Your first job is a pretty nervous time whether you’re gay or straight, but the truth is that it’s a different world when you’re entering it as a young gay adult. You feel like everyone knows that you’re gay and just own talk about it, or you might feel that your sexual orientation will keep you from getting promoted at work. So we wanted to cover the big question that you’re probably wondering, and give you a few more pieces of advice about the working world as a gay person.
First and foremost, if you’re worried about your workplace environment, you will need to find someone that you trust to talk about it. In the corporate world, this is almost certainly an HR person. You have to make sure that you know the corporate culture as it stands, rather than what you think the corporate culture should indeed stand for. This might get a little bit tricky but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Worried about coming out to HR? Don’t — the role of human resources is to understand personnel management, and you are probably not the first gay person that the HR professional has encountered. If they are older than you and have been at the company longer, they can easily become a mentor to you as you try to navigate through the twists and turns of the corporate jungle.
As far as your boss and working team go, there’s no reason to tell them that you’re gay if you can tell that they would have a problem. You have to remember that it’s all about your comfort and your ability to produce good work for the company. Your manager will not be judging you as a gay person, they’re going to be judging you as an asset of the company, and scoring you accordingly. If you are a graphic designer and you put out good work that makes the company money, then that’s what they’re going to look at you about. On the other hand, if you are so caught up in the gossip mill about your sexual orientation that you don’t think about anything else, you might find that people really are going to have problems with you at work. That’s not a good thing and it can easily have you out of work very quickly!
The biggest takeaway here is that you need to focus on your professional goals. Where do you want to be in six months? A year? Five years? Think about the people in the company that can really help you reach those goals.
If there are issues at work, you’re going to want to make sure that you reach out to people that can get the problem stopped. No one in the world has the right to bully you, so don’t forget that!