in five years, focus on developing skills that will make you more marketable to future employers.

Start by honing your communication skills. Molisani recommends joining Toastmasters, an organization that helps people sharpen their public speaking. You may also want to take a writing class since nearly every industry will require you to write something, be it an email or an annual report.

3. Set a timeline for education

Depending on your chosen field, you may have to complete certain training, certification programs, or education to excel in your career. To avoid getting sidetracked, set a goal to acquire the skill or degree within a specific time period (e.g., “I will go to law school in two years”).

However, before enrolling—and potentially taking on student loan debt—think about why you want the degree and if it’s really going to make a difference in your future. “A lot of people go back to school for the wrong reasons,” says Safani, “and then they get frustrated because their education doesn’t lead to better career opportunities.”

If getting an MBA will increase your earning potential, it’s probably worth the investment; but if the degree isn’t relevant to your work, you might be better off going without.

4. Distinguish yourself in the field

To become a leader, you’ll need to raise your visibility at your current company and in your field. Show the boss you’ve got management potential by spearheading an initiative. Working on a group project? Be the one who presents the report to your manager. Join an industry group or association and regularly attend networking events.

“In-person networking is irreplaceable,” says Marcelle Yeager, president of Career Valet, a professional coaching firm based in Washington, D.C. Read: you’re more memorable when you meet someone face to face. You may even want to take on a leadership role (e.g., secretary) to further boost your public profile.

Also, develop a strong online presence that will help you demonstrate your expertise. That entails being active on social media—meaning you need to tweet on a regular basis, not simply have a Twitter account.  

5. Align your life goals with your career goals

Think about where you want to be in five years in terms of your personal life, advises Molisani. Looking to start a family in your hometown? Build your career there. Want to buy a house or pay off your student loan debt?

Check Monster’s salary guide to see what the average salary is for someone in your industry with five years’ experience, and determine whether you need to make adjustments in order to stay on course.

Develop new goals

No matter how much preparation you do to work toward achieving your goals, know that nothing is set in stone—and that’s OK. Your goals may change with time, and it’s important to be flexible. If you notice your career path is moving in a new and unexpected direction, allow yourself to explore it rather than resist it. The workplace changes, industries change, and you yourself will change too.

Source: Monster.com

Why You Should Consider an Apprenticeship

What is an apprenticeship?

The federal government defines an apprenticeship as “an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, mentorship, and a portable, nationally-recognized credential.”

Or put another way, an apprenticeship is an alternative path to beginning a career in a profession, says Aaron Olson, Chief Operating Officer of AON, which created an apprenticeship program in the Chicago area.

“In our case, this alternative is important. As a professional services firm with white collar professions, we would traditionally hire from four-year degree programs. An apprenticeship is an alternative to that,” he says. AON’s apprenticeship allows people to go to work while they complete an education program at a partner community college. “When they’ve completed the apprenticeship, they’ve done the equivalent of a four-year degree,” Olson says.

If it sounds too good to be true, it’s because not every company and industry is on board just yet, so you may have to do some digging to find an apprentice program that fits your interest. Monster currently has thousands of listings for an apprentice. Read on to find out some other reasons why you should consider an apprenticeship.

1. It’s an alternative foot in the door without four-year degree debt

Apprenticeship programs are not only free, but you actually also get paid while you’re working through them. Certain programs also fund some schooling or provide credit that you can put toward a degree should you decide to go back to school to finish a degree at some point.

Compare that to attending college and having to borrow money to do so while also not earning any income. The average student loan debt per borrower was $35,359 as of 2019, and the scarier part is that there’s no job guarantee upon graduation.

With an apprenticeship, a person does not have to take on debt, and they can try out an industry while getting a paycheck.

2. You get paid a real salary

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, workers who undergo apprenticeships have an average starting salary of more than $50,000, and earn $300,000 more, on average, than non-apprentices over the course of their careers.

At AON, apprentices are paid as full-time employees with full benefits, and at the completion of the two-year program, they’ll come out with a two-year associate degree. While they are an apprentice, they are paid less since the company is also subsidizing their schooling. 

3. It’s a legit career path

“Being able to start in a career that would otherwise have required a bachelor’s degree is a real benefit,” says Olson.

AON believes so strongly in apprenticeships that it started a network with 26 other companies called the Chicago Apprenticeship Network, and have collectively hired more than 540 apprentices. “That validates that across multiple companies that we understand and believe in these programs,” says Olson. “We’ve legitimized this as a career path.”

There’s also a big push at the federal level with more than 1,000 occupations registering apprenticeships with the Department of Labor. And, it’s not only in fields that people typically think of as a traditional apprenticeship, like becoming an electrician or painter. You could train in health care, cybersecurity, information technology, and energy, for example. 

Furthermore, apprenticeships aren’t only for recent high school graduates. “When we started in the first year, we expected people right out of high school, but we did find folks further along in their careers who wanted to switch careers,” says Olson. “They have been really great for us.” 

4. It’s good for the economy, too

Apprenticeships could have a positive impact in filling in some of those skills gaps and helping organizations find qualified job candidates.

That’s probably part of the reason why the government is investing heavily in apprenticeships, with a $150 million in grants to support sector-based approaches to expand apprenticeships on a national scale in key industry sectors.

At the company level, it’s a good investment as well. Even though AON doesn’t require that apprentices stay on beyond the two-year period (some apprenticeship programs might), they’ve found that there’s a high retention rate among apprentices, and they stay with the company longer than more traditional hires.

Find your path

Whether you don’t think college is the right choice for you, you don’t want to take on student loan debt, or you simply want to fast track your start into a new career, researching apprenticeships could prove to be a good move. Could you use some help getting started? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of apprenticeship programs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get apprenticeship alerts sent directly to your inbox to cut down on time spent looking through ads. 

Source: Monster.com