Updated: Nov 4, 2021
By Ed Carter, founder of AbleFutures.org
Starting a career in business is the perfect option for many individuals who are living with disabilities because it allows for upward movement into managerial positions while also offering opportunities for those who are neurodivergent or have physical impairments. There are several different areas of business to choose from, but there are a few important steps you’ll want to take before you jump in, such as looking at various degree requirements to see which one is right for you and finding support and resources from organizations like NeurodiverCity. You might even be interested in starting your own business; here are some suggestions to help you choose the right path for you.
Not all degrees are created equal, and some of them are better suited to your needs and goals than others, so it’s essential to do a little research on the requirements, find out which ones are the most lucrative, and plan as much as possible for your school experience. Typically, the degrees that lead to the highest earnings are in the areas of business administration, marketing, and finance. If you’re interested in branching out on your own and starting a consulting business after graduation, consider pursuing a degree in IT. Information technology, data analytics, cyber security, software development, and cloud computing are just a few of the programs you can choose from, and you can do it all from the comfort of your own home by utilizing online classes.
Build your network
As you go through school—and even after graduation—it’s important to look for ways to build and grow your network, since this will help you make helpful connections that will come in handy when it’s time to look for an internship or job. Keep an eye out for social events, online gatherings, and opportunities that will allow you to meet new people. If these events cause you anxiety, try practicing some mindfulness methods beforehand so you can focus on your goals. Put your phone away, and, if possible, go with a friend in order to help ease any feelings of awkwardness.
Find a great internship
Once you’ve made a few connections in the business world, it’s time to consider looking for an internship that will help you build your skills and gain confidence. It’s a good idea to apply early, especially to the companies that have limited spots available. Go over your resume carefully to make sure it highlights important experiences and goals, and practice a mock interview with a friend so you’ll have peace of mind that you’re ready for the real thing. The best kind of internship is one that you’ll leave feeling prepared for your dream job, so don’t be afraid to ask questions of your own during the interview process.
Land your dream job
You’ve put in the hard work, built connections, and learned all you can about your chosen field; now it’s time to land your dream job. Start by fully educating yourself about the companies you’re interested in. Find out their history, what their goals are, and what their company culture is. This is a great way to find out more about their job requirements so you can make an informed decision about the position you want to apply for, and it will allow you to show your interviewer how invested you are in the job. It’s also a good idea to elevate your social media pages if you haven’t already, and update your LinkedIn profile.
Making plans for your education and career can be daunting when you’re neurodivergent, but with a few simple steps, you can make the process as easy as possible while building your confidence. Tap as many resources as you can to find support along the way.
Have a question for NeurodiverCity? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ed Carter has worked with clients of all ages, backgrounds and incomes. About 10 years into his career, he saw a need for financial planners who specialize in helping individuals and families living with disabilities.