Andrew McCaskill’s advice on asking the right questions and finding a team that respects you

This week on “Black Men Sundays,” host Corie Murray shares part two of his interview with Andrew McCaskill, a marketing executive with a penchant for inclusion.

Continuing a conversation that began with McCaskill defending diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, particularly as they apply to furthering corporate opportunities for historically underrepresented and underserved communities, Corie asked about methods to leverage networking on a smaller and more individually-beneficial scale.

Before making a LinkedIn profile to “spray and pray,” i.e. applying to hundreds of jobs at once, McCaskill would recommend you slow down and thoughtfully pick something like four or five companies where you at least know someone on the inside first.

“It may not be that you know somebody there, it may be that Corie knows somebody there and you reach out to Corie and say, ‘Yo, Corie, I’m looking for a job over in LinkedIn. I know you know Drew, he works there. Connect me to Drew, intro me,’ and then he introduces me to you, we have a conversation; now you know somebody who works at that company, that’s how networking is supposed to actually work,” he said. “The other thing is that Black folks — the last thing that the ref says to two fighters in a ring before they ring that bell is, ‘Protect yourself at all times,’ right? So, part of protecting yourself at all times is that we know that sometimes we could end up in work environments that are not conducive to being Black in America.”

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Networking is about research, McCaskill said. If your research immediately shows red flags, or if potential issues are only revealed when you dig a little deeper and have those conversations with people already on the inside, McCaskill advises you may be better off if you keep on looking for something better.

Look for a career with a team that will treat you with respect, and if you can’t sense that respect, move on.

“I start with with younger people and tell them all the time, it’s like, ‘Listen, we got to collaborate and not compete.’ That’s No. 1. All these people out here that you can compete with, it shouldn’t be amongst each other, right? That’s No. 1,” he said. “Figure out ways to where there’s enough food on all of these tables for everybody to eat and if I’m in an environment where they only want one shiny Black person, that’s the wrong environment for me to be in, right? So like, we need to sort of disavow ourselves of that sort of competition mode. Financial mobility starts with financial stability and part of that stability is information sharing, having the best information to make the best decisions possible about work and compensation.”

Hear the full interview in Season 4, Episode 12 of “Black Men Sundays.”

Black Men Sundays talks about building generational wealth. Check out every episode in the media player below.

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