Iu2019m a young, first-generation, queer black woman out here just trying to do it right. Except Iu2019m not super sure what u201crightu201d is. Or what it looks like. At my very first corporate job, I took the absolute first offer I received and then realized later that I was one of the lowest paid in my cohort. I never knew I could negotiate, nobody ever told me that. While platforms are changing the level of transparency involved in negotiating your pay, I donu2019t believe that people who come from the background that I do are having the same empowering conversations.
I also struggle with what it means to bring my whole self to work,u00a0struggling with deciding when itu2019s appropriate to talk about my amazing weekend with my partner while everyone else is sharing theirs. I struggle with not appearing unfriendly or even hostile to my coworkers while also protecting my privacy and sanity.
Living Corporate is important to me because I believe in the standing on the shoulders of giants. Someone somewhere has lived this life before, has been in these rooms, has dealt with these same struggles. I am not unique in my experiences in corporate America, good and bad, and I would like to reassure others of the same. Living Corporate for me means a safe space, a platform for conversations I can participate in wholly, and be myself.