Ahhh, Monday career tip, on a Thursday. Eh, a few days late, but it’s never a bad day to talk about taboos.
Solving our career problems often involves talking about taboo subjects. Money, divorce, dreams, failures. I have yet to ask a client about the salary they want and have an answer roll off their tongues. It’s hard.
Add to that the hiring process and all the isms you might face: ageism, sexism, racism, etc. If you suspect you’re being passed over because you look like a girly girl on paper in a man’s industry, you need to say it, name the problem. So many people shy away from uncomfortable topics.
But the workplace is full of unfair practices, and if we don’t name it, we go nowhere. Or worse, we blame ourselves for a stalled job hunt in our late 50s, or endure inappropriate comments when we’re interviewing after staying home to care for children.
Sarah Silverman is a brilliant comedian, and I’d argue, an expert at the taboo. How does she handle it?
I like talking about things that are taboo, because it makes them not taboo anymore… And also, something I learned in therapy … which is darkness can’t exist in the light, and then that made me think of something that Mr. Rogers said, which is, “If it’s mentionable, it’s manageable.”
-Sarah Silverman via this NPR interview
If only I could get Silverman and Mr. Rogers over for a cocktail party. They’re definitely on my dream guest list. Also, Harrison Ford, if you’re reading, you’re invited too.
But anywho. Talk out your taboos. And if you’re paying for a career coach like me, especially if you’re trying to understand why the job hunt isn’t working, start talking taboos. Got a resume that puts you in your 50s? Show them you’re up to date on your industry’s tech. And if you run marathons, it might not hurt to mention it.
If you’re facing something serious, services that offer free legal advice exist. In Maryland, for instance, you might check out this.
Show them you’re not a stereotype. You’re simply your brilliant, complicated self. Just like Sarah.