July 13, 2020
(updated July 13, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
When it’s time to update your resume/CV preparing for a job search, it can be tough to know if you should be out as LGBTQ on it. We don’t believe you will find anyone who would suggest putting “I’m queer – get used to it” in bold pink letter sprinkled with glitter on the top of your resume/CV.
So, should you come out on your resume?
No one can answer that question for you. It is your life, your career, your sexuality, your gender identity, and therefore your choice rests squarely on your shoulders. However, read on for insights to help you make an informed decision.
Many in the LGBTQ community disagree about what you should reveal on your resume/CV. Some say to be out being your full and authentic self, while others argue that you should remain in the closet, grit your teeth to land the job and then slowly come out to co-workers as you get to know them individually.
Many people have acquired significant volunteer and work experience from obviously LGTBQ-oriented organizations. Other people struggle with how transparent they should be on their resume or job application when asked about other interests. Knowing what to say, and how much to disclose to a complete stranger with the power to provide or decline a job offer can be cause for worry. It can often feel like living in the closet and being judged for who you are as a person.
How much experience is related?
Not much but it’s close to my heart
You are such a wonderful person for volunteering. If your past experience related to LGBTQ non-profits/NGOs is not really central to the job you are applying for, we’d recommend completely leaving it off your resume/CV. It’s not hiding your sexuality or gender identity, it is just not pertinent. This even includes leaving it out of your resume/CV hobbies/extra activities. If you get a sense during the interview process that the employer and interviewers are LGBTQ friendly you can always bring it up in the course of dialog as appropriate.
Just a bit but it’s important
If some of your experience was acquired from paid or volunteering for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer non-profits/NGOs no matter if you are LGBTQ a straight ally you might start to wonder if you should put that experience on your resume. This effectively would out you as LGBTQ whether you are LGBTQ or a community ally. Additionally, as you’ll learn below even just the perception of being LGBTQ real or perceived can potentially impact your ability to be hired, promoted and even the salary offered.
Major part of my career
If all your experience is from paid or volunteering at LGBTQ organizations, then it’s pretty clear you have no choice. You have to list the experiences. But you still need to be aware of the issues you may face and be prepared to research employers to find the right match and put your best foot forward with the best employers no matter the size or location of the employer.
If you have worked primarily for LGBTQ or other non-profits/NGOs it can also be difficult to break into the for-profit sector. I have heard of people attempting to do make this transition and being told, “Your qualifications are outstanding, however, you aren’t a right fit for this company we are about making money not helping people/the environment/animals.” – true story. So if your work experience has been 50%+ with a non-profit organization no matter the focus LGBTQ or not, be prepared to address this disqualifying mindset proactively in your cover letter and in the every interview conversation if you get that far.
LGBTQ workplace policies are good yet not a 100% guarantee
Reality is even if an employer boasts being a welcoming LGBTQ workplace with LGBT friendly policies and benefits, there are many people involved in the resume/cv review and interview process. Depending on the size of the employer, that may be a few people or in best case scenario it will be a review committee to reduce the chances of one person’s learned prejudices and ignorance to discriminate and disqualify you based on you being LGBT. In any case, it still can be risky. You want to list all your great experience and qualifications to land that new job yet you are also putting trust in the employer company/organization and the individuals in the hiring process.
At what point should I come “out” in the workplace?
It is important to know that you do NOT have to disclose your sexual orientation or gender identity at any point in the resume/cv submission, job application or interview process. This decision is entirely up to you and how comfortable you feel disclosing your sexual orientation, sex, or gender expression. If you do choose to disclose, there are generally three opportunities to “come out” to an employer?
On your resume
In an interview
After you start working for the organization
Many believe that no job is so great that it’s worth hiding who you are and selling yourself short by leaving out all the organizations you volunteered time with, just-just to hide your sexual identity. That volunteer work could have provided many skills and demonstrate your community involvement beyond the workplace showing a well-rounded individual with character.
Some feel that it is more important to get the job first, and then come out after people get to know you. “I’m here. I’m queer. I’m in the next cubicle” approach.
Others strive for a middle ground in where they list their LGBT activities on their resumes but don’t draw attention to it. They might list PFLG, HRC or NGLCC without going into additional details or spelling out the acronym. They might list the abbreviation of a student campus LGBT group and that they were the vice president such as Berkely LGSA Vice President instead of Berkely Lesbian & Gay Student Alliance Vice President. If asked about the entry it’s an opportunity for discussion to expand upon it in person versus potentially being tossed way by someone along the candidate review path who might hold prejudices. such as “vice president of gay campus group.” The rest, says Woog, is left to the interviewer. If she says, “The Rainbow Alliance –- tell me more about that,” it’s an opportunity to expand on it and judge her reaction.
Still, others hold firm that it is inappropriate to come out on one’s resume as it is to mark down one’s religious or political affiliations. We suggest talking with your both LGBT and straight close friends and family who also have a history of volunteer and community work.
As LGBTQ professionals we cannot live in a vacuum and our straight college have no problem listing their volunteer and community activities that might hint at their heterosexuality. It’s accepted.
At OutBüro we believe a resume should be honest and comprehensive. If a person has done work with GLAAD or Lambda Legal for example – and the reader even knows what these things are – certain presumptions can be made or not. We know many straight people who work at LGBTQ organizations too. Putting your volunteer work in the LGBTQ community on your resume is no different than others who may indicate they are a deacon in the church or a Hebrew school teacher on the weekends.
Why should you hide what you value and has contributed to your life, character, your local community and the community at large? It’s unfortunate that all companies do not have sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination policies. Luckily many companies and organizations do
Questions to ask
Is the company you are interested in an LGBTQ workplace friendly employer?
Do you feel comfortable disclosing that you are currently or have in your past held a paid positions or volunteered for an LGBT community organization?
Do you include previous work experiences (internships, etc.) that occurred at an LGBT advocacy organization(s)?
Is that current or past experience relevant to the job you are applying for?
How do you list your achievements from an LGBT organization on your resume?
Do you list it as for example an LGBT youth organization or simply a youth organization and if asked which one in the interview process disclose it if you feel comfortable doing so at that time?
Questions you can ask an employer in an interview if their employer website does not specifically state it:
Would you say that your company has a diverse employee base?
Do you offer domestic partner benefits and or other LGBT related benefits and policies? (if not clearly stated on their website)
Does your company/organization have an LGBTQ employee resource support or social group?
Additional considerations for transgender job seekers
Is it OK to use my chosen name on a resume and cover letters are not legal documents? You are not required to list your legal name on either document.
Let’s say your legal name is Stephanie Smith and your chosen name is Darrel Smith. You might consider listing your name as S. Darrel Smith on the resume and cover letter.
Will I have to use my legal name during the Job Search
Unless you have made legal arrangements to change your name, unfortunately, you will need to provide your legal name for the actual job application, background checks, social security documents, and insurance forms. However, most organizations will allow you to use your preferred name for company contact information, email, and phone directory. Human resource professionals are bound by confidentiality and can be a good source of information.
When it comes to dressing for an interview, it is important that you present yourself in a manner that is consistent with the position for which you are applying. Dress professionally for the gender for which you wish to be seen as. This can also help your employer understand which pronouns you wish to use.
The world has changed but not enough
A recent study conducted by the University of Surry demonstrates that discrimination in the hiring process still exists. In that study the presented the participants with headshot images with the backgrounds removed along with voice samples. The found that just based on those two bits of information that the participants indicated they were less likely to hire the person and if they did hire them the candidate would be offered less money for the same job with the same skills as someone they perceived as heterosexual. Additionally, the participants indicated if the candidate already worked for the employer, they would likely be passed over for promotion preferring to promote a heterosexual.
According to a 2013 Queer in STEM study (science, technology, engineering, and math) found that more than 40% of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are not out as LGBTQ in the workplace.
No matter how you decide to proceed regarding your sexual orientation on your resume, you should do your homework on the employer’s LGBTQ workplace equality you before submitting your application.
Do research on the company’s website as well as other websites listing the company is important to know as much about them and their LGBTQ stance as possible. Know what legal protections are in place in your city, county, state, and country.
Network with other LGBT professionals of all levels
One of the best ways to get the inside scoop on an employer’s workplace LGBT friendliness is to connect with and communicate with an LGBT employee who currently or recently worked there. Don’t know anyone? No problem. Join the OutBüro on the LinkedIn LGBT professional networking group. It was the first and remains the largest LGBT+ professional networking group on LinkedIn with currently over 46,000 global members.
Like the OutBüro Facebook page and message others who like it. We’ll be considering starting an OutBüro on Facebook group shortly and then you’ll be right there ready to jump in.
It needs people just like you to participate. It’s fairly new and we would appreciate you taking a few moments to add reviews/rating of your current and recent past employers. It’s at no cost to you as an employee and it’s anonymous. Your review/rating will help other LGBTQ job seekers in the future during their job hunt company/organization research.
Search to see if your current or recent past employer(s) are present already in the system. If not, you may add it with limited features and then review/rate them.
Check out the below article and user guides to get started:
If interested in a job at a US Fortune 1000 level company one source is the HRC Corporate Equality Index. This organization and report have been instrumental in moving large companies forward in creating LGBTQ workplace equality. It is however as mentioned limited only to US Fortune 1000. It is also self-reported by those company HR departments with no employee input to our knowledge and definitely, no direct employee feedback on the actual workplace equality and general work culture.
Although not all, OutBüro has heard personally from many LGBT employees over the past few years that once their employer achieved the coveted 100% HRC Corporate Equality Index score that management backs off and the internal efforts dwindle to barely an acceptable level at best. It is awesome and we applaud HRC and all organizations who have achieved and maintain a 100% score. This report is but one view of the employer’s benefits, policies, business practices, and the potential of an LGBT friendly workplace environment. Don’t rely on it as your only.
If outside the United States
As of the updating of this LGBT employee resource article, OutBüro is only aware of one other corporate equality scoring report.
If you are aware of other studies and reports please contact us with a URL to the site so that we may include it within this article and other resource guides on the OutBüro site.
The Rainbow Tick is a New Zealand national accreditation program for organizations that are committed to safe and inclusive practice, and service delivery for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) people. Organizations wishing to receive a Rainbow Tick are required to undergo accreditation against the Rainbow Tick Standards, owned and developed by Rainbow Health Victoria (formerly GLHV).
Stonewall UK Workplace Equality Index
Participating employers demonstrate their work in 10 areas of employment policy and practice. Staff from across the organization also complete an anonymous survey about their experiences of diversity and inclusion at work.
Organizations then receive their scores, enabling them to understand what’s going well and where they need to focus their efforts, as well as see how they’ve performed in comparison with their sector and region. The 100 best-performing organizations are celebrated publicly.
Stonewall Diversity Champions benefit from in-depth, tailored feedback on their submission.
Free & Equal – United Nations
Violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people cannot be ended by governments alone. Businesses can foster diversity and promote a culture of respect and equality both in the workplace and in the communities where they and their business partners operate.
The United Nations is calling on companies all over the world – big and small, local and multinational – to help move the dial in the direction of greater equality for LGBTI people.
We know from experience that every time discrimination is diminished, everyone benefits.
It’s your life, your sexuality, your gender identity, and your career. Only you can make the choice on how out to be on your resume/CV in your new career job search and in the workplace. It’s your choice.
Every day is a good day to focus on developing your leadership skills. However as we are in unprecedented recent times with the global COVID pandemic, if you choose, it is a fabulous time to reflect on your personal, professional, career, and/or entrepreneur ambitions through honing your leadership skills. We discuss the opportunity to adapt your business or launch a startup based on the new environmental conditions that COVID-19 has brought about. Change, adapt and grow or be like past iconic brands who didn’t and are no longer around. Be the new startup disruptor seizing new opportunities.
Phil Bohlender is an LGBT author, entrepreneur and a unique thinker on leadership. In our casual conversation, Phil states his book may be read cover to cover in just two hours and has reflective exercises at the end of each chapter. It may be kept close at hand to be a continual reference as you experience different situations. We discuss how leadership activities happen in all areas of your life from personal interactions with a spouse/life partner, parenting, family relations, and even friendships. Improving leadership skills is for all ages from teens in school, Young adults in college and starting there careers, and adults for personal and professional growth. Maybe you want to be a leader in a non-profit or step up influence at work. The skills Phil teaches are easy to grasp and put to practical use. For very early in his professional career,
Phil has been out as a gay professional. He is an LGBT author, entrepreneur, coach, consultant, and speaker. Further, grow your skills and grab Phil’s book on Coaching. Again the principles may be applied to nearly all your relationships. In our chat, we discussed some examples of leadership in our own past and current work as examples while having a laugh too. Phil is available for panel discussions, speaking engagement live or virtual as well as training/coaching individuals or groups.
Coaching is one of the ways High Performing Organizations differentiate themselves from others in their industry. As a result of partnering with an experienced coach; individuals and organizations are in a better position to develop stronger leaders, improve processes and increase profits. Organizations that work with coaches are better equipped to adapt to the changes that are inherent in every industry. Leaders have an accountability for delivering successful outcomes and must be educated, equipped and empowered to achieve them consistently. Companies looking for a high return on expectations as well as value, will achieve more success when working with skilled and competent coaches.
Consulting allows organizations to access more successful strategies and tactical best practices. Organizations that focus on streamlined and more efficient processes, are more likely to be High Performing Organizations. The costs associated with processes are reduced when a consultant collaborates with the organization’s Subject Matter Experts to develop the new ways of getting work done for both their internal stakeholders and customers. The ROI for the coaching investment is achieved when the costs associated with the processes are reduced by eliminating the unnecessary steps and aligning the roles and responsibilities more clearly.
Phil is an experienced and energetic global leader with expertise in leadership development coaching and business process improvement consulting. His corporate career spanned more than 35 years working with 7 companies, in 2 industries on 4 continents. 5 of the companies Phil worked with are ranked in the Fortune 100 list. Phil brings his experience, expertise, and best practices to each engagement with his clients. As a result of his passion for learning and sharing his knowledge with others; he is a powerful and proficient coach and mentor, who is highly sought after by leaders and business owners.
The below was created through voice to text recognition. We will strive to edit for accuracy as time permits. It may not be perfect. It is being provided for the hearing impaired to still enjoy the interview.
Unknown Speaker 0:04 Hello, this is Dennis Velco with OutBüro you’re listening to out bureau voices, the video interview and podcast interview new sessions with LGBT leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals around the globe. Today, I am so thrilled to be chatting with Bill bohlander. We have actually had numerous conversations on the telephone over the last year or so. And this is actually the first time that we’ve had a video dialogue. So we have a lot of history and looking forward to our conversation now. Welcome so much, Phil to the show. Thank you, Dennis. It’s
Unknown Speaker 0:47 a pleasure to be on your show and also to get to see you.
Unknown Speaker 0:51 Well, Leonor, hey, I it’s early. I’m having my coffee. I’ve got the lightnings going. So yes, a little bit of time. Up here. It’s all good. It’s
Unknown Speaker 1:01 all good.
Unknown Speaker 1:03 Yes. So So Phil, you know, of course, you know, because you and I have had numerous conversations, even there almost weekly for a while. And, you know, so I have a pretty good understanding, I believe, but and every time you come up with something new, that you’re working on that for our listeners and viewers out around the world, give us an overview for you know, five or seven minutes of your, your background. And then, you know, let’s lead up into what you are doing now. And I see you have a couple of your books on your background. Obviously check it out. So take it away, Phil, thank you.
Unknown Speaker 1:49 I’ve been coached well, right this way this way, I think. Well. So thank you. Again, it’s very thrilling to be here. So what I love about your platform is that it’s a professional platform. And so what I want to share with you is that in 1982, if we could go all the way back to January of 1982, and I won’t take you through every year individually, I started my first corporate position. It was at a fortune 100 company. And for for whatever reasons I had the wherewithal to come out in the first four months, and this is at a time when working in Texas, I could have been terminated just for coming out. There was massive anti LGBT energy going on. And so I started my career by coming out and I remained out for 35 years in my corporate career, and my corporate career spanned working for six fortune 100 companies. In the service industry, I went on to a family owned business in the manufacturing industry. I was fortunate to work on five continents in 20 countries and all the while developing This passion and proficiency around leadership, I felt very responsible as a leader, I felt very responsible for the people that I was working with, and also for the work that was entrusted to me. So lots of focus and lots of attention on developing as a leader. And what’s key to me about being a leader is this coaching and mentoring model. So it’s not the heavy stick and you know, coming at people in really harsh ways, but really about empowering them and asking them questions about how they want to lead and how they want to become bigger and better leaders. And then what happened was, it seemed as though the place to be the one who developed other leaders was in the places where there was the most chaos. And so what I loved was I kept getting called in to take operations and turn them upside down and put them back together because they were completely out of whack. One example was I took the job. And it was very interesting because all throughout the interview process, I kept asking them So what am I walking into? So what’s the inventory? What are some of the key issues that you want me to take on right away and get solved? They wouldn’t tell me they wouldn’t tell me they wouldn’t tell me. I’m a risk taker. I liked enough about the job that I took the job. And I moved my family, my partner at the time to another city in order to take on this job. When I went into this job in the first week, I asked for the reports around the inventory, the reports came in and they were stacked this high, and they were all across my credenza. I said, I just want the summary page, show me the summary page. So it’s a summary page Dennis, and it had the number 83 on it, and I said, I thought the standard was five. I said it is I said so the inventory is at 83 days and we need to get it to five or under. So there’s a whole story around how I got it the fiber under with the working around the leadership development and the business transformation. So 35 years really excited about what i what i did during that time. I will tell you that I’m risk taker and an adventure when it comes to my career. So I’m not afraid of ever doing anything that other people might walk away from. And it was interesting as I reflected having my own business over the last few years, um, maybe just maybe some of the jobs while I was qualified for them. There probably weren’t people out there as crazy as me to take them. So I got, I got to take on these jobs and literally turn things upside down, put them back together. So just a rich, rich, rich corpora
Unknown Speaker 5:31 e career. Awesome. Ok
Unknown Speaker 5:36 y. And so Hey, tell us about some of the books though that because you do have them right up in your background. So why don’t we jump into those? I know you and I could then spin off into lots of dialogues.
