Things to Consider
- As you think about your career, consider what value your diverse background brings to a position and organization. Remember many employers appreciate the unique insight LGBTQIA students can bring to their position.
- Check organization rankings regarding general commitment to diversity at DiversityInc.
- Check out The Human Rights Campaign’s “Workplace” page. It includes many resources, including HRC’s Corporate Equality Index Survey, which rates organizations based on how their policies and practices support and protect LBTQIA individuals and families.
- Read organizations’ diversity statements and human resources policies on their web sites. Check to see if organizations offer domestic partnership benefits, or other LGBTQIA-friendly policies. Look to see if organizations have LGBTQIA “affinity” or “resource” groups for LGBTQIA employees and/or have LGBTQIA-friendly benefits and workplace cultures.
There are many valuable career resources for LGBTQIA individuals. Here are some of our favorites:
Your Journey: A Career Guide for Trans and Nonbinary Students The guide is designed to support you in applying for jobs by showing you how to leverage available resources and make decisions that work for you and your career.
TJobBank Employment site specifically designed to bring inclusive employers together with transgender candidates
Diversity Working Diversity working is a job search engine that offers 550,000 active and non-replicated diversity jobs
Out for Work OFW’s programs, resources and services provide assistance to students in the cultivation and enhancement of skills to explore career options, master search techniques and strategies, and research employment opportunities.
Connect with Professionals and Peers
Meeting with LGBTQIA professionals or others who work in your career area of interest can be a great way to get career advice and find leads on positions. Below are a few ways you can find people in industry who might be able to help.
- Ask family, friends, advisors, career counselors, community leaders, or instructors if they know any LGBTQIA professionals who you can speak with for advice on your career plans.
- Professional associations are groups of people who work in a similar industry that meet to conduct professional development and to network. Attending organization meetings can be a way to find professionals eager to help you navigate the world of work View a national listing of organizations created by the Human Rights Campaign at LGBTQ Professional and Student Associations.
- Quorum, the Twin Cities LGBT + Allies Chamber of Commerce
Has a member directory allows you to find professionals by industry area.
- Create an account on the online professional networking site LinkedIn.com and join groups such as the LGBT Professional Network - Global.
- Join student groups that relate to your professional goals. This is a great way to network with your peers and many groups bring in professionals in the field to speak with students.
- Attend career fairs, organization information sessions/networking events, and employer panels to expand your professional network. View campus events at GoldPASS powered by Handshake.
Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of contacting a professional? You’re not alone! Calling a stranger and asking for advice makes most students a little nervous. To get some tips to help you through this process, simply call your career center and ask for an appointment with a career staff member. We will coach you on what to say when you call a professional, what kinds of questions to ask and how to make the best impression.
Your Legal Rights
As LGBTQIA student, you may have concerns about experiencing discrimination within your job search or career and how to handle this should it arise. Below you will find some resources to help you understand your rights if you encounter discrimination in a job interview or in the work place.
- Laws protecting you from discrimination: Minnesota law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, public service, education, credit, and business based on “sexual orientation,” which is defined to include transgender individuals. Although federal law does not protect employees from discrimination based on real or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation, many cities, counties and states do have such protections. To see if a state in which you are considering working has discrimination protections, see the Human Rights Campaign’s list of state laws
- See the Movement Advancement Project's (MAP) website for maps of legal equality for in the U.S., taking into account major state and local laws and policies that protect or harm LGBTQIA people. MAP is an independent, nonprofit think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and communications that help speed equality and opportunity for all.
- If you experience discrimination once you are in a job, check out Dealing with Discrimination: Tips for Employees.