35+ Ways to Celebrate Black History Month in the Workplace
Every February we celebrate the contributions, achievements, history, and culture of Black people as part of Black History Month. Per the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, this year's Black History Month theme is Black Health and Wellness, which "considers activities, rituals, and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well." This theme is especially timely as we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected minority communities and placed unique burdens on Black professionals.
While Black history can (and should) be celebrated year-round, finding a way to honor Black history any day this month is a great start! To give you some ideas, we asked some of our partner companies what they have planned this year to celebrate Black History Month. Keep reading to see how they’re celebrating in their own words!
Host events by Black creatives — Cockroach Labs
“Cockroach Labs is celebrating Black History Month with Black@CRL, our community of Black Roachers, guiding programming. Throughout the month, we'll be highlighting central figures in Black History across company channels for broad visibility, inviting Black creatives to host events including cooking classes, tastings, and more. We plan on capping the month with a panel in which leaders creating opportunities for Black talent in the tech industry will share their stories and strategies for accomplishing their work. We believe that the time to celebrate Black History is all the time, which is why we run Black@CRL programming year-round.”
Learn more about Cockroach Labs here
Highlight Black health and wellness experts — ServiceNow
“The national theme for Black History Month is “Black Health and Wellness.” ServiceNow will build off of this theme by highlighting Black experts in the field of health and wellness and approaches to strengthening mental health, fitness and nutrition. We will host a series of events featuring special guest speakers, ServiceNow leaders, employee panels and interactive dialogues. Additionally, we will offer volunteer opportunities for employees to give back to nonprofit organizations that advocate for health and wellness in the Black community and those that support the education of Black history and culture.”
Learn more about ServiceNow here.
Celebrate Black contributions, culture, and presence — Freddie Mac
“In recognition of Black History Month, our ARISE (African Diaspora, Resources and Information Sharing for Everyone) business resource group (BRG) will engage employees through a series of events that celebrate Black contributions, culture and presence. Inclusive engagement events include an equitable housing panel discussion, a Black Women’s Symposium, a Black executives panel and other total-wellbeing sessions. ”
Learn more about Freddie Mac here.
Donate to Black-led organizations — Autodesk
“Autodesk's focus for this year's Black History Month celebration will emphasize "The Importance of Black Health and Wellness". We're honoring this month by donating to the Black Joy Parade and committing to an unrestricted donation to the Hidden Genius Project for the next three years. We're also hosting various local and global virtual events, including a Southern BBQ experience, virtual yoga, a virtual tour through the Museum of African Diaspora Exhibits, and a Panel Discussion with our CEO.”
Learn more about Autodesk here.
Host a self care webinar — Cummins
“Cummins is excited for the upcoming Black History Month celebration! The Cummins Black Network, one of the many employee resource groups at Cummins, will be hosting several events with the theme ‘Black Health & Wellness’. Employees will have the opportunity to attend and actively participate in several events throughout the month, such as a live cooking session with Chef Sandy, an interactive ‘Self-Care is Wellness’ webinar, and even a ‘Basics of Yoga’ session! Check out @CumminsCareers on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to follow along as Cummins celebrates Black History Month! ”
Learn more about Cummins here.
Showcase the imagination and artistry in the community — Riot Games
“Our BIPOC employee resource group, Riot Noir, continues their ongoing mission for Black Heritage Month to celebrate Black culture and amplify Black voices. This year they embrace the theme of creativity by showcasing the imagination, innovation and artistry within the Black community. They will explore unique stories across gaming and entertainment and will host various events throughout the month including a keynote panel, a digital showcase, and a local industry event in partnership with Valence.community."
Learn more about Riot Games here.
Play Black history month trivia — SoundCloud
"SoundCloud wants to service the role of education and celebration by continuing conversations about how Black music and artists have documented moments in history and kept the spirit of celebration and self-expression alive. Our platform and social channels will speak to the roles that Black artists have played in archiving history and how music inspires the future of Black history, culture, and art. SoundClouders can also
- Sign up for Conscious and Confident communication workshops
- Win Self-Care packages from Black-owned businesses during Black History Month Trivia
- Find and contribute to our lists of local Black-owned businesses
- Read and listen to practical tips for practicing allyship, speaking to children about race, and understanding more about the Black experience today
- Celebrate our Faces of SoundCloud campaign on SoundCloud’s LinkedIn account"
Learn more about SoundCloud here.
Focus on physical, mental, and financial health — Lockheed Martin
“This February, Lockheed Martin is planning a series of events centered around the theme “Health and Wellness and its Impact on the Black Community”. Led by the Business Resource Group, Black Excellence Council (B.E.C), these events will engage our employee population across the country by promoting the importance of community wellness, as well as physical, mental, and financial health. Each week Lockheed Martin employees will participate in workshops and events including, Couch Conversations – You Are What You Eat, Breaking the Stigma: A Discussion on Mental Health in the Black Community, and Strategies for Developing a Legacy of Values and Finances.”
