Looking for work is never easy. If you're an individual who has a disability, this becomes a greater challenge.
Despite what you might think, finding work when you're disabled isn't impossible. There are many jobs for people with disabilities.
Here are a few ways to negotiate the market, and make the most of your opportunities. This can show your employers just how capable you are, despite what they might think about your situation.
Confidence is Key When Looking for Work
You might roll your eyes at this and consider it unimportant information, but consider the facts.
When you go into a job interview showing you're just as capable and determined as anyone else, it's likely to leave a lasting impression.
Potential employers see you as ready for a challenge, and not as a person who backs down easily. By not acting any differently than anyone else who goes into the interview, you show that you've got nothing to worry about, and neither does your prospective employer.
Confidence in a job search and through the interview process can get you through difficult times.
Once you've found your job, you'll have learned a lot about yourself and what you can do to make the process easier next time.
Show Your Employers What You Can Do
When you're out on an interview, make a point to tell employers exactly how you'd handle a situation. This means if you need to discuss your disability, do so in a way that doesn't limit you and shows it's not as big a deal as some people might assume it to be.
Consider the job and your skills. If you're a stockbroker, working from a wheelchair doesn't matter as long as you're able to close a sale.
Highlight your past accomplishments in selling and focus on what you can do for the company's clients. Explain what types of accommodations you'd need if any.
No matter what your disability is, there are many ways you can contribute to a variety of positions. By going into interviews with a game plan, you'll show initiative and make employers take notice of you with your sense of planning and forethought.
There are many ways to seek out employment that is open to individuals with disabilities. Click for more opportunities you can take advantage of.
Don't Make Your Disability the Focal Point
When you're in the middle of discussing an opportunity with a recruiter, it's normally beneficial to hold off discussing your disability until a later point. Doing so allows you to learn more about a company and decide if it's a possible fit for you, rather than being turned down early on.
If your disability is not obvious, go through the interview and wait to hear back before you tell your employer any personal information. The general rule of thumb is, the longer you can go without talking about, the more you'll benefit from the experience.
You want to learn as much as possible about the company, the culture, and the people you'll potentially work with before any decision is made. If you determine during the interview process that this isn't a good fit for you, it's easy enough to make alternative arrangements or seek another job.
Talking about your disability later also allows you to show all that you're capable of, without being judged on a condition you happen to have.
Learn More About Your Rights
Although many people don't stop to think about it, workers have rights. This includes workers who have disabilities and are looking for work.
Employers cannot legally discriminate against you simply because you have a disability if they're able to make reasonable accommodations for you. If you run into an employer who makes comments or otherwise alludes to the fact that they wouldn't hire you because of your disability, it's important to report them.
When out on an interview, remember these important facts about job hunting with a disability:
- Employers cannot ask you about how severe or mild your disability is
- Employers cannot ask about your exact disability
- They can ask if you need reasonable accommodations
- They can (and likely will) ask you to describe how you'd do the job
Knowing what your rights are can help you feel prepared and ready for the next interview. It also makes you aware of what questions you're likely to get asked should your disability be present.
Consider Working at Home
If you're having trouble finding a local job, consider working from home. Also known as working remotely, this is a popular option in certain professions.
Consider working from home if you have experience in:
- Computer programming
- Call center work
- Social media marketing
Looking for work that can get accomplished remotely is the same as working from an office or any other position. Upload your resume to job search website and contact companies that mention offering work from home or another remote location.
If you've chosen to work with a recruiter, you can mention this to them also, so they can help you seek the type of work you're looking for. When you choose to work from home your disability shouldn't come up in most cases, and you won't need to worry about getting viewed differently than any other candidate who is applying for the same job.
Looking for work when you have a disability can sometimes be a challenge. If you don't know how to navigate the waters, you can feel intimidated and not know where to start.
If you're looking for a recruiting company that puts your needs first, we are here to help. Contact us, and see how we can help you get started on the path to finding new employment that meets your needs.