Choosing a career is one of the most exciting times of an individual’s life, full of apprehension and the promise of the future. For people with disabilities, it can be a uniquely overwhelming and challenging experience. There are a number of factors that must be taken into account including experience, required skills and education based on industry, job availability and salary requirements. Part of the Lexington Services Transition To Employment (TTE) program is to help members that are interested in joining the workforce or deciding on their educational pathway to pick a career path that is perfect for them. How do students with disabilities decide on a career path? Generally, the best way to move forward is to follow these steps.
Compile A List Of Interests
Everyone wants a job that stokes their interests and gives them the opportunity to work in a field where they are called. Many people spend a lot of needless effort telling people with disabilities what they cannot do or accomplish, limiting their interests in many fields. As technology advances, many fields are much more accessible and many employers are working to create employment programs aimed at employing more people with disabilities. Telling people with disabilities that they need to decide on a career path based on limitations doesn’t take into account their passions or creative solutions that already exist. In order to decide on a career path, the first step should always be to compile a list of career interests and passions that could be turned into a career. At first, remember that nothing is too silly or impossible. Take the time to really get everything out on the list. Then decide on which paths employ interest with the most practical accessibility options. From this list, students with disabilities and can start to formulate a path and their direction going forward.
Assess Work Experience
When thinking about the type of career individuals want, people should be mindful of their work experience and how that will translate in the career field. Have they ever had a job before? Is their experience in a radically different field than their interests? Have they developed the necessary social and workplace skills to join a team? These are all questions that should be asked. In many cases, the skills or experience a person needs to pursue their dream career can be developed through school and collegiate problems, or through specifically designed programs created to help them find independent employment, like TTE at Lexington Services.
Make A Goal
Once a path has been chosen and work experience has been determined, the next step has to be to set a number of goals to accomplish. These benchmarks will act as a transitional plan to help a person with disabilities pursue their career interests. Goals are important for anyone’s career path, but accomplishing a list of goals in pursuit of their career desires will ultimately give people with disabilities the confidence they need to join a workforce that’s still behind on disability hiring, but rapidly changing.
Find A Mentor
One of the last and best things to do to determine the best path forward in a career is to find a mentor. An experienced person with advice and the willingness to help can make all the difference in any career path. At Lexington, we’re happy to mentor young people with disabilities as they moved forward in their career. Contact Lexington now to learn more about TTE and what Lexington can do for you or a loved one just starting their career.