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When you’re job hunting, does it leave you discouraged? You’ve been applying to job after job, but the results are always the same: rejections or no response. I recently got rejected from 2 jobs that I thought I was qualified for at an organization that I was passionate about.
Only 15% of individuals with intellectual disabilities have jobs. There are many challenges to getting hired or even landing an interview when you have a disability. But why is that? There is still a lot of discomfort and uncertainty among individuals with disabilities. I graduated from the College of Charleston in May 2016, and I was in the REACH Program, a four year fully inclusive program for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. This program prepared me for many things, but one thing it didn’t prepare me for was how hard the job hunt was going to be as an individual with a disability.
After graduating, I did an AmeriCorps Term at Trident United Way in North Charleston, South Carolina with their Financial Stability Project. I served individuals at or below the poverty line access financial assistance. At my service site, Metanoia, I served in the Housing Department with Tony Joyner. I assisted Tony with Metanoia’s housing programs and helped him with the Financial Literacy and Homebuyer Education classes.
I’ve been searching for jobs since my term ended and It is a long and exhausting process. I’ve applied to a lot of jobs this year: but once you hit the submit button it is out of your hands. It is up to the employer if they want to reach out for an interview or if they want to reach out to tell you whether or not you got the job.
Here are my five tips for surviving unemployment, job hunting and everything in between!
1. Send, send, send!
Make sure you’re looking for jobs on a regular basis. Rejection is a common theme when you're applying to jobs. Have a Plan B ( or C, D, or E)! It’s not going to work out the way you want it too.
2. Self- Care
Job hunting can leave you discouraged. It is a long and exhausting process that seems never-ending. Take time for yourself, even if it means distancing yourself from your friends for a while. If you don’t know where to start, I suggest making a list of what helps you relax!
3.Establish a Routine
Don’t just sit around the house all day. Change scenery, go to a coffee shop. I know I’m always more productive when I’m out of the house, and I don’t have any distractions. If you’re a Binge Watcher (yes, you), multitask and apply to jobs while you're watching.
4. Stay engaged
A lot is going on in the political climate today, make sure to stay current with what’s going on. There are a lot of ways to stay informed: twitter, blogs, news outlets. Volunteering is a great way to help your community and stay informed about what's going on in your community (and what could affect you directly).
5. See people, meet people
The job hunt can often feel very isolating. I feel like all my friends are in different places in their lives and I have such a long way to go. Making time to see my friends and being honest about my situation has helped. My friends have helped me through this process. Meet new people and get out of your comfort zone. You never know who will have a significant lead on a great job. Knowing the right people and networking is key to getting a job today. Put your name out there, that way people know you are looking for a job.
Hey lovelies! I’m Mary, a 25-year-old writer. I love a sunny day on the beach and jamming out to music. I created Dishability to engage in conversations around my struggle with Depression/Anxiety and Bipolar 2 as well as being a Queer, Disabled Woman.