As a person with a physical or mental disability, you likely worry about the future. The prevalence of unemployment is exponentially high among people with disabilities. However, there are jobs that make sense for folks of all abilities and with different types of interests. If you’re looking to pursue a career in business, here are a few options to consider, courtesy of Virtual Job Search Coach.
While a college degree is not always required to find gainful employment, when you want to work in the business sector, as many people with disabilities do, it’s almost a necessity. Going to school now, whether in person or online, is a great way to boost your career knowledge. If you choose the remote education route, you can study at your own pace while earning a degree from an accredited and reputable institution. So, which degrees make the most sense for business? That depends on your interests. Pharmacology, technology, education, marketing, and general business are all top choices.
Top Job Choices
People with disabilities are not boxed into a particular field. You could choose to work in any number of positions, from the lowest rung on the career ladder all the way up to the executive suite. A few great choices include:
- Research scientist. If you have a drive to be in the pharmaceutical or biotech industries, working as a research scientist can be a great choice. And there are many remote jobs available if you want to pursue your passion while working from home.
- Business manager. According to NVision, people that are visually impaired might consider a job in business management. The laser vision institute also notes that visually impaired people are typically qualified for any job as their seeing peers.
- Social media specialist. If you can’t keep yourself off Instagram, consider working for others as a social media specialist. You’ll create content to share across social media platforms to help your clients build their own client base.
- Customer service. Customer service technicians are usually the front face of businesses. Most often, this is a desk job, and you can often work from home.
- HR specialist. If you like solving problems and helping to keep employees happy, then human resources could be the field for you.
- Teacher. If you’re not ready to dive into business just yet, why not teach? Depending on the area of study, you can later apply the experience to your business career. As a person with a disability, being around children also means helping to break stereotypes. Plus, summers off!
An internship may be either a paid or unpaid position in a company. Corporations often bring in college students for credit or in what amounts to a trial run for employment. Internships are highly coveted and competition is fierce. With a great resume and exceptional cover letter, however, you may be able to get your foot in the door and get yourself noticed when an internship opportunity of interest arises.
Getting a Job
If your goal is to find full-time employment, you’ll have to undergo the same steps in putting yourself out there as a candidate. So you’ll need to keep your resume polished and have a cover letter framework you can easily revise. To make yourself a more marketable candidate, be sure to update your LinkedIn profile. Add a professional photo, then avoid or remove any posts that might be deemed negative, to better put this social media tool to work for you. LinkedIn is a great way to network with other people in your industry.
Something else to bear in mind: these days, more and more people are working from home. So if that’s your goal, make sure you set aside a designated office space where you can focus on work without personal distractions. If your home requires some renovation to provide that space, don’t worry! Certain home improvements have the added benefit of boosting your home’s appraisal value as well, so it’s a win-win!
There are many unique concerns among people with disabilities when entering the workforce. One is the question of whether or not you can still receive federal or state benefits. As of 2021, you can only earn up to $1,310 per month before your SSDI benefits are cut or denied. Something else to consider is whether or not you plan to disclose a disability during the interview process. The truth is that you do not have to disclose a disability, but you may be asked if you can do your target job and, if so, do you need reasonable accommodation to do so?
While there remain a few unique obstacles to employment for those of us with disabilities, you aren’t precluded from any industry – nor should you be. You’ve already demonstrated your ability to face any challenge. Now, with the right education and a willingness to work to your best ability, you can find a job in the business world that will allow you to live independently and on your own terms.