“You’re not angry enough!!” I was in the Apple store in Soho and my friend was giving me feedback about an early draft of the book. She handed me a package with her comments all over the printout. Her tone was insistent.
“This is important,” she told me, soberly. “People need help…”
More than a year later, I think I finally understand what she meant. Too many people are struggling to get access to the chances they deserve, and working out loud can give them an advantage when they need it most.
When you’re just getting started
Whether you’re a recent graduate, a new employee, or you’re starting to explore a new career, it can be particularly difficult to develop your network. You’re (sometimes literally) on the outside looking in, and it can take months or even years to get to know the people who can help you be effective.
Working Out Loud events with new hires are a way of making things easier for the employee while shortening the on-boarding time for the firm. Employees transitioning out of their firm also need help as they start a new chapter in their career, so I’m looking to work with outplacement firms on specific training for them too.
When you’re a victim of conscious or unconscious bias
For some people, the problem is more insidious, and they’re denied access because of their gender, race, or sexual orientation. I’ve been lucky to work with employee resource groups to help their members learn how to deepen relationships and gain access through their own networks so they rely less on an individual manager.
As the saying goes, “sunlight is the most powerful disinfectant.” When a qualified person makes their work visible and receives public feedback on their work, it’s much more difficult to overlook them in favor of lesser-qualified candidates who may be favored for reasons other than merit.
When you have a bad boss
My friend’s comments in the Apple store were based on her own experiences with bad managers and dehumanizing workplaces. She used the word “psychopaths” at least once.
Your experience at work can fundamentally change when your boss changes. From simple things like whether flexible work schedules are allowed to judgments about your performance and value. I’ve seen exceptional people reduced to tears when their new boss had a very different set of measures - and set of friends.
In the worst cases, you may not have a choice but to move on, and the expanded network you have from working out loud gives you access to more opportunities. When you’re unlucky enough to have a bad boss, you can take comfort knowing that you have some control and you don’t have to take it any more.
We're calling an upcoming event "Working Out Loud: The Great Equalizer" because working out loud levels the playing field more than anything else I've seen.Whether you’re starting out, trying to get ahead, or just trying to get along, working out loud can give anyone the access they deserve.