Tips‌ ‌To‌ ‌Find‌ ‌Jobs‌ ‌For‌ ‌People‌ ‌With‌ ‌Disabilities‌

Tips‌ ‌To‌ ‌Find‌ ‌Jobs‌ ‌For‌ ‌People‌ ‌With‌ ‌Disabilities‌

If you have a disability, finding a new job can be challenging. It's never easy to get a job offer, but obtaining one when you have a disability is full of obstacles. Although there are laws in place to prevent discrimination, you might find yourself dealing with an employer who holds your disability against you. Or, you could suffer from low self confidence. Follow these simple tips to deal with those and other challenges associated with the job hunt.

Know the Laws

The first thing you should do is educate yourself on discrimination laws. If you find yourself in an unfair situation, you should be ready to take action. You deserve equal treatment, and there are plenty of laws in place to encourage fair treatment.

With that said, you shouldn't go into the job search thinking that you will be discriminated against. Your pessimistic thoughts could keep you from being confident, and this may very well be your downfall.

As you research the laws, know that some of what you read won't be true. When it comes to legal matters, the internet doesn't know best. You can gain basic knowledge from a Google search, but don't expect to become an expert in the law. For accurate information, speak with a lawyer.

Ask for What You Need

Don't be afraid to be honest with the interviewer or be afraid to ask for what you need. Thanks to federal laws, your employer needs to make certain accommodations for you. Those accommodations don't and can't make you a less appealing job candidate.

If anything, your request can help you. A hiring manager may not be able to see past your disability, so asking for accommodations can make your abilities more clear. Oftentimes, hiring managers don’t realize how minor accommodations can make huge impacts.

When you ask for accommodations, be reasonable. This means you're making a small modification to the job or work environment. If you're applying for a job that requires you to lift 50 pounds and you can't lift any weight, there is no reasonable accommodation for you.

Disclose What's Needed

You shouldn’t walk into an interview and immediately talk about your disability. When it comes to disclosure, you should only say what you need to say when you need to say it. Your resume shouldn't make any mentions of your disability, and neither should your cover letter.

However, you still could be in a position where you need to disclose your disability before the interview. If a manager asks you to go in for an interview but the site has no access ramp, you need to discuss your disability. You can inform them of your need for a ramp and why you need it. But you don't have to tell them the specifics of your disability.

If your disability doesn't require any accommodations, you don't need to mention them to your employer. You can keep your disability personal until you feel a need to disclose it.

Focus on Your Abilities

Instead of thinking about your limitations, focus on what you can do. In addition to giving you confidence, your new focus can make it clear that you're an asset to the employer.

For example, you might have a vision problem that makes it difficult to see the computer screen. You could explain this to your hiring manager: "When my screen is the right brightness, I can quickly write out proposals."

There's always a way to spin something negative into something positive. Before you go into your interview, think about how you will discuss your disability in a positive light. Make a list and practice speaking to the hiring manager.

Leverage Your Experience

During your interview, discuss your previous experiences. By doing so, you push past any preconceived notions your hiring manager might have. Talking about your past experience makes it easy for employers to imagine you in the job.

When you discuss your previous roles, use specific examples and statistics. It's not enough to just say that you improve the company's sales. Instead, you can say that you boosted sales by 13%. By giving specifics, you make a strong case for a job offer.

If you don't have any direct experience in a role, think about how your job experiences overlap. You may not have worked in direct sales before, but you might have experience in a sales environment. Use your other jobs as examples of your success. Think about what challenges you faced in those jobs and be ready to discuss how you overcame them.

Use Your Resources

There's no shame in using the resources available to individuals with disabilities. If you look online, you can find free training courses as well as job placement help. Several websites are dedicated to providing resources to individuals with disabilities.

You can also take matters into your own hands and attend networking events for individuals with disabilities. While you're at the event, you can make invaluable connections. You might learn about special programs or other resources.

At times, taking advantage of your resources takes work. Don't hesitate to put time into these resources because they could be what gets you a job. With a little effort, you may be much closer to a job offer.

Apply for the Right Jobs

If you apply for the right jobs, your disability won't be much of a factor. You can let your resume speak for itself and use your charm to win over the hiring manager.

How do you find the right jobs? First, you narrow down your job search. Think about your career goals and your skills. Which jobs are the most ideal for you? If you set your net too wide, you won't have as much success.

Before you apply for a job, read the qualifications. Don't waste your time applying for jobs if you aren't qualified. But you also don't want to sell yourself short. If a simple accommodation could make you qualified, apply for the job. It could be the job you end up being offered.

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