Unknown Speaker 5:48 xcellent. So what I’ll tell you about it, the first book, it’s on the top there. You can tell I’ve never done the weather. So the first book is called the seven essential traits of leaders And what came to me was that every leader must have a style. So it’s the thing around being intentional. And the thing about having, as we call it now a brand around your leadership. So the seven essential traits for leaders, for me, leaders is an acronym. And so each of those acronyms is a trait characteristic that you want to take into your leadership style. It’s, it’s what I modeled my leadership style around. So if not these seven, pick three or seven or some number that works for you. So I’ll just tease with the first one. The first one L is for listening. And what I know over and over again, is that being Lisp, being a listener is about being intentional. It’s about pausing and letting the other person in, you know, inviting the other person to share and speak. So that book is really exciting. And it’s gotten a lot of attention in terms of doing some speaking gigs, some workshops here locally and now of course, in the COVID environment. I’m delivering a program around that book in the virtual world. The coach’s book is the second of the books that I didn’t even know that I was going to write. And it’s really around being a coach within the leadership model. And so I’ll let you figure out what the coaches acronym are. And what’s interesting about it is it’s a really great compliment to the leadership. And I thought, Okay, I have one for one end of the book, and you know, the shelf and the other end of the book, so shelf rather. So now I have these bookends, and I’m done. And now you know, recently, I got this idea for writing a book called The seven essential traits of mentors, because at my age, I’m really stepping into being a mentor for other leaders. And so what I’m going to do is I’m going to offer those seven traits around how to be a mentor to others. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be my age in order to be a mentor. Certainly there are younger people who mentor me around technology on a regular basis and I’m really grateful for them. So really, so my books are really centered around leadership coaching and mentoring. Um, and, uh, the whole, the whole idea to it is be intentional as
Unknown Speaker 8:09 a leader. Awesome, very g
Unknown Speaker 8:12 od. And I pardon man, and I do like the, you know, you were always evolving. Yes, businesses are always evolving. You’re always evolving. Well, that’s well, no, let me take that back. Businesses are not always evolving. And if they don’t constantly evolve, what do they do? They go out of business. Yeah. Yeah. don’t adapt. You know, look, look at industry, look at businesses that we that were common household names just eight years ago, 10 years ago. Yes. And they’re nowhere now. Exactly. And, you know, like Barnes and Noble, for example. I mean, they’re there. Very few stores I think are even out there. Yeah. And as people, we have to do the same, right? Yeah. If If we don’t constantly take a learning, which is I personally like you love challenging situations and my corporate consulting, I was known as a paratrooper. So I would go into the worst accounts, and the worst accounts and where projects were not being delivered the consultants on it, you know, like, because at one point, I had 38 staff. And so you know, like, let’s say I and I was the founder of the company, so, but even before I became a business owner, I was known for that. So if I was working for a consulting firm, that had a project, and if I had any at all, not even domain experience On what was going on just pure project management? Yes, they would send me in. And so, so, but yes, so for, for me constantly learning is is one of the hallmarks, and constantly adapting. And so you’re, you know, started out with the leadership book and the coaching book and moving on to the mentorship book, I think is great. Now, would you recommend kind of reading them in that order? Or is there maybe now that you have three? Is there maybe a different order that you think makes sense for someone? Are they each and then and to themselves, you know, kind of their o
Unknown Speaker 10:39 n island? So that’s a really great question and one that I wouldn’t have thought of because of the fact that I only thought I was going to write the one book. Now I have to with the third one on its way, right. So if I were coaching, let’s say if I were leading coaching or mentoring someone and they asked me that question, likely what I would do is I would have them start with the leadership book, I firmly believe that everyone is a leader in their life. So they may have the formal title of it or they may not. However, I think being a leader is a universal. And so for me, I would have people read the leaders book first, and then follow it by the coaching because the coaching really gives the underpinning to the leadership model. Because when you’re a coach and the leadership role, you’re going to be more engaging, empowering, supportive, these kinds of things that really, they my experiences this, Dennis, that those things in your leadership model, then include coaching, bring out the best in others, people are more likely to do more for you. They’re more likely to do more for the organization, when their coach and coaching Of course, for me is around asking versus telling, and then opening the space for them to find their own solutions to it because people Let’s face it, people don’t want to be told what to do. They want to be asked for their opinions and valued. So first book leaders, second book coaches, and then when mentors comes out, by all means, buy it and read it. And what I’ll tell you is that these are very, very quick reads. These are not meant to be textbooks, they’re not meant to be, you know, long laborious reads. These are typically reads that can be done in under two hours. At the end of each chapter, there are a set of reflection questions as well as review. So it’s intended to have the reader do some application immediately thereafter. So not only do you read it, not only do you do the reflections at the end, but you put it somewhere close to you that you can pick it up when you want to look at something around, let’s say educating. So you’re in the middle of something that calls for you to educate, pull the book out, read the chapter, see what comes to you, either from the chapter or from your own thoughts, and then mov
Unknown Speaker 12:51 forward. Okay, so is that the
Unknown Speaker 12:53 hole book is about a two
Unknown Speaker 12:55 our read? Yes, yes. Yeah, they’re less than they’re less than 160 pages. intentionally, intentionally Okay, yea
Unknown Speaker 13:04 , gotcha. Well, I’m a slow
Unknown Speaker 13:06 eader. So it’ll take me a little bi
Unknown Speaker 13:08 of time. Well, it’s funny that you say that because I was brought up where my dad read books at night before we go to sleep. So I’m conditioned to fall asleep when I start reading, so I have to, I have to be in a very uncomfortable chair with a lot of light on me, has a book in front of me in order to read it not fall asleep.
Unknown Speaker 13:27 Oh, okay, well, and I’m more I even even as a kid Personally, I’m more of an auditory learn
Unknown Speaker 13:34 r. So you tell me something. That’s
Unknown Speaker 13:36 like what like, you know, YouTube’s watching YouTube’s you know, people go you know, if you want to learn something, or it’s probably on YouTube, right? You want to change oil. Look it up on YouTube. You’re making model is probably there and it’s true. It’s out there. And yeah, right now I’m learning video editing for a particular new software editing system and You know, just YouTube after YouTube after. So I can watch it and I can hear it. Yeah. But if I were to have to sit down with a manual, like, especially this, because it has everything you could imagine in it, I mean, yeah, hollywood Hollywood movies are made on the software that Oh, wow. And so, I mean, the book would be this thick, right? So there’s, there’s no way so I appreciate as a as, as someone, so that would be a size of book that I would possib
Unknown Speaker 14:30 y tackle. Oh, nice.
Unknown Speaker 14:32 hank you. So so so that’s good to know. And it’s good that you have those those little reflection, you know, kind of internal mental workshops at the end of each small chapter. So you know, and as you were talking something, you know, that that I was thinking about, I was intently listening, but you, you triggered something in me as
Unknown Speaker 14:57 a parent. Uh huh. And you kn
Unknown Speaker 15:01 w, Where, and just as a person as a human
Unknown Speaker 15:07 as a past lif
Unknown Speaker 15:09 partner, single right now, but still, you know, I recall the days it wasn’t so long ago, is, you know, the leadership skills that you learn for your work environment can also be applied in your everyday life. You know, hell, how many times have had, you know, at least in my past relationship, just deciding on where to go for dinner on Friday night? Yes, you know, if I didn’t make the decision, it typically didn’t happen or it was you know, I typically had to be the one my my ex is just like that. And so, it wasn’t necessarily that I was trying to lead or try to make a decision is just we’ll just say it’s a I’m looking for more of a way A different kind
Unknown Speaker 16:03 f person. One with a little bit
Unknown Speaker 16:06 abou
Unknown Speaker 16:08 it. But, but that’s what made me think about, you know, the the leadership skills in your own personal life. Whether that’s with friends, and it’s not about lead in this way do I say now right now i’m not talking authoritarian, right? We’re talking leadership and leadership is also about working with other people and and not always being the leader at all and every 100% of the moments at the time, right? Because that’s not being a good leader, though. So, so just trying to bring that out so folks can I can hear that. And so, learning leadership skills, everyone out there, it is printed to your entire life. And what’s great is is whenever you as a as a parent, for example, let’s say, you know, you’re like my son’s 10 and a half. And there are definitely leadership skills and parenting. And if you and I don’t, you know, I can’t think of any book out there not that I know off the top of my head that really talks about parents, he didn’t get away. That would be a really good book, not for me to write. But if you’re out there someone who is a parent and a leadership coach, I just gave you a fantastic book idea. Yes. And, and then there’s also the nonprofit world. And you know, obviously, and there’s even for students, so if you’re a student out there, there’s, you know, leadership in and around your school, you’re doing activities within your your community, and all of that could lead to scholarships. Yes. So it’s a very, very fundamental ability. That is probably why you started with th
Unknown Speaker 18:10 t. Right? Well, it’s it’s very interesting because you’re, you’re you’re spot on with this. And what I love about it is that part of my mission is to share ideas, thoughts and whatnot, either through the book or other things, and then cause people to go into their own reflection and thoughts. And that’s exactly what you did. And so two things come to mind for me one, one of the very first people that I worked with is a single mother who has, I think, four or five boys. And when she saw my book and read it, she reached out to me and said, I wish that you would work with parents because I would love to be here quiet. And I said, Well, why wouldn’t I work with you as a parent? And so we work together and it was really exciting. Seeing her has some shifts in how she parented these boys. And how they continue to grow in ways that, you know, are supported by that. And then the other is it’s kind of interesting that you picked up on this. So when I did my intro, I talked about the service industry. So in the service industry, I spent about 25 years of my 35 years. Then I went into manufacturing and I spent about almost 10 years in manufacturing. So that was all about learning and growing and reinventing myself and don’t you know, right now, it’s all about nonprofits. So I serve on several boards of nonprofits here locally. I’m a volunteer with several nonprofits and I’ve just been accepted into a program that’s specifically designed to ready individuals to be nonprofit leaders. So I think my next frontier um, you know, if everything lines up, my next frontier is going to be in the nonpro
Unknown Speaker 19:52 it world.
Unknown Speaker 19:53 h, right. I’ll keep y
Unknown Speaker 19:56 u posted. Whether here o
Unknown Speaker 20:00 offline. Yeah, exactly. I mean, because let’s face it. So if there’s some of the service industry in the manufacturing industry, and then I go into nonprofit, the next thing is I’m going to have to leave the planet and go figure out what to do on anoth
Unknown Speaker 20:13 r planet. Well, they’re very interesting. And who knows, maybe some revelations will wait with all the news coming out. I’m sorry. Now, I won’t go there. Politics. There’s so many weird stuff coming out. Yes. New. Yes. And things happening. So. So I was going to say, so so who knows what announcements might be made? Maybe maybe two major companies actually have a space program that we don’t know about right now. Exactly. Anyway,
Unknown Speaker 20:48 digress. I appreciate a lot. I appreciate that. You reflected on that and you like I say, you were spot on, you picked up on a couple of things that are near and d
Unknown Speaker 20:57 ar to me
Unknown Speaker 20:58 Awesome. Ye
Unknown Speaker 21:01 h. And so So what are you
Unknown Speaker 21:06 oing now? Yes. So by my count, I have been home for about 115 days. So my last gig was speaking at the the Leadership Forum for the Bank of association ibank Association of America here in San Antonio. They were one of the last groups to come into San Antonio for the convention. So I spoke at their event in March, and then don’t you know, a couple days later, there started to be this news about this COVID thing. And so my husband is actually a transplant survivor. And as a result of that he has a suppressed immune system. I’m told that I’m in the vulnerable population being over 60. And so between the two of us we decided that we were going to stay at home. So I think I’m home now about 115 days I’ve been out five times, most recently to go vote because voting is very important to me. So what am I doing right now what I’m doing is I’m working with these, these people that I’m collaborating with. So a woman in Israel, a woman in Canada, a woman and several women around the world, different programs that we’re working on. The most notable One is we put together this program for people who are leaders to navigate how to transition through the COVID-19. So there’s information on how to be a leader, how to do the logistics, how to create wellness, etc. So that program is taken off. And it’s been very interesting to put it together because let’s face it, we’ve never done this before. We don’t know what to do when people can’t work in their offices anymore. San Antonio is now at an infection rate of one in five people who are being tested are being tested positive. Well, a lot of ways in which we need to change the way we do business. And one of the things that I’ve always done is be that change agent. So what I’m working on now is programs and collaborate. with people in other parts of the world around coaching, around adding content, material programs, that kind of stuff, I’m writing a lot. I write a column, right for a column every week, and I put that out there. So yeah, a lot of internal work, since I can’t go out into the community, um, and based on the numbers that are coming out of San Antonio in the last few days, I’m thinking I might be home another hun
Unknown Speaker 23:29 red days. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. Yeah, it’s just this has been very
Unknown Speaker 23:37 ifficult. Yeah, here in Florida, you know, we we reopen? Yes, had just an incredible, you know, Spike record record numbers, you know, new cases. And it’s going to be very interesting. And my sister and I were talking the other day and she just heard From her son’s University, he’s in his first year of college out of state. And he’s been home, you know, since this is happened, like all universities have been shut down. Right. And he’s on summer break now. Right. But they just got notice this last about two days ago that there’s a high potential that the new fall semester will likely be at hom
Unknown Speaker 24:28 as well.
