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Finding a new career or position can be an intimidating process for anyone. If you or someone you know is living with a disability, use this infographic and follow these steps to prepare yourself for re-entering the workforce.
1. Look for Resources Support Offered in Your Community
Before you look at recruitment agencies or job postings, research the support or funding programs in your city, province or state or are federally funded. Read up on the requirements that organizations have in place to accommodate people with disabilities and the emotional support programs that can ease you through the process.
2. Research Specialized Employment Agencies
Finding an agency that specializes in assisting people living with a physical disability, hearing or vision impairments, or developmental disabilities find jobs can be beneficial for those ready to re-enter the workforce or are entering the workforce for the first time with a disability. They may help you look for the perfect job, provide skill-building workshops, offer employment counselling and career planning services, and other opportunities for ongoing support.
3. Decide Your Field
Figuring out what you want to do begins with where you want to work. Research the different responsibilities that come with the positions you are interested in so there are no surprises. If you do not want to move around in a fast paced environment, look into different office careers. Remember, you can enter virtually any field you want with the right accommodations. The field you choose should be based on YOUR preferences, not what someone tells you that you can do. Here is a quiz that offers potential career paths based on which tasks you like and which you don’t.
4. Build Your Resume
5. Search Applications and Attend Job Fairs
Nowadays, most employers post job listings online, rather than traditional methods of newspaper ads or cold-calling. Use online resources such as LinkedIn.com, Monster.com, Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com and many more to search for applications.
Simply typing “job fairs in [insert your city]” into a search engine will produce results for all the upcoming job fairs in your area. Not all of them are free to enter, but doing a little research will help you find the fairs with the organizations you want to work for in attendance.
6. Familiarize Yourself with Technology
The workplace is constantly changing and adapting to new innovations in technology. This can be intimidating for people re-entering the workforce and may be unfamiliar with using new technologies. Investing in the right assistive device that bridges the gap to accessing technology is crucial to feeling confident while performing tasks on computers, smartphones, tablets or smart devices.
For people with limited upper-body mobility, tecla-e connects to the driving controls of a wheelchair and allows you to use assistive switches like joysticks, buddy buttons, micro light switches, sip-and-puff and more to access technology hands-free. Screen reader softwares convert text into speech, braille or sound icons allowing users with visual impairments to listen to digital content. Do your research or ask a technology consultant in a healthcare facility about which assistive device will benefit you the most in the workplace.
7. Prepare for Interviews
If the interviewer forgets to ask, or there wasn’t a specific field in the application, just let them know what the accommodations you require are so he or she can ensure you feel comfortable throughout the interview process.
The more you prepare for questions the recruiter may ask, the less nervous you’ll be! Watch this video and other preparation videos to give you ideas on what to expect if you haven’t been interviewed for a job in a long time - or it’s your first time.