Having been confined to a wheelchair for much of his adult life world renowned physicist Stephen Hawking – who celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday – knows a thing or two about transcending limitations.
While career challenges come in all shapes and sizes disability is one of the most visual. Tweet: While career challenges come in all shapes and sizes disability is one of the most visual @Angel_HR_UK #MyUSPMonday https://goo.gl/pXLpPx
To paraphrase Stephen Hawking: There is no disguising a wheelchair.
Although disabled people are protected from discrimination by the The Equality Act 2010 research conducted by greatwithdisability.com found that 77% of disabled job applicants were still afraid to disclose their disability to potential employers!
But James Gower of Big Four accountant Ernst & Young (E&Y) who has cerebral palsy wrote in The Guardian:
“Recruiters want to hire real people, with real experiences, and having a disability means you have a unique perspective, an inherent ability to overcome adversity.”
Presenting your challenges as an advantage can be key to getting interviews AND setting you apart from a mass of generic applications. Tweet: Presenting your challenges as an advantage can be key to getting interviews @Angel_HR_UK #MyUSPMonday https://goo.gl/pXLpPx
What to do now?
For more inspiration on what adversity can do for you watch Aimee Mullins’s TED talk here. An athlete, model and actress Mullins is also a double amputee. She says:
“Maybe that’s what adversity gives us: a sense of self, a sense of our own power.” Tweet: Maybe that’s what adversity gives us: a sense of self, a sense of our own power @Angel_HR_UK #MyUSPMonday https://goo.gl/pXLpPx
Ask yourself these questions, as suggested by the University of Kent, when applying for your next role or writing your CV:
· What have I learnt from my disability?
· What difficulties have I overcome?
· What strategies have I used to overcome my disability?
· What transferable skills such as problem solving and flexibility have I developed through managing my disability?
· What beneficial effects has it had on my life?
“Always use positive words and images – focus on what you CAN do, not what you CAN’T.”
Get in contact with a supportive recruitment agency, like Angel. A good consultant will give you well informed advice and help you navigate the job market with more confidence.
Are you at a career crossroads because you feel defined by your disability? Need any guidance on what to do now? Any particular issues or insights? Need help? Let us know!
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