Boost Your Career Search – Technology Tips for Disabled Job Seekers

Guest Post by Patrick Young  

Patrick Young is an educator and activist. He believes people with disabilities must live within a unique set of circumstances – the outside world often either underestimates them or ignores their needs altogether. He created Able USA to offer helpful resources to people with disabilities and to provide advice on navigating various aspects of life as a person with disabilities.

 

These days, technology makes nearly every aspect of our lives easier. When it comes to boosting your career or starting out in a new field, there are several ways that tech can help you get started, and they can be especially helpful if you are living with a disability. From finding the right job that allows you to work from home to finding physical tools(https://www.itbusiness.ca/news/six-ways-technology-can-help-disabled-employees/16544) to make your job easier, there are many apps, sites, and pieces of tech that can help you find what you need.

 

Getting Started 

Before you get started, consider what might help you the most. Do you need to find a job in a new field? Are you looking for something more challenging than your last job? Perhaps you want a career that allows you some freedom when it comes to flexible hours  (https://blog.cheapism.com/flexible-jobs/) or something that will give you the chance to work with other disabled individuals. Carefully consider your needs and how best to ensure that they are met no matter which career path you choose.

Here are a few great tips on how to utilize tech when it comes to your career.

Job Hunting

When searching for a new job, you can make the process much easier by using staffing firms. In addition to traditional staffing agencies in and around your area, you may also benefit from contacting a firm that specializes in helping disabled individuals connect with jobs that suit their skillset. For example, SourceAbled (https://www.sourceabled.com/) prides itself on “an integrated solution for attracting and hiring qualified talent with unique abilities.”

Alternatively, many companies use  these (https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/299320) online job boards to recruit freelancers, whether they’re looking for web development, IT, writing, or legal help. You can narrow down your search according to various factors, including freelance work, which is often perfect for individuals with mobility issues who prefer remote work (https://www.upwork.com/i/how-it-works/freelancer/). Most job boards even have apps that can help you easily keep up with the jobs you’ve applied for, as well as which employer have new openings.

Use an App for Interviews and Research

These days, there are tons of apps you can download that will help you with everything from figuring out the best interview tactics to researching the company you’re interested in. You can even prepare for interviews (https://zety.com/blog/interview-tips) by utilizing an app with a live video session, which will help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses.

Build Up Your Resume

It can be tricky to start out on a new job path or to try and advance your career after years of working in the same field, but one of the best ways to get started is to build up your resume and turn it into a glowing review of your past work. If you need a boost, consider hiring a résumé-writing professional who can help you create one that will garner attention from the best employers.

Make Connection a Priority

Last, but certainly not least, one of the easiest ways to stay connected with clients, customers, or employees is to have the right tools (https://zooxsmart.com/en/tools-we-love-for-remote-management/). These days, there are numerous online services that facilitate virtual meetings, allow you to share files and keep track of tasks. Plus, if you become adept (https://www.skillcrush.com/blog/remote-resume/) in these collaboration tools, you’ll get bonus points from potential employers or clients. Just be sure you’re covered security-wise (https://www.verizon.com/info/digital-security/) on your network and devices to ward off any cybersecurity issues.

Using tech to advance your career can help you find a fantastic new job or fuel your career with new opportunities, but it’s important to find the right tools for your needs. So, put together a plan before you get started so you’ll have a good idea of where to look, and keep your abilities in mind before making any major decisions.

 

Job Search Surprises > 5 ways to be prepared

Sometimes job seekers are pretty surprised…ok, shocked, to learn that their job is ending. Perhaps there is a merger and suddenly the job is cut. Or a top performer feels their job is secure but a new manager is just not in sync with their style and they are surprised by a pink slip. While we cannot always avoid such surprising news, we can be prepared and therefore be one step ahead…just in case.

How to Prepare:

  • Resume – Keep that resume up to date. Be sure to keep notes on important accomplishments and projects for easy updates.
  • Network – Networking on an ongoing basis one of the most important things you can do. Look for ways to keep in touch with contacts and do things for others. What goes around comes around.
  • Life-long Learning – Seek out learning opportunities both on and off the job. This makes you a valuable player.
  • LinkedIn – Keep your linkedin profile up to date. Review your summary to see if it conveys your brand and your relevant strengths. Your “headline” should market you, not your company.
  • Target Preferred Companies – Be proactive in finding companies that fit with your goals and find ways to network with people who work there. If you only focus on posted jobs you are missing out on the hidden job market.

If you ever do get an unwelcome surprise, be professional about your relationship with your employer. You never know what the future holds. And, in the meantime, you will be prepared to go forward.

 

Best of Success,

Diane

Job Search: 5 Ways to Get Inspired in the New Year

Now that the confetti of the New Year has settled, how is your job search going? Are you stuck? Do you feel a lack of enthusiasm? Can you use some inspiration?

