Navigating the waters of job hunting when you suffer from an invisible disability can be tricky and present unique challenges. You may experience barriers to employment due to a lack of understanding or accommodation of your needs, which makes the process even more challenging. Though there are many obstacles, it’s also possible to find fulfilling work that accommodates any needs you may have. In this blog post, we’ll cover a few key tips for effectively job hunting when you have an invisible disability so that you can succeed in interviewing, negotiating salary, and starting your new job.
Do Your Research
Just like when looking for any job, it is important to research potential employers and their policies around inclusion. Doing so allows you to get a sense of what kind of culture they have and whether or not they are likely to be supportive of your needs.
This will help you identify organizations that may better understand your needs and provide more suitable accommodations. Read more about the company that you are looking to apply with. This can include looking at their blogs and social media. You can even look at LinkedIn and see if you might be connected to anyone that works with the company. See if there are any employees at the company who have disabilities like yours—this could be helpful in terms of providing insight on how accessible the organization is. It is also helpful to investigate any diversity and inclusion initiatives they may have in place; if they have taken steps towards creating a more accessible workplace, chances are that your needs will be met as well.
Stay Positive and Be Persistent
Remember to stay focused on the long-term goal of finding employment. As with any job search, we all sometimes face a lot of “no’s” before getting that first opportunity. The long term goal of getting to gain learn new skills, explore new opportunities and gain experience should encourage you to keep pushing forward.
Decide If You Want or Need to Disclose Your Invisible Disability Before the Interview
A hidden disability may not require disclosure unless you are requesting an accommodation. You may choose to disclose your disability ahead of time to ensure the interviewer takes the necessary steps.
Set Up Accommodations Before Interviews
If possible, try to set up any necessary accommodations prior to your interview. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your needs will be taken into consideration during the hiring process. Some companies may even have processes in place for interviewing applicants with disabilities; it’s always best to contact them directly or reach out through a recruiter ahead of time so they know what kind of accommodations you need.
Practice and Be Prepared
As with any job interview it is important to practice before going into an interview. It helps to be prepared. Learn more about the company you are applying for and what they do. Some of this you might already know because of the earlier research you conducted. Practice with mock interviews with friends or family.
Negotiate After Offers Have Been Made
Once you receive a job offer, don’t forget about negotiating salary and benefits! Negotiating pay is especially important if there are certain types of accommodation or equipment needed to do the job effectively or safely. If you need additional support or resources due to your invisible disability, then it’s worth advocating for them during negotiations as well—you may be surprised by how accommodating employers can be once they understand your unique situation.
Living with an invisible disability should not limit anyone’s ability to find meaningful employment — but unfortunately it can add extra challenges when navigating the job search process. Still, there are many strategies that individuals living with an invisible disability can use when considering potential career paths and applying for jobs — such as doing thorough research on organizations ahead of time, setting up accommodations before interviews, and negotiating salary and benefit packages after offers have been made. By taking these steps into account when searching for jobs as someone with an invisible disability, individuals should feel more confident in their ability to find meaningful work opportunities despite any additional challenges they may face along the way!