Why Job Hunting with a Disability is like Dating
This post is written in support of DEAM, Disability Employment Awareness Month. #deamMB
Job hunting is tough. It’s a lot like dating; you call around, you put yourself out there, but until you find the ‘right’ one, everything just feels awkward and terrible. Actually the only thing that a terrible interview and a tragic date don’t have in common is negotiating the kiss-or-not-to-kiss crisis. At least in an interview people tend to stick with a firm handshake.
When employers turn down the advances of a qualified job candidate with a disability…my face does one of these:
There are so many fabulous reasons to hire people with disabilities! But an employer reading this blog might think I’m biased. Fair enough, this is after all the Inclusion blog. So how to change their minds, oh faithful readers? We know the employ-ability of the people we support. So how to convince the corporate world?
To start with, Canadians with disabilities have a collective net worth of $25 billion dollars AND are member to the world’s largest minority group. That’s a target market that any business owner should think worthwhile courting.
Another familiar character in both the employment and dating world is the commitment phobe.
You know who’s not afraid of commitment to the job? Employee’s with disabilities are statistically more committed; they show up on time, day in day out, game face on and prepared for whatever the boss has got planned.
My personal favorite dating/hiring dilemma is “what if the potential candidate is needy?” What if you as an employer can’t give them everything they need? What if they are a resource drain on your team?
People are people. People with disabilities are no more likely to be high maintenance than abled candidates. The trick in hiring and dating is to find the person that is right for you. Given the right person-to-organization-to-job fit, your company can only benefit. Finding the right chemistry between your company and a potential employee is a challenge with any candidate, all abilities aside.
But what about the right to accommodation? Buying gear? Physical limitations? Employers might be surprised how inexpensive adaptive gear can be. The CCRW has loads of examples on how to easily make your workplace accessible.
As for physical limitations…the person you’re potentially hiring has a lifetime of experience working with their disability. As an employer you might not see a way to get things done, but don’t let your able-ness blind you. These people got skilzzz.
Phewww! So glad I got that wordy rant off my chest. You guys have any advice you’d like to give employers? Come on! Let’s start Disability Employment Awareness Month off right! Share your ideas and strategies! Any stories?
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