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Looking for a job can be difficult for anyone. But transgender men and women face additional challenges that can be hard to overcome.
Understanding common challenges that transgender applicants face and putting the steps in place that help you achieve your professional goals will help you in your job pursuit.
Transgender Job Challenges
According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, over 6,400 participants reported an unemployment rate that was double that of the general population. The same survey showed that transgender individuals were almost four times as likely to experience poverty. These statistics highlight the effects that discrimination can have on the transgender population. Although there are measures in place to protect employees, discrimination still occurs in many organizations.
Finding the right job with a culture that’s inclusive and provides the opportunity for growth is possible if you know where to look. Job fairs can be a great place to start, and there are many LGBT career events that are beginning to cater to the needs of transgender job seekers. They make it easy to connect with companies that are committed to diversity and provide opportunities for everyone. Career fairs are a good way to network with key decision makers within companies. This helps you broaden your job search while creating future opportunities by growing your existing network. Exchanging contact information and following up through phone, email, or social media are effective ways to use job fairs to your advantage.
Tap Into Your Existing Network
No one knows the skills you can offer better than your friends, family, and previous co-workers. Reach out to your personal network and let them know that you’re looking for a job. Provide links to an online resume or portfolio or deliver your professional information through email. They can pass this information along to anyone who might be looking for someone with your background, skills, and expertise.
Do Your Homework
If you have a job or company in mind, take the time to learn more about what the company does. You can use the information you gather in your introductory letter and tailor your resume to match their needs. Many businesses have disclosures on their website explaining their employee policies as they relate to discrimination. This helps you identify the businesses that share your core values. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has a Corporate Equality Index, which ranks businesses on their policies as they relate to the LGBT community. Many top companies are highly ranked, and their practices are an indication of their ability to treat and respect all employees. Transgender job seekers can overcome many of the common challenges they face by implementing a few key strategies. Reaching out to and expanding your existing network creates new opportunities for employment. These and other strategies give you the resources you need to establish your professional career and begin achieving your goals.