One thing I often hear is the difficulty Trans people have getting jobs, as if it’s directly linked to them being Transexual/living full time in their proper role.
While it’s absolutely true that there is still prejudice out there and being trans can have an effect, I firmly believe that most of the problems are related to exactly the same factors that face all job seekers.
So I thought, as I’m currently working on a bunch of job applications for promotion at work it might be a great time to look at this topic.
So what work have I done as a Transwoman?
I’ve done Charity work working with 5-8 year olds.
I’ve worked as a Journalist.
Customer facing work helping University Students.
Worked in Admissions in a University.
Done voluntary work at a major event – again customer facing.
Run market stalls and car boots.
Most of which, as you can see, has been customer facing and I’ve NEVER had problems with customers. Sometimes they’ll mis-gender and when they do you HAVE to develop a thick skin, but remember most of the time (if not essentially all of the time) they will be doing it accidentally.
So why do Transpeople have problems getting jobs?
Well I firmly believe the main problems are two fold, but essentially come down to a single issue – Lack of confidence. This means their job applications may be poor – caused by ‘I won’t get it’ mentality, and then if they DO get an interview being nervous and interviewing poorly.
Now I will say I’m no expert but I’ve had about 15 interviews since starting transitioning and in ALL cases I can confidentially say I’ve failed to get jobs purely because others interviewed better or had better skills/experience.
So what tips do I have?
I think the lessons I’ve learnt come down to :-
1) Confidence – the job market is TOUGH you have to keep fighting. That’s fact regardless if your age, gender, colour etc.
2) Get people to proof read and check your personal statements – make sure to match each to the personal spec.
3) Think of good supporting examples and any questions they might ask in the interview.
Remember you don’t have to put gender in and indeed in most cases it’s not asked for these days. But if it is and you feel obliged to put it – then put the gender in your living in role as. So in my case female – and similarly there is no need to fill in anything revealing your Trans if you don’t wish to.
At interview just do the same as everyone else, dress appropriately, and be confident.