Conducting A Job Search As A disabled Person

Searching for a job can be a frustrating endeavor even in the best of circumstances, but for someone who is disabled, it can prove even more trying at times. The main reason for this is the barriers that can sometimes stand between the disabled person looking for the job and the prospective employer.

There are two different kinds of barriers: those created by a person with a disability that stem from self-imposed limitations, and those assumed by various members of society who often give the impression they feel someone with a disability would be unable to perform the assigned job duties. Both types of barriers can be broken down, but it takes work on the behalf of all parties involved. In order to define and understand these barriers, it helps to define them and why they exist.

Self-imposed barriers are, perhaps, the most debilitating because they affect the same person all the time for the duration of their existence. Put simply, if you as a disabled person believe you are unable to do the job, you will be. This attitude will carry over to every interview and leave a powerful lasting first impression on everyone you meet. That is why you must begin the job searching process by defining your strong and weak points, then building on the strengths, and working very hard to improve the weaknesses. Once this is accomplished, you can then build your confidence, and begin breaking down the barrier you have set for yourself.

Societal barriers, on the other hand, can be more difficult to banish. If the attitudes of those who are responsible for the hiring are negative, chances are they will remain that way no matter what you do; however, while it is certainly possible to make a bad first impression, it is just as possible to make a good one as well. Though your positive attitude and demonstration of strengths may not convince the interviewer of your capabilities, repeating occurrences from other disabled individuals just may prove successful. This type of barrier may take longer to break down, but it can prove to be the most rewarding because it could positively affect more people. Remember, however, that both attitudes affect how and if disabled persons get the jobs. One bad impression from someone who is disabled can leave a mark on an employer who will decide not to hire anyone with a disability. Likewise, a bad impression from an employer can discourage you as a disabled individual from seeking employment. The same is true for the positive impressions left all around.

When beginning your job search, keep in mind you will need to leave an even better impression than someone who is not disabled. While this may sound a bit odd and unfair, many times it is proven to be true. Capitalize on your good points and skills, and make sure you are able to perform them all well.

Go into the job search with an open mind, and be prepared to be turned down. Don't assume you do not get the job just because you are disabled; remember, everyone faces rejection. Likewise, be prepared to be told you do, in fact, have the job. Conduct yourself in a positive manner, and don't be afraid to address your disability and how you will be able to perform the job duties in spite of it. Chances are, the interviewer may be too uncomfortable to ask, and what better way to show its okay than to boldly explain.

Most important, be employable. Equip yourself with the necessary skills to get the job done, and be sure you have properly researched the equipment you will need and the resources that can assist you in obtaining it, should you need them. Remember, one positive experience can really make a difference not only for you, but also for those who are quite likely to follow in your footsteps.