Learn more about Lockheed Martin here.
Celebrate Black History Through Parenthood and Wellness — Yelp
"To kick off this Black History Month, we want to shine a light on our Black parents. From family planning disparities in healthcare to tough, necessary conversations with their children on safety, Black parents have unique concerns. Our employees are invited to a virtual panel where we’ll dive into meaningful conversations. To keep the dialogue going, we’ll host several other events, including a fireside chat about the history of the Black Panther Party. We’ll also hear from a Black- and queer-run wellness consultancy on decreasing stress and anxiety, and establishing healthy boundaries while working remotely.
Learn more about Yelp here.
Cultivate a safe and inclusive culture — Datadog
“Throughout the month of February, Datadog’s Black in Technology Community Guild will host programming and events to support our colleagues, focused around the theme of Black health and wellness. We are dedicated to having conversations that will help us cultivate a safe and inclusive culture, while promoting healing and wellness in communities of color. We will host a panel discussion available to all employees to spotlight our Black leaders and allies and workshops to explore diverse healing modalities and expression through different mediums.”
Learn more about Datadog here.
Participate in interactive learning experiences — Clarus Commerce
“The DEI Employee Resource Group at Clarus Commerce is looking forward to celebrating Black History Month. First, our company will participate in an interactive learning and celebratory experience through an online platform that will consist of Black history trivia as well as recognition of key contributors, inventors and trailblazers that have helped shape our society today. Second, we will host an employee-led panel discussion on the perspectives, importance and influence of Black history.”
Learn more about Clarus Commerce here.
Unlock your potential — PayPal
“Black History Month is just around the corner. We’re proud to announce the theme for this year’s Black History Month: Unlocking and Amplifying our Fullest Potential—Bringing Focus to Holistic Black Wellness. While we acknowledge that everyone celebrates it in their own way, we wanted to share what PayPal's Black Employee Resource Group, Amplify, has planned for this month of celebration.
Upcoming BHM Events:
- Week 1: Unlocking and Amplifying our Fullest Potential; Bringing Focus to Career and Professional Development
- Week 2: From Scraps to Seen; Unlocking and Amplifying our Fullest Potential; Exploring the Dynamic Relationship between History, Sound and Flavor
- Week 3: Spoken Word Event
- Week 4: Unlocking and Amplifying our Fullest Potential: Bringing Focus to Holistic Black Wellness"
Learn more about PayPal here.
Honor Black history month by celebrating Black Excellence — CU Direct
"The Black Employees Striving in Tech (BEST) ERG honors Black History Month by holding various events. Our guest speaker, Renee Sattiewhite, CEO and President of the African American Credit Union Coalition, will discuss the challenges that diverse groups have in the finance industry while encouraging leaders of all types to promote diversity in the workplace.
We will publish a list of books for self-help by and for black individuals and allies. To top off our month, we are hosting a Virtual "Celebrate & Paint" event to honor our people's achievements as a whole and our group for our accomplishments.”
Learn more about CU Direct here.
Engage in conversations about race and power — Relativity
“In celebration of Black History month our community resource group, BREL: Black @ Relativity will be putting together a series of events to celebrate and educate our community on the importance of Black History. We believe that Black History is American History, and in order to grow it’s important to understand where we’ve been while striving for a better future.
Relativity will be hosting an internal session with media executive and NYU professor Stephen Barr, leading us in a conversation about race and power in America. In addition to this there will be a public event titled “Growing Your Career as a Black Professional: Tips and tricks with BRel” taking place February 24th. In this session Black professionals from various fields will speak on how individuals can empower themselves to successfully navigate their professional careers.”
Learn more about Relativity here.
Host a movie discussion — Workiva
“Throughout the month of February, we are providing our employees opportunities to learn about Black history, share their experiences, and engage in meaningful dialogue. With support from our our Ethnic Diversity in Tech Employee Resource Group, we'll host a movie discussion around the current issues faced by the Black community, share artist spotlights along with resources on how to support black artists, promote internal speaker sessions that focus on elevating black voices within Workiva, and highlight charitable giving opportunities to support the black community. We're encouraging employees company-wide to reflect on the past and act for the future.”
Learn more about Workiva here.
Help Black college students prepare for their careers — PwC
“PwC is building on their culture of belonging during Black History Month through events and opportunities to connect, learn, and celebrate Black history, culture, and contributions. Throughout the month, PwCers will have the opportunity to explore the depth and breadth of Black identity across several topics, including the intersection of race and environmental equity, generational wealth-building, and food for the soul. The firm will also highlight opportunities, causes, and organizations that support the Black community, including getting involved with PwC's Access Your Potential commitment helping 25,000 Black and Latinx college students prepare for and begin in-demand careers.”
