This is a guest blog from Tanya Lee, founder of AbilityVillage. She draws inspiration from her younger brother, Charlie, who refuses to let cerebral palsy stand in the way of his dreams. Her brother is a college graduate and has recently started his career in business. Seeing Charlie refuse to let his disability limit him, Tanya believes that every disabled individual has the ability to follow their career dreams and make amazing things happen.
Today’s job market is challenging for young adults with disabilities, but it doesn’t have to be a scary proposition. In fact, with the right mix of skills, education, and networking, a career in business can be the perfect opportunity to launch an exciting and fulfilling future. With over17,000 businessesoperating just in Somerset, NJ, there are plenty of opportunities for individuals who want to enter the field of business as a career.
Earning a Degree
A degree can be financially beneficial for disabled people andimproves your chancesof landing a good job. Earning a bachelor's degree will help you become more employable in the long term.
Post-secondary education will help you build your resume and network with other students and professionals in your field. Getting a high-quality education doesn't have to be expensive. Many universities offer affordable tuition and living costs, and there are multiplegrantsandscholarshipsavailable to students with disabilities. This financial support can cover tuition fees and living expenses, and the programs can provide mentorship opportunities and job support.
Getting an Internship
Internships provide individuals invaluable experience working in the fields they are studying. There are multiple internships available for people of all abilities. Companies who offer internships are looking for passionate individuals with diverse experience and skillsets. Through SourceAbled, Rangam offers aCareer Chat seriesto provide guidance to individuals with autism, neurodivergence, or disabilities.
When you're ready to begin pursuing an internship, you can go about it in several ways. One of the best ways to find a great internship is to look for one that's aligns with your passions, whether that’s within a specific industry or within the disability communities. For example, deaf individuals could look for internships at deaf schools and organizations. Blind or partially sighted people can intern with companies that manufacture items for the visually impaired. If you're disabled or in a wheelchair, consider looking for internships inaccessibility design.
Building Social Media Connections
In today's competitive job market, disabled people must be proactive when networking online with businesses. Disabled people oftenface significant barrierswhen they're on the job hunt, but LinkedIn can help you stand out by enabling you to connect with a large pool of potential employers. There are several things you can do tomake your LinkedIn profile stand outto employers. First, complete your profile. Include a photo and a summary of your work experience, education, and qualifications to help match your expertise to prospective jobs. Positive, job-specific posts are best because this shows you're committed to advancing your career. When you are actively looking for a job or internship, be sure to respond quickly to any queries you receive.
You Can Start a Successful Career in Business With a Disability
For young individuals who are disabled, today's work economy presents significant challenges — but that shouldn't deter you from launching a career in business. If you're equipped with the right set of skills, knowledge, and connections, a job in business may be the springboard to an exciting and rewarding future. If you're looking for career advice and full-time or part-time job opportunities, join SourceAbled, a career platform designed specifically for people with disabilities.