TIPS FOR JOBSEEKERS WITH DISABILITIES SEEKING EMPLOYMENT

Pursuing employment can be quite intense as jobseekers prepare to highlight occupational skills and potentials that supersede those of other applicants. The job search requires thorough preparation such as proper attire, anticipating interview questions, and doing researching on the company and/or leadership team. People with disabilities may face other challenges along with the normal stressors involved in seeking work. Unfortunately there are instances were employers stereotype people with disabilities, making it difficult for some individuals to find fulfilling jobs. As a result some people prefer not to share their disabilities for fear of humiliation or disqualifications of potential job openings. Sadly such individuals are deprived from the deserved opportunity to share his or her given potential in the workplace.

The United States Department of Labor defines The American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) as follows; “The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.” Employers cannot discriminate when providing employee trainings, promotions, or benefits. Also, upon hire employers must provide suitable accommodations for people with disabilities to meet job requirements. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advises jobseekers to determine if job duties can be performed with adequate employer accommodations when seeking employment. Doing so decreases the burden of applying to numerous jobs and ensures protection under the ADA.

The EEOC comments further on how the ADA defines disability noting:

To be protected under the ADA, you must have, have a record of, or be regarded as having a substantial, as opposed to a minor, impairment. A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, learning or working.

TIPS FOR JOBSEEKERS WITH DISABILITIES SEEKING EMPLOYMENT:

1. Research your employment rights. The EEOC and The United States Department of Labor offer resourceful information on ADA and related topics.

2. Partner with organizations in your area for employment opportunities and other available services for people with disabilities.

3. Focus on your strengths. We each have unique skills and abilities to share with others. Highlight individual skills and qualities that will be of positive contribution to the related job position. For instance: “I am excited to apply for the administrative assistance position. I feel confident in my potential to not only meet but also exceed company expectations. I am great with people skills and love to help others.” If the opportunity allows you can share your vision and potentials with the interviewer.

4. Work with a human resource or staffing personnel who can provide sound guidance and assistance throughout the hiring process. Staffing professionals are experienced in the field and can assist with resume tips and interview preparation. Human resource personnel can also suggest how, when, and to whom to address personal accommodations and disability questions.

5. Never feel inferior to other applicants. Career success is highly influenced by our mental attitude to follow through goals and aspirations with confidence. You know your individual strengths better than anyone else. Tap into your personal gifts and talents, seeking employment opportunities that align with your skills, abilities, and career goals.

TIPS WHEN SEEKING WORK OPPORTUNITIES THAT OFFER JOB GROWTH

If you are seeking stable employment in a company that offers career growth, then this is a must read for you! When looking for a job it’s important to interview and evaluate potential employers. Yes, the company is making an investment in hiring you, but you are also contributing time and energy into the company. In the like manner jobseekers should inquire about opportunities that enhance professional growth.

When seeking employment it’s key to determine your career goals and aspirations. If you are looking expand in your profession, then it’s crucial to communicate such aspirations with potential employers. Inquire about available job promotions as you gain seniority with the company. Doing so provides insight into professional ambitions and seriousness in growing with the company. Below are sample questions to consider when selecting jobs that offer growth potentials.

QUESTIONS TO ASK POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS:

1. Are promotions available as I expand my skills on the job?

2. Is there growth potential in different departments of the company?

3. How often does the company evaluate employee performance?

4. If given the opportunity can employees expand in his or her job roles?

5. Can employees request transfers if a promotion is available at another location?

6. What are the requirements to be considered for a leadership position?

7. Is there a website were I can research your employee benefits and growth opportunities?

FIVE Q & A’S TO DETERMINE WHAT JOB FIT’S YOU BEST!

With so many job opportunities available, it’s crucial to determine which positions best fit your lifestyle and personality. Here is a fun Q & A to to assist in defining which employment options are worth the time and pursuit. Taking a few minutes to think about your career decisions is a worthwhile investment.

Question #1: Do you prefer routines and schedules, or does spontaneity and excitement fuel your day?

Answer: If you prefer routine or a fixed schedule, then you may want to pursue employment options that offer a determined shift such as banking, sales, and various administrative positions.

If change and variety bring a sense of career satisfaction, there are many flexibility and creativity jobs you to engage. Unpredictable circumstances are encountered frequently, especially in the medical field and in the realm of education. These career choices are great choices for individuals that enjoy freedom and change. 

Question #2: What do you find more valuable, the rate of pay or company incentives?

Answer: If there’s greater value in the hourly rate, then a high paying position may appear to be the best choice. This option may not always be in your best interest. Let’s suppose company A has an offer for a full-time position with an earning of 60,000/year. On the other hand, company B makes an offer for 50,000/year including health benefits, a company vehicle, travel expenses, and periodic performance bonuses. Although company A’s offer may seem more appealing upfront, less expenses are paid out-of-pocket and more benefits are gained with company B’s offer. It’s a good tactic to define benefits and compensations before basing your decision solely on annual income.

Question #3: Is your schedule flexible or do you have fixed days/hours of availability?

Answer: A job offer may be attractive and well paying, yet the hours of work may not suit your schedule. Take time to analyze your availability and the hours that you can commit to working.  For some individuals the evening shift is ideal, while for others working twelve hour shifts three times a week works best. The key is to examine your lifestyle, preferences, and availability. There are many employers that offer up to four and five shifts, that accommodate to their employees schedule. Research the company and learn their work schedules, shifts, and hours of operation. This will help you determine if this job best suits your current employment needs.

Question #4: Are you extroverted and social, or introverted and reserved?

Answer: If you are a people person, getting an office job or working in the pharmaceutical lab may not be the best choice regardless of pay. At first the pay may be very appealing, yet it’s important to realistically envision yourself satisfied in the job role. Introverted or reserved individuals may not feel comfortable in a very social setting like marketing and sales. Being in such positions may create anxiety or frustration for job seekers that prefer some quietness and less social interactions. Office jobs, clerical work, and writing positions may better fit these personalities.

Question #5: Does the job opportunity enhance or contribute to future career goals?

Answers: Although some employment positions are on a temporary basis, it’s best to select occupations that contribute to your career goals. For example, your career path is in business management and there are two potential job offers that catch your interest. There’s an opportunity as a Sales Manager, or another offer as a Telemarketer. Both companies pay fairly the same, but the telemarketing position is more layback and closer to home. Although the telemarketing position may seem more beneficial, in the long run the experience as a Sales Manager will be of greater value on your resume when pursuing business management.