53. Job hunting and career progression for the trans, gender diverse, and nonbinary professionals - with Jacob Thomas.

career advancement career change career planning job hunting job interview managing complexity personal brand resume Oct 26, 2020
The Job Hunting Podcast Episode 53

Jacob Thomas is a human rights activist and one of Australia's most prominent sexual orientation and gender identity leaders. I invited Jacob to be a guest on the podcast so that they could help me unpack some of the many questions I have about how employers, recruiters, and coaches can better support trans, gender diverse, and nonbinary professionals. And Jacob did not disappoint. This is a much-needed discussion that I hope all my listeners will be interested in for personal and professional development.

Some of the topics of our conversation include:

  • choosing pronouns
  • employers and organizations looking for quick wins with what Jacob explains is "pink" dollar
  • the recruitment of queers employees to reach diversity markers
  • issues with dress codes
  • conscious and unconscious bias
  • Jacob's experience in changing their gender marker with their employer
  • and much more.

Jacob and I are friends, so the first 12 minutes is a bit of banter, where at least twice, I cried with laughter. This episode celebrates 1-year of podcasting, and it's such a joy for me to share this milestone with them. So I refused to edit anything out! I'd love you to join the fun and watch it on video for more of an immersive experience!  

Audio version:

About our guest, Jacob Thomas:

Jacob Thomas is one of Australia's most prominent leaders in sexual orientation and gender identity. A nonbinary person living in Melbourne, Jacob uses the pronouns they/them. He works at the Monash Warwick Alliance as their Education Project Coordinator, where they also guest lecture in Global Studies.
In 2016 Jacob received the Queen's Young Leader Award, recognizing Jacob's work on suicide prevention for Australia's LGBTIQ community. Jacob previously sat as the Coordinator of the Commonwealth Youth Gender and Equality Network (CYGEN). He represented the network at international levels, such as the 61st session of UN Women's Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the ECOSOC Youth Forum in New York, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the 11th Commonwealth Youth Forum in London, and at AIDS2018 in Amsterdam.
Jacob advises public, private, and non-profit organizations on issues related to the LGBTIQ community, diversity and inclusion policies, and queer-friendly work environments. They are a mentor to many queer allies and senior leaders in Melbourne and internationally.
A more extraordinary speaker and facilitator, Jacob, has presented a TEDx Talk at QUT on the ideas around gender identity, is a contributor to Archer Magazine and Star Observer, and has written a personal essay for BuzzFeed about their experience coming out as nonbinary.
Jacob is interested in queer perspectives in intercultural learning, feminist methodologies, and youth leadership. They are currently undertaking their Masters in International Development at RMIT. In their spare time, Jacob is a performer, designer and sometimes drags an artist.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Are you new to The Job Hunting Podcast? 

Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach corporate, non-profit, and public professionals the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress. 

If you are 1) an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, 2) looking to find your next job or promotion, or 3) you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running – then this podcast is for you. In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients. 

So there is no excuse – I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.

Enjoy the episode, and ciao for now!


Renata Bernarde | Job Hunting Expert

[email protected]


I cannot recommend it highly enough.

To my friends and colleagues who are currently job hunting, this podcast is for you. Renata Bernarde and her stellar line up of guests very generously share their perspective, advice, behind-the-scene secrets, tips, and anecdotes. "It's called The Job Hunting Podcast (it is what it says on the tin!) Guests include Anita Ziemer, Michelle Redfern, Mohit Bhargava. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Run. Don't Walk." - LinkedIn post shared by Amber Knight.

We listened, and we both got jobs!

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