The most innovative companies today are scrambling to understand and master diversity in their recruitment efforts. Diversity is complex, but the positive impact that a diverse workforce can have on productivity and morale is very clear.
Living with a physical disability, I grew up believing that my physical limitations would be a challenge to achieving a successful professional life. My thinking was always that employers would not be able to see my skills and talents if I didn’t hide my disability in some way. In reality, disability is just one of many qualities that shape my personal life as well as my professional life.
Being Different is Valuable
People with a disability may at times struggle to recognize their difference as something of value to employers looking to increase diversity. Based on what I’ve learned about what it means to be “different,” I believe all job seekers should…
Understand your unique value.
You have many qualities that make you a great asset to the employer of your choice. When preparing for a job interview, think about all of the things that make you YOU, not just what makes you feel different.
Keep your mind open.
Understanding your unique value also makes good practice for opening up and reaching out to others. Diversity and inclusion efforts happen on the individual level as well as the corporate level.
Expand your network.
Take every opportunity to expand your network by connecting with new people. Give yourself and others the opportunity to recognize the value of your similarities and differences.
The world is moving too fast to divide people into “normal” and “diverse” groups. Let’s all step up to the table and move forward together.