Unknown Speaker 24:29 Oh, okay. Yeah. So where and they’re, they’re still they’re just getting the heads up, that that might be a potential. But if so, you know, you’re looking at that would, you know, that’s going to be through
Unknown Speaker 24:43 December? Yeah, it’s interesting, because in Texas, the announcements are made that the students are going to go back to school. And so now everyone’s you know, scrambling and trying to figure that out. Here’s the thing that I’ll tell you and it goes back to my passion around being a leader. I’m so sorry. One of the models for leadership that we have available to us on a regular basis is politicians. And I don’t necessarily talk about politics, because that’s not part of who I am. And I don’t want that to be out there in the world. Because that’s that’s not how I show up or what I do. However, when you look at politicians, as leaders, which many people do, because they like to call them leaders, right, they don’t call them politicians, they call them leaders. And you look at something like COVID. And you look at it not only within your community, because we have a mayor, we have a judge. We have a governor. And then of course, we have a president and then you look beyond that to the globe. You look at countries like New Zealand with their prime minister, and you start looking at the ways in which leaders lead around these events. And what’s interesting for me is, this is why I have a passion around leadership coaching and mentoring. There is a way of approaching these things that you can balance the people and the profits because let’s face it, opening the economy is about profit. It’s not about people. And what happened in Texas, they politicized it to the point where the governor wanted one agenda. And the local authorities wanted another agenda. While we were under the initial agenda, it was flat. When the governor’s agenda was implemented it, we had 1200 and 68 cases one day this week. That’s an insane number of cases. So again, this might sound political, but it’s not. It’s an observation of leadership. And what I was impressed with, from the very, very beginning of this whole thing, no matter where you were, was, it was about the capacity volume model, which is a key component for any leader, what is the amount of incoming and do you have the resources to take the amount of incoming that’s coming in, and it’s all based on the hospital beds. So now looking at the numbers because the numbers haven’t been managed or taken care of properly. We’re now in a situation where we may not have enough beds and enough personnel to be able to support those patients. So this COVID thing has been a massive lesson. And watching leaders and how different leaders do what they do. I mean, one last thing, my husband bought me this amazing mask, because we had some masks that a friend made and sent to us. And he said, I want to take our mask up to the next level. And I’m like, you know, honey, five days out. And in 115 days, it doesn’t work, spending $20 on a mask, he’s like, No, I want you to have the best mask ever. Who would have thought wearing a mask is a statement on who I am and how I show up. It’s a mask. I’m taking care of myself. So anyway, thank you for letting me get on my soapbox. It’s not very tall. I don’t stay on for very long. This COVID thing is just a massive learning opportunity when it comes
Unknown Speaker 27:38 to leadership. Absolutely, and it’s a massive opportunity in so many
Unknown Speaker 27:48 ays, you know? The necessity is the mother of invention. Yes. So, you know, so entrepreneurs out there, that current business you know, businesses or want to be entrepreneurs? This is your time. Yep. As we talked about earlier, we weren’t even talki
Unknown Speaker 28:10 g about COVID. Rig
Unknown Speaker 28:12 t. Right. But, you know, we were talking about how, you know, if you don’t adapt, you die, yes a business. And, you know, but there’s also in in the, in the, in the
Unknown Speaker 28:29 fe
Unknown Speaker 28:31 tile ground of change and chaos. There’s also that opportunity to seed and lead, seed and grow. Yes, see, seed, a new business and grow. Now, in doing all of that, you also have to do a few other things. And that is look at your competi
Unknown Speaker 28:56 ive
Unknown Speaker 28:58 andscape. And
Unknown Speaker 29:00 and for that, I
Unknown Speaker 29:01 have, I think, a pretty good article on
Unknown Speaker 29:07 t. It’s called analyzing your competitors. It’s doing a SWOT analysis, which is your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You know, look at the, the likelihood that that anywhere is going 100% go back to where we were just six months ago,
Unknown Speaker 29:34 s really slim. So, you’
Unknown Speaker 29:38 e already seen people, you know, start little mini businesses on creating face mass creating fashionable, just face masks. Yes. Okay. So, you know, and you know, lots of people pulled out their sewing machine that they haven’t used in 15 years and threw stuff together. And then for example, there’s this one fella dow
Unknown Speaker 30:02 in Fort Lau
Unknown Speaker 30:05 erdale, Florida. And he makes some pretty dang cool face masks. I mean they are truly beautiful. Yeah, where the world he gets all of his fabrics from bu
Unknown Speaker 30:15 they
Unknown Speaker 30:17 real
Unknown Speaker 30:18 y, really cool. And, you know, so that’s a little mini business or is taking something he already was doing and just adapted it yes to the current situation and you know taking a look at even your own current business and how do you adapt. So for example, on yesterday’s or just uploaded today, there is another show which kind of goes into this and that is, I think it does or I’m going to make it stretch and and tell you what, there’ll be a rate up here, go ahead and click on that. Right click it and open a new window finish this video. But then watch that one right there here in a minute. And it’s called local SEO, which is search engine optimization. So local SEO for small businesses during COVID. And so in that example, there was a local small business for a shop in New York City well with the COVID and everything was shutting down. And these two guys who run that that business a, a ag to media in New York City, that that flower shop has been their client, they did their branding and so forth. And you know, in New York City, you live and die by the foot traffic and word of mouth. So it all looked great. And the the out the gate business owner had great business. Well, so these folks took, took a leadership role and said went back to to that customer and who who was who had to let go all of a staff that said what about your local SEO? And that is getting online as nowadays people you know, they want to search online and they want to find your business online, see what you have possibly place an order online or calling an order. So you know you in order to lead it’s not just that you have to, you know, have 50 staff to lead sometimes, you know, I’m even currently still a business one, and I even have to sell lead myself. Yes, you know, and but you as a business owner or a new business owner, you have to lead your business and think about how our customers and clients finding you and engaging with you and if you don’t have the foot traffic that you did or you’re starting a new business, you know, think about it being predominantly online is, you know, one of the other factors of that, you know, for example for you, you know, obviously Phil having speaking engagements, it’s so much more common now to have a speaking engagement and do it all via online as we are talking now. Yes. So, in the past paradigm, a speaking engagement might have been had you have included either on your costs for the organization’s costs, travel expenses, right, yes
Unknown Speaker 33:44 airfare food hotel, plus, all the
Unknown Speaker 33:50 acilities, the event Where, where? And yes, there is a there is an energy
Unknown Speaker 34:00 hat you get from
Unknown Speaker 34:03 it. Being in person, all of everyone has to adapt and still be able to lead their organizations lead their nonprofits lead their, their, their industry associations, and so forth, and still have great speakers come in. And so this is an opportunity to lead. And so even for you, you know, hopefully you’re already doing this, but, you know, reaching out to people and saying, I’m available for virtual virtual summits, and here are my topics, right? Yes, being able to lead and adapt and change. So. So I just wanted, you know, to kind of retouch on that that subject, as well, because I was very impressed with that example that I got yesterday that’s now on YouTube. And again, yeah, I’ll put another link right there. And so, we have been talking we don’t have to say the name again. But we had been talking t
Unknown Speaker 35:02 In the past about a a big summit that you were working o
Unknown Speaker 35:06 , is that comp
Unknown Speaker 35:10 etely still on hold? So are you talking about the one that was going to be done here locally in Santa Fe? Yes. So here’s the exciting news. So I’m the earlier when I talk about nonprofits, one of the nonprofit’s that I serve on is TEDx San Antonio. And so while it’s my goal to be a TEDx speaker, I love getting to know organizations from the inside out. It’s just part of how I tick. And so I have the opportunity to serve on that nonprofit. And in doing so, last December, it was I was part of the organizing committee for the women’s salon, which is where we had live speakers and video speakers, all focused on women’s issues. And what came out of that was the licensee here in San Antonio asked me to be the lead organizer for a TEDx salon, specifically focused on the LGBTQ community. And so you might imagine in January, I was like kicking up my heels, I was all excited, you know, that hadn’t been done before. There’s a minimal number of talks on TEDx that are related to this. And something I really energizing, I really excited about it. And then COVID hits. And when COVID hit, I found myself being on more and more conversations, virtual conversations around, what do we do, it was that whole thing about reacting to it. And so one of the things that I did while on one of the calls was support, not having it and not having it virtually. And so that was really hard for me, because I was so excited about it. However, I knew and it’s what you talked about earlier, that I think is really a suit on your part to have that kind of event virtually would not have conveyed the full the full experience. And so rather than turn it into a virtual one, which I saw, you know, all the virtual prize and all that stuff, and kudos to them. That was really cool. And wonderful and all that I wanted to be a part of something that was going to be in person. And so at this point, it’s not going to happen this year. My hope and the conversations that I continue to have with the licensee is that we can do it next June because June, obviously is the month to do it. So at the rate that we’re going, when we start in the fall and start planning for it, it’s going to be one amazing experience. So yes, thank you for bringing that up. Because I think that’s all part of this change that we’re experiencing right now. And let me just tell, tell you this, and I know that you already know this. And it’s interesting the way that he talks about change. Anytime that I went into change, what I knew was that eventually it was it would become normalized. So you and I having a zoom conversation right now is normalized by the fact that all of the night time talk show hosts, and all of the daytime talk shows and all of that are all being done on zoom or Skype. And so something that you and I will I’ve done six months ago because I was on zoom however far back. Now all of a sudden, everybody’s changed the zoom. And it’s normalized because you turn on the TV and you see the TV show being done in zoom format. So reality is that if people will embrace the changes that are in front of us, they’ll eventually be normalized to them. And quite frankly, they don’t go through near the pain that they think they do around the change. I mean, you still click the TV on you still get the program. It just looks a little bit different because you’ve
Unknown Speaker 38:34 got
Unknown Speaker 38:36 oxes of people. Yes, yes, they don’t. It’s a little less production value. But But you know, what, also I find this interesting is is normalizing it and make and
Unknown Speaker 38:49 avin
Unknown Speaker 38:50 it accessible. Yes, I mean, that that we’re able to do this that you know, I then take this and turn it into podcasts that gets on 13 differe
Unknown Speaker 38:59 t podcasts. Exactly. So, I was just reminded in my Facebook feed 11 years ago this month, I was working for a massive consulting firm with global presence. And what was interesting was they asked me to do a virtual train the trainer and I’m like, Uh, what? Like we want you to do virtual trading to trader. So being the risk taker being the adventure being the guy who’s willing to jump out there. I was like, Okay, so what does that look like? So the short version is that I had my laptop, I had it in home. The color the The training was that maybe four o’clock in the morning because of the global time zones. So four o’clock in the morning, I have my laptop, and I am virtually delivering a train the trainer to I don’t know 35 4050 people around the world. That was my first exposure to that ever when I was done with it. I was like, so excited. I thought you know, I I entered into the space age. call centers. And now I look 11 years later, and what am I doing? I’m having a virtual conversation with you over a cup of coffee, just just the same as if we were sitt
Scott Vedder is an LGBT entrepreneur focusing as a professional career coach helping to craft resumes that stand out effectively communicating the skills and past success that align with a candidate’s ideal target jobs. Job search tips for writing a great resume for all including military veterans transitioning to civilian careers, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) professionals seeking a career change and new job. Maximize your resume to improve your job search chances.
33:00 Researching employers on their LGBTQ inclusiveness – it is darn difficult
37:00 Join HTTP://WWW.OUTBURO.COM add your professional profile, rate/review your current and recent past employers so that your ratings provide feedback to employers and are available for future candidates
42:00 Ways to further research a potential employer’s LGBTQA friendliness
Scott Vedder conducted over 5,000 interviews as a recruiter at a Fortune 100 company. He quickly discovered that a good résumé is truly hard to come by and that most applicants don’t have a clue what recruiters want to see. Scott’s book “Signs of a Great Résumé” is a #1 best-selling book on Amazon.com and has been endorsed as “Recommended Reading” by the Central Florida Employment Council (CFEC) and the Central Florida Jobs Initiative. Scott is often quoted as an expert resource and is a regular contributor to a number of international blogs, magazines, syndicated newspaper columns, and web sites. Scott has also been interviewed on dozens of live television and radio news programs. While on speaking engagement’s Scott was often asked by military veterans how to best translate their military experience to a civilian job market. This led to the adapted version of his best selling book to focus on military veterans. His focus on and strong involvement with veteran groups led him to be personally invited to the White House twice under two administrations to be recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management, Women Unlimited and the Metropolitan Business Association, LGBT Chamber of Commerce for his contributions and for helping job seekers around the world.
Scott’s #1 best-selling book, Signs of a Great Résumé, will teach you how to write a résumé that speaks for itself. This lighthearted book presents an effective approach to the serious business of writing résumés. Scott’s style is humorous, easy to understand and fun to read …if he does say so himself!
Scott has developed a simple way to make your résumé speak for itself, using [email protected]#$%, the Signs of a Great Résumé. Each sign showcases your experience and skills and highlights your greatest achievements and contributions.
! Any part of your experience that was “amazing!”
@ Defining points, places, dates, and things in your career
# Numbers that quantify and prove your past successes
$ The dollar value of your contributions
% Figures that easily show growth and results
Whether you’re a recent grad or a CEO, a garbage collector or an astrophysicist, you can use Signs of a Great Résumé to make your experience shine… and recruiters love to see some nice, shiny experience on a résumé!
This lighthearted book presents an effective approach to the serious business of writing résumés. Scott’s style is humorous, easy to understand and fun to read …if he does say so himself! In this book you’ll learn how to customize your résumé for each job using [email protected]#$%, how to write a great cover letter and more.
Signs of a Great Resume – Veterans Edition
Veterans, transitioning service members and military families can get great new jobs in the civilian sector with Signs of a Great Résumé: Veterans Edition. Tell civilian recruiters, “I am a P.A.T.R.I.O.T.” Learn to highlight the military values and characteristics that make you a great candidate for the civilian workplace. Taking the above principle and further applying the veteran-specific skills referenced as PATRIOT to stand out and land that new civilian job.
Conversation Auto Transcrpit
The below was created through voice to text recognition. We will strive to edit for accuracy as time permits. It may not be perfect. It is being provided for the hearing impaired to still enjoy the interview.
Unknown Speaker 0:01 Hello, this is Dennis Velco with OutBüro that is oh you to be you are Oh, thank you so much for tuning in to OutBüro Voices, the new series where we are chatting with in a very casual and informative and hopefully a little bit entertaining way with LGBTQ leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals in all types of professions. Today we have a special guest named Scott Vetter. But before we get to him, make sure you take a few moments and hit the subscribe button down below if you are viewing on YouTube. If you are listening to this on one of the podcast apps such as Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, I Heart Radio, Google Apps and about 10 others also know that you are able to view this directly on the out bureau podcasts or episode pages I might be changing that now that we’re doing more videos and then taking that to podcasts but know that you’re able to watch the videos on directly the out bureau comm website as well as the new YouTube channel so now if you search YouTube for LGBT entrepreneur or and or LGBT professional, guess what? OutBüro Voices pops up on the first pages so awesome. So we’re going to be bringing the helping to bring the visibility of LGBT entrepreneurs and professionals around the world to you. So again today, welcome, welcome. We have Scott a. Scott Vetter is a human resources professional with years of experience in the fortune 500 levels space He has written a book and adapted it for military veterans. And I much appreciate that being a US Army veteran myself. So welcome so much to the show, Scott. Well, thanks
Unknown Speaker 2:12 for having me here, Dennis. That’s a real privilege and a pleasure.
Unknown Speaker 2:15 Awesome. Well, I do appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to chat with us here. And as always, there is a little bit of format. I always like to start off with our guests, such as yourself, chatting a little bit about your history, a little bit of your career journey, and then we’ll move that into your your projects and so forth that’s been that you’ve been working on most recently.
Unknown Speaker 2:40 Sure, thanks. You know, I was like you said I worked in the fortune 500. I was a fortune 100 recruiter. And when I was recruiting, what I realized is, most people’s resumes are awful. And that wasn’t unique to military veterans or civilians. It was just most people didn’t know what I was looking for. How I use that information as a recruiter on a resume. So I wrote a book about it chiefly event, my own frustration there. Look at that. That’s a book. I’m on a book. That’s me.
Unknown Speaker 3:13 And I said, You know what, I think
Unknown Speaker 3:14 I can help people. And it really took off, you know, became a best seller. I went on the book tour, and wherever I’d go, I’d meet military veterans, they’d say, Hey, what about us? It’s different. And I’d say, Well, hey, what do I know I didn’t serve. But that my grandfather bill did. They were both army e6 is that’s a staff sergeant level when they got out, and nobody helped them. There were no transition programs, the Vietnam era or World War Two. And there’s a lot of great groups we have out there today. They’re helping in the transition.
Unknown Speaker 3:45 But we still haven’t quite found
Unknown Speaker 3:46 the magic recipe of how to translate and transfer all of the military experience to the civilian world. So that’s where I knew I had to help. So I became smarter about the military disability and career transition. It has become the really primary focus of my work with resumes. And I’ve become a passionate civilian advocate for veterans in the workforce. I actually was able to write a follow up version of the book just for veterans, the veterans edition of signs of a great resume. And I began networking and meeting people in the space actually earned myself a personal invitation to meet in the office of First Lady Michelle Obama at waco. Yeah, yeah, with the program they were doing at the time called Joining Forces. And then I also met with the warrior and family support group and the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, to provide a fair and balanced viewpoint and how I support veterans. I was actually invited last night out two years ago to the current administration’s White House, where I delivered my resume and interview workshops at the White House military office. And for those of you who have not served that’s the people who drive the beast of the President’s car and they run Camp David Air Force One and carry around the very important suitcase. Near proximity to the president all the time. So I got to help, you know, give a little insight as to what the next chapter of their career may look like for those who are transitioning. And of course, the caveat is no government, or God. Sponsorship is implied of any story is just this is one of the many ways I found my real passion in life, which is that I help people, especially veterans find success in their career. And now I do one on one interview and resume coaching with transitioning service members from all branches and civilians to but I work with a number of really great nonprofit organizations who support the veteran transition program and help fund services that really enable them for success in the civilian workforce.
Unknown Speaker 5:44 Okay, wonderful. Well, you know, I, it, there there are, it’s not too many, but what I’m saying is there’s a lot of people who do focus to some degree on helping people with their resume. And they’re, you know, career coaches and so forth. There’s a plethora of that for, you know, the general market. So you know, one way as an entrepreneur, no matter what kind of business you happen to run, is to focus on a niche market, whatever that happens to be, and so let’s say you’re a dog groomer. So then just focusing on you know, a particular breed if you happen to have around obviously, but just to try to draw the analogy here is if you are the best German Shepherd dog groomer in the your state, and you get all of the champions, you’re going to attract a certain level of prestige and you know, folks coming to you knowing that you are the specialist and that again, is really within any kind of a business category because you know, that really is how you can differentiate yourself in any category is is new Focus. And so that’s very interesting that you, you have taken that from your career and resume advice and focusing on the underserved market of the veterans coming coming out of service and transitioning into the workforce. So yeah,
Unknown Speaker 7:18 I think, well, in part, it’s formed by my strong belief that veterans are some of the best employees we have in the civilian workforce. They’re just some of the worst job candidates, because the one thing the military does not make them really good at doing while they’re in is becoming a civilian job candidate. And while there are programs, there’s something called tap transition assistance programs that start to teach some philosophical things about the transition, they only really scratched the surface. So that’s why it’s wonderful to see that there are many veteran service organizations specializing in this and several programs that even the Department of Defense has started to fund to really enable their success where I come in is really Helping to tell the story of how what you have done in the military or in any prior career relates to what you’re going to do in the civilian workforce. And that’s what I described as using What you see behind me the signs of a great resume. They probably look like curse words in a comic strip, I promise I’m not teaching veterans to curse on a resume. What they are is specific moments that make you a particularly great candidate for a job. And this applies to any job seeker, not just veterans. But what I want to know as a recruiter is what you in particular bring to the future opportunity. So these signs of a great resume. The first one
Unknown Speaker 8:38 is the exclamation point.
Unknown Speaker 8:39 Wow, look at what I did. Nobody else could say that. At what point you gained the most relevant experience and some numbers dollars and percent they helped to quantify exactly what makes you a great fit for the job. If you ever need to remember what the signs of a great resume are, is look down at your keyboard. They’re above the above the numbers one through five, that’s where the signs of a great resume are. These are the key to standing out and differentiating yourself on any resume, civilian military or otherwise, federal resume or any kind, you can use the signs of a great resume.
Unknown Speaker 9:15 So write a resume that speaks for itself.
Unknown Speaker 9:18 Awesome, very much like that. And, you know, obviously, this did come up through your being a recruiter at a fortune 500 actually fortune 100 if not fortune 10. company. And so talk about you know, some of the, you know, you mentioned this came out of almost, well, you said a frustration there. So, you know, I to, you know, even in in looking and trying to reach out to people to come on to the show, you know, I’m going through and looking even at LinkedIn profiles and I’m say to myself, holy crap, we really think that this is going to get the attention. You know, like, There’s no use of this. For some people. They don’t use the taglines. Well, so looking in a summary of people, it’s very hard. They don’t stand out. And so that that tagline in your LinkedIn profile should, should, you know, people really need to understand that LinkedIn should not be used as a literal translation of your resume. If you’re using LinkedIn like that, folks, you’re using it wrong. Because it’s really a marketing tool. Right? It’s so that first tagline should be your, you know, three to 10 word. Bam. This is what’s important. This is why I stand out. This is why you should click right here on me. Like your exclamation point. Right, it should be that that tag should be the wow factor. And there’s so many people that I’m going through and I’m like, okay, I kind of get, and I’m, you know, trying to show, obviously diversity and inclusion with my desk. And you know, but it’s like, oh my gosh, I’m digging and digging and digging. So I could imagine, as a recruiter, going through even just thinking on LinkedIn, there’s only what how does this person stand out? Right? How does this How does this person translate or communicate what they’re doing? So and then I will be honest, I’m going through all right, if you’ve got my little bit of attention, based on that little bit of info in that little block right there. Now I click through, and it’s amazing how many people do not have a summary.
Unknown Speaker 11:54 Right and and the same holds true on a resume. So you know, I’ll agree that that the point is to capture Someone’s I quickly and that’s definitely a parallel between LinkedIn and the resume. The way you catch someone’s eye quickly on LinkedIn is with that header. And it should be compelling. And a lot of people don’t tell you anything interesting or new up there. It’s just like, project manager. Okay. Well, you and everybody else. Exactly. Let me tell you a quick secret about the civilian workforce, and maybe jobs in general, when it comes to job titles, we just make things up. And when we don’t know what to call it, we call it project manager. Everyone in their brother, including me twice, has held the title of Project Manager, and I absolutely am not like a PMP or anything like that, where that is my professional craft. But nonetheless, the more descriptive, you can be in that LinkedIn headline to really catch someone’s eye and say, hey, there’s something unique here. To keep them reading is the same principle on your resume. So on a resume, one of the very first things that I encourage you to do is write like a summary of qualifications. I call it that in Not an executive summary or professional profile? Because I want it to summarize what you can do for me. What are you qualified to do? I look at it like the movie trailer of your resume. So if you were writing a film preview, right, like in a world where this is my experience, you know what, what you would say, to entice me to see the film is what you would put in a summary of qualifications on a resume. And that block of text on the resume is something you can tailor like you’ll tailor the rest of your resume to each job opportunity, your LinkedIn profile, you only get one LinkedIn profile. So it should be the overall trailer about what is it that you bring in a nutshell to any opportunity that you’re pursuing.
Unknown Speaker 13:41 But yeah, I agree with you that there’s a lot of parallels. And
Unknown Speaker 13:44 really the distinction between LinkedIn and resumes is the way that you use LinkedIn to contribute to the conversation to things going on in the industry, whatever industry you’re in, and also to make connections because really The best way to apply for a job is not to ideally you want to be networking far in advance of your needing a job. So you’re starting to build relationships, relationships first, then results and jobs follow.
