I receive frequent emails from candidates, including people with disabilities, who are looking for employment opportunities. There are also cases where people with disabilities claim that none of the NGOs can find them a job, etc. In most of the cases there is a lack of the aspect that they do not know what kind of career they want to build. Some are location specific. Some are specific to large companies; Some are interested in looking for work, only they pay well. Overall, in many conversations I don’t hear what you can do for the organization. What are your strengths? etc.,
What is the requirement to find a job?
Education is important, but an education with a high percentage of grades alone is not enough to secure a job. In addition to training, one should have good skills, communication skills, commitment to whatever they are learning, and problem solving skills. As we think about what companies could offer us, we should also think about how we can become an asset to the company. The detection is automatic and we don’t have to look for it. Thinking about the career goal should start from grade 9 and make a clear decision before entering grade 11. Why is that? Usually after 10th grade students have the option to choose a stream to study. It should not be forgotten that doctors, engineers or IT are not just career opportunities and there are many more. Don’t make a decision because another friend received it or was influenced by someone else, including your parents. One should consult as many people as possible, read as many books as possible, but ultimately they should make their own decision.
How do I start the job search?
As mentioned earlier, it is important to make a clear decision about which career path to pursue. Then create a profile that describes the skills, qualifications, experience (if any), etc. Most candidates start by saying something like, “My goal is to work for a reputable organization that gives me the opportunity to improve my knowledge.” Now organizations are not a learning center for you. Companies can only invest to offer training on their products or values. However, you don’t have to invest in yourself to get the minimum level of knowledge required. Do not copy other candidates’ résumés. Yes, you can use a template as a reference for a format, but the content should go without saying.
Once the profile is ready, list companies hiring people who match the skills, then filter by company values, ethical guidelines and organizations. Do not reach out to companies or individuals with general inquiries. Even if you reach out to people you know for help finding a job, you need to send a detailed note of your request along with your profile. One of the weird things I’ve seen with some candidates is that before they talk about their request, they ask questions like “What is your job?”, “How is your company?” etc., this does not lead to anything good. When I get a message like this from someone I don’t know, I just don’t bother to reply.
When you’ve found a job posting that matches your profile, think carefully about the opportunity and organization. Determine if you are meeting their needs and if the organization is meeting your expectations. Expectations are not just about pay, they are also about culture, etc. When you’re satisfied and excited, apply through the right channel.
While it is wonderful for people with disabilities that all companies ensure that their infrastructure and processes are accessible, often the infrastructure is inaccessible. that is reality. But you just shouldn’t think about it. It is the employer’s responsibility to make reasonable accommodations, but it is also our responsibility to proceed with the correct recommendations. Nothing can be solved at once. We need to step in and help employers build an inclusive culture.
In the next post, I’ll write about how to maintain a successful career. Good luck!
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Srinivasu is an accessibility evangelist with over 16 years of experience. He currently works as a Senior Accessibility Program Manager at Watermark. Before that, he held various positions at companies such as BarrierBreak, Yahoo, PayPal, Deque, HCL, etc. He believes in the teachings of Shri. Adi Sankaracharya, Swami Vivekananda. He is also the founder of ServeOM Inclusion – a platform to improve accessibility.
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