Finding a Job that is Right for You: A Practical Approach to Looking for a Job as a Person with a Disability
Where are the jobs?
The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized information source describing tasks workers do on the job, working conditions, training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects now and in the future.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics provides up to date information on:
- Largest Employment Declines - provides 10 detailed industries with the largest wage and salary employment declines.
- Occupations with the Largest Job Growth - provides similar information as Fastest Growing Occupations but looks at the number of jobs instead of a percentage growth.
- Fastest Growing Occupations - provides information on growing occupations and the rate of change expected in the next few years.
Do you have the skills to do the job?
You found an occupation that sounds interesting. What skills do you need to perform the job? Information about various occupations and the detailed descriptions for these occupations can be found in the U.S Department of Labor's O*Net Website.
Below are links for on-line career resources to assess your skills.
After taking one of the quizzes, you may want to work through the following worksheets to begin developing a job plan.
- Job Priority List Worksheet - Once completed, this worksheet should help you find the kind of job you are looking for while meeting most of your needs and concerns. An example of a completed worksheet is provided.
- Overcoming Obstacles Worksheet - You will encounter some obstacles when searching for a job. This worksheet will help you work through these obstacles and identify solutions. An example of a completed worksheet is provided.
- Personal Inventory Worksheet - This form will help you organize your list and identify your interests, strengths, and weaknesses. An example of a completed Personal Inventory Form will assist you in getting started. Your personal inventory will be used to build your resume and later to convince the employer you have the skills and abilities to successfully fulfill the job requirements.
Does this job meet your financial needs?
One question often asked is "How much does the job pay?" A good online resource to answer this question comes from salary.com. This site takes the job, location, and cost of living for a region to provide a customized report of salary expectations. Once you know the expected salary, compare this with your budget. A tool to help you determine this is the Personal Needs Assessment.
What other options are there to help me enter the workforce?
GettingHired.com is the place where people with disabilities seeking employment, employers committed to hiring people with disabilities, service providers, college disability and career services departments,and disability advocacy groups connect. Click on www.gettinghired.com to learn more.
Hire Disability Solutions provides comprehensive career services to facilitate employment for people with disabilities, veterans, their family members, and others who face challenges in their lives.
Since 1995, ABILITY Jobs has helped 100's of thousands of job seekers with disabilities in their employment search. With the first stand-alone resume bank, employers can actively seek talented people with disabilities looking for work.
An employment option many people choose is a temporary agency. Temporary agency employment is an excellent way to get back into the workforce, gain skills, and reorient you to the job market.
Two of the largest temporary agencies are:
Are there any special federal government programs to hire people with disabilities?
Selective Placement gives federal agencies incentives for hiring people with disabilities. Qualified applicants can be placed into federal agency jobs without going through the competitive placement process. Additional information about federal employment for people with disabilities can be found in People with Disabilities in the Federal Government: An Employment Guide Publication.
I am visually impaired and looking for a job. Are there any programs that can help me identify success stories for other people with low or no vision?
The American Foundation for the Blind has developed a free, Web-based service providing information based on interviews with over 1,000 blind or visually impaired people about their jobs and the technology they use. The Career Connect Web site can be found at: http://www.afb.org/section.asp?Documentid=218
The Olmsted Center for Sight has been a leader in quality services for individuals who are blind or visually impaired since 1907 and offers a broad range of services for people of all ages and degrees of visual impairment.
Is self-employment right for you?
The Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities has a self-assessment for individuals considering self-employment.
If you determine self-employment is for you, the entrepreneurship branch of the Job Accommodation Network can help identify resources in your area to assist you.
What about work-from-home?
Work-from-home is an employment option especially for individuals who have difficulty with transportation, fatigue, or specific schedules.
The Job Accommodation Network has developed a Telecommuting Webpage with resources in telework and work-from-home.
Can you turn a volunteer position into gainful employment?
Volunteering at community service organizations can sometimes lead to employment opportunities. Volunteering allows you the opportunity to showcase your skills and abilities to business and civic leaders in your area. Volunteer Match is a Website dedicated to matching a volunteer with organizations who need volunteers in a geographical area.
What internships may be available?
- The Workforce Recruitment Program from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy actively recruits students with disabilities on college campuses.
- Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD) is a unique consortium composed of large and small universities, well known national employers, and U.S. Government agencies focused on the career employment of college graduates with disabilities.
- Emerging Leaders helps college students with disabilities find and secure fulfilling internship and leadership opportunities. Emerging Leaders helps corporate and nonprofit employers find outstanding young talent for their business ventures and helps managers understand the benefits of considering diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices.
- Entry Point! is a program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) offering outstanding internship opportunities for students with disabilities in science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and some fields of business.
- The National Science Foundation's Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities lists opportunities for scientists and engineers with disabilities.
I am a young adult with a disability. Are there any programs to help me get the training I need to enter the workforce?
If you are a young person with a disability, then you may want to check out the Job Corps Program. The Job Corps Program is a no-cost education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor for young U.S. citizens ages 16 through 24 who meet income guidelines. Job Corps helps young people learn a trade, earn a high school diploma or GED, and get help finding a good job. If you are interested in joining the Job Corps program or finding out more about it, call 800-733-JOBS (1-800-733-5627) or go to the Website to learn more at: http://jobcorps.doleta.gov/