Learn more about PwC here.
Feature professional development organizations — CDW
"During Black History Month, our Black Excellence Unlimited (BeU) Business Resource Group (BRG) will host a variety of events and initiatives with the theme “Celebrate. Honor. Lead.”
Celebrate: BeU will be shining a spotlight on a few Black-owned businesses making an impact in their communities
Honor: In 2021, the Black community collectively grieved the loss of many prominent members of the community who inspired us, entertained us and paved the way for us. BeU will pay tribute to some of those fallen in acknowledgment of their contributions to Black life, success and culture.
Lead: Throughout the month, BeU will feature various organizations that are rooted in professional development, academic advancement, art and culture, and community service across the U.S."
Learn more about CDW here.
Host an internal company panel — PagerDuty
“This year our ERG, Array, will be honoring Black History Month with the theme, “Rooted in the World: Our Heritage, Our Story”.
We will host company-wide events throughout the month, in addition to programming exclusive to the Array community. All employees are invited to learn from professor and curator of Black history, Dr. Jamille Harrell-Sims and participate in a fun trivia activity. Additionally, Array members are invited to an internal employee panel to hear their personal stories.
In alignment with Array’s mission, to cultivate and celebrate a diverse and inclusive global environment at PagerDuty, this programming aims to show the importance and influence of Black history.”
Learn more about PagerDuty here.
Honor the contributions of Black medical practitioners — CHG Healthcare
“This year, CHG Healthcare celebrates Black History Month with an emphasis on health and wellness. The activities and events we have planned honor the many contributions of Black medical practitioners throughout history and highlight the importance of achieving health equity in America. We’ll begin the month by sharing a catalog of educational resources and conversation prompts to encourage meaningful employee discussions. Later, we’re hosting guest speaker, Dr. Evelyn Lewis & Clark, the first African American president of the AAFP, as she shares her background in the United States Navy, her journey of becoming a physician, and her commitment to making a difference in the lives of veterans.”
Learn more about CHG Healthcare here.
Elevate personal stories and experiences — 2U
“This year, 2U's Black Engagement Network (BNet) centered its Black History Month experiences around the theme, "Together, We Move." Through the focus areas of cultural education, cultural celebration, retention, and personal/professional advancement, our programming will elevate stories and experiences of how far we’ve come and how we’re still moving forward together to higher heights. Some of our events include a screening and discussion of the documentary "Segregated by Design," a panel of 2U HBCU grads who are supporting our HBCU partner programs, a panel on intersectionality in the workplace, and our flagship celebratory arts event, Freedom Fest.”
Learn more about 2U here.
Focus on breaking through bias — Waters Corporation
“Waters is proud to honor Black History Month by inviting our employees to participate in educational and interactive virtual events hosted by our Multicultural hub. Our events will focus on breaking through bias through discussion and deeper dives around Black historical events. We’re excited to feature amazing Black individuals who helped to break barriers and pave the way for others.”
Learn more about Waters Corporation here.
Engage in a 7-day step challenge — CoStar Group
“In celebration of Black History Month, CoStar Group’s Black Excellence Network has organized a series of company-wide events aligned with the 2022 theme of Black Health and Wellness.
We will host a webinar on healthy living, led by a naturopathic doctor, and a discussion on financial wellness. In addition to these events, employees will have the opportunity to engage in a 7-day step challenge and other informal events during our “fun Friday” series.”
Learn more about CoStar Group here.
Start a blog series — Webflow
“At Webflow, we celebrate the designers, creators, and entrepreneurs who have shaped our industry year round, not just during Black History Month. So we're celebrating Black History Month by starting a few blog series that will continue throughout the year. These blogs will feature our Black community at Webflow, honor the legacy of Black creatives who have shaped our industry, and celebrate the intersectional identities within the Black community that are often erased and invisible. Our Black Affinity Group (Blackflow) is planning several events to celebrate the Black community at Webflow as well.”
Learn more about Webflow here.
Promote Black financial health — T. Rowe Price
“As an asset manager, T. Rowe Price is focusing on Black financial health and wellness in celebration of Black History Month. Through its diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, as well as the work of the T. Rowe Price Foundation, the firm is promoting black financial health and wellness by fostering greater economic access and opportunity.
The firm offers a free financial education program, Money Confident Kids®, to students, parents, and educators that provides tools and strategies for generating financial stability and identifying obstacles that drive financial inequity—including the racial wealth gap.”
