I left recruiting a few months back. I was a little burned out, a little overworked, and a lot underpaid. I’ve always had a small side business selling things on eBay and doing consignments for others to sell things for them that they didn’t have the time to sell themselves. I decided to go back to doing that full-time. It’s what I love. My eBay store is www.mjsconsignments.com if you’re interested.
Anyway, business was great for a few months but, as I sell primarily collectibles and what other people bring me and not new, current or commodity merchandise, I’m seeing my annual Summer slow down. Since I have the luxury of a wife with a great job, I don’t have to run around like a mad woman trying to drum up business that just really isn’t there at this time of year. Sure, I can find loads of consignors but the buyers are all outside playing. Still, I do need to bring in a bit more income than sales are projecting to be right now. Thus, I took a part time job. Training starts tomorrow. I’m excited and looking forward to it…yes, really! The pay is reasonable and the hours are a perfect fit for me. It’s the proverbial “win-win”.
As a former recruiter, I’m a social person by nature. My new position is a great fit for me, in that regard. I’ll have lots of new co-workers and, given the size of the organization, several layers of management. Though there won’t be a lot of time for idle chit-chat given the nature of my position, the usual topics are bound to come up, for example, the “So what did you do this weekend?” question. If you’re gay, partnered or dating, and you’re closeted or just not out at work, you know what a minefield that question can be.
I was out at my last job. I had two go-arounds with that company. I’d kept my personal situation private the first time around but it was so hard, I eventually did tell a co-worker with a lesbian sister and, later, my direct supervisor. The 2nd time around, everyone knew everything the day I walked through the door since one of the stipulations of my return was that I have time off for my wedding.
With a new job, I’m entering new territority. The new company, given the nature of its primary business, is very male dominated and, though not conservative, kinda/sorta good old boy at the core. It’s uncharted water for me since I left the military shortly after discovering my truth and never ventured away from my straight image there. Should I come out at the new company and, if so, how? When?
I found myself seeking out an old reference. A friend lent me a book several years back when I was struggling to come to terms with who I am and racing my otherwise beloved ex-husband to tell everyone the real reason we were splitting. The book is Michaelangelo Signorile’s excellent guide: Outing Yourself: How to Come Out as Lesbian or Gay to Your Family, Friends, and Coworkers. This book was seriously helpful to me in the past as I agonized over telling not my family so much, as my friends, my co-workers, and my superiors.
Some lesbians and gays under 25 will say this book is dated (it was published in 1996). They’ll say there’s so much more acceptance now. While that’s true when you’re under 25 and coming out to your enlightend college friends, it’s so much harder for the rest of us. And, already out 20 somethings, I bet you wish you had planned out how to explain it all to grandma and grandpa!
Michaelangelo’s book will walk you step by step through the process, beginning with admitting things to yourself. If you’re just starting out thinking you might be gay, this book will help. If you’re already fully self aware, you’ll see yourself in it but you can skip ahead to the areas where you need the most guidance. This book is full of advice concerning who to tell first and how, when to tell and when to wait.