Young adults with disabilities, when planning to enter the workforce, may worry about finding a place where their skills and abilities will be valued. Those who experience limited mobility may find certain doors closed to them simply due to physical access and transportation. Those who have hearing or communication difficulties may find it a challenge to even approach the hiring process. So it should be encouraging to learn that many young adults with disabilities are thriving in a surprising sector: business. In fact, many young adults with disabilities opt to bypass the job-hunt altogether and create their own companies.
If you’re considering whether to dip your toes into the waters of business, Microtia UK offers the following insight to help you move forward and find the success you desire.
Employment challenges for persons with disabilities
Many young adults with disabilities must contend with bias in the workplace. Even after they are hired, they often face prejudices, including the dismissal of their accomplishments and the assumption that they were hired simply to check off a diversity box. Many employers are unwilling to put in the time and money to make their workplace physical disability-friendly. Others worry that workers with a disability will be less productive or ask for more time off. In the face of this, the successes won by young adults with disabilities are even more impressive.
How young adults with disabilities are succeeding in business
These individuals are more than just a fringe demographic in the business world. Persons with a disability are more likely to be business owners as those who do not have disabilities. So in spite of the increased challenges they live with, young adults with disabilities are establishing their presence in the economic scene. From starting restaurants to launching design companies, these hard-working and visionary young adults are pursuing their dreams and making a difference. This includes raising awareness of the value of persons with disabilities and creating non-profits to support their efforts.
Business fields to consider
Starting a business is only one path to entrepreneurship. There are many other lucrative career options in business for young adults with disabilities to consider. Some of these jobs can be done remotely, so challenges related to the workplace are less burdensome. Yes, these jobs do typically require a college degree, but with the increase in online degrees and emphasis on diversity in the university, young adults with disabilities can pursue higher education in a variety of fields, often at home and with minimal expense. Some of the higher-earning business degrees to consider include business management, human resource management, and ecommerce management.
The value of internship
In a market where experience is expected even from young entrepreneurs, it can be hard for young adults with disabilities, at the start of their career, to compete. Getting an internship position is one way to gain valuable experience that will look great on a resume. Internships will also allow you to network with influential business leaders and even find a mentor in your field. Having a mentor who also has experienced disability can be a wonderful opportunity for you to grow and learn. You can find internship opportunities via job boards and job fairs, but also by contacting companies you’d love to work with.
Tips for job-hunting
You’ve gotten your training, you’ve completed your internship, and it’s time to try to land a job. This can be an exciting and also a stressful time for anyone, especially if you’re entering the job market with a disability. It’s important not to sell yourself short. Don’t be afraid to really highlight your talents and experience. And you shouldn’t feel you need to hide your disability. In fact, disclosing it can sometimes be an asset, since doing so both demonstrates your authenticity and showcases your achievements.
When creating your CV, look for ways to stand out from the pack. In addition to providing clear and helpful examples of your skills and experience, focus on writing powerful descriptions and an eye-catching profile.
Knowing where to look for a job can feel like falling down a rabbithole. While it’s ideal to find a job through your network, searching job boards or working with a staffing agency can help you more quickly zero in on a specific opportunity. Persistence is key, but remember to be patient too.
Even though young adults with disabilities still face workplace discrimination and obstacles to success, there are many individuals and organizations in their community who will value them and support their efforts.
Written by Lisa Walker of jobdreamteam.com