How I Found the Right Post-grad Job

Kaya Thomas
Dec 8, 2016 · 3 min read

I graduate college in 6 months. Every graduation before this one has led to more school. Like most college seniors I feel both excited and terrified about graduating. And as I get closer to this next stage of my life, more folks have asked me: “so what’s next for you post-grad?”.

When I began my search for where I would work after college, I tried coming up with criteria of what’s important to me. The following is some of that criteria:

  • A company that makes a product I like & that has users who like it too.
  • An environment that encourages empathy and learning from each other.
  • Work culture that doesn’t foster burning out.
  • A team that allows for and encourages everyone to have time after work to spend with loved ones and to enjoy non-work related hobbies.
  • An environment where diversity & inclusion is understood and is a priority.
  • A company that does not tolerate or protect any employees who are racist, sexist, xenophobic, ableist, homophobic, or transphobic.
  • A place where I don’t have to be “the only”.
  • A supportive manager who will help me facilitate my growth towards a more senior role.

I was worried after making this list.* Is it even realistic? Black women make up less than 3% of the tech industry, so there’s a high chance I could be “the only”. Experiencing burnout is likely because of how many tech companies foster toxic environments with little work/life balance. Even though a lot of companies are talking about diversity & inclusion, I’m not convinced that most companies understand it well or actually care.

The reality is, there are few tech companies that are a safe place for women of color. Although there are companies trying to recruit marginalized people; few are changing their internal cultures to retain us.

The search wasn’t easy, but I did find a place I’m happy with.

I’ll be heading to Slack after graduation. I’m honored to join the iOS team. At Slack, I won’t be “the only”. There’s several other black folks at Slack that I know and admire & I’m excited to soon be at the same company as them: Diogenes Brito, Duretti Hirpa, Kristy Tillman, Kiné Camara, and more.

There’s no perfect tech company, but it’s obvious that Slack is trying. There’s always more work to be done. I have hope that Slack will continue to do the work that’s necessary to create a healthy work environment for all their employees, especially for those who are underrepresented in tech. I’m excited to join a company whose product I use and love. I can’t wait to see how I’ll grow there.

*I want to acknowledge the privilege I have graduating from an ivy league college with a computer science degree. I know many college graduates struggle finding employment after school. Many might not have the opportunity to be selective about where they go to work.

Kaya Thomas

Written by

iOS Engineer at Calm

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade