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A job where you can truly be yourself

Joao Guida
16 Jun 2020

No interview is trivial. Despite all the inspirational texts and professional autobiographies with a touch of motivation, I look forward to the day when I will meet someone who does not feel any anxiety in those minutes when our vulnerability reaches a critical level.

Naturally, like any important meeting, interviews are burdened by professional pressure with which almost everyone is somewhat familiar. The feeling that that short span of time represents a watershed moment in one’s life is certainly not for the faint of heart.

That was how I felt when I entered, in early 2019, a Zoom room for my first interview with VTEX – like someone marching into battle, just as many others had before me. But unlike those many others (or at least most of them), an extra layer of fear weighed down on me.

We talked and exchanged background stories, résumés, tests and, as expected, they wanted to know more about me and the story that didn’t fit in the CV.

“Oh gee, what now? It was going so well” – is the first thought that runs through my head. I mentioned that I was in a relationship, already thinking of a way to change the subject.

– Does she study with you?

I paused when faced with a question that, for many people, would be ordinary, part of an unassuming conversation.

A pause that must have lasted for about two seconds for the interviewers, but which lasted two hours in my head. I thought about the person I was and the company I expected VTEX to be. A lot of thought can fit in two seconds for those who spend so much time waiting.

He does, but he studies Business Administration, and I, Economics, I said. — Ah, cool! – That simple.

As a member of the Brazilian LGBTQIA+ community, where 35% of professionals claim to have suffered discrimination in the workplace, according to a LinkedIn survey, and with a professional history of conservative companies, I hoped for the best, but always expected the worst.

That said, it can be a shock that people in a professional environment are as accustomed and receptive to diversity as my interviewers proved to be that day.

As soon as the interview was over, feeling that I had already exposed my greatest vulnerability, I shared my experience with my parents and friends:

“I will work for this company. If not in this team, it will be in another, but I will be part of this culture”.

Soon thereafter, I applied to all of the company’s internship programs, but it wasn’t necessary. Despite the concerns of those with whom I shared the interview story, VTEX contacted me a few days later to ask if I wanted to be part of the team.

This happened a year ago, and since then I started to weave a history with VTEX, along with qualified, courageous and transparent people who enhance diversity among us.

The LGBTQIA+ community still has a long way to go. The same LinkedIn survey on professional discrimination based on sexual identity and orientation states that only 50% of LGBTQIA+ respondents were transparent about their sexuality at their place of work.

But if this experience at VTEX taught me anything, it was the power of vulnerability and that a work path will only be rewarding and complete if you walk it on your own terms, with your truth, with your identity.

VTEX believes in visibility and equality.
If you want to join one of our teams and help to build a more diverse work environment, check out our current job openings.