Unknown Speaker 14:16 Absolutely, I could not agree more. And you know, you bring up a point of the, the pound symbol, the dollar symbol and the percent, you know, one of the most viewed articles on out bureau.com is should I be out on my resume and we’ll talk about that one moment. Because I definitely want to get to that with you. One of the others, I have a few, a few articles on it. And by the way, if you’re listening, you are all of you may post articles on the website just like you post articles funneling in, as well as out Bureau has a professional profile. as well, so that diversity and inclusion directors and recruiters can find you and be very targeted in their diversity and inclusion. Searching. In addition, you’re able to indicate your military status veterans veteran, which branch in Singapore, but but some of the things that I really kind of occasionally I get people that that think I’m a recruiter or think that I’m a career coach or something, and they’ll reach out to me and say, oh, could you review my resume? Or could you review my LinkedIn profile? Oh, yes. Like I have nothing else to do. You know? What number one you’re not paying me to do this because I don’t even know what to charge for that. But you know, every now and then if I you know, have a 15 minute kind of time slot out sometimes do that. And then I look through and I go, okay, where’s again, where’s that wow factor. There were the numbers where where, you know, you say you project manager, well, what did you achieve? What did you say? What did you improve and quantify that?
Unknown Speaker 16:10 Right? Absolutely.
Unknown Speaker 16:12 recruiters and companies want to see, you know, people would say, Oh, I manage this I manage projects efficiently. Yeah, well, what the heck does that mean? Right? I manage projects efficiently. What what what quantify efficient for me? One, what was the size of the project? Was it a $5,000? project, a $50,000. Project, a $500,000 project? How many people were on the team? What were you trying to accomplish? I mean, just just give some some pure exam, give some real examples, and give some quantifiable numbers. Met project deliverables in 20% under time with only utilizing AI Were 80% of the budget. So something that gives the recruiters that knowledge that Oh, yes, they are an efficient project manager, you know the word
Unknown Speaker 17:09 read my book, Dennis, that’s really well done.
Unknown Speaker 17:13 Thank you. Now I’ve got articles myself as well. And that’s why, whenever I saw what you’re doing, I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is this is so pertinent. And it’s things that I’ve talked about in the past. And again, I occasionally get asked and building my, my own network of people. Now when I have someone, especially with military experience, I can say, hey, you should talk to this fella right here.
Unknown Speaker 17:37 I think you make an important point. And, you know, but but the fact that we agree on these points of quantifying your experience is critical. And while you can ask 100 recruiters our opinions about resumes, you will get 150 opinions or more about resumes. What you will never hear recruiters say is the candidate made it too easy. To see why he’s a great fit for this job. That’s not gonna happen. And when you use the signs of a great resume, you’re making the recruiters job easier, effectively as a recruiter. My function is to become your sales agent. I need to pitch you to the boss and say, Hey, you know that person you need me to hire for you? I think Dennis has what you’re looking for. Look at how we quantified this experience and gave specific results. The biggest mistake you can make on a resume is you write a resume that reads like a job description. So think about l
Unknown Speaker 18:34 ke a soldier who j
Unknown Speaker 18:35 st Yeah, right. If a teacher writes, taught English classes, graded papers, tract grades, prepares students for the next level. Well, great, that’s what teachers do. But that’s the job description of every English teacher. And so if I’m hiring teachers, and every one of them just says that, how do I know who to hire I don’t. And that is the reality that recruiters face is there’s tons of resumes in our system. On our desk, it all look and sound pretty much the same. Because people make that same mistake, a resume that reads like a job description is the deadliest mistake you can make on a resume. And it’s especially difficult if that job descriptions about a military job, because some 97% of Americans have never served. So we just don’t understand as directly what that job description means and how it helps us. The very simple way to assess your current resume to see Am I making that mistake is you take your resume and your cover your name at the top, then you reread what you have written. If it could be anybody else’s resume. It’s not good enough, because I don’t want to know what a project manager does, or what an infantry soldier does, or what a Navy Captain does. What I want to know is what did you do and how does that relate to what I need you to do in this j
Unknown Speaker 19:55 b? Absolutely. And so what are you know, gearing your your your time doing th
Unknown Speaker 20:03 s. Or there may be a few examples that you could give with clients that you’ve had in the past that, you know, either some tips or just examples of how you like how you took military lingo and translated that into job candidate language. Su
Unknown Speaker 20:23 e, yeah. I get this question all the time from veterans, and frankly, from civilians in very technical careers who are changing the kind of work they’re going to do. So this advice applies in both instances. But when it comes to explaining a prior career that does not directly align, especially when that’s a military career that’s changing your job function. What I want you to do and you can do this with me live if you’re watching at home or listening, just close your eyes for a moment. And I want you to picture somewhere in your life, an 11 year old ch
Unknown Speaker 20:55 ld whose parents are not in the military. Can you picture that
Unknown Speaker 21:00 id That kid knows about as much about the army as most civilian adults. You cannot trust civilians to know what the heck you’re talking about unless a fifth grader would understand you. So you got to pass what I call the smart fifth grader test with every word you write on your resume. And there are just three simple questions on the smarter fifth grader test. The first one is, are you using simple language, language so clear and 11 year old would get it? And the simple answer to that in most military resumes I get it is no, because there’s a certain language to the military. And that of course includes lots of capitalization and jargon and acronyms that just do not mean things to civilians. As a general rule, if you’re hitting the caps lock, you’re losing the civilians understanding of what it is you’re talking about. You know, some exceptions apply. You know, if you’re using a term, the average news watching American would know FBI, USA those are fine Don’t bother trying to explain to most civilians, that seal is actually an acronym for Sierra Atlantic, just stick with seal. But otherwise, avoid the acronyms and even words that you might use every day in a military career that mean different stuff to us. So for instance, if you say deploy, and you mean get sent somewhere, I might think you mean how parachutes work they deploy. If you say joint, and you mean, interagency, I might think you mean arthritis or marijuana. Just keep it very simple. And the good news is, if an 11 year old would understand it, so would another veteran, they’ll just know Oh, are you actually talking about a drink team? Are you remember, they’ll know all of that, but write it to the lowest common denominator of understanding is about the 11 year old level? That’s the first question. The second question for the smart fifth grader is are you focused on good news only? Now, I recognize the business of fighting war is not always good news. I get it. But I don’t need to hear about knocking down doors and find the bad guys or anything like it. What I want to know is how to make the world a better place. And this goes back to what Dennis was saying a minute ago, where you mentioned how like the specific accomplishments that a project manager might have had, how you make the world a better place is a better way to approach the types of examples with the signs of a great resume that makes you a great fit. I want to know what you did specifically, that’s good news for your past employer, in this case, the military and for your future employer, how it relates. And the third and final question for the smart fifth grader is are you getting to the point quick
Unknown Speaker 23:39 y, because both an 11 year old and a recruiter hav
Unknown Speaker 23:42 a super short attention sp
Unknown Speaker 23:45 n? I’m told there’s a military term that actually works nicely he
Unknown Speaker 23:48 e, bluff bottom line up fro
Unknown Speaker 23:51 t, and it’s the way military leaders say you know, when you make your PowerPoint or something, make sure you make the point right away. So if general so and so loses focus or has to go Very gotten your point across. Well, the way I think about bluff as a civilian is, can you tell me a fairy tale backwards for every bullet that you write? they all lived happily ever after good news, because once upon a time, you some details if you made
Unknown Speaker 24:17 t. Yeah, God. And you know, that’s really good advice for everyone out there looking at their resume and LinkedIn profile because again, you know, yes, there’s aspects of your career and bullet points on your professional profile on LinkedIn and out there that you want to include. But that below that, that bluff analogy is, is really good. And that’s keeping it short, simple to the point and think of it as a as a marketing statement, every statement on your resume. You need to think of it with that marketing I how is going to Wow, the person viewing this How is it Going to make us stand o
Unknown Speaker 25:02 t. A lot of veterans say to me, Scott, I don’t like talking about myself. And you know, I think maybe that comes from service in the military is a selfless service, you know, you’re serving that greater mission. you’re called to serve for whatever reason that is, and to them, I say, and to everyone, I don’t want you to talk about yourself. The first filter I need you to put on your resume is that well, yes, your name is at the top. This resume is not about you. It’s about what you can do for me. Everything you write has to be filtered with that in mind first, and it means that there may be things in your career that were significant. You’re proud of them, they made a real difference in the world. Well, great, I’m glad you did them. But if they don’t relate to what you can do for me, you might not need to tell me about them. And that becomes a powerful first filter to use and the very simple way you use that filter on a resume, to read a statement or a line or a bullet. You’ve got to ask yourself so what What is this new company going to do with this information? And if you can’t answer the So what? And you know, you pretty darn well, you’ve lived with you your whole life. How am I supposed to answer the so what if I’m the new compa
Unknown Speaker 26:13 y? Gotcha, gotcha. So making sure that that everything on your resume is tailored towards that position, and especially the position and the company, the employer, because it may not be a company, right? Yes, it may be government, it may be a nonprofit and so forth are used that I’ll try to stick with employer. So you need to think about what that what your skill set and the wow factor that you can bring and how, how that translates for that employer and that particular role that you’re going aft
Unknown Speaker 26:51 r? Yeah, that goes back to the idea of tailoring your resume and tailoring your resume. You need to know if it’s about what you can do for Me You need to know what’s important to me. And the simple way to know that is I tell you, there are job postings. So you just when you’re applying to a job, you’ve seen a job online on LinkedIn or indeed Career Builder, any of those sites or USA jobs.gov. If you’re applying to work in federal government still, and the employer is giving you a literal wish list, this is what we need. And there are three parts to a job posting, usually there’s a description. So you know, do I want to do this all the time, and some minimum and preferred qualifications or basic and desired qualifications? Well, the description is a good place for you to assess what’s important, they may give you clues like about their culture, about their diversity and inclusion practices, and about their priorities for their business in the year ahead. And the minimum and preferred qualifications are the filters for what kinds of information you need to market to them, if you will, about your prior experience. I look at the qualifications list, like buying a car. The minimum qualified candidates are like Toyota’s, they’re fine. They’re just not special. Seemed like anybody could get a Toyota and it’s fine. It’s a good car very reliable. I think the number one selling car in America is a Toyota. But the preferred qualified candidates, the ones who are darn near perfect are like a Rolls Royce. Whoo fact that the perfect candidate, that’d be great. Well, you don’t have to be a Rolls Royce to get an interview or to land the job. You just got to come in somewhere around Lexus to be a compelling candidate. The more your Lexus sounds like my Rolls Royce wishlist, the better shape you’re
Unknown Speaker 28:35 n. Okay, gotcha. Gotcha. So, let’s talk a little bit about some of the other aspects of applying for a job I brought up the you know, should you be out on your resume? That is the second most viewed article on my website, outside of venture funding for entrepreneurs. And so there’s obviously lot and I, I’m pretty clear in my article about my position and I talked with several other people but being in, you know, in your role in your professional role at the company plus, writing your book, have you ever come across clients of yours or candidates are so for then, you know that had a really out resume or or not kind of found out, in fact, just kind of give us a little bit of perspective since the majority of our audience, you know, is focused on the LGB
Unknown Speaker 29:39 Q. Sure. So your resume should always be about what you can do for me and why you are qualified to do the job that you’re applying for. If a component of that is identifying as a part of or a contributor to the success of the LGBTQ community, then yes, it is relevant concept to cover in your resume. However, As we got to both sides of my mouth, you can give examples about how you have supported the LGBTQ community. And not all of those need to be about work. Your resume is not things that got a paycheck for, it’s things that make my experience valid. So if, for instance, you were going to work at an employer in their diversity and inclusion department, and you do an extensive amount of volunteering at the LGBTQ center in your community, maybe doing testing or counseling or some kind of, you know, groups that you h
Unknown Speaker 30:30 lp put togeth
Unknown Speaker 30:31 r, that is perhaps a relevant example, for a diversity and inclusion job because you’re saying, Look, I’ve reached out to this community. Now, how overtly you state Oh, and I’m a member of that community. Well, that then comes down to how much information is appropriate to disclose on a resume. And a few weeks ago, my my message may have been somewhat different. But very recently, as many are unsure attune to the Supreme Court has ruled that discrimination on the basis of sex Something covered under Title seven, the Civil Rights Act. Now, okay, we got all this by saying I’m not a lawyer, if you have questions about the law, go see a lawyer. However, for informational purposes only. Title seven is very broadly, we’ll just call the idea that you cannot discriminate employment practices on the basis of certain protected classes. And those include things like race, religion, sex, and that word sex has now been interpreted by the Supreme Court ruling to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The reason I’m mentioning this is because as a general rule, recruiters do not want to know about your status in a protected class, if it is not relevant, or at all, because we don’t want you to think we’re considering something prohibited in our analysis of your employment. So just like you wouldn’t say my religion is x. You would not say overtly, my sexual orientation is x because some recruiters will go, Well, no, no, no, no, I don’t want to hear that. Because they don’t want you to think that’s part of my analysis, Are there times where it’s appropriate to disclose that? Sure. Especially for instance, if you’re being asked about after the hire and the job offer is made, you’re being asked about a uniform to wear. And part of your transition to the different gender includes changing how you will present at work. That is an appropriate time to discuss your gender identity, and how you will present in that job. But it’s way after the resume way after the interview. It’s at the time of a job offer, when that is now a topic that’s important to cover. Because you should be your own authentic self at work, you should be comfortable. I’ll predicate all of that by saying, do your research well in advance to make sure you’re only applying at organizations where not only will they obey the law of which it is now the law of the land not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, but where they embrace the LGBTQ community and actively demonstrate a participation in it and support of it. There’s one thing to say, yeah, we’re an equal opportunity employer on the website. It’s another thing to talk to people in that organization, and to do some research about what that organization is actually doing, which is part of what I like about what you’re doing. And our Bureau is to provide more details and supporting evidence, if you will, of a company’s LGBTQ inclusion practices and actual footpri
Unknown Speaker 33:26 t. Absolutely. So I really like how
Unknown Speaker 33:31 ou conveyed that there. You know, and, and, you know, just because an employer also, you know, is on the HRC, corporate Equality Index, they’re still discrimination. They’re still discrimination lawsuits and litigation cases or arbitration cases that go on. So, you know, unfortunately, we really can’t just take that as an example which only covers the fortune 1000. So if you’re going for a government job or working at a mid sized company or working at a university, that’s even, even though they’ve been doing that for over 16 years, they’ve never branched beyond at the fortune 1000. So that’s where to end. You know, the out firoz group was just featured on LinkedIn, a nice shout out for the LGBT community. Thank you LinkedIn for that. much appreciate it. But then even in the group, you know, has limitations on LinkedIn, it’s you can’t search unless you pay LinkedIn for a recruiter level or Sales Navigator level membership. You can even within the group search other members who say work at a particular employer. So you know, oh, I want to work at x company, or ex employer. And so I’m a member of the group and I want to go search for other members of the out euro group to go talk with those employers. LinkedIn does not have that feature. So it becomes very difficult. And I’ll say for hours and day in first starting the out bureau comm site that’s o UT, you are calm. Even searching companies that I knew were were very, very inclusive and so forth and had didn’t have a, you know, any legal issues going on to my knowledge, at least the year prior, even googling them trying to search for LGBT related content was difficult, because the vast majority of employers even though they might have a very active employee resource group for the LGBT employees, even though they might participate in pride in a New York, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami Li etc even though they might, you know, sponsor LGBT owned businesses, even though they might sponsor LGBT nonprofits it’s very difficult to find that information so I hear you and that it’s it’s like whoa do your research and try to understand that they’re a really you know, inclusive and embrace it employer but it is darn difficult to do th
Unknown Speaker 36:29 t. Yeah, I th
Unknown Speaker 36:31 nk so that is that is where that that was the impetus for out bureau comm is seeing those gaps and those difficulties. So number one, this is my little call to action for everyone out there is to join out bureau.com so that you can search for other members very easily. Out bureau does not have the limitations that LinkedIn has forced on you because they’re they’re trying to force you to pay the hundred dollars a month or more for the recruiter or the Sales Navigator. role, even though you’re just an employee, you’re just looking for other people in an organization. Okay? So the more of you that join out bureau.com Place your professional profile, you will be there for others who are seeking you. Additionally, you’re able to provide a rating review, anonymously, on your current and recent past employers. So I think that’s very important because even providing that, you know, my employer is fantastic. There’s one review and I’ll give a shout out as to it Intel. There’s one review on the website right now by a transgender person. She clearly indicates that in the review, and just gloats how what a wonderful employer that is. And then there’s others that don’t sign that that great. Now, over time that you know, let’s be, you know, honest, every organization is made up employees. So even a very larger organization of, say, 100,000 employees, as I like to think of the, the doubt, yes, we have the laws, and I’ll get to that in a moment. But you know, policies and so forth are really the intent of the company, the intent of the employer, because they don’t control every employee 24 724 seven of the day in the week in the year, right. And if we even just take sexual harassment, which I’ve used this example many times, but even raised, you know, just by taking sexual harassment, it’s been illegal, just like now it’s illegal to discriminate against LGBT people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. If we just take sexual harassment As Case in point well, that’s been illegal for for 40 years, but sexual harassment still happens. And in employers of say 50 employees or larger, every before you can come to work, you have to sign off that, you know, it’s it’s bad to do sexual harassment, you have annual training on sexual harassment to ensure it’s See ya. And but it still happens. And so, yes, this is fantastic that the Supreme Court has made this, you know, illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity. But don’t think for a second that it just automatically makes every employer a, you know, rainbow flag waving unicorn loving place, right. But yeah, it’s you know, yeah. And you even look at employers like, again, this is public knowledge. It’s, it’s out there, so I’m not trying to beat them up, but it’s just reality. Look at Goldman Sachs. So Goldman Sachs has been on The HRC corporate Equality Index is ranked 100% for numerous years, and for several years in a row in a row, including 2020 20 was named one of the top employers in the financial sector based on HRC corporate Equality Index, however, they just finished a What is it called going through a lawsuit and settled for a discrimination suit. And so again, I’m not trying to beat them up here, but it’s just reality in that, you know, you can’t just look at the that any Equality Index around the globe, they’re all modeled after HRC. So you just can’t look at that and say, Oh, I’m, I’m, you know, because they’re on that list, they’re automatically going to be a fantastic 100% amazing place to work and I can just walk in with just, you know, yeah, you want the space to
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Author and creator of the cutting edge award-winning program, SAIL INTO RETIREMENT. Through an online interactive video classroom or VIP Private Retirement Coaching, Larry helps those at the top of their game ease out of their business and professional career to find their passion, combine it with their skills, expertise, and experience to create their next big step in life.
