Searching for a job can be a difficult process for anyone and searching for a job with a disability comes with its own challenges. You may be worried that your disability will negatively affect your job search efforts. This page will help you learn some strategies to make the process easier, and provides some resources you can check out for help.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you continue to search for your next opportunity.
You might be worried about entering or re-entering the workforce with a disability, and this worry can come across in your behaviour and attitude. Do your best to maintain a positive outlook.
You can find out information about different organizations and their practices around persons with disabilities. Try networking, conducting informational interviews, working with disability employment support agencies, and researching companies directly.
When researching organizations, look for these policies on company websites and on job postings. These statements let you know that this is an organization that takes employment equity seriously, and that practices are in place to accommodate applicants at each stage of the hiring process, as requested.
There are many companies out there that haven’t hired a person with a disability before. If this applies to a company that you really want to work for, don’t be afraid to reach out. Suggest the possibility of a job trial so that you can showcase your skills and abilities on the job and they can evaluate your work performance before deciding to hire you. This also gives you the opportunity to decide if this opportunity will be the best fit for you.
Two heads are better than one! If you don’t want to go through this process alone, enlist the help of a community service provider. Some service providers are disability-specific and can offer programs on job search support and can connect you with disability-friendly employers. You can find a list in the Community Resources section!
Job searching can take a long time. It’s easy to lose your initial hopefulness during a long search. Stay motivated by celebrating your successes, even if you haven’t obtained employment; any opportunities you have had to discuss your skills with others is an achievement.
Keep track of your efforts by documenting and reviewing all that you’ve accomplished; this will keep you on track and you will be able to evaluate whether or not there is anything more you can do.
Ensure that you have made the appropriate arrangements for transportation, recurring medical appointments, and childcare. These may or may not be formal workplace accommodations, but they may be aspects of your life that are impacted by your disability and should be addressed prior to starting a job.
The search for employment is not always easy. To help you maintain your enthusiasm, identify people in your life whom you can rely on for encouragement, support, and sound advice. Network with other job seekers and other persons with disabilities who have been successful in finding work. Find ways to support your networks and they will find ways to support you.
Source: Alberta Human Resources and Employment: Employment Series for Persons with Disabilities: Tips for Job Seekers
In addition to regular job search websites access the following resources for more information on diversity hiring.
Consider enlisting the help of a community service provider. Many disability-specific service providers offer programs that can support you throughout your job search.