This week’s blog has been written by our new guest blogger Holly Tuke, the award nominated disability and lifestyle blogger behind the successful blog Life of a Blind Girl.
10 Tips on looking for a job when you have a visual impairment
Finding a job can be difficult, even more so when you have a visual impairment or any other disability, but it can also be very rewarding knowing that you have got over many hurdles.
I have a visual impairment myself and I am registered as blind as I have no useful vision so I know what it can be like to find a job when you have a visual impairment.
I graduated university in 2017 so getting a job was constantly on my mind, as I knew that I couldn’t do basic jobs such as working in a shop, pub/restaurant, cafe or those sorts of things to just tie me over. I was working for a visual impairment charity whilst I was in my third year of university for a few hours a week so this was something to do whilst I was looking for a graduate job.
I don’t think I was fully prepared for how difficult it was going to be, I knew that it would be hard but I don’t think that I was fully prepared. I even considered changing my career path or going into postgraduate study.
Nevertheless, I managed to get myself a job in November 2017 which I absolutely love. So, I want to share 10 tips with you on looking for a job when you have a visual impairment.
1. Know what field you want to go into
This is so important whether you have a disability or not, but I’d say that it is key when you have a disability as you can look for jobs in that specific field.
2. Look on job websites
Check local websites as well such as your local paper, colleges, schools, the local council or universities for employment opportunities. You would be surprised how many jobs are advertised on such websites. You can often receive email alerts when new job vacancies are listed on websites, these are very useful to have.
3. Communicate with people you know
This can be very daunting and you often feel rude doing this, but if you know someone that works in the field that you want to go into then it can be a great way of finding out about employment opportunities.
4. Make use of services available to you
Making use of services can be a great way of looking for jobs and receiving career advice, services may include the RNIB Employment Line or services in your local area.
5. Contact employers directly
If you are looking to work within a specific company or organisation then contact them directly or look for a jobs section on their website. They may provide you with useful information on how to find out about job vacancies within their organisation.
6. Do some volunteering
Many charities and organisations are often looking for volunteers, this can be a great way of getting experience for your cv, gaining new skills and volunteering is sometimes the steppingstone that you need to get a job within a specific organisation. Nevertheless, volunteering is very rewarding and looks great on your CV.
7. Know your CV
Not all employers accept CV’s, so you might have to fill out an application form to apply for a job. Knowing your CV can make this process easier. If employers do accept CV’s then make sure you taylor your CV to fit the job that you’re applying for.
8. Ask for documents in an accessible format
You can’t apply for a job if documents aren’t in an accessible format, don’t be scared to ask for them in an accessible format, most employers are happy to do this. At the end of the day, you deserve a fair chance like everyone else.
9. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do
When looking for jobs, you may often come across jobs that you think you can’t do because of your visual impairment or other disability, but there are so many jobs that you can do.
As a blind person, one question that I often get asked is ‘what jobs can blind people do?’ And the list is practically endless. Obviously, there are limitations and there are certain jobs that we can’t do, but there are far more that we can do.
10. Don’t give up!
I think that this is the most important piece of advice that I can give, it can often feel disheartening, upsetting or frustrating when you are faced with disappointment when looking for work but it is very important to not give up and feel discouraged. Determination, dedication and hard work will pay off in the end!
Those are a few tips that I can offer about looking for jobs when you have a visual impairment or another disability, I hope that they have been of use.
To read more blogs from Holly Tuke check her website https://lifeofablindgirl.com/