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Tags: Employment

From transportation limitations to financial issues and barriers to independent living, having a disability can add challenges to aspects of life other people may take for granted. This is also true in the job market, where many job seekers worry about potential employers focusing on a person’s disability rather than his or her skills and qualifications. The truth is that there are plenty of employers out there who are hiring and who recognize the many strengths people with disabilities bring to the workplace. The key to successfully navigating the job market is plenty of preparation, planning, and determination. Here are a few tips to get you started:


Market your skills

Increasing globalization and emerging technologies are changing the job market. While some jobs have been eliminated altogether, new industries and jobs have been crated. As a job seeker, this means that you need to do your research. Match your work experiences, skills, and education to the qualifications of the job for which you are applying. Dues to the competitive nature of the job market right now, you need to be able to do everything that is listed on the required qualifications of the job advertisement, as well as some of the preferred qualifications. If you need more training, get it. If you think you may need some reasonable accommodations to perform the essential job functions, make note of this for future possible discussions with the employer.

Eliminate Gaps in Your Resume

While hiring managers have grown more accustomed to seeing gaps in resumes due to the tough economy, they are still not impressed when they see them. Do anything you can to fill gaps in your resume: obtain a part-time job, volunteer, take classes. Show the hiring manager that you have been busy even though you have not been working full-time and that you have kept your skills updated.


Many people who are unemployed for long periods of time have filled out countless applications and wonder why the phone never rings. It’s because they aren’t targeting their employment search and they are not consistently following up with an employer. Don’t follow up just once; follow-up over and over again. Be persistent – just don’t be a pest!

Network, Network, and Network Some More

Whether you know it or not, you probably do a little networking every day. Does the barista at your favorite coffee shop know how you like your coffee? Do you know the pastor, priest, or members of your congregation at church? These are relationships you are building every day with people in your community. These are the people who you should tell that you are looking for work. Talk to people at parties about their careers. Attend job fairs even if it is just to practice having a conversation with a hiring manager.

The key to finding employment these days is building relationships with hiring managers and connecting with the well connected. Finding work isn’t the impossible dream, if you start making your connections today.

One final thought: Potential employers may ask about your disability and if you would need accommodations is reasonable and expected. However, don’t feel compelled to share detailed personal information about your disability that does not pertain to how you would perform the job.

Charles Lawrence is Florida based Freelance Writer and has been published in local and national periodicals.    Working with those living with disabilities has given him unique insight into that community.   A successful newspaper writer, Charles also has experience on issues surrounding healthcare and medicine. He is a member of the American Medical Writers Association. Charles also has experience in areas such as:  Marketing, Journalistic Medical Writing, Music, the Job Market, Copy Writing and Grant Writing.  He can be contacted at: