...By Pelumi Emmanuel for TDPel Media.
Finding a job can be challenging for anyone, but it is complicated when the individual has a disability. People with disabilities often face different challenges in the workplace and need to take extra steps to ensure that they are successful in their job search. Here are some things to remember when looking for jobs for people with disability:
1. Research Your Rights
It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the laws that protect people with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace. The laws protect individuals from discrimination based on their disability status, while other state and local laws may provide additional protections specific to your area. Knowing your rights can help you stand upright if you are discriminated against during your job search.
2. Know Your Accommodations
Some individuals with disabilities may qualify for accommodations that give them equal opportunity in the job market. Examples of such accommodations include flexible work hours, assistive technology, modified office or equipment, and services like sign language interpreters or readers. It is your right to get help, so you can negotiate for the accommodations you need from potential employers during your job interview process.
3. Network With Other People With Disabilities
Connecting with other people who face similar challenges as yourself can be invaluable when it comes to finding jobs for people with disability. Many organizations exist specifically to provide networking opportunities and resources for individuals with disabilities looking for jobs. Also, consider joining local disabled persons’ associations that offer job postings and educational resources.
Reach out to family, friends, organizations that specialize in helping with disability jobs to find employment or any other connections you have for potential leads. This can give you access to job information that may not be advertised publicly.
4. Be Open About Your Disability
While some employers won’t consider you if they know that you have a disability, others may be more open to considering your skills and abilities regardless of your medical condition. In addition, specific industries mainly accept people with disabilities, such as the nonprofit sector and federal government jobs. Be honest about your disability in interviews, highlighting how it has made you more resilient or determined to succeed in life.
5. Know your strengths
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is important when looking for disability jobs. Focus on the skills and experience you can bring to the job and how it can benefit the company. This will help you stand out from other candidates.
6. Get Support
Don’t hesitate to seek support when beginning your job search. You may need assistance from friends and family members who understand your situation and can offer emotional support during this process as you work through any challenges associated with disability-related barriers in the workplace. Additionally, many organizations exist specifically to provide career help for those with disabilities – they can provide valuable advice and resources.
7. Practice Interviewing
Before attending an interview, practice answering common questions and think of ways to communicate your skills effectively in a job interview. Consider role-playing with someone you trust, such as a friend or family member, to get comfortable with the process. This way, you can put your best foot forward when it comes time for the real thing.
8. Be Patient
Finding a job is a process and can take longer when you have a disability. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get an immediate response or the results you were hoping for; keep trying and stay positive throughout the process.
9. Address employment gaps
People with disabilities frequently need to take time off work to care for their health. So your resume shows a job gap is acceptable. Yet because it could raise a red flag for employers, it’s crucial to handle it so that the recruiters don’t wonder why.
By keeping these things in mind during your job search, you can improve your chances of finding employment that fits your skills and abilities and accommodate any disability-related needs. But, of course, you will eventually find the right fit – good luck!
Even while it is unnecessary to go into great depth regarding the employment gap, it is usually assumed that you give a genuine explanation that employers would find acceptable. For instance, it is frequently sufficient to state that the absence was due to medical necessity. This is also true if you were able to upgrade your skills or participate in any courses or activities during that time.
Whether you’re looking for entry-level jobs, disability jobs, or a career change with a disability, it’s important to remain patient and take advantage of any available resources. Numerous organizations specialize in helping those with disabilities find employment and serve as invaluable resources throughout the job search process.
Finally, remember to be confident in yourself and your abilities. Your disability should not get in the way of achieving your goals – if you approach the job search process with determination, you can find success regardless of your condition. With access to the right resources and support systems, anything is possible! Good luck on your journey towards finding meaningful work!