Business Careers

Business Careers for Adults with Disabilities

Careers in business can sometimes be a good fit for adults with disabilities. While there are many different types of disabilities, ranging from hearing or sight impairment to autism and anxiety disorders, and no job is ideal for everyone, there are many options to choose from. Trends Wallet encourages you to read on for tips on choosing a career field and finding internships and jobs.

Career possibilities

The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) was signed into Federal law in 1990. It has been expanded since then, but in a general way, it prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants, employees, and customers on the basis of their disabilities. In 2018, over 9.4% of U.S. federal employees identified themselves as persons with disabilities (PWD). 

Besides the federal government, there are many private companies that seek to employ persons with disabilities. Some areas where lucrative careers may be found include business marketing, health care management, finance management, business economics, or administration, and many will do well as entrepreneurs.

Earn a degree in a relevant field

Students who earn degrees on their own time are often able to save money as they don’t have to worry about commuting or taking up residence near a college. Earning a business degree online allows students to gain knowledge in multiple aspects of business such as finance, management, accounting, economics, and other necessary aspects that can provide them with the skills needed for success in any professional career path. In order to earn your business bachelor’s degree, look for an accredited program with affordable tuition. 

Prepare for your first job with internships and volunteering

Preparation is key to getting your first job. Preparation begins long before the actual job application. It starts with selecting the best education or training program for your career. Working at an internship in your chosen field is a great idea. Securing an internship while still in school is ideal, but applying for one immediately after finishing is also good. An internship can be very useful in that it helps you to gain work experience, there’s a possibility of obtaining a mentor and getting professional references, and it also allows you to experience what working in the field is actually like, day to day. 

Volunteering is another way to prepare for job seeking, in that it can build your confidence and experience, add to your resume, help you make connections, and experience working in a particular field.

Use the internet to find a job

Applying for jobs can be challenging, but with the right approach, your job search can be successful. While there are many job sites on the internet, it’s a good idea to focus on just a few. LinkedIn, Glass Door, and Indeed are among the most popular, and there are also many websites with job postings specifically oriented toward helping PWD find work. 

If you choose to use a large social media site such as LinkedIn, for example, in your search, it’s important to do it properly. Don’t use LinkedIn as you would a more social site, such as Instagram. It’s important to have a professional-looking photo of yourself and to keep the focus strictly on business and your education for business. Be sure to fully complete your profile, and keep all posts positive and relevant to your chosen field. Make sure you respond to any requests for connection or information promptly.

Write a stellar resume

To create an outstanding resume, start by focusing on the content – clearly list your education and work experience, highlighting any relevant awards you may have received. Make sure to tailor each version of your resume to the job description, so it reflects each employer’s individual needs. Your resume should be well organized so that employers will be able to quickly find what they are looking for. Instead of designing a resume from scratch, try a free online resume generator. This online tool lets you choose a template which you can adapt by adding photos, images, and text.

Other job searching tips

Tell your friends, family, and mentors that you are looking for a job in your particular area of interest. Have someone already employed in your industry look over your resume and cover letter. Connect with nonprofits and local agencies in your area that may be helpful. Prepare for job interviews by role-playing with a friend. Take the time to research the companies where you have interviews, so you can ask intelligent questions. 

Many colleges and universities have alumni networks that assist graduates in searching for jobs, and these can be extremely useful. You might even check Meetup groups in your area to see if any are focused on your chosen field. If you find one that seems relevant, go and make as many contacts as possible. Last but not least, after your job interview, send a brief but professional ‘thank you’ note to the person who interviewed you and convey your continued interest.

Career opportunities for people with disabilities are continually expanding. It’s important to take time to select your area of interest and education for it. Pursuing an internship, volunteer work, or a mentor can be very useful as stepping stones to your first job. Make use of online career and job sites and write a stellar resume. Finding a job is a job in itself, but with the proper preparation and persistence, you can be successful.

By Michael Caine

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