Linda Chase, from AbleHire.org , has written a guest post discussing tips for disabled individuals at the beginning of their career paths.
For many young people, the prospect of deciding on a career can be overwhelming. There are so many choices to make, and of course there’s a lot of money at stake as well. For individuals with disabilities, it can be a daunting task to figure out the best career moves due to the specific challenges they face everyday. However, the world of business is a great choice because it offers a wide variety of options as well as opportunities for advancement. Here are some tips on how you can get started.
Research your preferred path
Before deciding on a degree, you’ll want to do a little research to figure out which one suits you best. An education in marketing, for instance, is great for individuals who enjoy analytical thinking and putting together campaigns or promotions. International business is perfect for those who enjoy travel and are well-versed in other cultures. Accounting is the right path for those who are math-minded and can easily analyze technical information. Per Indeed, these three areas of business lead to some of the most lucrative careers and can provide multiple opportunities for moving up within a company or even becoming self-employed.
When you’ve chosen a focus area, consider pursuing a degree online. These days, there are scores of at-home educational opportunities from accredited universities, and they often make learning easier for individuals who are living with disabilities.
Consider an internship
The best way to find out if a career path is right for you is to actually work in that sector, and The Balance notes you can get some great experience while you’re working on your degree by participating in an internship. In fact, you can even look into the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program, which is designed to help those between the ages of 18 and 64 who receive SSI or SSDI and are seeking employment.
Not all internships are alike, however; some are paid, while others only count towards college credit. Some are better for summer break, while others can be done part-time throughout the year. Talk to your classmates and advisors to get a sense of what’s available in your area, and read up on the businesses you’re most interested in to find out what they have to offer. Look specifically at their policy for inclusion and find out what they can do to accommodate a disabled individual.
Don’t worry if the company doesn’t match up exactly with your specific major or interest; instead, think in broad terms. Once you’ve spent some time in your internship, you’ll have the experience you need to land a fantastic job doing what you prefer.
Look for an entry-level position
When you’re ready to begin the job hunt, an internship can be a great booster. Not only will it have provided valuable experience, it can also connect you to several people who can help your search. Networking on social media has several benefits, and you can also keep an eye on job boards.
One thing to note when it comes to searching online for a potential first job is that not all listings will include the words “entry-level”. Some might offer training or say that no experience is required, and these are the ones you should go for. Along those same lines, a job listing may ask for one to two years of experience, but this isn’t solely about post-degree work and may include an internship, part-time job, or specific education.
Searching for the right career path can be frustrating, but the business world is a great option for individuals who are living with a disability. With so many choices available and a multitude of educational opportunities, you’ll be able to pick the career that suits you best and advance quickly.
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