How to Jumpstart a Business Career as a Young Adult Living with a Disability
If you’re a young adult living with a disability and preparing to enter the working world, you may be nervous about your odds of success. The great news is that employers are increasingly recognizing the value of disability inclusion and taking steps to recruit diverse individuals. The International Labour Organization reveals that such inclusive workplaces benefit from increased innovation, improved employee engagement, and a better reputation.
A career in business can be a great pick for young adults with disabilities. This guide explains how you can leverage your unique talents to jumpstart your professional success.
Consider your skills and interests as you chart your path
The business world is broad, with many niche industries and diverse roles to choose from. Narrow down your focus based on your personal interests and talents. Focus Inspired can help you chart your path with career and accountability coaching and seminars. They will work with you to identify and elevate your professional aspirations and unlock your potential.
Talk to working professionals in your target fields
If you’re still uncertain as to which path to pursue, schedule informational interviews with professionals in fields that have piqued your interest. This gives you real-world insights into your possible dream job. The University of California Berkeley offers a list of topics, like asking about their daily responsibilities and inquiring as to how they got their start.
Get the educational credentials you’ll need
Talking to someone about how they got their start can help you figure out what education you may need to break into the business world. While a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient for some roles, more advanced credentials like an MBA can open the doors to more lucrative jobs. The great news is that an education is more accessible than ever before. Forbes notes that online learning is on the rise. This is ideal if your disability poses mobility hurdles.
Use internships to gain practical experience
An internship is a great way to get hands-on experience under the supervision of an experienced professional. Inspiring Interns explains how you can make the most of an internship. They suggest asking questions, volunteering to take on additional tasks, and trying to make connections. Also, make sure to line up letters of recommendation from your internship that can help you get jobs later.
Network, network, network
You can also use your internship as an opportunity to network. The Guardian provides a quick guide to networking success with a disability. For example, instead of seeing your disability as something that demands explanation, consider using it to highlight positive skills that help you to stand out from the crowd. This can also give you a confidence boost.
Prepare to get your first great job
With your education and experience, you can start looking for your first “adult” job. Activate the network you’ve built to look for opportunities. You can also job hunt online. Make sure to prepare a professional resume to accompany your applications. My Perfect Resume has a guide to resume writing, covering everything from formatting to what facts to include.
Depending on the career path you’re pursuing, setting up a website can be a great way to showcase your talents—and, if you’re so inclined, to address your disability and explain how it’s helped you develop as a professional. Work-for-hire platforms like Upwork allow you to hire the freelancers you need to create and promote a stunning website, from graphic designers to content marketing professionals.
The path to your first professional job can be daunting at times—especially if you’re living with a disability. Remember, your disability sets you apart in a positive way. You will bring a unique perspective and skillset to your job that the right employer will recognize and value.
Focus Inspired is all about helping people from all walks of life find career fulfillment and success. We offer a goal-oriented approach to transformational career change. Access more resources like this one via our online educational hub.
Post by Linda Chase