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Career + Work

Quit Talking about the Lack of Diversity and Do Something

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Last week, a Black software engineer, Leslie Miley, made news when he shared why he quit his job at Twitter – where he was the ONLY Black engineer in a leadership role – in a thoughtful piece on the lack of ethnic diversity in tech. In recent years, Twitter and other tech giants have come under fire…[/dropcap]

When You’re Confronted With Racially Insensitive Terms at Work

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Last week I sat in a meeting where the word “slave(s)” was said at least 20 times.

No, I wasn’t involved in a discussion on slavery or history, as someone asked when I tweeted about it. I was in the office of a tech startup. [I’m contracting in my old career until my new one takes off.]

Each time “slave” escaped someones’ lips, I cringed internally, trying hard not to externally display my discomfort. However, with each “slave” uttered, I sank deeper in my chair as my tension found other ways to release itself: a bouncing foot, a tapping finger, shifting positions in my chair. With every vocal release of “slave” it was as though someone tossed the sharp-edged word directly at me. A lashing by lexicon.[/dropcap]

5 Ways I Stayed Productive (and Kept Sane) During Unemployment

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]The last time I experienced unemployment was over 10 years ago. I was in my mid-20s, living in the heart of Hollywood, California. I don’t just mean living in Los Angeles, I actually lived in the Hollywood neighborhood. My roommate and I could see the Hollywood sign from her condo balcony. I came home one Friday evening to a message from my temp agency informing me that I’d been let go from my several months long temp assignment. Again? I thought. While this hadn’t been a permanent job, it still marked the third time I unexpectedly and abruptly found myself without employment in a 3 years.[/dropcap]

Post Traumatic Stress from…Work?

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]My career counselor told me she thinks I have post traumatic stress from my last two jobs.

I laughed when she said it. The past two years have been intense for sure, but post traumatic stress? Isn’t that usually reserved for soldiers, victims of violence – you know, real trauma?

I knew my sense of confidence and self-efficacy took a serious hit with the job I left in 2013. I admittedly felt a bit raw going into the next place.[/dropcap]

Laid Off, Not Laid Out

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]I got laid off this week.

The news didn’t completely surprise me. I knew the company, which I’ll refer to as “Fancy Startup” (FS), planned to cut some jobs [the numbers-focused CEO told us weeks ago, “We have too many employees and still more to hire. We now have x hundreds of employees and plan to hire x number more. Do you guys think we should have that many? That’s crazy!” He laughed mirthlessly, “By year’s end I expect we’ll have the same number. So…”] [/dropcap]

I Woke Up Thirtysomething

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“As you sit in your rocking chair at the age of 100, what might be a regret you will have if there was something(s) you did not do/achieve/try?”

I stared at the question on the work/life reflection worksheet given to me by my career counselor. One of several questions aimed at helping me find my “passion.” The idea being once I discover this elusive passion, I can direct my efforts toward an endeavor I’d truly find satisfying and meaningful, instead of middling through a career that like a perfunctory meal, provides nourishment, but doesn’t inspire, isn’t particularly memorable or something you want to effusively praise to your friends.

Things I’d regret not doing? [/dropcap]

Waking Up From a Bad Dream: Job Nightmares

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]I’ve been living in San Francisco for 9 months. I genuinely like San Francisco now (no one say, ‘I told you so!’). I realized a few months ago that I like the city. At the time, I’d add the caveat: “But, I’m not sure about the people.” Now I just like it. No, it’s not the city I knew it to be when I first visited over a decade ago. Yes, as a new friend lamented “Strangers don’t talk to strangers here” and “Men [seem] too afraid to approach women.” I’m adapting to the culture and the norms. I even trained myself not to make eye contact with people on the street.[/dropcap]