To celebrate Pride month, Glassdoor is highlighting several influential game-changers within the LGBTQ+ community and across the business, marketing, and technology verticals throughout June. These leaders are diverse, passionate, and driven, and all are incredible examples of how the LGBTQ+ community isn’t monolithic. View their stories each week to celebrate Pride with us!
Scott Dobroski is the senior director of corporate communications at Glassdoor. Scott has been with Glassdoor for nine years (joining in 2011), helping the technology company grow from a small start-up to one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites. As part of his job, he helps lead external and internal communications efforts that support Glassdoor’s mission to help people everywhere find a job and company they love. Scott has been honored for three straight years as one of Business Insider’s ‘50 Best PR People in the Tech Industry.’ Before Glassdoor, he worked at a communications and public relations agency in South Florida and as a TV news reporter at NBC and ABC stations in Nebraska and Florida. Scott graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in communications.
Glassdoor: Share your career journey. What led you down the path of your current profession?
Scott Dobroski: My career journey has been a journey and one that I never expected when I was just getting started. My journey started in college at UC San Diego, well before graduation. I interned at NBC News in New York and MTV Networks during my junior year, and that’s where I found my passion for storytelling, communication, and writing, though, at the time, I was paving the way to be a broadcast journalist. I had a passion for telling stories and ideally ones that would help someone’s life, provoke new thought, or perhaps to inspire them to change something for the better.
After two internships, I started working full-time during my senior year at a local TV news station in San Diego, running the teleprompter, writing scripts, doing anything, and everything they asked of me for a very modest $8 an hour. I loved every minute of it. This foundational work served me well when I started sending out resume demo tapes of reporting work I had put together to small stations across the country. I got a call from a news director in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, who changed my life by offering me a weekend anchor/reporter gig for a whopping $16,000 a year. I took it on the spot, packed up my Toyota Camry the next week, and was off to Nebraska solo to start my career as a TV news anchor and reporter. I spent three years in Nebraska at an NBC and ABC station, before packing up my bags again for a reporting gig at the NBC station in Southwest Florida.
After three years, I was approaching my 30th birthday when I started noticing my industry changing quite a bit. People were not watching TV news as much with the rise of digital media and online news taking over, meaning the business was evolving and changing, a lot. The stories I was covering didn’t seem to impact lives either in the way that I had initially hoped for. When I started realizing all of this, this is the moment that ‘the businessman’ in me began to kick in. When I say this, it means that I realized I still needed to work for the next few decades, and the current industry I was in wasn’t conducive to the type of life I wanted in and out of work. So, for about 18 months, I became a student of how to find the right job and pivot careers. That was not my goal at the time. Still, I knew that I did not want to go through this career crisis a second time in my life if I could help it, so I tried to look at other types of work and jobs that still allowed me to leverage my strengths and passions, but it was probably outside of broadcast journalism. For me, it led to a transition to communications and public relations. Through a PR contact of mine through my news reporting (relationships are everything), I was offered a gig at a small boutique PR and communications firm based in Fort Lauderdale. I had my strategy in place – I would spend about two years learning the ropes and being a sponge to PR before trying to make my way back home to California, which was always my ultimate goal since I left my home.
After two years of rising the ranks and taking in ‘everything PR’ that I could, it was time to reignite my next job search to ideally find a communications and public relations gig back home in the San Francisco Bay Area. After months of searching, and using a little site called Glassdoor, I saw a PR job at Glassdoor itself that seemed like the perfect fit. I instantly applied, even emailing the PR/Comms leaders after using them to let them know how interested I was and show them why I could add value to their program. Well, 20 minutes after sending the email, the program lead emailed me back, I had my first phone interview the next morning, flew out to meet with the team a few days later and within seven days, I had a job offer at Glassdoor (and, a compensation package more than what I asked for too). I made one of the easiest and best decisions of my life, to take the job at Glassdoor. Nine years later, I am still here because I love the mission, the people, and the work we do to help others truly.
Glassdoor: Share your coming out journey. What have you learned by being out?
Scott Dobroski: Like many people, coming out was not an easy process for me. I was raised Catholic, my father died of cancer when I was 12, and as I was growing up, I felt a responsibility to be successful, not let anyone down in my family. If there was anything I could do to make their lives easier, that was my focus. I did not want to upset anyone and only wanted to make my family proud of me. When I look back on these thoughts, they have something in familiar – pleasing others and caring a lot about what others would think of me or how they would react.
