Before You Start to Look For Work
So far in my blogs I have talked about confidence and disclosure in relation to finding a job with a learning disability. Today I am going to discuss preparing for job searching. Things you need to do and questions that you need to ask yourself and others; questions like:
What jobs would you like to do?
What interests you about these jobs?
Who do you know that works in the industry/field?
What type of hours are you willing to work?
What type of jobs wouldn’t you like to do?
These questions may seem obvious, but every person looking for work should ask them. It may be more important for someone with a learning disability, simply because if they are doing something they like, or already have knowledge of, they may have coping mechanisms or personal accommodations already in place.
Another good thing to do, maybe simply for motivation, is to make a list of ‘5 reasons to get a job’, and since earning money would be at the top of that list, maybe you can make another list, or set of goals, ‘things I can do with my money’.
In a perfect world, that may be all you need to do to get a job, but jobs are not plentiful and there are other things that you need to take into consideration. There are barriers to getting any job, and you have to present yourself as a qualified, or ‘the best’ person for the job. You have to think ahead, about how you can combat these barriers.
How to Overcome Barriers to Getting a Job
LACK OF WORK EXPERIENCE
|Don’t take bad habits with you. You can be taught new skills.||You might not like the job. Some employers need experience.|
|Have understanding of individual needs and coping skills.||May impact on my career choice.|
|LITTLE OR NO WORK HISTORY||Come in fresh, able to learn tasks from the beginning.||Employer may be suspicious of why someone has not worked|
SELF ESTEEMRemembering things in my earlier blog, it is important to be confident in yourself, so as you begin your job search it is important to state or restate this confidence by making a list.
WRITE FIVE GOOD THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF:
These are some of the things you should do, or need to take into account before searching for a job. There are numerous others that are suggested and still more that are needed, (e.g. a resume and cover letter) but knowing what type of work you would like to do, identifying and combating barriers to you working in that field are, and realizing and stating your strengths, are all important ways to finding employment in which you can succeed.