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How Do You Get a Job After Being on Disability for Ten Years

Problems one dissabled person encounters when looking for work in todays job market.

When you are considered high functioning with a psychiatric disability and physical disability, employers look at you as a giant risk to their company.  You spend thousands of hours searching the Internet job boards, your state workforce center, newspapers, and asking everyone you come in contact with if they know of anyone who is hiring and still the leads are slim.  Finally you get the chance to fill out an application and when you get to the work history portion of the application you start to panic.

What do I e put in here?  I haven’t had a real job, other than picking up dog poo in the last ten years.  I have done volunteer work, not for any company but work for people who have no one else to speak up for them for the past four years, so how can I get that work counted?  The answer is you have to just trust that employers are not going to discriminate against you because of your condition, and the fact that you are willing to go out and find something that fills the days with productive work, even if it isn’t for a corporation, church, or other money generating outfit.

The reality of it is employers are going to look at your work history and think to themselves, “This person is to big of a risk for me to take.”  With all the other applicants who are competing for the same job they are going to be more likely to hire the person with four DUI convictions, or those who are known to just show up for the check before they will take a chance on the person with a disability that is more qualified for the job.

If you think you can get training to go back to work, you should be sure you are dealing with people who are not going to hold your inabilities to be an honor roll student, or the fact that you are middle aged against you.  Their response will be “if we send you back to school we are just setting you up for failure.”  You may not have the math skills that Vocational Rehabilitation believes you need to graduate from a two year, or six-month higher education program.  They instead will want to send you out on job interviews that require your have top notches skills that you wanted to go to school to get in the first place.  They will send you out on job interviews that are not compatible with your disabilities because well, that’s what they think you are best suited for.

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