Finding employment is quite a challenge in today’s hugely competitive jobs market. Every time a vacancy becomes available, there are dozens of qualified and capable candidates submitting applications, making it hard for employers just to screen applicants for interviews.
Finding a job can be tougher still for a jobseeker with a disability, as their condition could preclude them from many vacancies and limit their scope somewhat. Also, employers might subconsciously be reluctant to hire someone who may need to take a lot of time off work for health reasons, even if the candidate is a formidable worker.
The infographic below from Burning Nights looks at how a disabled person can approach the job-finding process. The first step is to identify which jobs would and wouldn’t be suitable, given the conditions with which they live. A person with arthritis, for example, is not going to apply for a job which requires a lot of physical exertion every day, as they simply wouldn’t be able to persevere with it. Instead, that person could concentrate on jobs which are not physically taxing and, better still, would enable them to work from home. A job in financial planning or accountancy could be ideal, as this could be done from home with minimal stress. Alternatively, career guidance counselling could be suitable, as a person with a disability could apply their own experiences in dispensing advice to others.
The candidate then needs to conduct some self-examination and assess what they could bring to a job or how they can optimise their work-life balance. If the person has a hobby or an aptitude from which they could earn a living, this is a huge bonus. It’s worth looking at how a job fits into a candidate’s lifestyle preferences, as there is little point in taking what seems an ideal occupation if it requires a strenuous daily commute.
Should the disabled candidate tell an employer about their condition? It often helps to mention it, as the employer could then make interview arrangements that are convenient for the candidate. They don’t have to go into detail about their disability, but at least by informing the employer, they won’t run the risk of being summoned to an awkward location for the interview. When it comes to the day of the interview, disabled candidates should emphasise how they can overcome challenges to perform the job adequately rather than lamenting how the disability could make matters difficult for them. Employers love a positive, proactive attitude in candidates.
This infographic highlights ideal actions for disabled jobseekers in their quest to obtain employment.