At 21, I ultimately realized that I was not letting my family and friends know all of me, which I didn’t like, mainly because I’m someone who wants to talk and share a lot. I wasn’t honest about who I was with myself or others. Living inauthentically to who I was was exhausting too. It was also challenging because I wanted to be honest, but I wasn’t yet, mainly because of fear. Fear of rejection, judgment, and not being loved. Over time, I found support by making some LGBTQ friends who helped me realize that it was best to be myself, all of myself, with everyone in my life. I was also fortunate to have some LGBTQ leaders in my newsroom who I admired. We never talked about being out, but I marveled at how they were out and their full selves all the time and realized that there was nothing to be fearful of. And, nothing wrong with being LGBTQ either! If people truly cared about me, they would love and accept me for me and not have expectations.
I mustered up the courage and started telling friends one by one that I was gay. Most of my friends were not surprised (I was the one fooling myself), and I’m fortunate that all of them – each and everyone – supported me, thanked me for telling them, and let me know they cared about me, period, regardless of being LGBTQ or not. It just did not matter to them, and that was the most significant gift I could have asked for. Within six months, all of my friends and family knew, and I felt like I could run a marathon because I no longer had to waste so much time and energy hiding. I could be out and proceed with my life the way it should be.
Now that I’ve been out for almost twenty years, I have learned so many things, but the biggest lesson, without a doubt, is that by being out, you are truly setting yourself free to thrive in ways you may otherwise never know. By not being honest with yourself and others, you’ll be holding yourself back, in relationships, in love, professionally, everywhere. Because I came out, I genuinely believe I was empowered to thrive in a way I would have never truly known and to reach my goals full steam ahead.
Glassdoor: How has Glassdoor celebrated and supported your LGBTQ identity and surrounding community?
Scott Dobroski: During my interview at Glassdoor, I had researched the company’s culture, values, and what people liked about working there. It was pretty clear the company wanted employees to be their full selves at work, so as I learned more about this through research and during my interview process, I was out and open from day one.
Glassdoor made me feel so incredibly comfortable, and they were much more interested in my professional skills and qualifications for the job than who I loved in my personal life. In my opinion, the way it should be when it comes to working. But, I also knew and felt immediately that I never had to pretend who I was or feel like I couldn’t talk about my life outside of work while I was at work. From day one, my boss and colleagues knew that I was gay, and it has never been an issue. I find that I can sometimes bring a unique perspective to a problem we’re trying to solve that is different from others by being part of the LGBTQ community. I know these diverse perspectives are appreciated at Glassdoor.
Glassdoor is so supportive, during my first year, two colleagues and I organized Glassdoor’s annual Castro Street Pub Crawl. During that first year, we sent some emails around the office, invited whoever was free Friday night, might want to attend, and the purpose was to get to know one another better while supporting some local gay bars. Virtually the entire company showed up for the pub crawl that year, including our CEO, and it was an event that has gone down in Glassdoor history ever since and has become an annual event. I was so incredibly touched by how many people came out for it and how late everyone stayed out having a blast too. After the first year, I was always asked when the date was going to be set for the next one.
Also, Glassdoor has supported the LGBTQ community in a variety of ways. My favorite example is something that is ‘very Glassdoor.’ We have the freedom to come up with an idea, make a proposal, and most often, it gets the green light as long as it’s aligned to Glassdoor’s values and who we are as a company. A few years back, a colleague organized a group of us to teach job searching to LGBTQ community members trying to get back on their feet. We went into the LGBTQ community center in San Francisco and taught them everything from how to search for a job, to how to negotiate their salaries to how to ace an interview. We took some time off from work to volunteer in the community and were told by our leaders at Glassdoor to keep it up as often as we’d like. It’s these examples that I am proud to be LGBTQ and work at Glassdoor too.
Glassdoor: What does Pride mean to you, and how are you planning to celebrate this year?
Scott Dobroski: To me, Pride means being true to who you are by setting yourself free. It means letting go of the pressures, the worries, the fear of what others will think or say, and to live a life that is true to who you are. By doing so, you’re going to be free to soar and achieve your dreams because you will not be holding yourself back any longer.
This year, Pride is looking a little different though I’ll still be celebrating virtually and at a safe distance with some close friends. We will have moments of sharing our coming out stories, reflecting on how far we’ve come since coming out, while also laughing together and raising a glass to celebrate our fabulous community and all the people in it, no matter what age, shape or color they are. This is a time to celebrate everyone for their unique differences, and that’s what we’ll do.
Glassdoor: What do you look for in an ally?
Scott Dobroski: For me, I like to be around people who are honest with who they are, who strive to be better, who reflect on life, and are open and welcoming to others, especially those who may be different from them in some way. Because I naturally tend to migrate to these types of people, these are the types of people who have become my friends through the years, but in turn, also my allies. I believe that a friend is someone who accepts you as you are and wants the best for you, period. If they do this, they should be an ally by default. Whether ally or friend, regardless of the name, we all deserve love and acceptance, and you know you’ll have it when people support you as you are, and don’t want something in return. They genuinely love you, unconditionally. When you come across these special people, hold them tight and don’t let them go. Celebrate Pride with them!
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