Career Tips for Young Adults With Disabilities

Starting your career can be daunting, especially if you’re one of the millions of Americans with a disability. Although there have been advances in accessibility solutions for establishments like Disabled Spectator, you may still face unfair discrimination and barriers in the workforce. If you’re wondering how to overcome these obstacles and pursue a rewarding career, read on for tips to help you start.

Chart your educational course

The first step in your journey is to choose which college and type of degree to pursue. A business degree is a great option because it offers flexibility, high earning potential, and opportunities to specialize. It also prepares you well to start your own business one day, which is a great fit for people living with a disability for the flexibility it offers.

Networking is key

Entry-level jobs come with a lot of competition and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle despite your qualifications. Networking is a way to make sure that your resume gets noticed. Consider joining a young professionals group and attending networking events. Forming authentic relationships with people in your field will go a long way in helping you land your first job.

If there aren’t many job openings, consider pursuing an internship. You can find these on regular job boards, your college’s internship website, or at job fairs. Businesses often create new ones so don’t be shy to express your interest to desirable companies. Keep in mind, not all internships are as advertised.

Make your own work

If you don’t ace your first interview or land a job right away, stay positive. It takes time to launch a career. A great way to join the workforce and build up your resume is to work as a freelancer — that is, a person who is self-employed and sells services to clients. For example, you could try writing for a blog, offering public relations services, or designing websites. You can use online job boards to find freelance opportunities. Make sure to read reviews to learn more about the companies you will potentially work with.

While there’s still a long way to go in educating employers and dispelling myths about people with disabilities, it doesn’t have to stop you from having a successful career. Finding a job is difficult – it takes hard work and perseverance. Remember the fundamentals – educated yourself, networking, and taking the initiative. Once you’ve got your first gig, both your career and your confidence will grow.

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Josh Appel
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