TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CAREER
Seminars - Books - Articles
Your career is obviously very important to you. It provides you with income to meet your basic needs for food, shelter and clothing with hopefully a little left over for cable TV! But a career is more than just a source of income. In many ways, your career defines who you are as a person. In fact, we often tend to refer to people by their career. We say that she's a lawyer or he's a computer programmer. Our careers also give us a sense of self worth. They make us feel valued by the society in which we live.
Wayne Forster has put together a series of resources to help you Take Control of Your Career and achieve your full potential. Through his seminars, books and articles, Wayne provides you with strategies, tips, ideas and suggestions for maximizing your career opportunities.
Six Steps To Getting The Job You Want
In the consumer marketplace, businesses compete with other businesses to sell their products and services to the buying public. Each business tries to create some competitive advantage that distinguishes their products and services from those of their competitors. They then attempt to communicate this competitive advantage in such a way that convinces the consumer to buy from them instead of from their competitor.
If you think about it, it's really no different in the job marketplace. When you apply for a job, you're in fact competing with other job seekers in attempting to sell your product (you) to potential buyers (employers). It makes sense, therefore, that a job seeker should use the same approach a business uses to sell its product to potential buyers.
That's the premise of Wayne Forsters two-day workshop Six Steps To Getting The Job You Want. Wayne takes the well-established, proven selling process used by successful businesses and adapts it to the job-hunting process.
Step 1: Setting Your Career Goals
Step 2: Assessing Your Strengths
Step 3: Preparing Your Resume
Step 4: Searching For Opportunities
Step 5: Selling Yourself at the Interview
Step 6: Following Up After Your Interview
Six Steps To Getting The Job You Want, by Wayne Forster
Published by Cambridge Educational
Expanding upon his seminar of the same name, Wayne Forsters Six Steps To Getting The Job You Want is a complete how-to job hunting book. Using a variety of checklists and worksheets, the book is a practical, easy-to-read guide to competing and winning in the job market. It contains sample cover letters and sample resumes along with recommended responses to the most frequently asked interview questions. It also includes a special section on Internet job searching and a detailed explanation on how to prepare a career portfolio. Whether you're a recent graduate looking for your first full-time job, an experienced worker seeking a new challenge, a professional on the rise, or a victim of corporate restructuring whatever your situation Six Steps To Getting The Job You Want will help you take control of your career and your life.
Six Steps To Employment For People With Disabilities, by Wayne Forster
Published by Cambridge Educational
Getting a job today can be a difficult, time-consuming and frustrating task. But what if you're a person with a disability? What additional difficulties do you face that make the job search process even more challenging? What barriers must you overcome that a person without a disability doesn't have to contend with? Wayne Forsters Six Steps To Employment For People With Disabilities is designed to help people with disabilities find jobs good paying, rewarding jobs. Full of practical, easy-to-use tips, its designed to help you overcome the obstacles you will face in your job search; to help you present yourself as effectively as possible; to help you show employers that your disability is not a liability. Follow Six Steps To Employment For People With Disabilities and take control of your career and your life!
TO ORDER THIS BOOK
Dispelling Disability Myths in a Job Interview
by Wayne Forster
Published in Abilities Magazine, Spring 2002
Hiring an employee is arguably the most important thing any organization does. The performance of employees, more than any other single factor, determines the success or failure of an organization. The hiring process, therefore, is very stressful for the employer. Theyre concerned about getting the right person for the job. Hiring the wrong person can be very, very costly!
When the job candidate is a person with a disability, the concerns and fears of the employer are compounded. In addition to the normal fear of hiring the wrong person, the employer is concerned that a) the disability will negatively affect the candidates ability to do the job, and b) the disability will present a whole host of other workplace problems.
As a person with a disability, you need to be sensitive to these concerns and fears whether legitimate or imagined and help the employer overcome them. If the employer does not directly raise them during the interview, its to your advantage to draw them out yourself so that you can dispel them.
Here are some of the major concerns employers have about hiring people with disabilities, and suggestions on what to say to help alleviate these concerns.
Will the disability negatively affect the candidates ability to perform the tasks of the job to the required standard?
This is a legitimate concern. By law, an employer may not ask you if you have a disability, but they do have the right to ensure the person they hire can do the job. You have two possible ways to respond. Firstly, if youve done the same or similar job before, you can simply relate how you were able to perform effectively in these previous positions. Secondly, if you can perform the required tasks with some form of reasonable accommodation or adjustment of the work process, indicate so to the employer. Tell them that you are experienced in using these accommodations and that they can be implemented with minimum cost and inconvenience to the employer.
