How do you show love for your job?

Multi-colored Zoom screen with pride hearts.

Love what you do and the people around you

As a communicator, I often talk to our clients about helping leaders be more authentic in their interactions. I recently paused to look into the mirror myself to wonder, am I being authentic? Do I genuinely love what I do and the people around me? At least, now is the moment I have control over. It’s up to me to reflect love and admiration for the people in all of my environments. In my workplace, where others do the same, this shapes how our agency sets itself apart.

What authenticity means for me

Pride Month provides me with the opportunity to review my perspective on love and diversity. I hope I treat my colleagues with kindness and admiration, regardless of whether they identify as in the LGBTQ community. In reality, my workplace at Integral is the most diverse environment in which I live. It’s great to work at a place that is accepting of all kinds of people, encouraging diversity. It’s exactly as it should be. Our clients and prospective employees come from all walks of life. They are counting on us to bring a diversity of thought to our offerings, company rituals, and culture.

My colleague Priscilla wrote that Pride Month is not simply a single event or a time to “rainbow wash” activities. Pride Month helps focus on the good works among organizations that prioritize diversity, belonging, and inclusion. At the same time, Pride Month shines a light on the fact that more needs to change.

A personal connection to Pride Month

I agree with Priscilla. Pride Month is something I try to live out every day. As a parent of a member of the LGBTQ community, I have seen how others have raised eyebrows over me being supportive of my daughter. Some have asked, “How can you endorse their relationship?” Others acted like they felt sorry for me, as if her lifestyle would make me sad. It’s given me the chance to tell them, gently, that my daughter is completely lovely and, of course, I am there for her.

If I had any concern, it was whether the life my daughter and her partner lived would be hard. She came out at a time when many states still banned same-sex marriages. I was naturally concerned that her and her partner’s life would be hard. Living in the New York area at the time, I knew there wouldn’t be a considerable bias toward them. I also knew most employers would welcome her with open arms (and they did).

Should I be afraid?

My concerns boiled down to similar thoughts many parents typically have for their children. How would life treat them regardless of their lifestyle? What obstacles could they face in their work or living environments? Those questions drive me to financially support the Human Rights Campaign as they highlight companies ensuring equality for all.  

A core focus of my daughter’s job as a designer is to bring a thoughtful approach to experiences. She used her recent wedding to her now long-time partner to demonstrate what love looks like with intentionality. While it may not have been the moment I had imagined, it was the perfect moment. Their wedding completely captured who they truly are. Knowing it would be the first time being at a gay wedding for many, they intentionally designed every element for inclusivity. They kept some traditional things, such as the father-daughter dance and walking both ladies down the aisle. They re-imagined other things, such as having their grandparents sign as witnesses to the marriage license, skipping wedding cakes and tossing bouquets. The room was filled with love, them projecting it at us and us reflecting it back at them.

Signaling love at work

I now realize that each moment of our days at Integral can be instrumental in creating an intentionally inclusive environment. From interactions with my colleagues to how I help support clients, my day is filled with opportunities to reflect love. Fifteen years ago, I was in a meeting led by Keith Yamashita of SYPartners. He asked, “Do you come to work out of love for what you do or fear of being fired?” Clearly, that has stuck with me. How do I show my love for my work with colleagues and clients and even to their employees? This kind of perspective has helped me deliver even more meaningful work. It starts with gratitude to be around so many people from differing backgrounds focused on helping others succeed. I try to honor this not just during Pride Month, but all year long.