What are you going to do with your time in retirement? As a businessperson who has been going fast your whole life, we’ll make sure you don’t slam on the brakes and have nothing to do. After nine weeks of online classes or private coaching, you’ll have your Plan of Action for your next big step as you SAIL INTO RETIREMENT.
You’re used to doing what you do—whether it’s being a CEO, General in the army, nurse, or salesperson. Because you’ve done it for so long, and are good at what you do, it’s hard to imagine doing anything else, so you keep on doing the same thing. You say you love your work, but at this point in your life, you don’t know what else you could love doing after work ends. Are you concerned that a life of meaning might slip by? Is a life of true satisfaction slipping through your fingers right now? When will you bear the fruits of all of your hard work? Every day at work, you felt valued, needed, respected, and you contributed your knowledge. When that steady flow of interaction upon which you thrive dries up, how do you expect to transition to tending your roses without difficulty? Most people have difficulty with the transition and many fall into depression. It doesn’t have to be that way. Retirement doesn’t have to mean the end, but rather the beginning of renewal. Will you retire or renew? Financial vs. Non-Financial: Most people have a financial plan for retirement. Most do not have a non-financial plan. Maybe you have enough money to retire or perhaps you still need additional income. Either way, you’re still faced with the question of: How will you spend your days? Without a course to follow, it’s easy to drift aimlessly. Do you have a plan?
The below was created through voice to text recognition. We will strive to edit for accuracy as time permits. It may not be perfect. It is being provided for the hearing impaired to still enjoy the interview.
Unknown Speaker 0:02 Hi there, I’m Dennis Velco. With OutBüro voices that is OUTBURO.com. We are very happy today to have someone that I have had several conversations and have had the pleasure of meeting in person. Larry Jacobson. Welcome, Larry to the show.
Unknown Speaker 0:22 Great to be here. Thank you, Dennis.
Unknown Speaker 0:24 Awesome, so much. Why so much appreciate you taking the time out of your weekend, especially to chat with us today. For those of you who don’t know, and I’ll be sure to of course, let Larry tell his story. But Larry’s a very interesting guy. He is the first out gay person, LGBT person to sail around the entire world. Wow, that is going to be an interesting story. But more not not only was that an accomplishment, but the the the lessons Learn the life lessons that he had taken away from that, you know, it’s one thing to accomplish a large task, but then it’s another than to take that task, and then transform it into even more for yourself and more for other people. So we’re going to get into how Larry has not only sailed around the world, but now how he is helping people achieve their dreams, both in business and in retirement. So Larry, thank you so much, again, for joining us today, if you could again, but, you know, for especially those folks who maybe have not heard of you before. Could you give us a little bit of background and context?
Unknown Speaker 1:41 Sure. Well, your introduction was perfect. I should just quit right now. Actually,
Unknown Speaker 1:47 that was really brief. You’ve got a very deep and interesting story.
Unknown Speaker 1:51 Yeah, well, I don’t I don’t think we want to go back as far as we really want to is which is age 13. Except for one element, and that is when I was 13 years old, I taught myself to sail. And three years later, I decided that I was going to sail around the world. I was 16 years old. Wow. Yeah. So I had I kept that dream alive for 3033 30 years. And when I was 46, is when I finally sailed out the Golden Gate headed around the world.
Unknown Speaker 2:24 Okay,
Unknown Speaker 2:25 yeah. So I have spent 20 years in the corporate world in the events planning business. The travel incentive business and taking boobs for mostly high tech companies all around the world on different exciting travel programs. And always in the back of my mind was, you know, what are you doing towards your goal of sailing around the world because that was just my dream. That was my major focus was to do that. So for 20 years I worked and finally I was able to sell the company. And get just enough money to cheese me into thinking that I could sail around the world. I mean, I could buy a boat and leave. And when I say that it means while I still had to borrow the money to buy a boat, and then halfway through the trip, I had to sell my half of the house that I owned with my partner. And so it was just a tease. But that’s because when we left, I thought we were going for maybe one or two years, I really didn’t think about how long it takes to sail around the world. Because I really didn’t have all that knowledge. So I just went,
Unknown Speaker 3:39 Wow. Yeah, very adventure and adventurous without quite, you know, the full full planning. So, so interesting. So it did. So, so it took you if I’m not mistaken, six years total,
Unknown Speaker 3:56 correct. Six years. Just sail all the way around the world. That was four 30,400 nautical miles. Wow.
Unknown Speaker 4:04 And now, it doesn’t seem like it would take that long was it that you stopped in a lot of ports and you know, hung out for
Unknown Speaker 4:12 a while, right? The idea was not to like race around the world quickly, but to see the world and live in different places. And so as we we sell sell from San Francisco to Mexico, and then we took about six months to cross the Pacific, and ended up in New Zealand. And you stayed in New Zealand for about eight months, waiting out the hurricane season, then went back up into the Pacific for another six months, and then back down to Australia, and we stayed in Australia for another eight months. So yeah, so you’re basically following the weather as you go around the world and avoiding the hurricane seasons. And then we lived in other places that we live in Long time we’re in Phuket, Thailand for about two to three months, I think. And in Tel Aviv, Israel for about three months, and then in Turkey for almost a year and Barcelona for a month. And those are the major places that we spent a long time. It was really great to get to not be a tourist but to be part of the community.
Unknown Speaker 5:27 Gotcha. Wow, amazing, an amazing way to see the see the world.
Unknown Speaker 5:32 And we did fly the rainbow flag all the way around the world. We did take it down when we entered pirate alley, which is the Gulf of Aden, just before and going up the Red Sea. And we held he had it down for those for that period. And once we got through the Suez Canal, it’s just overnight sail to Israel. And on our approach to Israel, we put the rainbow flag back up pulled into the Marina. And within about 20 minutes this woman comes by, and she sees a rainbow flag and she points up to it. And she says, Me too. Me too. And he was. And so, Ireson was our first our first gay friend that we found that in Israel, and many more awesome. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 6:23 So
Unknown Speaker 6:26 it’s in your, your, your your real I guess goal of this was just to to see the world as you said it wasn’t like you were trying to you know beat some time record or something like that in Russian was just your your your way of seeing the world?
Unknown Speaker 6:43 Yes, it’s it certainly. I mean it could have I could have done it a lot cheaper by flying first class all the way around the world. Probably staying in Ritz Carlton’s, but this was what what I had always wanted to do and having Been a sailor my whole life and this is, you know, this is the Everest for a sailor This is the ultimate. And it doesn’t matter that if whether you’re trying to race around the world or go slowly, they say about on an average year 60 people are so completely circumnavigation. Really compared to the hundreds who climbed Mount Everest. Yeah, it’s just because it’s that difficult to get a boat around the world because of the weather challenges, breakdowns. And when you’re out for six years, everything breaks. You have salt, water and sun it corrodes everything and so you have a lot of breakdowns and just the not only breakdowns of the equipment but there are some emotional times as well when it it becomes so difficult of a challenge doing what we’re doing that you just want to break down and cry and just say oh my god, forget it. Yeah, oh here and go home. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 8:00 Yes, I could, I could definitely imagine that because you’re on a small vessel relatively small in comparison to living in a house much smaller. Yeah. And you’re with the same people are saying very small group of people or in a very extended amount of time.
Unknown Speaker 8:17 Yes.
Unknown Speaker 8:18 And that alone as we have found, you know, through this COVID situation that we’re now living with, you know, most people are used to going to their, you know, work every day and coming home and being even just being trapped in that, you know, in and around your home in the house with the same people in your family. Yeah, you can go a little bit stir crazy.
Unknown Speaker 8:40 Yeah. Oh, well, we say that a one year on board a boat together is like a dog year. Okay, so if so, it’s seven, so six years. I was with my partner at the time, Ken for for most of the trip. That was six years. So times. You know Seven is 42 years and then at the the gay gay years on top of that very is
Unknown Speaker 9:10 right What is it? I’ve heard different numbers like one gay relationship year is like three or four and the heterosexual world. So add, add that then multiply or multiply that then multiply you’re on the boat thing. So that’s like oh my gosh, over 100 years, like being together. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 9:34 Most of the people that we met who were who were doing what we were doing ended up divorced at the end of their trip. I think I think us and two other couples that I know stayed together. And then we were together for Ken and I were together for five years more after the trip. And then then we finally call it quits. Okay, no, still
Unknown Speaker 10:00 So what are so let’s kind of, you know, your now or you have been kind of taken that and you you wrote a book about your experiences. And I would recall that when we were had the opportunity when you were visiting Fort Lauderdale last year to finally meet in person after having had several phone conversations together. And you talked about how, during the course of your your journey, you you, it finally struck you to begin journaling. Yes. Yeah. And so talk about that a little bit and maybe talk about, you know, some of the significant or key points that made you realize that, you know, there’s a book here about leadership because that’s ultimately it from what I have gathered what your book is really about.
Unknown Speaker 10:58 It is it’s an The book is called the boy behind the gate. And it’s called, it’s, well, I still get emails from people. I’ve almost every week from a new reader saying, because of your book, thank you, I did.dot.so. It’s very motivating, in empowering people that will I did this and I was just a regular guy. So what what is it that you want to do? And why can’t you do that? And so it puts a lot. I think it’s very empowering in that sense. And the other thing is that it is about leadership in the sense that when I left a sail out underneath the Golden Gate, there were four other people on board. And I can remember there’s a little snippet in the book about this sailing under the gate. And just looking around and seeing these other four people and realizing holy crap. I’m the captain here. And I told I remember telling myself two things. One, I really have to pee. And the second one was, well, if you’re going to be captain, you better start acting like one. And, yeah, and that happens like on day one. And, you know, there’s just it became the number the my a priority to get the boat around the world and everything that I could think of and everything that I could see and do and touch on any daily basis had to be toward that goal, whether that could mean solving a crew problem. I remember that when the crossing specifically had an issue between two crew members. I’m wondering who they are. And I put them into my cabin, my locked cabin in the back of the boat and I say don’t come out and tell your friends again. And, and it worked. Yeah, it worked. And you know the other thing about leadership on board of voters and empowering others. Even though there’s only one captain, you learn that captaining is not telling people what to do, but empowering them to do the right thing. Very good. Absolutely. And, yeah, so for the most part, you know, I left things not really sure who I would be continuing the trip with. But Ken, at the time, was a good friend and sailing buddy. And he came along, and we ended up spending the next six years together, a spark from a time when he left and came back, but that’s all in the book. That’s the juicy stuff, by the way for the listeners. Not that. Yeah, when he left when he came back and all the romance that follows and everything. But Ken and I became a pretty well oiled machine and we could sail this boat, just the two of us did was a 50 foot boat, 25 tons, a big boat, and just the two of us, just the Without without shouting without yelling at each other a lot by hand signals when when we would come into an anchorage we never yell like, like we saw all other couples going back up no do this not do that everything that we did was hand signals. I was at the wheel, he was on the bow. And between our hand signals, we got the whole thing done without saying a word people were just amazed.
Unknown Speaker 14:28 Oh, very, very, very interesting. Learning to adapt your communication while still getting the job done.
Unknown Speaker 14:37 Yes, exactly. I mean, there’s we’re also scuba divers. And so you’ve learned to communicate underwater with hand signals. And so yeah, it was, you know, as a leader, I tried to make it a good place to be on board the boat, for whether it was for myself for Canada and for our guests. When we cross it Three oceans, the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Atlantic. We had two other crew members with us. Just for the sleep factor, though we can actually get some real sleep. But the hardest passages, I’m just trying to answering, in my mind the questions that people want to know. But the hardest passages we’re not crossing the oceans a lot when we cross the Pacific Ocean. It took us 21 days. And that was one of my favorite days. Wow, the difficult passages were three, four or five days when they were just Ken and I, and we were in and out of islands and reefs and areas like down in Southeast Asia, Fiji and places like that. That was a really difficult exhausting sailing. And we we had a system where it was just the two of us. We were three hours on three off, three on three off, three on three off, and that just goes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Wow. You
Unknown Speaker 16:00 Yeah. Does that mean if it were just the two of you that it was one was on for three, while the other was sleeping for three to essentially? One person manning the boat?
Unknown Speaker 16:14 And so was the difficult portion down in those in the Pacific area and the Pacific Island area that you’ve mentioned was that because of the reefs and the dangers of it, versus being in the open water?
Unknown Speaker 16:27 Correct, right. And the saying goes, it’s, it’s not the ocean that gets you it’s the hard bits around the edges. So it’s land that is a problem for a boat. And so we know you’re very close proximity, like sailing up inside the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, two days after day after day, too many reefs to be as to sail at night. Some of them are Uncharted, and so you’re having to read the water and find a new Anchorage. Every night and yeah, so it was was challenging. Wow. But great fun.
Unknown Speaker 17:07 Yeah, uh wow it I mean, what an incredible experience, you know that that’s been, you know not many people as you’ve also recovered about not many people take on those kind of life experience big moment challenges in their life and, you know, that seems to be a lot what you are have transitioned into and, and helping be a life coach, business coach and retirement coach and saying to you know, people who have worked their life and whatever careers you know, even folks of high accomplishment doctors, attorneys, executives and so forth and they’re looking at retirement, and, you know, that could Be quite challenging because it’s like, what the world am I going to do with the rest of your life when you could have quite a long life to live depending on when you retire?
Unknown Speaker 18:10 Absolutely. And you know what happened to the way I got into coaching and coaching people who are retiring, or at least in transition to their next big thing in life is when I came back, and I spent three years writing the book, and book was published in a one six literary awards within the first year. And yeah, and so that made my mother very happy. So that was a good thing. Yeah. And so then I got a call from a friend of mine, who is a CEO. And he said, Hey, Larry, I’ve got a question for you. And he wanted to ask me some questions about this business. So I went in and saw him and he’s and as with most business, executive coaching, the person doesn’t really want to ask you Hey, how do I run my business? So can you help me with this balance sheet or something like that? No, what they’re asking you about is more people issues. How do I deal with john, what should I do about this particular moral dilemma I’m in. But this person said, Hey, Larry, I wanna I want to ask you is, what am I going to do when I retire? And how did you do it? How did you let go of everything, including your identity of who you were as an executive, to change and to go sailing? And is there a process for that? And I said, well, gee, not that I know of, but I’ll think about it. Then I got a call from another friend who is the CEO. And the same thing happened. He asked me the same questions. And I thought, okay, I’m onto something here. And so I said, I took the next year and I reverse engineered all the steps that I went through to retire to be able to leave my career. My income, my security, my home my identity of who I was. And I documented these steps. And then I created the video program. sailings retirement, which is an online interactive video programs, the first one, and it takes you from see what am I gonna do with the rest of my life, all the way through to I have a plan and take walks you through all the steps. And it’s not the physical steps like save X amount of dollars. It’s a non financial, I don’t talk about money at all. But it’s it’s steps of, for example, what’s your vision and teaching people how to how to dream and how to vision and what they can imagine for themselves. And then turning that into those visions and goals. And then figuring out what you’re good at what you’re not good at. and then and then managing your fears, because fears, you know, fear stops so many people from so many things.
Unknown Speaker 20:57 Absolutely.
Unknown Speaker 20:58 Yeah. So this Uh, you know, those are the kinds of steps that it takes you through. And I’m just very proud of that program. I love it. So,
Unknown Speaker 21:09 yeah, and I love that you don’t focus necessarily on the money there. I mean, certainly having the finances to accomplish you know what you want. Important. But then there’s also other people who help you do that if you need help to do it, under understanding your why understanding the What drives you, what are you interested in? What is really going to make you happy? Yes. You know, so many people go through their life working in a career, that they’re really not that passionate about. Right, that they may not have even they may have stumbled into the career or let’s say they’re even a you know, successful doctor or attorney or something they might have gotten into that career because that’s what their family expected.
Unknown Speaker 21:59 Right? And
Unknown Speaker 22:00 You know, it wasn’t necessarily their passion. And although many are not, you know, let’s, you know, be clear about that. But, you know, being able to take that time where, unlike you not even waiting till you’re, you know, in what you would call your typical retirement years, right? You took that opportunity to say, Look, I’ve had this this passion, this dream, and what do I need to do to accomplish this while I still have the opportunity and the strength and stamina to actually do it, and enjoy it? Yeah, come out on the other side.
Unknown Speaker 22:42 Exactly. And it and deciding what am I willing to give up for that dream? Right, in my case, it was pretty much all pretty much everything you know, I mean, I it was career suicide, of course. And You know, it was deciding that the life is not, you know, it’s enough, as we all know, it’s not getting any longer. You never know what’s going to happen. And if you have the opportunity to make your dream come true, take it. If you don’t know what your dream is, you don’t know what your passion is. And that is something for a lot of people, they don’t know what they want to do. You know, you know, always everyday that you are trying to help people to, you know, help people in our community. And I’m now trying to, to help people realize their own dreams and make their dreams come true. And I help people to do that. And that’s where I get my satisfaction from now. But some people don’t know what they want to do. And so I run them through what’s called my passion quiz. And it has all these questions about, you know, digs deep into finding out what it is someone really wants to do, by the way, that’s free on my website. If people want
Unknown Speaker 24:01 to awesome, and you know, and because I spent most day kind of catching up, because it has been a while, almost a year since you and I had last time together, and I saw that program, and one it’s very affordable.
Unknown Speaker 24:19 Hello, Sandra $100 or so? Yes.
Unknown Speaker 24:22 Yeah, so very affordable for people and I almost, you know, in doing that and hearing you talk now, you know, sell into your retirement, it’s I’m kind of getting the sense that it’s, it’s doesn’t have to be necessarily about retirement, it’s more sell into your dream. You’re selling to your passion.
Unknown Speaker 24:44 So it’s great. And recognizing that that that is valid. That is it’s just as valid to pursue your passion as it is to pursue going, you know, to a job that you don’t like every day, and you should be pursuing it because you don’t know what’s going to happen.