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
Dance it out with an AfroSoca werkout party — Elastic
“To celebrate Black History Month, Elastic is focusing on the importance of Black Health and Wellness. From a mental health awareness session with Black Men Heal to afro-textured hair care tips, we’re acknowledging a breadth of topics and providing resources the Black community can leverage for wellness and self-care. Elasticians will be able to get their blood pumping with an AfroSoca Werkout Party, highlight their favorite black-owned restaurants and other businesses, participate in Q&A sessions, and broaden their knowledge about historical Black figures and their contributions.”
Learn more about Elastic here.
Award grants to Black-owned businesses — Siemens
“At Siemens, we’ve launched a 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge in celebration of Black History Month. Studies show it takes 21 days to form a habit, so during this time we’ll encourage employees to deepen their understanding of racism and examine ways to promote racial equity. Also, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency Business Centers, Siemens and Siemens Mobility will be awarding grants to nine small Black-owned businesses to advance DEI in entrepreneurship. By listening and learning from each other, we can continue to build a more inclusive organization that reflects the communities we serve.”
Learn more about Siemens here.
Share newsletters about unsung Black heroes — Moody’s
“In observance of Black History Month, Moody’s is hosting several events including a panel discussion titled “Black Representation in Product Innovation” in partnership with our product teams, the Black Product Managers (BPM) Network, and their president and co-founder Brittany Bankston. We will also be sharing newsletters that reflect on the untold stories of unsung Black heroes and achievers, providing zoom backgrounds and screensavers to our employees to celebrate Black History Month, and hosting a Black History Month trivia afternoon.”
Learn more about Moody’s here.
Host a 21-day habit building challenge — SoftwareONE
“In an effort to drive more awareness and education surrounding Black History Month, SoftwareONE North America, along with its cross-functional employee diversity equity and inclusion committee called ‘Mosaic,’ will host a 21-day racial equity and habit building challenge. This program is intended to assist each employee with becoming more engaged, compassionate, and constructive in our continued quest for racial equality by providing educational resources, highlighting influential figures, and promoting employee stories. We’ll wrap this program with a round table discussion on the Black Experience and how best to celebrate critical contributions to equality year-round.”
Learn more about SoftwareONE here.
Explore Health & Wellness in the Black Community — Nike, Inc.
"NIKE, Inc.’s Black Employee Network (BEN) is leading Black History Month celebrations with programming that explores health and wellness in the Black Community. Throughout the month, teammates will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of experiences: from panel discussions with Nike athletes on mental health, specially curated audio-guided runs on the Nike Run Club app, and discussions on climate change with prominent thought leaders. Finally, we’ll conclude with the much celebrated, annual SNKRBALL event – bringing the Nike community together for an evening of Black culture, music and entertainment – featuring appearances from Nike athletes and special musical performances.
Learn more about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Nike: https://jobs.nike.com/diversity-and-inclusion.”
Learn more about Nike here.
Address issues the community faces through discussions — Splunk
“For Black History Month, Splunk’s Black Employees and Mentors Group (BEAMS) – will explore the theme, The Hills We Climb. Our programming includes discussions about “The Black Ceiling”, barriers to Black professional progression, and the attack on voting rights; we’ll feature a “Sistah Circle” addressing issues Black women face and a giving campaign.
Black Americans and our communities have been on a rollercoaster of progress, setback, and everything in between. Our goal this month is to show how the climb up the hills of injustice presents known and unforeseen obstacles and how reaching the peaks represents the actualization of hard-fought progress.”
Learn more about Splunk here.
Host community building events — Okta
“Black history is American history. A rich and deep history interwoven into the fabric of our country, creating a beautiful tapestry that truly encompasses our nation. Okta’s Black Employee Network through its People of Collective Cultures (POCC) ERG celebrates the history of Black achievement with a living collection of information highlighting the historic and ongoing accomplishments of the Black Community. In addition, we host events to build community and provide continuous awareness of the need to support our Black employees with information regarding physical and mental health, mentoring and career development assistance. Black History cannot be contained in one month.”
POCC ERG Leadership:
Pamala Simpson, Engineering Principal Technical Program Manager
Nola Turnage - Manager, Legal Operations - Contracts
Learn more about Okta here.
Amplify Black excellence in technology — Pluralsight
“Following PowerToFly’s 2022 Black History Month theme, our BIPOC ERG, seeColor, is honoring Black History Month by “Amplifying Black Excellence in Technology,” focusing on how we can expand the Voice, Community, Connection, and Growth of the Black community. This will be done by sharing educational resources with our larger Pluralsight team around Black excellence in technology at Pluralsight and beyond. We’ll be holding a panel that highlights how Black team members can grow their careers in technology and how allies can amplify Black excellence in the technology industry. Finally, we’ll be sharing written stories of excellence in the Black community, of both historical and current day figures.”
Learn more about Pluralsight here.
