How to Reenter the Workforce if You Have a Disability

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The need to temporarily step back from the workforce can happen for a variety of reasons, including a disability. If you’re ready to get back to work, there are steps you can take to ensure a successful reentry into employment. Read our guide on reentering the workforce if you have a disability.

Life happens, and sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back from employment for a period of time. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including those that are related to a disability. Reentering the workforce with an existing or newly-acquired disability can be daunting. However, there are steps you can take to help ensure a successful outcome.

The first thing to consider is what type of work is best for you, whether it’s part-time, full-time, remote, in-person, hybrid, or whatever combination would best suit your wants and needs. Then, it’s time to start your job search.  

Before you begin applying for jobs, there are things you should consider at each phase of the process. Here’s our guide on how to reenter the workforce if you have a disability.

Preparing Your Resume

Whether you’re reentering the workforce with an existing disability or one that has been newly acquired, it’s important to have a strong, updated resume that highlights your skills and knowledge.

It’s also important to remember that the jobs you’re applying for might require new certifications, coursework, or skills. This is a good time to put in the work so you can reflect these updates on your resume – even to show that you’re currently enrolled in a course. 

Your resume is your chance to stand out from the crowd. Tailoring your messaging to reflect what the organization is looking for based on the job posting, using active language, and focusing on your skills can help make your resume memorable. For more tips, check out our blog post about how to create a resume if you have a disability.

Choosing Whether or Not to Disclose Your Disability

Reentering the workforce with a disability can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’re doing so with a newly acquired disability. If you’re wondering if and when you should disclose your disability, remember that you’re not required to do so. It’s a highly personal and individual decision. 

In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace. If you’re returning to work with a newly-acquired disability, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the various laws and protections.

While you don’t have to disclose your disability, you may find that doing so will give you confidence to show up as your authentic self and help explain any gaps in your work history. 

If you’re unsure when you might like to disclose or would like some tips on how to do so, we offer some guidance for disclosing your disability in our blog

Getting Ready for an Interview

If you’re feeling nervous about an impending job interview, know that it’s not just you. According to a survey from JDP, 93% of job candidates have experienced anxiety related to their interview. The important thing is to be confident, which, of course, is easier said than done. 

Luckily, there are tips that can help get you interview-ready, such as knowing the value that you bring to the role, doing your research and coming prepared, and practicing your responses to questions – especially those that may be related to your ability to perform the job. Check out our Interview Confidence Tips for Workers with Disabilities blog for more tips. 

It’s also helpful to do some research into any evolutions or developments that may have taken place in your field and stay up to date on best practices. This can help demonstrate to interviewers that your time out of the workforce has not had a negative impact on your knowledge or skills.

Prepping For Your First Day

Congratulations! You got the job. Now what? First days are filled with excitement and nervousness, but a little preparation can go a long way.

If you haven’t disclosed your disability thus far, you may choose to prior to your first day if you require reasonable accommodations, such as software or special equipment. To help you navigate this process, be sure to read our guide to workplace accommodations.

Though we’re on the path to pre-pandemic levels of interaction, many employers are still embracing remote worka, especially for admin roles like administrative technicians, data entry clerks, and office specialists. If you’ve secured a remote position, you’ll need to prepare your own workspace before your first day. Set up your remote workspace using our Remote Work Tips for Workers with Disabilities blog.

Let Galt Foundation Help You

Want help reentering the workforce? We’re here to help. Galt Foundation is one of the world’s largest temporary staffing organizations for individuals with disabilities. With over 20 years of experience, we’ll support you through the employment process and match you with the right job opportunity.

Feel free to get in touch with our expert team. You can reach us here or call us at 1-877-361-1277 – we’re always happy to help!

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