In the first parts of Downton Abbey’s Thomas Barrow’s job search, we saw Thomas’s frustration coupled with his lack of preparation. Fortunately, in the series finale, we discover that Thomas’s job search was “successful,” to the extent that he found a new job, but that ultimately he was able to finally land back “home” at the Abbey in a position he will truly enjoy. The journey provides some additional messages for job seekers, extracted from Thomas’s experiences in the early 20th century, but relevant for all job seekers in today’s environment. Related: An Interviewing Lesson From ‘Downton Abbey’ The second interview we see with Thomas is very different from the first and Thomas’s assertiveness is to be praised. Obviously seeing a visual difference between the condition of the estate and the advertisement for the job, Thomas assertively asks “Perhaps you could tell me more about the job?” When Sir Michael Reresby ignores the question as he tours the dilapidated Dryden Park estate with Thomas, Thomas persists, again asking for “more about the job? How many staff do you have?” It is obvious that Thomas decides to move quickly to get away from this situation, finally taking himself out of consideration with “Maybe I’m not quite up to it?” Job seekers today, like Thomas, need to assertively inquire about the real expectations of the job. And they need to be willing to walk away from a job that does not meet their expectations – even if the need for job is great – which is exactly the situation Thomas sees. In the same episode Mr. Barrow responds to Carson’s comment on his sullen attitude: “I can’t see the future, Mr. Carson. But then I suppose, none of us can.” This is an interesting comment because it is so important for job seekers to be looking at the future, in determining the vision for their future and in the need to monitor the trends of the job market and job search techniques. In the series finale, the story returns to Mr. Barrow’s job search with the early scene of his announcement that he’s found a new job, working at the estate of Sir Mark Styles, with Mrs. Jenkins and a maid, Elsie, as the only other staff. Unfortunately, we are not treated to any details of how Thomas interviewed. He is offered the job via a letter. But we do learn very quickly that it’s a pretty safe assumption to conclude that he took this job under the pressure he was feeling to get a job, any job. And that makes it equally easy to conclude that no matter how the interview went, Thomas endured it under that pressure. One online review site summarized Thomas’s new job perfectly. “Barrow landed a job at another Yorkshire estate, working for a dull old couple who would have caused the statuary to keel over from boredom.” It is obvious from every scene with Barrow at his new job that he’s bored and hating every minute of it. Perhaps Thomas is reflecting the frustration of the 70% of employees today who reportedly are “disengaged.” When prompted by one of his former co-workers from Downton Abbey to get along with everyone, he responds “there isn’t much of an everyone to get along with.” But the final scenes of Downton Abbey bring Thomas Barrow back to Downton Abbey in the esteemed position of Butler, replacing the seemingly irreplaceable but ill Mr. Carson. And in this final moment, there two outstanding messages for job seekers. Barrow’s job searches and short experience with his new job with the Styles have demonstrated to him how good his job at Downton was. A colleague e-mailed me with a perfect description: Barrow now has an “attitude of gratitude” that shifted his whole being making him a much more “likeable” character. When he is at the wedding and volunteers to serve champagne during the crisis he did it out of true commitment and concern which is not the Mr. Barrow we had come to know and love (conniving and manipulating). The truth is HE CHANGED which changed his whole perspective and hireablity AND made him the right candidate for the Downton job which he would have never had been considered for previously. In today’s competitive world, several top companies have realized the value of recruiting from former employees. I’m familiar with a top U.S. company which actively recruits from “alumna” and has found that when these former employees return, they have noticeably stronger attitudes, higher retention, and lower absenteeism than employees who’ve never left. I had a student several years ago who actively contacted employees who left on a regular basis, offering strong incentives to return, with excellent results. The final point from Downton Abbey is a solid point for all job seekers. Barrow has clearly earned this job based on his job performance – his selection for the position is easy. Even though he’s left – for a very short time – it’s really an internal promotion. His performance, over ten plus years of service, is known. His flaws are known, his growth as a person is known. Plus, when Mr. Carson is asked if this is OK with him, his response is clear: “Of course, sir, I trained him.” It is the challenge for every job seeker today to make their performance known, in the interview, on the resume, and on the LinkedIn profile. It’s performance, clear accomplishments, that distinguish top performers, not skills and experiences.