Post a Black history quote of the week — Aurora Solar
“At Aurora, we are celebrating Black History Month with a variety of events & activities created by our Black at Aurora ERG. In addition to our events, we are posting weekly history highlights and a Black History quote of the week in our company-wide announcements channel in Slack. We have also created a Soul Food Cookbook full of family recipes that our team can download.
February 1 - Lunch & Learn: Celebrating Black History
February 8 - Hidden Figures Viewing Party
February 14-18 Soul Food Week
February 24 - Virtual Soul Food Cookout”
Learn more about Aurora Solar here.
Invest in the community, invest in yourself — BlackRock
“Each year, Black History Month serves as a time for us to come together and celebrate the achievements, culture, and community we share as Black Americans. This year, the theme of our Black History Month celebration is “Investing in Community, Investing in Ourselves.” Throughout February, we'll host local and national events across four pillars: social connection, community empowerment, mental health, and financial health.”
Learn more about BlackRock here.
Realize Black history Is Black excellence — Intuitive
“In February, Intuitive will recognize Black History Month with events and activations around the theme: Black History Is Black Excellence. Throughout the month, we’ll celebrate Black leaders and perspectives at Intuitive with a series of employee spotlight articles and communications. BLACK at Intuitive, an Employee Resource Group, will also host a company-wide program highlighting how diverse teams drive business results and enable Intuitive’s mission of improving healthcare outcomes. The program will also feature personal reflections on the importance of Black History Month, showcase the contributions of Black employees, and activate employees to build more inclusion and diversity.”
Learn more about Intuitive here.
Spotlighting Black colleagues— Raytheon Technologies
“At Raytheon Intelligence & Space, we are celebrating Black History Month by spotlighting our 8 BEYA winners both internally and externally, as well as encouraging our employees to share stories of their colleagues who are making a difference in DE&I. In addition, our Black Employee Resource Group is also focused on how Raytheon Black Employees are contributing to and shaping the future of the business. They have a packed calendar of events including recognizing our 6 “Keeper of the Dream” internal award winners selected for how they embody the attributes of his MLK Jr. and keep his dream alive.”
Learn more about Raytheon Technologies here.
Insight from SoftwareONE’s Jeff Cannon and Chris Lecosia
SoftwareONE’s Jeff Cannon Business Development Executive US) and Christopher Lecosia (Senior Consultant) share a similar adventurous and brave spirit, which has led to a long trajectory of creative experiences for both of them. From taking care of two new puppies to backpacking across Europe — neither of them back down from a challenge.
As members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Jeff and Chris spent a large portion of their careers fighting for inclusive workplaces where they feel a sense of belonging, and opportunities to use their experiences to serve people, no matter what career stage they’re in. And they’ve both recently found that in the global provider of end-to-end software and cloud technology solutions SoftwareONE.
We sat down with Jeff and Chris to hear their stories on how they navigated mid and late career changes and their journey to finding a company where they felt valued. Keep reading to the end for four major tips on how to successfully pivot careers.
The Journey to SoftwareONE
Jeff Cannon was born in Tacoma, Washington, but considers both Texas and Georgeia his home. After graduating from college with a bachelor's degree in English and History, “I wanted to go to graduate school for history,” he explains. But upon arrival, he realized graduate school was not the right path for him, so he packed his backpack and set out for a trip through Europe instead.
This adventurous spirit led him back home to pursue exciting challenges, such as opening a hotel in Austin, working as a flight attendant in New York and Hawaii, and eventually pursuing a sales career at Dell. “I was an account executive for large university systems and large K-12 systems providing information technology to students to be able to further their education. It really fit in with my mantra around how important education is in society,” Jeff explains.”It's kind of my thing.” But after nearly 20 years at the company, he decided to look for new opportunities. “I was tired of doing the same thing all the time.” Enter SoftwareONE.
“This was an opportunity to do something completely different and take the information that I learned and use it to help build a practice that can accomplish some of the same things,” Jeff explains. He joined the company as a Business Development Executive Executive where he works to build the company’s education practice within the public sector in the United States.
SoftwareONE is a company where Jeff can thrive professionally and personally. He specifically cites the company to be people-first, which his coworker Christopher Lecosia agrees with. “SoftwareONE is a place where you can thrive as an employee, and where your creativity can flourish,” says Chris.
SoftwareONE is a leading global provider of end-to-end software and cloud technology solutions, with headquarters in Switzerland. The company itself prioritizes people as their “greatest asset” and advocates for life-work harmony. Their company’s core values are Employee Satisfaction, Customer Focused, Speed, Passionate, Integrity, Humble and Discipline, to name a few, and they ensure that they have “a welcoming – and constantly evolving – work environment for all”, no matter the racial, ethnic, religious, sexual or other preferences.