Do I have to change the way we do things around here to accommodate a person with a disability? Wont that be difficult and expensive?
Since you should be much more knowledgeable than the employer about what accommodations would be necessary, its to your advantage to educate the employer about the nature of your disability and how it can be reasonably and inexpensively accommodated. Clearly indicate what accommodations will have to be made and how they can be implemented. Inform the employer about organizations that provide consultation on how to accommodate various disabilities in specific workplace situations. The more they know about accommodating disabilities, the less concern they will have.
Will my customers be reluctant to deal with a person with a disability?
Initially, customers may react negatively to being served by a person with a disability because they may be concerned that service will suffer. This fear is soon dispelled when the customer sees that the person with the disability can perform the job quite adequately. You can also inform the employer that approximately twelve percent of the population has a disability and they all have families and friends, all of whom are potential customers. Having a person with a disability on staff may even help increase business! Its good PR to have a more diverse workforce that includes people with disabilities.
Will my insurance premiums rise if I hire a person with a disability?
This is a common but unfounded fear. Group insurance premiums or workers compensation premiums do not rise if an insured employer hires someone with a disability.
Is a person with a disability an added safety risk to the organization?
Again, this is a legitimate question, particularly for certain types of disabilities. You can help alleviate this fear by reminding the employer that you are just as concerned about your own personal safety as the employer would be. Explain how youve had to deal with safety issues in previous jobs and in your everyday life, and indicate the measures you have taken to avoid accidents and injury risks.
If I fire a person with a disability because they cant do the job, will I be open to charges of discrimination?
Tell the employer that the laws regarding termination of employees for cause are no different for a person with a disability than for a person without a disability. If youve given them every opportunity (including reasonable job accommodations) and they cant or wont do the job, they can be fired for cause. You cant fire them, however, simply because they have a disability no more than you could fire someone because you disagreed with their religious beliefs.
Wont other employees feel awkward or uncomfortable about working with a disabled person, or resent some of the special treatment they get?
Relate how youve always got along well with fellow employees in other jobs and have never encountered any resentment. Dont get defensive or take the concern personally. Its usually based on lack of understanding about disabilities or lack of experience interacting with people with disabilities.
In dealing with all of these concerns and others that may arise, its your attitude thats absolutely critical. You may feel these concerns are unreasonable, unfair, and based on ignorance. And you may be right. You may feel frustrated because of the employers lack of knowledge or understanding about disabilities. But if you react defensively or show impatience, youll kill your chances of getting the job! Youll play to the belief of some that people with disabilities have a chip on their shoulders that theyre bitter, resentful, negative people. And with all the other fears and concerns an employer has about hiring, they dont need bitter, resentful, negative people.
Respond to these concerns as patiently as possible. Handle misunderstanding and misinformation in a professional manner, using it as an opportunity to educate and enlighten the employer. Be as positive a person as you can be. Your positive attitude will help the employer see beyond your disability and see your abilities first!
To Reveal or Not To Reveal? That is the Question!
by Wayne Forster
Published in Careers and the Disabled, Fall 2001
When you apply for a job, you should always be totally up front with the prospective employer.
Good advice? Well
maybe not always. One of the biggest dilemmas for a person with a disability when they apply for a job is whether or not to reveal the disability in their resume. Some people with a visible or apparent disability feel that they might as well tell the employer in their resume because theyre going to find out anyway at the interview. Others with a non-visible or not-so-apparent disability may feel the need to reveal because they want to be honest and open with the employer.
There is no legal requirement to reveal your disability if it has nothing to do with your ability to do the job. If you can perform the tasks of the position to the required standard given your disability or with reasonable accommodation for your disability, there is no obligation on your part to tell the employer about it. But the decision to reveal or not to reveal has less to do with legalities and more to do with smart job searching. It really depends on whether you feel revealing your disability will help or hurt your chances of getting an interview.
Revealing your disability may help when the job youre applying for relates directly to supporting, serving or working with people with disabilities. For example, if you use a wheelchair and you learn of an opening for a program coordinator with the regional office of a national paraplegic association, revealing your disability may work to your advantage because the organization may feel you can better identify with clients who have a similar disability. Revealing may also be a smart move if youre aware that the targeted employer is in the process of implementing an employment equity program and has a strong desire to diversify their workforce by employing a qualified person who has a disability.