A lot of workplaces have made great process with diversity and inclusion, particularly with creating a welcoming and collaborative environment for the LGBTQ+ community.
While there's always room for improvement in the future, there are several companies already setting a great example. Here's a look at a handful of these companies.
Reply to @annie_kay4532 Hiring remote job seekers & major LGBTQ+ ally!#Pride #PrideAnthems #hiring #bestplacetowork #remote #hiringnow #applynow
Adobe is the global leader in digital media and digital marketing solutions and has built a reputation for having a strong company culture. Adobe has a culture score of 4.9/5 on employee review website Comparably and has been recognized on multiple occasions by Comparably for company culture, company leadership, and diversity,
Adobe has also won a few awards for its commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, including being named a "Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality" by the Human Rights Campaign. The AdobeProud network in the UK received the Rainbow Honours LGBTQ Network Group award for its commitment to equality and positive impact on the workplace experience.
Adobe has several employee resource groups (ERGs) for employees, including AdobeProud, which is an employee network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer colleagues and allies. The group works to protect LGBTQ+ rights in the workplace, support each other, and engage in community events.
Members of the group often participate in Pride marches in the U.S. and globally, panel discussions, networking events, and fundraising activities. The group also raises money for LGBTQ+ charities and advocacy groups.
Adobe is hiring for multiple positions globally, including remote positions. Check out Adobe's careers page.
(Photo from HubSpot.com)
HubSpot is a leading customer relationship management platform that provides software and support to help businesses grow. HubSpot has a culture score of 4.9/5 on Comparably and has won awards from Comparably for company culture and diversity. The company has also won numerous other company culture and diversity awards from other organizations.
According to HubSpot's 2021 Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging Report, 12% of HubSpot's workforce identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. HubSpot has an employee resource group called the LGBTQ Alliance that aims to empower HubSpotters through the creation of a safe, respectful community.
Alliance members participate in multiple events year-round with a variety of global initiatives, including breakfast roundtables to talk about current issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, a workshop on partner benefits and family planning, or any other number of employee events. HubSpot employees have also marched in Pride Parades in Boston, Berlin, Dublin, and Portsmouth.
HubSpot is hiring for multiple positions globally, including remote positions. Check out HubSpot's careers page.
(Photo from PayPal.com)
PayPal is a major online payments system that supports online money transfers globally and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods like checks and money orders.
PayPal made some major headlines in 2016 when it canceled plans to open its global operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina in response to a passed law in North Carolina that would prevent local governments from banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"This decision reflects PayPal's deepest values and our strong belief that every person has the right to be treated equally, and with dignity and respect. Our decision is a clear and unambiguous one," PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said at the time.
PayPal has an LGBTQ+ network called PayPal Pride which celebrates and furthers the company's commitment to diversity & inclusion. PayPal Pride has16 chapters across six countries. The Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index has named PayPal on multiple occasions one of its "Best Places to Work" for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. The company has even earned a perfect score on the index.
PayPal is hiring for multiple positions globally. Check out PayPal's careers page.
(Photo from Salesforce.com)
Salesforce is the world's top cloud-based customer relationship management platform.
Salesforce has earned a culture score of 4.7/5 on Comparably and has won Comparably awards for diversity and company culture. The Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index has recognized Salesforce on multiple occasions for being a best place to work for the LGBTQ community.
Salesforce has multiple employee resource groups to help bring underrepresented groups together and improve the company's culture. Outforce is the ERG for Salesforce's LGBTQ+ community. Overall, Salesforce is committed to building a workforce that reflects society.
