Effective Job Search Strategies for People with Disabilities
For most people, a job equals a paycheque every two weeks, which is used for the monthly obligations such as utility and credit card bill payments, phone and internet expenses, rent or mortgage, and online streaming services subscription dues. A paycheque also equals the finances needed to purchase tangible things such as food, groceries, clothing, and other expenses to support one’s hobby.
On the other hand, for people with disabilities, the bi-weekly paycheque is synonymous to all these things, but there’s a lot more than that. As an August 2018 article in The Globe and Mail emphasized, individuals with disabilities look forward to their paycheques because it signifies their full integration in the society and cements their value in the community.
While there are challenges you may face when it comes to employment opportunities, there are certain strategies to overcome these barriers. If you are an individual with a disability who is currently seeking employment, here are a few suggestions for a more successful job search:
Do a self-evaluation.
If you’re unsure of which type of job or work environment where you would best fit, you’ll need to take time to do a self-evaluation. This will streamline the job hunt process for yourself so you won’t find yourself all over the place. Look into your past work experience and your academic experience. If you received additional training, see which of those are worth practicing. It’s also important to truly immerse yourself into the employment market and make sure you keep that way for the long-term. Ask yourself vital questions like, “What tasks do you see yourself doing on a daily basis?” and “What type of workplace will get you excited enough for you to break your routine?”
Study the job market.
When you’re done with the self-evaluation, it’s time to research the job market and the possible opportunities that you can get into. Countless professions are suited for persons with disabilities like you. For instance, if you’ve realized you were a sort of a math whiz as a kid and you’ve taken a few accounting courses here and there, a role as an accountant can be in your future. If you have a natural ability to help people and you’re quite the chatterbox, a role as a customer service agent may be in the horizon.
Look into resources.
Applications are all done online now, so that makes things extremely convenient. However, if you’re unsure of how to go about the process, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. There are employment centres that specifically provide assistance to job seekers with disabilities, and the counsellors or case workers can accommodate you to get your started on the application process, plus provide you with other resources such as resume and cover letter enhancements, printing, and workshops. They can also let you know of hiring events that particularly cater to individuals with disabilities so do ask them to keep you posted.
Focus on what you can offer.
Being self-aware is a good attitude. However, for a successful job hunting, you would need to focus on your strengths and set aside anything that you think would limit you. This doesn’t mean that you deny or avoid disclosing your disability as employers are legally obligated to provide you with accommodations.
Job hunting is often a taxing activity for anyone. However, ultimately it’s all about working hard and not giving up so you can attain the success you duly deserve.