Christopher works as Senior Consultant for SoftwareONE. He entered the field of IT in 1974. “Back then it was called data processing,” he jokes. “But I kind of fell into IT consulting.” He enrolled in college as an accounting major, but quickly realized that was not the path for him. “I drove into the parking lot of this college for the first day and I got very scared,” explains Chris. “I turned around and went home and I found a job.” And he was able to pursue jobs that allowed him room to change and grow with the market. He began as a systems programer and, progressively, he scaled to managerial data processing roles at multiple software companies, including IBM. He played a key role in leading and growing software asset management programs, directing support for configuration and asset management, and serving as a senior project manager for multiple teams in his previous companies.
His successful 40+ year-long career led to the start of a well-deserved retirement. “I turned 65 last October, and I thought, ‘okay, I think I’ve had enough,’ and I decided to retire in full.” But his retirement was short-lived. “A few months before I retired, [my company] had put out an RFP to the street, which SoftwareONE responded to, and I'll never forget,” says Chris. “I was hearing them respond to me and I thought, ‘Wow, these people know what they're talking about. They're really sharp and I really believed in the value that they could bring.’” So when he was offered a position as a Senior Consultant, he didn’t think twice about coming out of retirement. “In November, a recruiter from SoftwareONE called, and I started in January of 2022.”
Changing jobs after working for a company long-term can be risky, especially later in your career. But both Jeff and Chris agree that the benefits of working at a company like SoftwareONE are well worth the risk. And for the first time, they’ve felt like they can show up as their full, authentic selves at work.
Jeff recalls past workplaces that, when push came to shove, “had an undercurrent of non-acceptance.” This undercurrent brought many challenges, but he credits them for his confidence today. “I have no issues whatsoever showing up originally as myself. And at SoftwareONE, everybody's been really lovely.” Even remotely, he finds ways to connect with his coworkers, and he feels like he can do so authentically.
Chris reiterates this in his own trajectory at SoftwareONE. “When I started, my Regional VP asked me for a bio. In my bio, I talked about my husband and my two dogs and how long we've been together. That got sent out to everybody in the organization. So when I onboarded, everybody already knew,” he explains. “It was the first time in 65 years that, right from the get go, there was no pretense at all as to being something different than I am. And that's how I came out at SoftwareONE. It was good to do that. I feel truly authentic.”
Advice for Mid-Career Pivoters
Both Jeff and Chris have successfully pivoted roles and companies later in their careers. They offer four tips to consider before making the jump to a new role or joining a new company.
1. Find a place that values service to the client. “Have the mindset of service,” says Chris. “ I'm a service oriented person and part of being of service is to share my experience, strengths, and hope with other people. Whether that's on a, social, spiritual, mental level, or on a professional technical level, this helps bring growth to you, and to the company you’ll work for.” Jeff shares that, “with this mindset, we see the challenges that customers face, so we're able to better articulate to customers what our value proposition is. We can help clients achieve their goals, and everything comes a lot more easily and naturally.”
2. Believe in what you have to offer. Chris and Jeff share that aligning with the company’s mission is another key aspect to consider before changing companies. “I never thought that anybody would want to hire me at 65 years old,” Chris shares. “I had been in my former job where I saw many opportunities that I thought I was perfect for, in terms of advancement, but I wasn't given those opportunities because of my age. I started to feel dried up a little bit. When I got the offer at SoftwareONE, I felt I really wanted to come back, be of service, keep my brain sharp, and do something. I do believe I have something to offer to many clients, as well as colleagues. And that's what made me make the move.”
3. Think of the experiences you bring to the table. Jeff shares how he transferred his knowledge to his new role. “I was able to take everything that I had learned about building an organization and bring it over to a company that needed that expertise specific to the United States. Being able to have the opportunity to do some of that background work and build on alliances has been, and continues to be, a great opportunity.”
4. Find a workplace that prioritizes diversity. “Each one of us brings a certain set of characteristics with us that sit well with our clients,” explains Chris. “The diversity we bring to the company — whether it be age, gender, color, educational background, intellectual capacity — all of that color makes us more relatable to our clients and our customers.” This leads to the company’s overall success.
SoftwareONE is constantly looking for dynamic employees like Chris and Jeff. Check out their company page to find out more about their roles!
We all have our favorite websites– the ones we frequent, bookmark, and recommend to others. You might even enjoy some website features so much that you’ve found yourself wondering why they aren’t more popular. Or maybe you’ve experienced times where you were frustrated with a website and wished you could add features or even design your own!
If you’ve ever found yourself intrigued at the prospect of designing and developing your own websites, then a career as a web developer might be just for you!
As a web developer you would be responsible for coding, designing, optimizing, and maintaining websites. Today, there are over 1.7 billion websites in the world and, in turn, the demand for web developers is on the rise. In order to figure out what kind of web development work best suits you let’s start with an introduction to the three main roles in web development that you can choose from.