Unknown Speaker 25:00 Absolutely, I think it’s more valid actually. And you know, especially, you know, in entrepreneurial ism, or you know, even if you are going if you’re working, you know, in a, you know, regular job, you know, if you really love for example, helping people and you have had personal family crisis with cancer and you can’t be the oncologist but you go to become a, you know, radiation technician or something or even homeopathic person, and you then work with people who have that that’s very rewarding, and it’s been focused in and around your passion of helping people with cancer, if that’s, you know, what it is, you know, everyone has their different things. And it’s so sad that the vast majority of people and I can say this without even citing statistics or anything It’s just, I know this to be true. And I challenge anyone to prove me wrong on this. But the vast majority of people are not working or living and doing what they’re passionate about.
Unknown Speaker 26:15 Totally agree.
Unknown Speaker 26:16 And so so this is an opportunity for all of our listeners to regardless again, don’t get hung up on the naming of sale into your retirement, just think of it as sale into your passion. From the show notes, it’s already listed there on the page. So if if you are no matter what level you are, you could even be 18 years old and looking at what you should be doing in your in your future career. You could be 30 years old and having your first mini midlife crisis and wondering
Unknown Speaker 26:53 right What the
Unknown Speaker 26:54 fuck am I gonna do the rest of my life. Trust me, it’s not the price, not the last time that’s going to
Unknown Speaker 27:01 And you’re talking with someone who have reinvented himself several times. And you
Unknown Speaker 27:06 have and successfully and you recognize that his life is not static, and you don’t have to do the same thing all the time. And, and and go do that. Yeah, part of it is the decision making process is that, you know, I will say that making no decision is a decision. It is. And a lot of people just don’t make the decision when they don’t realize that they are, in fact, making a decision. And I think that gets
Unknown Speaker 27:33 back to your point of fear. You know, people have a very rooted, deep rooted, fear of change and fear of the unknown. Yes. And so, utilizing your your very affordable coursework online, could help them identify that their passion help them identify those fears have you mentioned and create a plan for reaching for it?
Unknown Speaker 28:07 Yes, exactly. And it’s good that you mentioned that fear, you know, that was a subject of my first TED talk was about fear. And it’s titled passion Trumps fear. Okay, well, I wish I hadn’t quite used that exact wording now.
Unknown Speaker 28:29 Right.
Unknown Speaker 28:32 Yeah. And, and I was talking about how, I mean, I was pretty much afraid for six years, on a daily basis. I mean, there was always something that that to be afraid of. And what I learned was that fear is just is to be accepted and embraced. It’s nature’s way of making us focus on the task at hand. And you don’t plow through your fears. You don’t conquer your fears, you know, knocked down the wall of fear. You know, this is what other philosophers have to say. It’s not what I believe. I believe that they’re that when you’re standing at the wheel in front of a 30 foot wave, I mean, 30 foot seas. You can’t say it, you know, well, I’m not afraid. Because it’s bullshit you are. everybody’s afraid of that situation. You have to be crazy not to be afraid. But you learn to use the tools that fear is giving you to maximize your situation. So it’s making you sharp, it’s making you attend attentive. It’s making you really focused on the situation. And it’s, it’s a it’s a method of dealing with fear that I believe is the right one.
Unknown Speaker 29:46 Okay, I unders I definitely understand you. And
Unknown Speaker 29:52 I think it’s also too a matter of recognizing, recognizing that fear and acknowledging that that’s what it is. And
Unknown Speaker 30:02 that’s the first step is to recognize the fear. And the second step is to accept it.
Unknown Speaker 30:07 Understand, yeah.
Unknown Speaker 30:10 And you know, like so many people too they they they live in a cortisone heightened constant state of stress. And part of that is is fear based, you know, fear of their, their job, fear, fear and anxiety in relationships. And, you know, when, when you take the boldness, and, you know, like even, you know, in, in our own kind of tying it to the LGBT, you know, lives. You know, sometimes we have relationships, whether that’s direct family members or other people in our lives, that create this this sense of social conditioning that make you almost live in fear or two live in a state of not being your full, true, authentic self. And that is a fear based response. You’re not living your fullest and who you are. And the majority of that is fear based your, your you’re afraid of losing your job. You’re you’re afraid of what your evangelical right wing parent is going to say. Right? You know, and everyone is on their own journey. But at some point you have to say, you know, no, I’m worth it. I’m worth being myself, and I’m worth going after my dreams.
Unknown Speaker 31:41 Yes.
Unknown Speaker 31:43 Putting those kinds of things in their place, so that that fear does not control you any longer. You are now the captain of your own ship.
Unknown Speaker 31:55 Yes, you are. You’re the master of your fate, the captain of your soul.
Unknown Speaker 31:59 Absolutely. Little lay Absolutely.
Unknown Speaker 32:01 And it’s, uh, you know, going, we left right after 911 happened. Okay. And so that was not really a great time to leave. And I remember one of my brothers saying, well, you’re not actually going to go now, are you? I mean, it’s not exactly the best time to be an American sailing around the world. And he goes, are you going to fly the American flag? And I said, well, we’re going to fly the American flag, and we’re going to fly the rainbow flag. And he just kind of slaps his forehead. He goes, Oh my God, why don’t you just put a target on your sail?
Unknown Speaker 32:37 And I said, Well, that’s just the way it is, you know, and it’s funny, um,
Unknown Speaker 32:43 our experiences, you know, for being openly gay as we went around the world. Were really, for the most part, excellent. I mean, nobody really cared. And we found that being gay and the rest of the world was was just fine. Because you know what?
Unknown Speaker 33:02 I think you have your phone on your desk buzzy in
Unknown Speaker 33:10 the garbage, no worries that was just vibrating. And I think your your mic is right there. So we were hearing during that buzz. So say yes. So you know it how to say it is the Was it the best time to do it? Maybe not, but maybe, you know, it’s it’s standing up standing up and out for who you are. Yeah. And, you know, in everything in life, there’s risks, right? Yes, it is. There’s there’s risk
Unknown Speaker 33:47 reward.
Unknown Speaker 33:48 Yeah, I mean, come on. There’s there’s risk getting in your car driving three miles to the grocery store and back.
Unknown Speaker 33:55 That’s right.
Unknown Speaker 33:56 Exactly. Yeah. And that’s just the car in today’s world. COVID there’s risk, you know, apparently getting within six feet and breathing the same air of someone, there’s risk and everything. And it’s a matter of are you going to let those risks create the fear that keeps you from achieving what you want to achieve?
Unknown Speaker 34:20 Exactly, exactly. And and we all know that risk. Risk means often means sacrifice. So are you are you going to risk something for somebody else that you want, like becoming a great violinist means you have to risk the fact that you’re not going to be going out with your friends on Fridays and Saturdays. And instead you’re going to be practicing, you know, that kind of thing. So there’s always risk associated with any achievement, whether it be small or large. And I just try to encourage people to realize that your achievement, you know, this big achievement
Like sailing around the world, sometimes is hard for people to relate to, because it was such a big thing. But I try to, you know, want people to know that it you know, you don’t have to sail all the way around the world to have an adventure, you know, and to fulfill your dreams and pursue your passions. You might want to open up a little coffee shop in the store on the corner and that was your dream. You might want to help your, you know, your nephews soccer team or something like that. I mean, there’s all kinds of ways to to get fulfillment and passion. The one caution that I always like to have is that Be careful not to mistake multiple pleasures for purpose and fulfillment. So when so some when someone, let’s take someone who’s retiring and they go in and I said, What are you going to do when you retire? Well, I’m going to, I’m going to sleep late travel and play golf. Okay, or play whatever, you know, that’s a pretty typical answer. And then my question is Of course, well then what are you gonna do after that? Where’s your fulfillment and your purpose credit come from? and usually it takes someone about six months to a year into retirement to realize that they are missing purpose and fulfillment. And then that often comes the quickest fix for that is to help others.
Unknown Speaker Right?
Unknown Speaker Whether you give back teaching or volunteer or how or or right your experiences or something, but feel like you’re, we’re feel like you’re part of something larger than yourself. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker right. Every everyone does typically need to feel that sense of purpose. And, of course, there are organizations out there such as score, where folks who have retired and volunteer and work with young entrepreneurs. Yeah, I would also like to know Make sure that everyone here is aware and or remind you that on your professional profile on out bureau o UT bu r o calm, you are actually able to indicate whether you would like to be a mentor. And then a brief description about the areas that are you that you are open to being a mentor on, of course, including the rest of your profile. You’re also then able to indicate whether you would like to be a mentee whether you know you’re open to having a mini tour, and the specific areas that you are looking for to help in whatever those are. And via the member search, you are able to find each other justic Thank you.
Unknown Speaker I mean that is this that’s that gives people the opportunity to to Yeah, to mentor to help. You just want to, you know, you have all this wisdom that we’ve earned in our lives. Do we have knowledge? That’s one thing, but as all, you know, as an older person, okay, I’m not that old for the radio, listening. Um, but in addition to knowledge, you have wisdom. And if I might, if I might explain the difference.
Unknown Speaker Absolutely.
Unknown Speaker Yeah. So knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.
Unknown Speaker True.
Unknown Speaker That’s, that’s funny.
Unknown Speaker Yeah, yeah. And you know, I would, I would kind of elaborate on that is that and maybe this came from experience. Knowledge is is, for example, reading a book on search engine optimization. You can Read a book. You can read a book about anything and you could gain knowledge. Right? But the wisdom comes from experience.
Unknown Speaker Exactly. And often that experience has been laden with mistakes along the way. Oh yes.
Unknown Speaker Like putting tomato in a salad. And so when you are open to learning from others, and being open to being a mentee and having someone guide you and coach you, on areas that you know, aren’t your strengths and where you are trying to improve upon, it’s taking it’s leveraging their wisdom, because of the lessons learned and hard knocks that they have achieved and hopefully You then don’t have to make those same mistakes.
Unknown Speaker Exactly. And, you know, when I wrote
Unknown Speaker my I wrote another book,
Unknown Speaker navigating entrepreneurship. I don’t know if you can see that. There it is. We’ll have it on the
Unknown Speaker site.
Unknown Speaker And the reason I wrote that one was because I was getting a lot of questions from people about who are doing startups and starting up their small business, and they think we’re hitting them. You know, being an entrepreneur, as you know, is quite a roller coaster ride. And so in that book, navigating entrepreneurship, I address the roller coaster and walk people through the different aspects that they’re going to be experiencing during when they’re starting up their business. And change is one of them and being proactive versus reactive and no just tips on that because I wanted my wisdom to be out there.
Unknown Speaker Awesome, yes, we will definitely have a link to that. And of course links to your websites where then that will also be on there. You know, and I’d like to add, you know, being an entrepreneur, especially, you know, especially a bootstrap, you know, solo entrepreneur, you know, it’s a tough life. It’s a, you know, like right now out Bureau is, is, it’s still just me at this point. And, you know, having had and I do everything so from the technical website stuff to the content creation to the search engine optimization that needs to be done so people find it to these interviews, yes, and, and, and editing and everything else in between and, and that can become a little over overwhelming and it’s, you know, it’s like to your point earlier where you had to set a daily A task of saying, What am I going to do today? That drives me to my goal? Right? And as an entrepreneur and a startup entrepreneur, I think that’s a very important lesson, Larry, is because there are so many things, you know, there’s the, your technical, there’s the the the practical, the practical things of things to do. There’s the marketing, there’s the accounting, hopefully. Hopefully soon, yeah, hopefully soon. There, there there’s legal You know, there’s so many things you have to wear so many hats and or be able to afford to hire people to do those things and it becomes very overwhelming. And so, a good lesson for all entrepreneurs and budding entrepreneurs out there and those wanting to follow your dream is like, you know, Some days I get overwhelmed. Yes. And and what I do though is is similar to you is, I have a I have a set thing that I look at every day and I said, What am I going to achieve today? or What am I going to achieve tomorrow, that builds upon what I have been doing, and continues to drive out the arrow in the direction that I am wanting to go. Now I’ll be honest, I never achieve everything that I plan to watch. I’ve always have put more on my plate than is humanly possible. But I always achieved something literally every single day. Right? That’s right. cluding this on a Saturday?
Unknown Speaker Yep. And the largest emission that you could ever imagine. Is can be broken down into multiple steps. And you just have to take that first step and once you take The first step Doesn’t it seem that you kind of are on a, like a railroad, you know, runaway freight train just kind of careening down this track? And it’s happening and you almost feel like it’s dragging you sometimes. You’re not Yeah, and that you’re not steering it, you know?
Unknown Speaker Oh, yes, that has happened, that has definitely happened more often than once. And, you know, so so folks looking at, you know, hopefully taking your, you know, your course on sailing into their, their dream, and looking at even, you know, especially now in code, you know, the COVID world, it’s really a great time actually, to start a business especially, even if you, you know, been laid off from work, because, you know, really that’s it depending on what kind of business you’re wanting to start. Now. You know, if you’re obviously if you’re wanting to be the next, you know, Diamond in Port retailer in your state,
Unknown Speaker hello. That’s going to take a lot of money, right?
Unknown Speaker There’s so many businesses out there that you are able to do and and do it depending on your skills for very little money I you know, like I’ve never been I’m not really don’t even consider myself now a web applications developer I’ve been but you know the entire site even with its flaws and even with its, you know, technical issues that I have had and I’ve overcame most, I’ve done it all. I have learned it all. And whenever I’m talking to the developers of the two sides of the house, they can never pull any wool over my eyes because I know and or I will investigate. And, you know, also, you know, as a small business when you’re looking at your website, there’s there’s many free tools out there like WordPress and free templates, and so forth to do writing your own content is free. Doing the videos like this on zoom, it’s free. You’re doing that great backgrounds that you and I both have behind us is via Canva. That’s free. Right? And there’s there’s so many tools out there. There’s video editing software that’s free. You don’t even have to pay for Microsoft Office. There’s Libra office, which is free.
Unknown Speaker But you wish you had told me that?
Unknown Speaker Oh, yeah, now I am. And of course, there’s Google, you know, Docs and so forth. I mean, there’s so many there are so technology has ended the freemium versions. Now you may not unselect Canva. For example, I use Canva. But I don’t and there’s a premium version I still have I still get everything done with their everything that they have for free. Yeah, right. I don’t I don’t currently pay for that particular service. There’s lots of services that I use that I see Just use the free version now eventually I’d love to upgrade. But I’m just trying to make sure that you know, everyone here listening, you know, can say, you know, holy, holy shit absolute, you know for a moment I can do this
Unknown Speaker thing. Yeah, exactly think about it if I
Unknown Speaker can build a group on LinkedIn of 46 and a half thousand global members that by the time you probably listen to this here in a few weeks, I have been told and I have provided all the materials to LinkedIn, they’re going to be featuring the group at the end of the month for pride. us first time in link in my groups 12 year history that LinkedIn has done that. Oh, so it’s about putting in the work. Nothing comes easy, and nothing comes for free. So let me just add that go get Larry’s training program. Ram, under 100 bucks, you can put yourself on the right course. But you also have to realize it’s about putting in your work. There there is no there is no instant, you know, gratification here, right?
Unknown Speaker I was neither words nor worry affect outcome only action does exactly.
Unknown Speaker My stain on that is magic and miracles happen when you have faith, faith in yourself and you take action. That’s right, because those who only have faith are rewarded a warm seat
Unknown Speaker is very true. You get
Unknown Speaker off your ass and do it. That’s my motto.
Unknown Speaker It looks like right now in this crisis. I wish that I was approached by an entrepreneur saying hey I do in home haircuts because look at this how
Unknown Speaker That’s a whole business I could use a haircut.
Unknown Speaker Oh my goodness. You’re still Yeah, you’re in California guys, your your hair salon still have it opened up?
Unknown Speaker No. It’s been a long time. I mean, I’m running on a gel.
Unknown Speaker Oh my goodness too interesting. Well, my sister unfortunately. She’s in Lakeland, Florida. She is a hairstylist and she actually within one week of lockdown, she started visiting all of our customers at home.
Unknown Speaker Oh, see? That’s brilliant. Yeah, absolutely. And it could be happening here. I just don’t know about it. But okay.
Unknown Speaker Yeah, Kepler was so very cool. So Larry, we will I so much appreciate you coming on with us today. Very Good to see you again. Obviously, hopefully next time you’re in the Fort Lauderdale area. We’ll get together for lunch or dinner
Unknown Speaker like and when your issue was gone.
Unknown Speaker I would love that set. Hopefully we’ll get some early adopters here. companies and of course some are based out in that area. Would you have to come out to San Francisco again?
Unknown Speaker I’m gonna throw one more thing out which is that on my website all over it. Larry Jacobson comm there are places where you can click to contact me. And I offer a complimentary exploratory coaching session to anybody. Oh, wonderful. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker And just like a 30 minute
Unknown Speaker 30 to 40 minutes and we’ll find it you know, see where you are. Maybe where you want to go to and kind of map out how we would get there. Just as an exploratory to see if they’re up for having a coach. I’m personally believe everybody needs a coach. I have a coach.
Unknown Speaker Absolutely. And that’s where I so far I pay you a coach. Yesterday was a career coach. Last week had a holistic health coach. Excellent. So I personally have also, in my past have had the the fortune of having a coach for a year that was actually paid for by my employer, and the time and that coach worked with the entire infrared Information Technology Department.
Unknown Speaker And that’s what
Unknown Speaker started and I was long time ago, I was only 29 years old at the time. And that’s what was my first introduction to life in business coaching, kind of span both. And so it was a really wonderful experience. It helped open my eyes. And it was because one of the things after week we went through the whole Myers Briggs you know, And a couple other things. And it was about our about our fourth, third or fourth time that he and I were sitting down together. It was interesting again, I was still young, prior army working in my technology field and and that which actually led to a long career and it was partly from his advice. Because he said, you’re doing stuff that’s completely new. You’re creating totally new processes for this entire organization. You’re a very driven young man at the time. And how come you’re not out doing this for others? How come you’re sitting in this office with this paycheck, you should be earning three, four or 510 times this amount. Wow. And so he is the one who challenged me to I then did go become a director at a consulting firm, doing what I used to do, helping large companies understand how they own and manage their technology, business process consultants, etc. And it was from part of that foundation in my military expense experience of Sergeant Harry Tucker, who is one of the most influential people of my life. And he taught me very early. Again, not to I’m going to say exactly what he said today might sound a little, you know, sexist, or whatever, I won’t, but I will say exactly what he said. Be a man, tell me what you are going to do. And I will tell you if I have a problem with it. never asked me permission for anything because if you do, the answer will always be no. Whoo. Isn’t that amazing?