During the quieter end of December, I had some time to do a few things that had been tabled for way too long – things like webinars, outings with friends, and quiet time to read. After a few days of this gift of time to journey through these happenings, I honestly felt reinvigorated. Learning some new things, I also felt inspired with new ideas and approaches to business.

So, here are some ideas that I hope will inspire you, too. The key is taking time out to do something of your own choosing, which I think is truly energizing. And, I believe that it is important to plan time in your calendar to periodically do this.

Here are 5 ideas that may inspire you in the New Year:

  1. Industry Relevant – Listen to some webinars in your field. Search through your industry professional associations or use Google to help find 1 to 2-hour sessions that are practical and offer industry-relevant information or skills that are cutting edge.
  2. Social Media – Have you been hearing about twitter and Instagram but have no clue? Your smartphone has tons of apps that everyone is using and you don’t know which ones you should even have? Find classes or watch some YouTube videos on “how to.”
  3. Self Improvement – Whether it’s a consultation at your favorite salon, a new fitness program, or healthier approaches to eating, now is a great time to explore a change. Allow yourself to have fun in the process and make it manageable change so that you can stick with it.
  4. Career Experts – Do you find yourself overwhelmed in the search process? Perhaps it’s time to use an expert. If your old approach was not working, then you need to do something different. Investing money for an expert can pay off exponentially when you land a position sooner because you used help.
  5. Fun – Is there a hobby you have lost touch with? Sewing, carpentry, gardening, reading, tennis, running, swimming, mah jong….whatever it is for you. Making time for regular fun in your life is important for your mood and the attitude you project to others.

I hope these ideas will help you feel ready to pick up your job search with new energy, confidence, and a fresh outlook for success!

Stop, Breathe, Take a Fresh Look!

Job search is not static. All of the parts move and change ALL of the time. The question is, are you static? Maybe it’s time to stop, breathe, and take a fresh look at what you are doing and what your career documents are projecting about you. Are they interacting effectively in the job search market?

Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Is your résumé projecting the right target?

Can the reader quickly see what type of position you are targeting? Do you have a summary section? Sounds obvious but many job seekers miss this opportunity to market themselves here. Your summary should include words that match job titles and the level of the position you seek. It must be a snapshot of what makes you a great candidate and showcase the value you bring to the table.

  1. Do you have a presence on LinkedIn?

This is a critical vehicle for your online presence and for business credibility. Recruiters are incredulous when a job seeker does not have a LinkedIn profile. It’s as if the person is antiquated because they are not using business social media. So, create a profile! Make it powerful, truthful, and concise. Showcase your highlights…not your résumé. Use your page to learn and share info on “Groups.” And build relationships – not just numbers – by connecting and engaging others.

  1. Are you live networking?

Are you face-to-face networking at professional association meetings? These groups are filled with colleagues who are in your profession! Go to meetings. Develop relationships with others in your field. Volunteer in the organization. Pay it forward. Listen to speakers to learn new things. Good things will happen from this. Remember to keep this up even AFTER you get your new job. It is part of a life-long career management strategy, not just when you are in need of a new job.

Hope these ideas will help you take a fresh look at what you can do to jump start your search in 2016. Happy New Year!

How to Stay Positive in a Tough Market

It can be hard to stay motivated in a job search when we all know what the current job market is like. Plus, so many others we know are worried about their job security or maybe even recently downsized…which makes us feel worried, too! There are industries with no jobs, companies shutting down, and bills piling up. So, how can you stay positive and keep on searching during a difficult economy?

Sometimes it helps to vent, to complain, and yes, to whine……to “let it out” and get it out of the way. So – go ahead and commiserate with your friends…..and then MOVE ON! Sitting around brooding is not going to get you a new job. In fact, continuing to focus on the negative will affect your mood, your efforts, and the way you come across to others. I recommend you consider the following steps to help you feel more POSITIVE which will help with your search in the long run:

  • Be sure you are realistic in your search – Are you targeting positions that you are qualified for? If not, explore your options.
  • Enjoy a hobby or fitness activities – It may help to have a release for any negative energy and will probably put you in a happier, healthier frame of mind when you meet others.
  • Enlist the support of friends and family – Let them know how they can help you. Be frank if they are pressuring you unreasonably. Include them in what steps you are taking to reach your goals.
  • Learn something new – Learning new things can motivate you to feel excited about yourself, and could potentially help you in some way.
  • Be interested in others – Listen to what is going on for them and see how you can help in any way.
  • Consider a part-time position – Perhaps there is something part-time or flexible that would bring in some money to help with the bills in the meantime.
  • Check out job transition groups – These can be a wonderful support to you during these times, and most likely can help with effective, productive strategies for your search.

 

I hope these tips help you in some way! Best of success in your search!