Individuals With Disabilities Can Start A Business Career With These 5 Tips
Article by Tanya Lee @abilityvillage
Photo via Pexels
For many young adults who are living with a disability, the path to a rewarding career can be one filled with challenges. Finding the right degree program and making sure your job options offer accessibility are just two of the concerns you’ll need to think about. However, starting a business career can be highly lucrative and adaptable, meaning you can do something you’re passionate about while ensuring your needs are met.
Before getting started, it’s a good idea to consider which type of degree you’d like to pursue since there are many options in the business world. You can also start networking online, as this is a great way to connect with people who might benefit from your job search down the road. Social media and professional networking sites are perfect choices.
Chloe Nickie presents a few things to consider when you’re ready to start your business career.
1. Research Some Schools
To begin, you’ll want to consider what degree type you’d like to pursue. There are so many options that fall under the business umbrella, so do some research into local schools and those that offer online courses, which can be more comfortable for individuals on the autism spectrum.
Consider whether you want to earn your degree in just a couple of years or if you’re ready to tackle a master’s degree, keeping in mind the differences in earning potential for each. A bachelor’s degree in the right major can still be very lucrative, with salaries averaging between $82,000 for management analysts and $121,000 for sales managers.
You can also look at job boards to see what positions interest you and what qualifications are needed. For example, real estate agents generally aren’t required to have a college degree (although something in business or entrepreneurship could be helpful); they may need job-specific training or certifications.
2. Know What to Look for in an Internship
After graduation–or while you’re still finishing classes–you can consider looking for an internship that will help you gain hands-on experience in your chosen field, but it’s crucial to know what to look for. Internship options vary; some offer paid positions and others offer course credit. Many internships end in a job with the company after graduation, so you’ll want to choose a program with a business you’re genuinely interested in working for.
Do some research on their practices, work culture, and customer experiences. When you land an internship interview, come prepared with solid answers and some questions, such as how they might accommodate your needs.
3. Start Networking
Whether you find an internship or not, landing your first entry-level job will take a bit of preparation. You might start by networking online, building up LinkedIn and social media profiles so you can make beneficial connections with people who can help you land the perfect job. Remember that while creating a profile that highlights your skills and needs is important, knowing what not to do during this process is just as important. Ignoring inquiries, not posting a professional photo, and leaving part of your profile blank are all easy ways to hinder your progress, so make sure you fill out your page entirely and let everyone know who you are. It’s also important to remain positive within your posts and prevent your feed from becoming too personal.
4. Consider Starting Your own LLC
Starting your own business, whether a side gig or a full-blown career, is becoming increasingly popular. If you have knowledge or skills in a particular area, take some time to see if it is marketable. If so, develop a business plan that will force you to think through the crucial aspects of your business, like where you’ll find funding and how you’ll market yourself.
You’ll also need to choose a business structure. Limited liability companies, LLCs, are very popular because they protect your assets and provide tax benefits. They are also relatively simple to set up yourself, or you can hire a formation service to file everything.
5. Practice Self-Care
Because starting a degree program, networking, and finding the right job can be overwhelming for many individuals living with a disability, it’s essential to practice self-care during this time. Look for helpful tools and resources online, take steps to ensure that you’re eating right and getting enough rest, and set realistic goals for yourself. Practicing self-care is essential when making any life change, and starting a business career can sometimes be demanding.
Take Steps to Get into Business
Getting started with a business career can mean big things for your future, so taking the proper steps is essential. Read up on your degree options, start networking, and research the companies you’re interested in working for so you’ll be prepared for anything the process might throw at you.
Do you have an upcoming interview, or are you starting an internship? Then dress to impress with shoes from Chloe Nickie!