The Three Types of Web Development Jobs
Front-End Web Development: The Creative Side
In addition to programming skills, front-end developers need to be detail oriented, creative, willing to keep up with the latest trends in web development, cyber security conscious, and geared toward user-friendly designs. The median salary for a front-end developer can reach well into the $90,000 to $100,000 range.
Back-End Web Development: The Logical Counterpart
While a house can be beautifully decorated, it’s incomplete without a solid foundation and efficient infrastructure. Similarly, a well-designed website depends on logical and functional code to power the features of that website. Back-end web development is code-heavy and focused on the specifics of how a website works. If you enjoy the analytical challenge of creating the behind-the-scenes code that powers a website, then back-end development is for you.
Full-Stack Web Development: A Little Bit of Everything
A full-stack developer is essentially the Jack (or Jill)-of-all-trades in web development. Full-stack developers need to be knowledgeable about both front-end and back-end roles. This does not necessarily imply that you would need to be an expert in both roles, but you should fully understand the different applications and synergies they each imply. In order to work in this position, you will need to know the programming languages used by front-end and back-end developers. In addition to these languages, full-stack developers also specialize in databases, storage, HTTP, REST, and web architecture.
Full-stack developers are often required to act as liaisons between front-end and back-end developers. Full-stack developers need to be both problem solvers and great communicators. The end goal for a full-stack developer is to ensure that the user’s experience is seamless, both on the front-end and on the back-end. In return, you can expect to earn a median salary of $100,000 – $115,000 a year for this role.
Taking the Next Step
Web development is both in-demand and lucrative! All three roles described above contribute to specific aspects of web development and the scope of each one can be customized to the industries and positions you feel best suit you. Regardless of which role you choose, all of them need a foundation in programming.
To gain the programming skills needed in each role, you can enroll in courses or learn independently. Coding bootcamps are a great way to boost your skillset quickly and efficiently.
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So you’ve spent some time job searching, found the perfect role, aced the interview, and finally got your dream job.
But what happens if accepting a job offer means having to decline another one?
We’re living in a candidate’s market, and that means it’s becoming more and more common for job seekers to receive multiple offers. The good news is that this gives the candidate the opportunity to choose their perfect position. The bad news is that the candidate will probably have to turn down an offer or two when choosing the best role.
But how do you turn down an offer, without severing ties and keeping things cordial and polite?
Keep reading for our top tips on how to professionally decline a job offer — and keep your network strong for future career opportunities!
How to Professionally Decline a Job Offer
When turning down a job offer, it’s important to maintain a healthy relationship with the hiring manager and company you interviewed with. After all, you never know where your career may lead you next, and just because you decline one position with a company doesn’t mean they won’t have a place for you in the future!
Not prioritizing relationships in your job search can be detrimental, so here are some important points to keep in mind when you decline an offer.
1. Make your decision carefully.
This may seem obvious, but, before you give your final decision, make sure that it’s the move you truly want to make.
Ask yourself: Why do you want to decline it? Why isn’t it a good fit? Weigh out the pros and cons and examine how they could affect your career in the long run. Even though they’re important, don’t just focus on immediate benefits, like salary and flexibility. Consider how this career move could affect your mental health, whether or not it will help you advance professionally in the long run, and if you would be a good fit with the company.
This is a big decision, so make sure that when you do say no, you mean it.
2. Don’t wait to give your answer.
If you’re sure the position just isn’t right for you, it’s wise to contact the recruiter or hiring manager as soon as possible. This is the most considerate and professional approach you could take when turning down a position, because the sooner they know, the sooner they can find someone else to fill the position.
Waiting too long to give your answer could push the hiring process back to the beginning. A hiring manager will appreciate an efficient answer so they can move on to the next candidate and keep the process moving forward without too much delay.
The best way to do this is to try and give them a specific day that you will contact them with your answer, or keep them apprised during your decision-making process. As soon as you’ve made your decision, it’s important to let them know. As difficult as saying no can be, the sooner you do it, the better for everyone.
3. Call before you send an email.
Most of us would probably prefer to give our answer in an email, and that’s understandable! But calling to verbally decline the offer first shows an extra bit of care. This will demonstrate that you care about the time and energy invested in you during the hiring process and are grateful that you were chosen for the position.
It’s also a great way to maintain a good relationship with the employer, because it demonstrates your professionalism and maturity, and will give you an opportunity to be specific about why you are declining. If you are unsure of what to say, write your response down before you call.
You can follow up with an email that reiterates what you said on the phone so that the recruiter or hiring manager has written proof of your response.
4. Be appreciative and humble.
The hiring process isn’t simple. It requires a lot of time and energy from multiple stakeholders, so it’s important to show your gratitude before you decline the job offer. Thank everyone who was involved and acknowledge the investment they made in interviewing you. Let them know you are honored to have been chosen and that, while you carefully considered the offer, the position just isn’t right for you.
