Handicapped and Trying to Get a Job: 4 Tips

If you are a handicapped person, you’ll know that the problems trying to get a job effectively create another handicap. Even well meaning people don’t necessarily understand the difficulties of the situation. Employers, also, have levels of knowledge which act as unintended obstacles. They also tend to err on the side of caution when hiring handicapped people. That’s not intentional either, but a result of the recommendation procedure and in some cases a misguided appreciation of the capabilities of handicapped people.

Making your point with employers

The best way to approach this situation is to use hard proof of your abilities. There are several ways of doing this irrefutably:

  1. Provide good references for your functional skills: Don’t think of using references as abrogating your hard-won independence. It’s necessary, particularly when you’re starting out in the workforce. Trainers, educators, and others are credible references. They’re also highly motivated and can speak on the proper technical levels about your work. Referees also help reassure the interview panel regarding their recommendations. 
  2. Show evidence of your skills: This can be in the form of other work, academic projects, or other irrefutable indicators of what you can do. This also helps you to be competitive in interviews, showing a high quality of work.
  3. Go for jobs where you have exceptional skills: Use your portfolio, qualifications, and other indicators like work experience to provide a strong case for yourself. Show high work values. Any handicap issues can be reduced to irrelevance if you show very strong job skills. You’ll find professional interest in your work takes over rapidly in this type of scenario. You’re on solid ground, where you can really make your case.
  4. Clarify any issues regarding the handicap as required: You know you can handle the situation, but you need to explain that to the interviewers. Also bear in mind that competent employers will want to be aware of any issues. Their responsibilities apply to all employees, and this is part of that obligation. It may be old news to you, but they have to get their facts straight. Use stories of dealing with situations, to reassure the employer that you’re in full control.

Think of the job hunting situation as a chance to really defeat the handicap once and for all with a major lifetime success. You’ve done it before, you’ll do it again.