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Taking PRIDE in Your Authentic Self in the Workplace

by The Career Development Center Jun 7, 2021

Taking PRIDE in your authentic self in the workplace begins with exploring how you want to present yourself.

Whether you identify in the LGBTQ+ community, are a military veteran, or have a disability that you may or may not choose to disclose, start with asking yourself,

"How do I want others to know me as a person and as a professional?”

As you consider this question, here are five steps to get those creative juices flowing towards determining and then demonstrating your authentic self in the workplace!

1. Self-Exploration

College is the time to start exploring what you value as a professional, what matters most to you, and ultimately what you can see yourself doing with your future. Not sure how to answer those questions? Utilize our Career Exploration Resources found through the Career Development Center’s internal MyDSU page! If you’re someone who likes that one-on-one connection, please also schedule an appointment with the Career Development Center. We’d be happy to walk you through our Career Exploration Resources!

Also, as you consider yourself on a personal level, connect with individuals who “fill your cup”. If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, did you know we have a new BeYou Alliance that specifically supports this student population at DeSales? Reach out to the organization on Engage for more information about the organization and upcoming opportunities to get involved this fall!

2. Resume and Cover Letter

Once you’ve begun your self-exploration and are ready to take the next step, start considering what you’d like to include on your resume. For instance, there is no right or wrong way to present your identification with the LGBTQ+ community on your resume. Do what makes you comfortable! You do not have to disclose if you’re part of this community; however, you have the freedom to do so!

What you should first do is research the organization you’re applying to. Can you tell from their website or LinkedIn that they are LGBTQ-friendly?  If you’re unsure whether they are or not, you can choose to highlight the skills you developed, but perhaps not the organizations you worked with. For further information we’d encourage you to utilize this awesome “Coming Out on a Resume or in a Cover Letter” content from the Columbia University Center for Career Education!

3. LinkedIn

Building your LinkedIn takes time, but one of the most fun and easy ways to do so is by building your “Interests” section. So, if you’re a student veteran, you may want to consider liking the following companies, Student Veterans of America, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or the Veteran Mentor Network. 

By liking or joining these groups and companies you’re continuing to build upon your authentic self online. So, when recruiters look at your LinkedIn they will see what interests you. Truly, no matter how you identify yourself, find what matters to you and determine if this is what you want prospective employers to know about you!

4. Interviewing Tips

Not only do we need to take pride in our authentic selves in written and digital formats, but in verbal communication as well! Once you’ve submitted your resume, the employer has reviewed your application, as well as checked your LinkedIn, you’ve now made it to the interviewing process. You’re unsure as to whether or not to identify as someone with a disability. What should you do? 

Ultimately, the interview isn’t about whether or not you share your disability, sexuality, or military service with an employer. The primary focus of the interview is the demonstration of your skills, experiences, and education. Regardless, the interview process allows you a glimpse into how inclusive your prospective employer is. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about office culture and policies! 

As a side note for those who have a disability, if you choose to disclose it during an interview, you will want to briefly discuss your disability and assure the interviewer that you can positively succeed throughout your job performance, especially with proper accommodations. Be prepared to answer any questions regarding specific accommodations, but provide examples of how you have already performed many of the functions of the job. If your disability is not apparent, you may use greater discretion about when to discuss your disability. 

If you’d like more specific career coaching on this please contact Career Coach, Aubree Hiscox, at aubree.hiscox@desales.edu or would like to read on it further, please consult our Disclosing Your Disability to An Employer: At A Glance Sheet.

5. Day In and Day Out of the Office

At the end of the day, we encourage you to Be Who You Are and Be That Well. Take PRIDE in your authentic self in the workplace, at home, with your friends, getting smoothies, or simply going about the town. No matter how you identify or where you come from, The Career Development Center is here for you both in and out of the office! Please, stop by Dooling Hall 121 this fall. We can’t wait to meet you!

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