In these difficult times, we are all living and working in new ways.
Our Day in a New York Life series offers you a look into the daily lives of New York Life’s employees who are giving their time and expertise to our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that welcome all employees and help foster a diverse and inclusive workplace aligned with New York Life’s mission, values, and goals.
Kerry Matson is Senior Associate, Internal Marketing (West Coast Region) at New York Life. As part of the internal wholesale team for New York Life’s Third Party Distribution Channel, he provides sales support and case design to high-end customers, brokers, financial advisors, and marketers. He also finds time to be National Co-Chair of the NYLPride ERG.
Kerry lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his husband, Wes. Here, he tells us about his typical day, working at home.
I start my day with coffee. I’d never drunk coffee… until COVID! My husband, who is also working remotely, makes his coffee every morning. One day I said “Okay, well make me a cup.” Now that’s my routine every morning: two cups of coffee.
Down to work
I start work by checking my emails to see what I need to get done. Sometimes I’m amazed at the number of emails that come in overnight! In my job, I have to juggle a lot so prioritization is key, although I could prioritize at 8 AM and, by 10 AM, my priorities can totally change.
When you’re working remotely, your work and home spaces are the same, and it’s easy just to carry on working through lunch, but if you don’t take those little mental reboots, eventually you can burn out. It often doesn’t work out, but my husband and I try to plan our lunches at the same time. When the weather is nice, we take our dog out. We’ve also just adopted a five-month-old puppy but he’s not quite ready for walks.
Pride in the job
I try to book out some times—at least two or three times a week—for my own “personal meetings” when I can play catch-up on the day job. I book in some times each week for ERG work because being Co-Chair can be time-consuming, especially when we’re planning for Pride Month in June.
ERGs weren’t around when I started at New York Life in 1996. I got involved because I’m the only LGBTQ+ person in the Kansas City office that I know of, and I don’t want someone like me to think that they’re alone in the organization. It’s so important they know they can connect with a community of people who understand and have been through something similar.
When New York Life introduced the ERGs, many years ago, that was an incredible step for us as an organization. I’m proud to work for a company that recognizes the importance of diversity, and I’m so thankful that New York Life has been a part of my journey—and recognizes the importance of living my true authentic self.
One of our goals for this year is continuing to focus on intersectionality and collaborate across the ERGs. We are allies, we all have so much in common, and we are stronger when we are together. Many of us don’t just fit into one community–my husband has MS and my mom is disabled, so I’m also part of the ENABLE ERG.
My hope is that by becoming better allies to our ERG family we will–at least within our community at New York Life–help raise awareness of social -justice. Maybe it's a lofty goal, but if we take baby steps in that direction, we’ll eventually take the giant leaps.
After a busy day, there are many things that I like to do to relax. I’m a big football and college basketball fan so I’ll watch a bit of a game and then go cook. And right now I’m into home improvement shows to get ideas for redoing our kitchen and bathroom.
I also like to write. I’ve written a couple of motivational books. I want to write more at some point down the road, but it’s just trying to find the hours in the day!
NYLPride’s mission is to empower a more inclusive and accepting workplace, talent pipeline, and corporate culture at New York Life in support of the evolving needs of the LGBTQ+ community. NYLPride recognizes the importance of intersectionality and uniting with the company’s other ERGs in support of contemporary social justice movements.
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