Currently, 47.7% of Salesforce's U.S. workforce is made up of underrepresented groups (Women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Multiracial, LGBTQ+ employees, People with Disabilities, and Veterans). The company is focused on meeting the following diversity goals by 2023:
- To have 50% of the U.S. workforce made up of underrepresented groups (Women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Multiracial, LGBTQ+ employees, People with Disabilities, and Veterans)
- To double the U.S. representation of Black leaders (VP+) and increase the representation of underrepresented minority (Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Multiracial) leaders by 50% by 2023
- To increase U.S. representation of underrepresented minority (Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Multiracial) employees by 50% by 2023
Intel is one of the largest computer hardware and software companies in the world.
Like many of the other companies on this list, Intel is a consistent presence on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index as a best workplace for the LGBTQ community. Intel's IGLOBE (Intel Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender Employees) was the company's first-ever employee resource group.
IGLOBE has 13 chapters globally and actively drives awareness of issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community and serves as a support network for its members.
The group has a mentorship program where experienced Intel workers can mentor new workers who are also members of the LGBTQ+ community. Intel also has partnerships with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the Out and Equal Workplace Summit—where employees and experts from around the world gather to share strategies and best practices to create workplace equality, inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions.
Intel is hiring for multiple positions globally. Check out Intel's careers page.
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So, you know it is important to have the two Qs as you build out your network: quality and quantity. But have you considered the importance of having a well-rounded network?
In this labor market, having a strong network is critical to your career success. There are plenty of tips and articles on where to find people, how and when to connect with them, and even what you need to say to attract and maintain your network. This article focuses on who should be in your network.
Here are the top 10 people that should be in your network, no matter if you're looking for a job or happy in your current position—because every job is temporary!
1. The Mentor
This is the person who has reached the level of success you aspire to have. You can learn from their successes as well as their mistakes. Heed their wisdom and experience. This relationship offers a unique perspective because they have known you through several peaks and valleys in your life and watched you evolve.
2. The Coach
The coach is someone who comes in at different times in your life. They help with critical decisions and transitions and offer an objective perspective with no strings attached.
3. The Industry Insider
This is someone in your chosen field who has expert-level information or access to it. This person will keep you informed on what's happening now and what the next big thing is. Invite them to be a sounding board for your next innovative idea.
4. The Trendsetter
This is someone outside of your chosen industry that always has the latest buzz. It can be on any topic you find interesting. The goal in having this person in your network is to look for those connections that spark innovation via the unconventional. It will also help you keep your conversations interesting.
5. The Connector
This is a person who has access to people, resources, and information. As soon as they come across something related to you, they are sending you an email or picking up the phone. Connectors are great at uncovering unique ways to make connections, finding resources and opportunities most people would over look.
6. The Idealist
This is the person in your network you can dream with. No matter how "out there" your latest idea is, this is the person that will help you brainstorm ways to make it happen. Without judgment, they are focused on helping you flesh out your dreams in high definition, even if you don't have a solid plan yet on how to make it happen.
7. The Realist
On the flip side, you still need the person who will help you keep it real. This is the person who will give you the raised eyebrow when your expectations are a little to unrealistic and need some grounding. These are not people who knock down your dreams; rather, they challenge you to actively make your dreams happen.
8. The Visionary
Visionary people inspire you by their journey. They are similar to the Idealist, but the visionary can help you envision an actual plan to reach your goal. One personal encounter with this type of person can powerfully change the direction of your thinking and life.
9. The Partner
You need to have someone who is in a similar place and on a similar path to share with. In fact, partners do a lot of sharing. This is a person you can share the wins and woes with. Partners will also share resources, opportunities, and information.
10. The Wanna-Be
This is someone you can serve as a mentor. Someone you can help shape and guide based on your experiences. One of the best ways to tell you understand something is to be able to explain it to someone else. And sometimes, one of the best motivators for pushing through obstacles and hardship is knowing someone is watching.
Obviously, you will want to have more than 10 people in your network. The trick is to make sure you are building a diverse network by adding people from different industries, backgrounds, age groups, ethnic groups, and so on that fit into the roles listed above.
Building a deep network by only including people from your current profession or business focus leaves too many stones unturned, limiting potential opportunities. Serious about building a strong professional network that can actually provide the leverage you need to make progress at work and the connections to land your dream job? Evaluate your current network and get started filling in the gaps. Happy networking!
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This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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