Unknown Speaker Oh, wow. It is amazing. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker I was 18 years old.
Unknown Speaker When Sergeant Harry Tucker came into my life I was stationed in our shopping Burg Germany. And was very interesting because he was a pagan. And everyone feared him. He was rather short. I’m 510 he was probably by three ish, heavy set. So he was a bit round. But boy, let me tell you that man commanded a presence like he was six foot four
Unknown Speaker is great. The influence that he had on you?
Unknown Speaker Oh, yeah, it is. I mean, I constantly talk about him and one other person who, who’s actually from Columbus, Ohio, who now also lives in Fort Lauderdale. And his name is Steven Shellenberger second most influential person, man in my life. And he he’s one One of the top 10 LGBT rights activists of the state of Ohio is now a little into his 70s. But way back shortly after my ex and I had, I’d already been out of the military, Chris of my 20s was from Columbus, Ohio. So we move there. We actually are in two books. Because of his. He was kicked out of the military because of our relationship and we fought and gotten an honorable discharge. And so we were the poster boys for the don’t ask, don’t tell campaign in the state of Ohio during that whole period 1991 ish. And because of that political activism back then we ran town hall meetings. We were very involved politically in the Columbus Ohio area. So that’s how we met Stephen Shellenberger and he used to be a high school teacher. He and his partner built a business selling antiques just because of their hobby. That’s what they did together they wish
Unknown Speaker they built their I
Unknown Speaker going to garage sales and then reselling, for profit. But, but this guy started buying back in the day, just south of downtown Columbus, Ohio, and the largest contagious historic district in the United States called a German village. Beautiful, beautiful area, cobblestone streets and so forth. Well, he was buying it back in the 70s and 80s. For like, $1 a house from the city and take over the taxes. And then and then the refurbish them, I mean, you can’t touch any of those houses for like, under six 700,000 plus a million, you know, kind of places and So by the time I got to meet Stephen, he had already had all this success and it but it was building it based on his passion, things that he enjoyed doing and things that he had he could do. And it was actually stuff that he and his partner who died of HIV that they did together. And I really just admired him and how much he dedicated his his life to the LGBT community and equality. Equal Rights in the state of Ohio and, and nationally. And so one day sitting having a hamburger with my ex and I sitting at this place called maxima in the village, had German village and I asked him, I said, Steven, how did you how do you do this? How do I do this? How do I replicate what you’ve done and he just very casually without any He just said, well, Dennis, it’s simple. Do what you’re passionate about.
Unknown Speaker If you do what you’re passionate about,
Unknown Speaker it’ll drive you.
Unknown Speaker It won’t seem like work you’ll work your ass off and the money will follow. Yeah. And so say yes. I just to share with you and our listeners that great little story. Shortly after I moved to Fort Lauderdale, and now in January a year ago, I you know, working on out bureau again, getting back to that entrepreneurial thing, working my tail off every day.
Unknown Speaker It’s, it’s, it’s working.
Unknown Speaker Yeah, it’s working. But I got to share this how the universe comes together, you know, when you believe in yourself. And so it was about three months or so after I had moved there. And some people in for in Fort Lauderdale. Come there, you know, seasonally, so I had not. So at any rate, it just note that and so one day, I’m like Like, oh my gosh, I’ve started out bureau on what little bit of savings I had for my divorce and selling the house. I put everything into it. I you know, I’m like staring at a finite bank account. And you know, just stuff going on craziness going on. And so I started, it was literally on a Tuesday afternoon at 330 I sat down in my living room that my duplex that I had there and was meditating I’m like, you know, universe, you need to show me a sign that I’ve made the absolute worst decision in my life. That moving to Fort Lauderdale was a great choice for me. And you know me, it can’t be some little butterfly fluttering around. It can’t be a dragon fly laying on my shoulder. Lightning. You need to punch me in the nose. Do you know I am not kidding. I was at 330 to four o’clock in the afternoon, at seven o’clock, I went to a local bar who also serves food. And most a lot of them do there. And I’m sitting at the edge of the bar. And all of a sudden this gentleman walks up to the bar and orders another glass of white wine. And I look at him. And Steven is always wearing very distinct round glasses. Very, you know, avant garde cheeky looking glasses. It’s been his signature look for years. So I look at him and I’m like, I haven’t seen this job. This man in over eight years. I’m like, Steven, and he looked at me, he goes, Dennis, and I’m like, Oh my god, I get up. I’m like, Hello, go over. Give him a big big hug. I’m like, oh my god. Steven, are you here? visiting? He goes, No, hon, I live here half time. I’m not about to move here full time. I’m like,
Unknown Speaker Yeah,
Unknown Speaker I now have met so many people. It’s one thing I love about Fort Lauderdale people are from all over. I now have. So I’ve known Steven since 1991. I’ve run into other people that I have known just as long from Columbus, Ohio, I’ve actually ran into a friend from Germany. And, you know, what that just did for me is whatever your sign is, whatever, you need to confirm you that you’re on the right path. It will come but first you have to get on your right path.
Unknown Speaker Yeah, right. Yeah. You a path. It might not even be the right path.
Unknown Speaker At first. So true.
Unknown Speaker Yeah. And you just have to take a step, take that first step. Whatever. That’s it. Once you’ve defined where you’re gonna go, then it’s a matter of knowing it’s going to take steps to get there. Take the first step. You know, I always say that I’ve achieved pretty much everything I’ve set out to achieve in my life. So my next question is, have I set out to achieve enough? And so, so I’m always looking for to take that first step towards the next thing,
Unknown Speaker when that is that that is the key point is, you know, you just can’t dream it. You just get magic and miracles happen when you take action.
Unknown Speaker That’s right,
Unknown Speaker exactly. Good on you. You have to take action, because otherwise nothing happens.
Unknown Speaker And I just want I love the idea of empowering people. And I want people to know that, you know, I’m just a regular guy who wanted to go sailing. And so I ended up sailing around the world and being the first gay person to do that. Well, yeah, that’s a big deal. But that’s only a big deal to me, really, because I’m the one who wanted to sail around the world. Whatever it is. Somebody else wants to do. That’s their big deal. And they can they can do it. I’m just a regular guy. I don’t have any special skills. I still don’t have enough skills to sail around the world. I’ve already done it. You know, so if I if I waited to get all the skills necessary to go sailing around the world, I’d still wouldn’t have left.
Unknown Speaker So true. You got it. You got to take and learn along the way.
Unknown Speaker Exactly.
Unknown Speaker Yep. So so cool was well, wow, we’ve had a great conversations later, Larry. And
Unknown Speaker as always, we can never we need another beer.
Unknown Speaker Well, the copies and coffee and beer that’d be great. Was the thank you so much for joining me today. Always good to have a chat with you. We started a few years ago, talking on the phone. I got the opportunity to meet in person and now today we get to start doing this where others get to get a little bit of insight From the different experiences and knowledge and hopefully wisdom, yes, you know, hopefully we can help the world just a little bit. Absolutely. Well Larry, again, thank you so much for taking time out of your Saturday to chat with us. And it’s for everyone listening. Thank you so much for tuning in. You will find this video episode on out bureau comm that is O UT bu r o comm you will find that by clicking podcast up at the top you will find it also by searching Larry Jacobson. In addition, you will also find his professional profile on the site and links to all of the books and websites that we have mentioned and possibly a few more. So definitely check that out. You can also if you don’t want to be stuck and watch our facial expressions and all of that kind of stuff and how you communicate Because you know, hey visual is a lot of communication as well. You can also listen to the Euro Voices Podcast on the go with your favorite app, including Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google podcasts, and many more. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you would like to be on the show, please reach out to us by contacting us via the episode pages and be up. Be a guest. We’d love to hear your story and learn all about the interesting things going on with you your career and your business. Thank you so much again. I’m Dennis belko. And this was Larry Jacobson, the first gay out man to sell around the world.
May 24, 2020
(updated May 24, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
LOS ANGELES, May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A new study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders finds that eating disorder patients who identify as LGBT have more severe eating disorder symptoms, higher rates of trauma history, and longer delays between diagnosis and treatment than heterosexual, cisgender patients.
“While we know there is a higher prevalence of eating disorders among LGBTQ folks, particularly trans and non-binary folks (with rates estimated to be anywhere from 40% to 70%), our field is in its infancy with researching this health disparity, so I believe research like ours is especially important,” said clinical psychologist Jennifer Henretty PhD, CEDS, one of the study’s co-authors who serves as the Executive Director of Clinical Outcomes for Discovery Behavioral Health, Center For Discovery.
Eating disorders are a serious mental health concern: At least 30 million people—of all ages, sexual orientations, and gender-identities—experience an eating disorder in the U.S. alone, and every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result of an eating disorder. In fact, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. (Source: National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Eating Disorders)
The most common eating disorders are binge eating disorder, where people regularly eat a large amount in a short period of time; bulimia nervosa, where people regularly eat a large amount in a short period of time and then try to offset the food using harmful behaviors (like vomiting); and anorexia nervosa, where people regularly eat too little due to a fear of gaining weight and thus are malnourished. The causes of eating disorders are not clear but both biological and environmental factors are thought to play a role. Eating disorders typically begin in adolescence but it appears that the rate of the disorder may be on the rise in middle-aged and even older adults.
The peer-reviewed academic study analyzed data from 2,818 individuals treated in residential (RTC), partial hospitalization (PHP), and/or intensive outpatient (IOP) levels-of-care at a large eating disorder treatment organization; 471 (17%) of the participants identified as LGBT. The facilities were operated by Center for Discovery, a U.S. healthcare provider specializing in the treatment of eating disorders.
Research shows that individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or other non-heterosexual/non-cisgender identities have significantly higher rates of mental and physical health conditions compared to their heterosexual, cisgender peers.
“LGBT individuals are more likely to experience housing and employment discrimination, and to struggle with multiple mental health challenges related to minority stress; this perfect storm of barriers means eating behaviors are often overlooked,” said Vaughn Darst, RD, who serves as Operations Advisor for Discovery Behavioral Health, Center For Discovery and who also discussed in a TedX talk the complex issue at the intersection of gender, body image, food and identity.
Center For Discovery, which opened in 1997, is a leading provider of eating disorder treatment in the U.S. Weekly residential programming includes two to three individual sessions; one to two family sessions; dietary, medical, and psychiatric sessions; and between 35 and 40 therapeutic groups. Modalities such as Exposure Response Prevention, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and a Family Systems Approach are utilized. Importantly, Center For Discovery is trans/gender-affirming and trauma informed.
The study found a full 12-month delay in treatment for LGBT patients compared to non-LGBT patients. “Delays in accessing treatment are especially widespread for transgender and nonbinary individuals with eating disorders. Some of the causes include delayed diagnosis by providers who fail to assess non-cisgender female patients for disordered eating, as well as limited access to trans-affirming treatment options, particularly at the residential level of care” said Darst. Center For Discovery hopes to reduce this delay by being a trans-affirming treatment center and by providing trainings for staff and community providers on best practices for addressing eating concerns within LGBT communities.
Discovery Behavioral Health is a leading, in-network, U.S. healthcare provider delivering accessible, evidence-based community care for substance use, eating disorders, and behavioral health. Discovery’s programs include residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient care for teens and adults. The company was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Orange County, California. More: https://discoverybehavioralhealth.com
HIV-AIDS taught us that silence = death, and information = power.
Picture this: It’s 1985. You’re a young gay man, living in Washington, DC.
AIDS has been all over the news since the actor Rock Hudson went public with his own diagnosis in July—and died in October. A new test to determine whether you have been exposed to HIV has just become available, although even the AIDS organizations are advising against taking it because no one yet knows what a positive result means.
Every morning you look up above the escalators going down into the Metro station at Dupont Circle and check the latest tally of AIDS deaths flashing across the ticker board—like a silent bell tolling across the gayest neighborhood in the city, reminding you that a deadly virus is on the loose, killing people, mostly other gay men, right there in your own neighborhood.
On the streets you see guys you knew from the gym, muscle boys now looking like shriveled old men, their faces polka-dotted with the purple lesions of Kaposi’s sarcoma.
You see more and more of their obituaries each week in the Washington Blade, the city’s LGBTQ newspaper and the most reliable source of information about the growing HIV pandemic.
The virus haunts your intimate moments, each coupling now an unwelcome and terrifying ménage á trois with one of the three not even visible and yet dominating the exchange, standing between the ecstasy of sex and the precipice of potential death.
Posters, flyers, and newspaper ads yell at you to protect yourself and your partners against the deadly microbe. Most heed the warnings; many do not.
And the Blade publishes yet more obituaries.
It’s a frightening experience to live through a deadly viral pandemic, especially one as lethal as HIV. But an important lesson from the HIV pandemic is that it is not only possible, but imperative, to get on with your life even as you practice the safety precautions that credible public health experts recommend.
In the case of the novel coronavirus now spreading across the world and throughout America, it’s particularly important to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations—including regular hand-washing, disinfecting frequently used surfaces, and ‘social distancing’ from people who are sick or crowds in which the virus can more easily be transmitted.
Something we learned in the HIV-AIDS pandemic that is highly relevant to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus: Words matter. Facts matter. It matters how we talk about something like a virus, the illness it causes, and those affected by it.
We learned that silence (and ignorance) equals death—and information equals power. Armed with fact-based information, we are best prepared to address the challenges that will lie ahead for many of us.
As the World Health Organization makes clear in its recommendations, it’s not useful to talk about a “plague,” and COVID-19 is not a “Chinese” or “Asian” disease. People diagnosed with the virus are not “vectors” or “carriers”—they are people first and foremost. “Stigma can undermine social cohesion and prompt possible social isolation of groups, which might contribute to a situation where the virus is more, not less, likely to spread,” the WHO says.
The first people diagnosed with HIV-AIDS—openly, proudly gay men—understood that words and language can make all the difference between hope and despair, between fear-driven hatred and compassion. “We are people with AIDS,” they insisted, not ‘AIDS victims.’” HIV-AIDS was an illness they had; it was not who they are. Their humanity defined them, not their diagnosis.
We are susceptible to the novel coronavirus, and the multitudes of other microbes around us and within our bodies at any given moment, simply because we are fragile, physical humans living in a sometimes dangerous world—not because of our ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, skin tone, or any other immutable trait.
These five steps will help us get through our latest public health crisis:
Stay informed about the novel coronavirus—it’s the best defense against anxiety and to avoid ‘groupthink‘ and hysteria;
Practice the recommended safety precautions;
Seek testing and treatment if you’re ill;
Respect your own and others’ humanity if you or they become ill; and
Use words and language that don’t stigmatize anyone.
There is no need to panic or catastrophize (“the end of the world is here!”), and there is no room for hysteria borne of ignorance. Remember: Information equals power. Take it from a formerly young gay man who, beginning in 1985, lived through the “dark years” of AIDS in our hard-hit nation’s capital.
This article was originally posted on Physcology Today on March 12, 2020 and issued here OutBüro on by the author.
Being resilient means controlling how much we let our traumas define us.
We’re hearing a lot about what in the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming “the new normal,” including face masks, hand-washing, sheltering-in-place, and social distancing.
Unfortunately for tens of millions, even billions, the new normal also features tremendous anxiety, depression, grief, and financial hardship.
I can only offer empathy where it comes to financial hardship. I truly feel your pain as I know this hardship all too well. But I also know a few things about resilience that have helped me through some really tough times when I have experienced all of these emotional and mental health challenges.
For one thing, it’s unrealistic to expect yourself not to be changed by the trauma of losing a job, struggling to pay bills, worrying about a high-risk loved one’s health, or the new and widespread fear of simply going into a grocery store with unmasked shoppers. These experiences can rattle us to the core, make us question ourselves and our value, maybe even wonder whether life is worth all the effort it requires.
We’re also hearing a lot of talk about “getting back to normal.” But resilient people understand that there is no such thing as going back to “how things used to be.” We understand that there are only two options: Either stay stuck in the anxiety, depression, and fear by repeatedly rehashing the details of your trauma and the suffering it caused you. Or you move on.
By moving on, I am not suggesting you must forget what you’ve suffered, as if it’s even possible. No. I mean you deliberately choose—yes, it is a choice—not to allow the emotions and thoughts linked to the trauma control or define your present. You can’t undo what was done, but you get to decide how big a part it plays in defining you now.
The important starting point is in how you frame the story you tell yourself about what the traumatic experience—in this case, the COVID-19 pandemic—”means” in the bigger story of your life, your relationships, your place in the world.
Instead of thinking of yourself as a victim—singled out by fate for cruel and unusual punishment—it’s important to recognize the difference between events and forces beyond your control, and how you handle and respond to them. You can tell the story either as a victim—or as a survivor. The first reflects a sense of powerlessness, the second resilience.
I am here to say from experience that even resilient people continue to face challenging times—like COVID-19. But I can also say from experience that it’s possible to give the pandemic the attention and priority it requires without letting it become the dominant, defining event and force in your life.
First, you do that by staying informed and practicing recommended safety precautions, as well as actively taking steps to care for yourself—including getting exercise, eating properly and staying connected with others.
I learned how important these things are after my HIV diagnosis in 2005. After telling so many others’ stories as a reporter for so many years by that point, I had to learn how to tell my own story.
I had to decide what having HIV was going to mean to me. I had to choose how big or small a role I would allow my positive HIV status, and the things I had to do to care for my health, to play in my life and my sense of myself. I had to learn to understand that even with something as personal as a serious medical diagnosis, there had been events and forces beyond my control that brought me to that moment. That’s how I moved from wondering “why me?” to “why not me?” as I came to understand the traumas in my own past that had wounded me psychologically and put me at such high risk.
What things look like “on the other side” of COVID-19 for us as individuals, after we have a cure and/or preventive vaccine will depend largely on what they look like now, as we move through it. Either we take steps while it is happening to protect our mental and physical health and well-being, or we risk long-term harm.
Expecting to “go back” isn’t a smart personal reopening strategy. Try moving forward instead, but knowing you and everyone around you have been changed by the public health crisis. Live in the “new normal” even if it continues to mean masks and social distancing. It’s not a personal punishment. Focus on how you have pulled through this tough time and earlier tough times, on your resilience, rather than on all that has changed.
Just because COVID-19 has victimized all of us in one way or another doesn’t mean we have to live our lives as its victims.