In most other cases, though, it is best not to reveal your disability. Remember that the purpose of your resume is to get an interview. You want to omit anything that will give an employer an excuse or an opportunity to screen you out of the process. Like it or not, many employers will react negatively to the thought of hiring a person with a disability at least initially. Once theyve had a chance to meet you, better understand your disability, find out what you can do, and learn how your disability can be easily accommodated at little cost or inconvenience to them, then their attitude may change. But if you get screened out at the resume stage, you never get the opportunity to change their attitude. Sure, an employer is not permitted to discriminate against you in the hiring process because you have a disability. But at the resume stage, how can you tell if youve been discriminated against? Its often very difficult to prove.
For some people, it may not be so much a question of deciding whether to reveal their disability, it may be more of a question of how to hide their disability. Previous jobs, special schools, TDD or TTY phone numbers, or even the names of references may all be clues or indications that you have a disability. What do you do if you want to avoid giving these clues?
The best approach would be to use the functional format for your resume. In the functional resume, you indicate the types of jobs youve held and the type of education youve received, but you omit the specific names of employers or schools. You could also choose to omit references that might reveal your disability. For example, if you served on a committee for the deaf or won an award as the most valuable player in a wheelchair basketball tournament, you may not want to mention that in your resume. Sure, you may want to highlight these accomplishments because they indicate leadership or teamwork skills, but the smart thing to do would be to omit any reference to them. Focus instead on your skills, knowledge and abilities or make generic references to these accomplishments without relating them to a disability. For example, say that you won the MVP award at a basketball tournament. Keep in mind, however, that most employers do not like the functional format because it gives them less information. But it may still be your best option.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing and do not want to reveal this fact, do not include your TDD or TTY number. Alternatively, you can provide a regular telephone number where you can receive messages or, if possible, an email address. If youre successful in getting an interview, you can then inform the employer of your disability and make arrangements for interpreter services at the interview.
In certain circumstances, the job applicant is wise to disclose a disability that is not immediately apparent to prevent future legal action by an employer in the event of a workplace accident that could be blamed on the disability. But the best time to do this would be at the interview, not on your resume.
Frequently in your job search youll come across employers who will require you to fill out an application form in addition to providing a resume. If you dont want to reveal your disability, be careful what information you provide on the application. Its important to know your legal rights with respect to what youre not required to answer and what information you may be best advised to give.
By law, an employer is forbidden from asking on an application form if you have a disability. They can, however, ask a candidate about their ability to perform job-related tasks, as long as the question is not phrased in terms of a disability. For example, the question could be asked as follows: Are you able to perform the tasks required on this job? If you can perform the tasks required of the job with or without reasonable accommodation, you are not required to reveal your disability. If, however, your disability is such that you could not perform the tasks required of the job, even with reasonable accommodation, you might decide to reveal your limitations. Alternatively, you could write in will explain at an interview. Admittedly, this may arouse suspicions on the part of the employer. But if youre not able to perform the tasks anyway, perhaps the job is not right for you.
Keep in mind that not all employers are well versed on what is permissible to ask on an application form and what is not, so you may indeed get questions that are not permitted. Its really your choice if you wish to answer them or not. If you choose not to answer specific questions, be sure to write either Not Applicable or Not Required to Answer in the space provided. If you leave the space blank, your application may be considered incomplete and thus rejected. Its that fine line between avoiding being discriminated against and not getting screened out of the selection process.
If you feel youve been denied a job because you refused to provide information that legally youre not required to give, you have the right to file a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC). Ultimately, if your complaint is upheld, you may have recourse to file a suit against the employer.
In addition to questions about disabilities, in most jurisdictions an employer cannot legally ask questions about age; date or place of birth; gender (male or female); ethnic origin or ethnic origin of parents, spouse or children; maiden name or mothers maiden name; religious affiliation; membership in political or other groups; sexual orientation; marital status; number of children; if pregnant or if you plan to start a family. Obtain a copy of The Americans With Disabilities Act to get a more complete description of your rights as a person with a disability.
If you do decide to reveal, its recommended that you do so in your cover letter, rather than in the main body of your resume. This will enable you to pick and choose what specific information you want to reveal. How you choose to address the issue really depends on the job youre applying for. If the fact that you have a disability is a decided advantage, youll want to be more direct. Otherwise, you may want to make only passing reference to it.
The decision to reveal or not to reveal your disability is an important one, so you want to make it an informed decision. For the person with a disability, getting a job is difficult enough without doing anything to make it even more difficult. If youre unsure if revealing your disability will help or hurt, think it through. Ask friends, family members, and other disabled persons for their opinions. Or consult with business owners that you know and ask them for their perspective. If that still doesnt help, its best to follow the advice When in doubt, leave it out!
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