Summary: A disability doesn’t mean you are unemployable. Show employers what talents and skills you have to offer, despite any limitations you may have.
The job search is difficult for anyone. Add in the challenge of being in a wheelchair or another disability in the mix and that job search gets even harder. The great news is that it doesn’t need to be that hard. Disabilities don’t have to be a limitation to what you can achieve. We have six tips to help you with the search for your dream job.
Tip #1- Aim for that one dream job. Don’t go into the job search just looking for anyone that will hire you, not caring what the actual job is. Show dedication and passion in what you are doing and what you hope to achieve. This will attract employers.
Tip #2- Get help from the right resources. Work with assistance non-profits, government agencies, and vocational rehabilitation services that work specifically with helping people with developmental, intellectual, or physical disabilities to find jobs. They will know the ins and outs of the area and industries.
Tip #3- Volunteer! Volunteer! Volunteer! The opportunities that can arise from volunteering can be more valuable than running around town and dropping off resumes. You never know what kind of position or company that person volunteering next to might be connected to. When the right people see you working hard and getting involved in something selfless, they will be more impressed than with a fancy resume. Volunteering can also help you gain new skills that can prepare you for jobs.
Tip #4- Improve your skills by choosing places to volunteer based on what skills you want to work on. Decide what you need to improve such as customer service, cleaning, or answering phones and then find volunteering opportunities that can let you perfect those skills.
Tip #5- Prepare for the interview. Having a disability of any kind, whether it is a physical stutter or intellectual challenge, makes going to an interview intimidating. You want the employer to see your skills and talents, not your physical limitations. During the interview, be honest and acknowledge your limitations but spin it to focus on what you can offer the company. Explain how your disability will benefit the company because you have a greater work ethic, are used to challenges, are more persistent, etc.
Tip #6- Never give up. Finding that right job is hard for everyone. Hold your head high and remain confident when going to interviews. Express optimism that things will work out and employers will see this positive attitude as a quality they need in their company.
Just remember, once you are able to land that perfect job, become a support system for others that are still going through the struggle of finding employment.
Photo: jaysonlawgroup.com6 Tips to Help Those with Disabilities Find Their Dream Job by Amanda Griffin