This article was originally posted on Physcology Today on May 7, 2020 and issued here OutBüro on by the author.
Over the years 2018-2020, a European partnership of 16 organizations (7 NGOs and 9 schools) worked together on an antibullying project which aimed to develop a method high schools can use to review their antibullying policy and to plan improvements. The project was called the “Anti-Bullying Certification” project (ABC, https://www.gale.info/en/projects/abc-project) because the original aim was to develop a certificate for good antibullying policy.
One of the aspects that we encountered was that a school antibullying policy is partly dependent on the national policy framework. The national legislation or guidelines may determine the possibilities or limits or school policy. In this article, we will reflect on how states/countries organize this and what could be improved – from a European international perspective. We based ourselves on a review of European anti-bullying policies and on a more specific analysis of the five participating countries: the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, Italy, and Greece. In addition, we based ourselves on a range of national strategic workshops that GALE facilitated in about 20 countries.
There are great differences in how education systems are organized. Some states are centralized and schools are owned and managed in detail by the government. For example, if students in France move from Paris to Marseille, there is no problem in shifting schools because every school offers the same lessons in the same school period. If a class of Greek students wants to go on an international trip for the Erasmus + program (the European international exchange program for schools), they are required to have written permission by the Ministry of Education. In centralized countries, any change should be requested from the Ministry of Education and it will be unclear if a decision will be based on a democratic process. If a change is adopted by the Ministry, it becomes mandatory for all schools at once. However, the implementation of new measures – like national antibullying policy – may not be adopted enthusiastically by all schools because the policy is implemented top-down, and little or no attempt is made to create commitment among the schools. It may be that schools abide by the rule by going through the motions but without much commitment.
For diversity, centralized education policy is a double-edged sword. On one hand, LGBTIQ NGOs can approach the Ministry of Education and convince the ministry to adopt the policy to include (LGBTIQ) diversity. For example, in Greece, the recent HOMBAT project (https://www.hombat.eu/) focused on developing teacher training on sexual diversity, but also organized national expert meetings and follow-up consultations with the ministries and with the education sector in Lithuania, Greece, and Cyprus. With this sustainability strategy, the partner NGOs stimulated a more inclusive national anti-homophobia and anti-transphobia strategy. In Greece, the government decided to organize an annual school week focused on gender issues. LGBTIQ issues would be integrated in the Gender Action Week. They considered a specific anti-homophobia campaign a bridge too far for the conservative population and feared backlash from the neo-fascist populist “Golden Dawn” party. So in a sense, the action of the NGOs was successful. At the same time, we saw that many schools engaged in the Gender Week only as a (heterosexual) #MeToo topic, despite the initiative coming from the LGBTIQ movement.
Other states are decentralized. This means that the state only sets a limited number of framing criteria and obligations, and schools are free to implement their own policy within those frames. This policy is often heavily influenced by a more general neoliberal “laissez-faire” policy.
Decentralized states differ to what extent they allow the school’s freedom. In extremely neoliberal states, the state considers the schools as private “companies” who set their own standards and compete with each other in a free market. The free market and competition for students are supposed to create a high quality of education. In practice, this is rarely the reality because the available funding and fees are of crucial importance for the actual quality. Some schools attract rich students and have high fees, and can offer high-quality education. Other schools cater to a poor community, get fewer fees or funding and the coagulation of factors leads to a lower quality of education, often despite the hard work of some persistent teachers and students.
In the case of anti-bullying policy there is a wide difference to what extent states set criteria for schools. In the ABC-project, most states (Italy, Spain, UK, the Netherlands) have a decentralized education system.
In Italy, there is national anti-bullying legislation for schools, and there is additional strong legislation on – for example, cyberbullying and sexual intimidation – and this specific legislation is also covering the education sector. The Italian legislation gives elaborate guidelines and the proper implementation of the guidelines is supported by a national “Adolescent Observatory” and local observatory offices. The observatory monitors youth trends, youth language, and behavior, and offers training and support to teachers and school
to implement various policies. In this way, the anti-bullying policy is always up-to-date and connected to young people’s needs and cultures, and it is also integrated in a wider perspective of pedagogy and community action.
In contrast, in the Netherlands, there is an anti-bullying law that only makes it mandatory for schools to do research, to have a coordinator, and to have a plan. There are no qualifying criteria for the research, the coordinator, or the plan. The national school inspectorate is supposed to check the implementation of this legislation but the lack of criteria limits this to a bureaucratic check of whether the research, coordinator and plan are there at all.
The decentralized nature of the policy implies that external NGOs aiming to raise the quality of anti-bullying policy in schools have to go to all the schools individually if they want to stimulate and support change. The national LGB grassroots organization COC does this by promoting Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) and offering peer education by LGB volunteers. Regrettably, these interventions do not have much impact on school policies. On the contrary, many schools use the existence of a GSA or inviting COC-peer educators as an excuse to not work on structural school safety for LGBTIQ students. The Dutch NGO Edu-Diverse offered schools consultancy to improve the quality of LGBTIQ sensitivity in school policy in a more structural way. Edu-Diverse will redevelop the ABC-self-assessment procedure into a “Gaynergy” label that LGBTIQ NGOs can use to stimulate and support schools to deliver LGBTIQ specific anti-bullying quality. Still, because the Netherlands is utterly neoliberal, the “Gaynergy” label will have to be marketed as a cost-covering product. Moreover, it will have to “compete” with GSAs and LGB peer education. Even the COC views LGBTIQ-emancipation as a free market in which other interventions and strategies are a threat to their own products and marketing.
The ABC-partnership made reviews of the national anti-bullying policies in the participating countries. Based on the specific situations, – if possible – recommendations were formulated to improve the national legislations. The best recommendations for national policies were based on a thorough analysis of how changes in the education system come about, which type of changes are feasible within the timeframe and which actors have to be influenced to stimulate such improvements.
For example, in the Netherlands, the limited anti-bullying legislation we mentioned was adopted in 2015 after an intensive discussion in the parliament. The School Boards Association strongly resisted the original quality criteria in the law (“to use proven effective methods”). Because the Dutch system is so decentralized, the strong resistance of the schools themselves made it difficult for politicians to push quality criteria and it resulted in the three “empty” requirements. In return, the School Boards Association promised to implement a national Anti-bullying Action Plan. The implementation of the Action Plan stalled when the Ministry of Education and the School Boards Association could not agree on who would pay for it. In 2020, there is little political openness to reopen the discussion; politicians cannot “score” on this topic.
Although the anti-bullying legislation was prompted by a series of high school student suicides after they were bullied – and it was clear homophobia played a major role in some of the suicides – the Ministry resisted any mention of diversity in the legislation, let be specific mention of LGBTIQ issues. When asked about this, the responsible State Secretary said that schools had to be sensitive to all diversity issues, but that LGBTIQ issues were already covered by the budget of the department of education (which finances the GSA-campaign and LGB peer education).
In this situation, GALE and Edu-Divers developed five recommendations, which carefully suggested that the original aim of the anti-bullying legislation has not been met. Next to advocating for a new political discussion – which is probably unfeasible, the recommendations also point to more basic practical solutions that could be implemented by the School Boards Association itself. The Association maintains a website where schools can report on their quality. All members of the Association are required to do this, which makes this website a non-formal tool that sets quality standards, simply by the way it requires the school to report. GALE and Edu-Diverse recommended that the School Boards Association improves its own online framework by being more specific on how schools can prove the quality of their anti-bullying policy. It offers the ABC-self-assessment tool as an example. In addition, GALE and Edu-Diverse asked to resume the discussion on the stalled Anti-bullying Action Plan.
The analysis and recommendations in the Netherlands show how challenging it is for the LGBTIQ movement to improve anti-bullying policies in schools. The struggle in a decentralized and neoliberal context takes place in an often untransparent maze of institutions and procedures and a range of stakeholders with competing interests are pushing their own agendas. Neoliberal governments don’t feel the need to coordinate or guide this. And to some extent, this makes clear that the LGBTIQ movement not only has to fight for specific LGBTIQ visibility or safety that is should also be critical of these larger political strategies and decisions. Semi-dictatorial centralized government policies can be a risk, but hardline neoliberal policies can be detrimental as well.
Over the years 2018-2020, a European partnership of 16 organizations (7 NGOs and 9 schools) worked together on an antibullying project which aimed to develop a method high schools can use to review their antibullying policy and to plan improvements. The project was called the “Anti-Bullying Certification” project (ABC, https://www.gale.info/en/projects/abc-project) because the original aim was to develop a certificate for good antibullying policy.
One of the most interesting dilemmas we encountered was if we should “score” schools for the quality of the antibullying policy, and if so, how.
When we started the project and presented to the idea on several international conferences, it became appeared teachers and principals in our panel sessions were not enthusiastic about external organizations coming in to score them. Schools score students all the time, but they are not eager to be scored themselves! On the other hand, some NGOs, like LGBTIQ organizations, were enthusiastic about the idea to make more transparent how schools deal with violence and discrimination. Politicians were also interested in this.
When we were in the finishing phase of the ABC-project in early 2020, we did a survey among all the participants in the nine participating schools and among other stakeholders on the nationals of 5 countries and on the international level. Contrary to our impressions from the conferences, the participating teachers and students were generally enthusiastic about scoring their schools and even were quite positive about mandatory publishing the results. Their opinions were in contrast with the external stakeholders (which were mainly NGOs focusing on school safety and on diversity) who were hesitant to score schools and who emphasized that every school is different, which would make it difficult to score with a single framework. Some were also afraid that schools in deprived areas would score low, which might increase social inequality.
That teachers and students in the project valued scoring higher may be due to the fact that the partnership discussed the possibility and different methods to score several times in international exchange meetings. In these discussions, the teachers and students also had the opportunity to give suggestions on how to do this, or what not to do. This may have increased their insight in the positive aspects of a diagnostic test of the quality of the antibullying policy, and in the advantages of being transparent as a school and willing to enter in the open discussion with stakeholders like students and parents.
Even though at the end of the project a majority of students and teachers indicated they were willing to have their test results published, during the project we decided to work with a draft scoring system in which the scores were determined in dialogue with the school and in which the school had the final say whether they want to publish them or not.
An Anti-Bullying Energy Label
Another question that came up was whether we should offer schools an assessment in the form of a A-D label (levels), or one like an ISO-certification (adequate or not).
In Europe, a lot of products are regulated by the European Union and are awarded an “energy label” levels A through D, with “D” being an insufficient level of energy-saving. Since most products are nowadays “A” level and still getting better, products can also be awarded A+ or A+++ levels. We wondered if we could develop an “antibullying energy label” for schools.
The problem is and of course how to define which level would count as “D” or “A”, or even as “A+”. In one international exchange with teachers and students, we discussed this. We explained different scientific criteria that might be used as distinguishing between levels. One spectrum could be the number of interventions, another one could be a combination of the number and the quality of the interventions. A different way could be to score the school on a sliding scale from a fully punitive approach to a fully restorative/no-blame approach, which would indicate to what extent the school has a positive and supportive school culture. A third way would be to take the perspective of organizational change and adopt a scale measuring commitment to the policy and cooperation on its implementation.
Based on the commands of teachers and students, and also on our own impressions of scientific research, we decided to use a scale of commitment. Such a scale would distinguish between a paper policy that may not have a commitment and may not be fully implemented and a policy that is a heartfelt part of the school culture. We also incorporated the notion that organizational change happens in phases. The final scale we developed has four levels: (1) only individuals are supportive of a coherent antibullying policy, (2) the management agrees on an antibullying policy, (3) the majority of the staff agrees and implements the antibullying policy, and (4) the majority of the students agree with the antibullying policy and try to implement it. It was suggested to add a phase where also the majority of the parents agree and cooperate with the antibullying policy, but at this time we did not include that. We considered that this project is about high schools; in many countries, the link between the parents and the high school of their kids is not very strong. This weak link, and the focus of many schools on academic performance rather than on life skills, non-violent communication, and democratic values, make it unlikely that the school can build a meaningful joint pedagogic community with the parents.
In the final ABC-checklist, 10 checkpoints that are related to antibullying policy and scientific effective elements of the anti-bullying policy are not scored to whether they are present in procedures, but as to how broad commitment to have in the school population.
Another method of scoring that was suggested was to offer a school of formal ISO-certification. The ISO-system (ISO=International Standards Organization) offers a framework to describe how organizations can frame their quality policy. The key aspect of an ISO-certification is that the organization has watertight procedures to secure that their processes securely lead to high quality. For an ISO-certification, the organization describes in detail how they organize their quality processes. Although there is an ISO-standard for educational organizations (21001:2018), this only describes the need for safety in the school in a very general way. It requires schools to care for the well-being of “relevant interested parties” and it notes “offensive behavior (like bullying)” can be part if this, but it does not give indications on how to do this. In the case of and additional standard for the anti-bullying policy of (high) schools, this would require schools to make a detailed description of the ways they create a safe school culture and how they deal with incidents.
Diversity may be another challenge in ISO-certification. The description of procedures is usually generic unless specific deviations from the general procedure are described for specific groups and for specific circumstances. For example, in the current ISO-standard for educational organizations, there are specific clauses for special needs education (dealing with disability) and for early childhood education. It may be difficult to include needs or standards on how to determine and take into account the needs of specific minorities in a generic antibullying standard.
For example, a typical antibullying procedure would not describe the registration of students in the school, because it is not part of the antibullying procedure. But when a trans student changes gender during the year and wants to change their gender in the school administration, and this is not possible because the registration procedure limits the choice to male and female, this may lead to discriminatory treatment. A solution may be to adapt the registration option (male, female, other) and procedure (being able to change the register during the year instead of only when entering). But the question remains whether the antibullying procedures allow for such changes in the structural makeup of the school.
Certification typically leads to a certificate which states that the organization is organized conforming to the standard. This requires, of course, an international consensus on the standard. In the case of a good antibullying policy, the school would get a certificate that the antibullying policy is conforming to the standard, or it would not get a certificate. Experiments in the Netherlands with certification of LGBTIQ quality of elderly care homes and LGBTIQ quality of schools have shown that this leads to some controversy about whether the said organizations are really offering the quality they promise, or which is stated in the certificate. They may get a certificate by an ISO-organization, but the certificate could be mainly based on the policy framework or procedures rather than on their working practice or organizational culture. In a Dutch experiment with certification of LGBTIQ quality of a high school, the intentions and procedures of the management were considered adequate, but the certification survey among teachers and students showed only a very average level of tolerance, leaving much to be improved. To the frustration of the local LGBTIQ organization, the school still got a certificate and decided further improvement was not necessary since they were now “certified”.
In the case of the ABC-project, our partner EAN (the European Antibullying Network) has decided to follow up on the project with the development of a formal ISO-certification standard of anti-bullying policy in high schools. It remains to be seen whether this will adequately monitor the quality of antibullying policy, and whether it includes diversity in an adequate way.
One of the most important aspects of the ABC-project was the organization of international exchanges between the partners, teachers, and students of five countries (Greece, Italy, Spain, UK, and the Netherlands)n and to discuss how to develop the self-evaluation procedure and how to improve policy. The self-evaluation procedure itself also included participation in a structural way. The procedure started with a review of current documentation of anti-bullying policy, with surveys among students and teachers and then there were interactive review workshops for students and teachers. This structure allowed students and teachers in their own workshops to review the existing policy and the experiences and opinions of the entire school population and to formulate their own recommendations.
The survey results and the reviews showed that students, teachers, and school management often have very different views of their anti-bullying policy. In the first place, students usually experience the school culture as less safe than teachers and school managers, with the school managers commonly having a very positive view of the school, the teachers a somewhat less positive view, and students sometimes much less positive view. Students are not always happy with the school to cater to their needs and they regularly criticize the way teachers and other staff treat students. In many schools it is quite common that teachers perform a kind of “discipline” and “motivation techniques” which include making jokes at the expense of students and “putting them in their place” by making more or less derogatory comments. Such treatment is hated by students. Teachers often don’t see this in the same way and consider their behavior as a professional way of getting the class attention and disciplining unruly students. When students formulate this type of criticism and review, it may be difficult for teachers to deal with it; they are not used to criticism.
For students, diversity is one of the topics that they feel is natural to have attention. For teachers and for managers this is not so obvious. The school is organized in a way that forces teachers and managers to focus on class (group) units, which leaves little space to tailor lessons or strategies to individuals or to diversity. If teachers want to give attention to diversity they are immediately confronted with a “competition” of diversities for the limited lesson time and attention in groups of 30 students. Schools are simply not prepared and teachers, not enough trained to combine a generic wide perspective of openness and tolerance with more specific attention for certain minorities. While specific attention for disabled students, cultural groups of students, and sexually diverse students is already a challenge, sensitivity for students with an intersectional background becomes nearly impossible within traditional school systems.
The same goes for the school managers, who – at the end of the self-evaluation procedure – get all the results and recommendations, and then have to decide about how to improve the policy. Since most school managers have the impression that their school performance is already almost excellent, and because they are not used to democratically manage the school, comments, and recommendations of students and teachers that are different from their own expectations may also be difficult for them.
The antibullying certification project developed a checklist to score the level of anti-bullying policy in a school. It was decided to make a kind of “energy” label with levels rather than just offering a certificate because the partnership thought antibullying policy will always be in development and the success of the policy is probably mainly dependent on the commitment of all stakeholders to it – which changes over the years.
However, the partnership realizes that the checklist that we developed can be improved.
Although the partnership could have developed a completely external system of assessment, we have opted to offer a participatory procedure of self-assessment. This is in line with the idea that the success of antibullying policy is dependent on the commitment of all stakeholders, and which requires to build in democracy and participation in the development of school policy. To make diversity an integral aspect of this participation, it is necessary to involve and support minority students to raise their voice during the self-evaluation, and to take the recommendations seriously.
In a discussion with the students, we discussed how diversity could be integrated in a structural way. We did a statement game where they had to position themselves on a continuum from “it needs to be a specific item in the checklist” to “it needs to be part of all the checkpoints”. After a thorough discussion, the students preferred the second option but with the caption that specific forms of diversities should be made explicit. In the final checklist, we decided to make the 10th checkpoint on diversity and to ask the management to revise all the previous checkpoints to assess to what extent sex/gender, disability, race, culture, religion, immigration, poverty, Roma, and LGBTIQ were adequately covered. In this way, it seems to cover both position discussed with the students. However, the willingness of students, staff and management to sincerely engage in this exercise remains a key requirement to make the diversity part of the assessment successful.