jobs

Recession Breeds More Oreos!

 

Choose Carefully! (Oh! And I have a great Jane Austen primer if you need suggestions!)

 

This weekend, NPR revisited a spate of stories discussing how black job applicants with obvious ethnicity in their resumes and on their applicants are whitening those elements and seeing success from their efforts. Qualified, but un- or underemployed of colors are changing their names, removing HBCUs from their education profile, erasing ethnic organizations from their professional work history list and opting for anglo references instead of color colleagues.

Everyone’s having a hard time finding work in these times and ethnic applicants, more than doubly so

The choice to blanche the background is based on evidence that employers shy away from resumes that sound too ethnic for their offices. This practice, though helpful, is not without effect.

“…the strategy of hiding race — in particular changing names — can be soul-piercing. It prompted one African-American reader of the article to write that he was reminded of the searing scene in the groundbreaking TV miniseries “Roots” when the runaway slave Kunta Kinte is whipped until he declares that his name is Toby, the name given to him by his master.

Black job seekers said the purpose of hiding racial markers extended beyond simply getting in the door for an interview. It was also part of making sure they appeared palatable to hiring managers once race was seen. Activism in black organizations, even majoring in African-American studies can be signals to employers. Removing such details is all part of what Ms. Orr described as “calming down on the blackness.”

Newbies, I understand that it hurts. But doing the right thing often does.

Welcome aboard!

Guess the Setup to These Racially-Inspired Punchlines…It’s Good for You!

27771942When encouragement comes from someone you know, who knows you and your struggles, that’s great. Chances are, that person understands the work you’re doing, how important it is to you and how far a few kind words can send you. It’s a good thing.

When encouragement comes from a stranger, who knows nothing of you, what you’re doing or how important it is to you, that is phenomenal.

Imagine my joy today then, when on the phone, a client of mine inadvertantly praised me when he began complaining with very colorful language about people, who I can only assume from his vernacular, are black.

Sure it stung a little to hear people I may well be related to so maligned, but just before I yelled, I realized what good work I had done. Neither the tone, timbre of my voice nor any references I had made during our year of working together remotely clued him into the fact that I had been born ethnic.

So instead of yelling, I gave myself a pat on the back and settled in for a little more abuse that hurt in all the right ways.

If this has happened to you, congratulations Rockstar, keep up the good work.

Oh, and remember, so as not to blow your cover, it’s a good idea to know some of the jokes that will surely come your way in a conversation like this. I have included some helpful punchlines below.

  • The pizza can feed a family of four.
  • Put it in a book.
  • The lights are out, how can you count them?
  • It’s gone
  • The cop
  • “No honey, it’s because you’re 23.”
  • A microphone
  • They don’t like any jobs.
  • An auctioneer
  • “Oh, then I use their last names.”
  • From the pepper spray
  • Raisin Bran
  • Crime prevention
  • My bike
  • Cocoa Muffs

Swap out that inspirational poster for these bad boys and watch productivity soar.