Ask about it.
I’ve been job hunting for some time now. I have the privilege and luxury to be able to take my time and consult while I look for the right fit. That’s not possible for everyone, and honestly only possible for a little bit longer, but that’s a topic for another newsletter.
As I get further in my career I realize that I have the ability to change cultures even before I start. I started thinking about this after I met (and had the pleasure of sort of working with) Rubina Madan Fillion, who job searched while pregnant and ended up helping First Look Media craft their parental leave policy.
I was talking about how I ask about maternity leave policies with a friend recently and they challenged me to use the phrase parental or family leave instead. Because you ask the question not only for you, but for everyone else. Negotiation makes work better for everyone.
I’m not looking to have children any time soon, but employers judge what is important to potential employees by what you negotiate for. For leadership positions, it matters even more, as many of us are the first of our kind. Ask about things you think the people who might come after you find important, or things you might find valuable later.
Ask the question as a way to mark that an employer should be thinking about that thing.
Some things you could ask about:
- Parental and family leave
- Health coverage for domestic partners
- 401k matching
- Tuition reimbursement
- Scholarships for children of employees
- Holiday policies for non-traditional religions
- Plans for growing inclusivity and diversity
- Drug testing and policies about cannabis use
- Expense policies (waiting for reimbursement can be a financial burden)
- Leadership coaching (Executive coaching?)
- Fellowship policies (Will they support someone if they leave for a yearlong fellowship?)
- Mentorship programs
What else could you ask for? I’d love to hear ideas on other important things that might cause employers to rethink existing policies. If I get enough, I’d love to build out a resource.
Hi, I’m Kim and I often forget to buy my pets food until it’s a little too late. Then I started using Chewy’s autoship to send Gadget treats and the cats wet food. You can easily delay shipments by a week or two and you can adjust the frequency of the shipments. It’s sort of like Amazon’s Subscribe and Save, but better and with more pet-friendly options, especially for my Horatio who needs special prescription food.
Reading // Eating // Using // Watching
The Themis Files, a series about what would happen if a big alien robot popped up on Earth. It’s also uniquely written in files and dialogue // A guide to writing better LinkedIn summaries, from Career Contessa // Should I even become a manager? Good question.
Listening to //
Escaping NXIVM, a fantastic CBC podcast about the very fascinating cult / self improvement scheme.
Because we can all use more motivation, I installed Achievement, which is an app that pays you to exercise and walk. It also helps reserach into health, but I am not exactly sure of the details.
Like everyone else, The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix), which is scary, but also a really good look at grief and the things it does to the mind.
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West Coast Deputy Editor, The Guardian (Oakland, Calif.)Part-time Travel Editor, Travel Noire (Los Angeles)Art and Design Director, Pacific Standard (Tell me if you apply for this!)