Successfully landing a job in today’s job market seems like an episode of the old TV series “Mission Impossible” for most people. For those with disabilities, job hunting may seem more like “Mission Inconceivable.” We know that turning a job search from inconceivable to mission accomplished is difficult; however, it is possible. We believe the following tips are essential for individuals with special needs who are seeking employment.
6 tips for locating and landing a job you’ll love:
1. Accept Every Hand-Up
Seek out and apply for any help available for building life skills. Utilize every vocational rehabilitation program offered by non-profits and/or government agencies for those with physical, emotional or intellectual disabilities.
2. Target Specific Skills
Choose a set of skills you want to use but need to improve. Find out what types of equipment or computer programs are most used by those who are employed for those skills.
Sometimes the best way to make money is to give away free samples. In this case giving away “free work” could prove to be beneficial in the long run. Volunteering is essentially free training. It gives you a chance to practice what you know and discover what it is you do not know, and then learn it. Volunteering also documents experience and is proof that any physical or intellectual limitations you may experience have not stood in your way. Your best bet is to volunteer in known agencies such as churches, non-profits, or similar organizations where volunteers are often sought after. These agencies tend to have good reputations and high visibility.
4. Be Passionate
Employers like to see passion, but the “I’ll do anything, anywhere, for anybody” attitude alone will not always get you in the door. Employers want to believe that you hold a special passion for the specific job for which they are interviewing you.
5. Ace the Interview
Interviewing is tough because often all the person on the other side of the desk sees is your limitations. It is up to you to use your interpersonal skills to make them see you as a person. Acknowledge your disability and then explain how it can make you a better candidate for the job (ex. more patient, more empathetic, or able to think outside of the box).
6. Remain upbeat
Do not give up or allow yourself to become discouraged. If you are making the school to work transition, do not worry; well-developed social skills and a strong sense of self-worth can weather almost any storm.
©2012 James Stanfield Company. All Rights Reserved.
The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.