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Looking for work if you’re disabled

Disabled worker in meeting with collague

If you have a disability or long term health condition, you’re protected against discrimination by law. Over recent decades we’ve seen a huge change in workplace culture in the UK, but it’s important to acknowledge that applying for a job is still not always easy.

By considering companies that hold a Disability Confident badge, you can be assured that the company has committed to build a more inclusive workplace that gives disabled people an opportunity to thrive at work.

And the great news is that more than 18,000 companies have signed up nationwide.

What is Disability Confident?

Disability Confident is a Government-backed 3-step scheme  promoting good employer practices to support disabled people to get into work and progress. 

This means you can be confident approaching a signed-up company about workplace adjustments, alternative interview formats or any other variation that might help you get in and get on at their company.

Get confident

Not all companies may have heard of Disability Confident yet. That doesn’t mean that a company who isn’t signed up won’t treat you fairly – quite the contrary, most companies just want great people to fill their roles.

But like any jobseeker you’ll want to know all about a company before you apply, and researching whether it’s Disability Confident could be a smart move.

You can now filter your ‘Find a job’ search by Disability Confident companies, so this could be a great place to start your job search.

And of course we know how hard it can be to build inner confidence and resilience to apply for jobs and seek promotions. Several Disability Confident employers encourage their own disabled employees to share ideas and tips in employee networks and to offer ideas to improve workplace practice. You can find some tips on building confidence on Purple Space.

Search for Disability Confident jobs on Find a job.

5 transferable skills that employers are looking for

Transferable skills

Transferable skills can make you really stand out to employers, even if you don’t have specific experience in their industry. If you don’t have any previous work experience, these can be gained from also from hobbies, voluntary work or even playing sport. If you can normally get out of doing the dishes, you’ve inadvertently been practising your influencing skills!

You are likely to have a whole set of valuable skills you can take with you from one job to another.

It’s worth knowing what skills are most wanted by employers so you can highlight them in upcoming job applications. Take a look at some of the top skills employers are looking for (according to LinkedIn’s 2019 survey):

1. Creativity

Whether you come up with a new, inventive idea or find a solution to a difficult problem, thinking outside of the box and displaying creativity can make a real difference in many jobs.

2. People Skills

Convincing others and listening well are really valuable, particularly in customer service and sales jobs.

Working as a team not only drives greater productivity for the business, but it also builds healthy and supportive relationships to make it a great place to work.

3. Adaptability

Being adaptable means you are able to respond quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, and other processes at work. It’s a good way to show you’re flexible and eager to learn.

4. Leadership

Being someone who can coach, empower and support those around you is a great skill in the workplace. It helps you get the best out of the team you are working in.

5. Time Management

Being able to monitor your workload and meet deadlines is an important skill in any job, and it helps you make the most of your time to accomplish ,more in shorter periods.

 

When you next apply for a job, start by making a list of all ways you’ve built up transferable skills, and explain how you have used them in your CV or job application. You might just find a new career is closer than you think.

Make sure to consider applying for jobs in critical industries which are expanding right now such as logistics, food retail, and agriculture. Many vacancies require little or no experience with training on the job.

The National Careers Service can also help you consider jobs or careers that could fit your transferable skills by using their interactive checker.  And if you’re looking to brush up some digital or numeracy skills, then check out the free online bite-sized courses at the Skills Toolkit.

5 tricks to keep your job search productive

Job search

Finding yourself slipping out of the job search routine?

Here are five ways to stay focused and on track:

1. Set time aside to research

Put aside an hour a day to research and contact companies you want to work for. With up to 60% of all jobs going unadvertised, dealing with companies directly is often the best way of hearing about the best jobs: but you can’t go in unarmed. Research a company and make enquiry phone calls or emails to find out more detail if you need to.

Ask to talk to the hiring manager. It sounds pushy but can often get you where you want to go.

If you’re not sure where to start try searching on job boards such as Find a job.

2. Maintain a routine

It is essential to treat your job search like an actual job. That means waking in the morning, showering and getting dressed, eating a good breakfast and sitting down and working, just like any other job. Keep distractions such as TV to a minimum, and focus fully on your search. Not only will you be more productive, but keeping that routine will be useful when you bag that job and have to get up early anyway.

3. Stay organised

As well as approaching your job search like a job, it’s important to document your activity outside of the ‘Sent Messages’ folder of your e-mail inbox. Use Google Docs (or just a plain old paper and pen) to keep track of which jobs you applied for and when, as well as useful info such as where you saw the job, and when the closing date was.

4. Use Google to your advantage

While job boards are a fantastic way of finding new roles, Google is a powerful search tool that can give you the edge in your job hunt – if you know how to use it. Use the advanced settings to search jobs posted within the last 7 days, and use quotation marks around specific phrases, such as “admin assistant” + Oldham, to find the pages most relevant to you.

5. Use browser extensions to avoid distractions

It’s easy to fall down the Facebook hole or waste time checking your inbox when you’re searching for jobs online, but it does slow you down… a lot. Use browser extensions such as StayFocusd to block certain websites during the day and stay on track with your job search.