5. Explain why you’re declining.
While getting into specifics isn’t always necessary, and you should only share as much information as you feel comfortable, letting the hiring manager or recruiter know why the position isn’t right for you can help keep the communication portal open.
Maybe you received another offer that better aligned with what you were looking for in terms of pay, or perhaps you need more flexibility than the one you are declining can offer you. This feedback can be helpful to share, and sometimes the company might even respond with a counter offer to better suit your needs!
Perhaps the reason you are turning the offer down is due to more personal reasons that you don’t feel comfortable sharing. That’s okay too! Either way, it can be helpful to be transparent about why you are declining.
6. Utilize the opportunity to network for future career moves.
So the position isn’t right for you — that’s okay. But maybe your values aligned with the organization’s, or perhaps you felt that you connected during the hiring process and you’d like to keep the door open to other positions in the future. Just because the role now isn’t right for you now doesn’t mean that the organization won’t have a place for you down the road.
Networking is key for career growth. If you really like the company, don’t be afraid to let them know that you would be interested in other positions in the future. Giving them the means to contact you, like your email and your LinkedIn, will give them the ability to reach out if any other positions open up.
If you find that the company itself just doesn’t fit you, keep in mind that networking and maintaining a good relationship is still important. You don’t have to plan to work there in the future, but you never know who is connected to who, and how that good relationship may pay off in time!
Email Templates for Declining a Job Offer
Turning down a job offer is a delicate task, but it is becoming increasingly necessary in this competitive candidate’s market. If you’re unsure of where to begin or how to write your email, we have included some examples with links to help you get started.
Example for when the position isn’t a good fit
Subject line: Job offer – [Your name]
Hi [insert last name of hiring manager],
Thank you very much for offering me the role of [insert name of position]. However, I have decided that this is not the right fit for my career goals at this time.
I sincerely enjoyed our dialog as well as discussions with your team, and I very much appreciate your taking time to share information about the role and vision of [insert company name].
Again, thank you for your time and consideration; best wishes in your continued success.
Example for when you’ve accepted another offer
Subject line: Job offer – [Your name]
Hi [insert last name of hiring manager],
Thank you very much for offering me the role of [insert name of position] with [insert company name]. Though it was a difficult decision, I have accepted a position with another company.
I sincerely enjoyed our conversations and very much appreciate your taking time to interview me over the course of the past few weeks.
Again, thank you for your time and consideration; best wishes in your continued success, and I hope our paths cross again in the future.
Example for when you’ve already accepted the offer
Thanks so much for offering me the position of [Job Title] at [Company]. It was a pleasure meeting you.
Unfortunately, after a great deal of thought, I have decided to turn down this gracious job opportunity. I am truly sorry for any inconvenience this decision may cause and hope it will not affect any future relationships with your company.
I wish you continued success and hope to hear from you in the future.
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💎 Want to succeed in a Slack job interview? Watch the video to the end to find tips on how to nail the process!
📼 To work at Slack, a solid job interview is the first step along the way. In this video, Jo Saari, Senior Sales Recruiter at Slack, walks through the company’s application and interview process for you to feel comfortable and excited to begin your journey with them.
📼Slack recruiters will ask questions at the job interview and you need to be prepared to answer them correctly. In the face of any question, use the STAR method to articulate your response. STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result. You can set the scene and describe the situation, then share the goal that you were working toward. When you describe the actions that you took, remember to stress your particular contribution. Lastly, make sure to share specific results. And don’t shy away from taking credit where credit is due!
📼Understanding Slack’s job interview process makes preparing even easier. First, you will have a one-on-one video interview with your potential new manager. This is a great opportunity for you to learn about their management style. Following that, you will go through Slack's chronological interview. This interview takes a structured approach. You'll go through each role that is presented on your resume and you'll talk that through with a panel of interviewers. Finally, you'll round out your interview experience with a final presentation. This is your opportunity to show your skills. You'll be given a prompt, and some time to craft what you are proud to present to your interviewers.
Slack Job Interview - Your Opportunity To Thrive
Slack is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. They are dedicated to hiring diverse talents and ensuring that everyone is treated with respect and support through the interview process and once they join Slack. The company embraces diversity and strives to create conditions where everyone is provided with an equal opportunity to thrive.
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining Slack? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Jo Saari
Jo Saari is eager to connect talent with opportunity. If you are interested in a career at Slack, you can connect with her on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Slack
Every day, Slack refines, iterates, and explores how to make work better for everyone. Join them in creating a better future of work that’s more connected, inclusive, and flexible. They’re building a platform and products they believe in, knowing that there is real value to be gained from helping people simplify whatever it is that they do and bring more of themselves to their work, wherever they are.