Boosting your confidence when job seeking

Confidence is important when job-seeking. If we don’t have confidence in our own abilities, why would we expect a prospective employer to have confidence in them? Unfortunately, being unemployed can make it difficult to remain confident – particularly when we may have faced a number of rejections, or worse, had our CVs completely ignored. This is, sadly, a common situation for disabled candidates. Here are some suggestions for boosting that confidence again:

Carry out a Skills Audit

Write down all the skills, qualities, experience, knowledge, talents and abilities that you have acquired in your life. Not just the ones from any jobs you may have done previously, but also skills gained outside of paid work – in voluntary work, during sports or hobbies, community roles such as school governor or pastoral roles, through travelling and so on. Ask people who know you to add to the list. Seeing a long list of abilities you have reminds you what you have to offer and can help restore confidence. Don’t forget the skills you’ve learned in coping with being disabled – creativity, patience, determination etc.

Goal-setting

Successfully achieving goals can be very satisfying, and help to boost confidence levels. Make sure that the goals you set yourself are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) so that you don’t set yourself up to fail. Relevant goals could include, for example, setting aside a morning to create three different types of CV to decide which sells your skills best, and then you have a template to adapt for each job you go for. Or perhaps deciding to research an employer you would like to work for and sending them a speculative CV and cover letter by the end of the week. This makes you feel more pro-active, more in control, and continually moving towards the ultimate goal of landing that dream job.

Control your “Internal Dialogue”

We all have that little voice in our heads, and it tends to sabotage rather than help. You know, the one that says “you’re useless, you’ll never get a job, no point in even trying” in response to being rejected for a job. The good news is that this is your voice, and therefore you can change it, or at least challenge it. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts like this, challenge them. OK, so you didn’t get that job. Instead of catastrophising the situation, instead try to think “on this occasion they thought someone else met their criteria more closely than me, well – it’s their loss, what can I learn from this before putting it behind me and concentrating on the next job application?”. Make sure your inner voice talks to you in the same way you would talk to someone you care about.

Putting things in Context

Having a job title, and all that comes with it (income, self-esteem etc), is important, but it doesn’t define who you are as a person. As human beings in this society our job title is part of our identity, but only part. In every other respect we are still the same person as we were when we were last working. We have the same personality, relationships, friendships, skills, interests. If you are a parent, for example, being a good Mum or Dad is far more important than what your job title happens to be. Your children and family and friends won’t judge you on whether or not you happen to be in work at the moment, and neither should you. It’s important, but there are far more important things.

Fake it ‘til you Make it!

Whilst our mood can affect our behaviour, it can work the other way round too. If you behave as if you were full of confidence, you will start to feel more confident. For example, if you go into a job interview telling yourself you are no good, you failed the last four interviews you went for and will probably fail this one as well, you almost certainly will, as this will show in the way you behave. However, if you tell yourself that you have looked at the job description and know that you can do all of the tasks on there, you have all the skills they are looking for and you would be really great in this role, you will behave and look and sound much more confident – greatly improving your chances of success.

I hope these suggestions have been helpful and that you soon regain that all-important confidence you once had, helping future employers have confidence in you too.

To advertise jobs on Evenbreak click here

To find jobs on Evenbreak click here

And to find out more about best practice around disability in the workplace take a peek here

Discussing Disability with a Prospective Employer

Generally speaking, looking for work is the same whether you are disabled or not. You need to find appropriate roles and then prove to the prospective employer that you are the best person for the job. However, if you are disabled, there is the added issue of when and how to talk about this. By law (Equality Act 2010) an employer is not allowed to ask you questions relating to health or disability (other than for monitoring purposes, or in order to provide reasonable adjustments in the recruitment process) until they offer you the job.

If your disability is not visible or obvious in any way, then the decision as to whether and when to mention it is completely up to you. If it is visible (for example, you use a wheelchair) or obvious (for example you have a speech impediment) then they will be aware of it at least by the interview stage.

Whether or not it is by choice, if we are going to discuss our disability, we need to put some thought into how we might do this. If the issue doesn’t arise until after you have been offered the job, then the decision is based on what you might gain by telling them. Usually this would be about any workplace adjustments you might need in order to perform at your best. This can be anything from a piece of specialised equipment to asking them to explain things very carefully to you if, say, you are autistic and tend to take things very literally.

If disability is raised by you during the recruitment process then there are a number of issues to consider. The first one is to allay any concerns you think they might have regarding your disability. So, for example, if you are sight-impaired and it looks like you will need expensive equipment, you could tell them that Access to Work will provide you with a large screen, or voice recognition software or whatever, and remember to reassure them that your performance was as good/accurate/quick as your colleagues in your previous role (or more so, if it was).

Their concerns will usually revolve around cost and/or performance, so you will need to let them know that neither of these will be an issue. It may be that your disability gives you an advantage. For example, if you are autistic you might say that you prefer to work without distraction, meaning you are far more productive than staff who might spend time chatting. Or that your attention to detail is better than most people’s.

There may be other benefits you can mention. In order to survive in a world not designed for disabled people, you may have developed skills such as creativity, determination, innovation and persistence. These are all attractive qualities to an employer.

Try to anticipate what their concerns might be, put them to rest, highlight any support or positives that might be available, and then go back to discussing your skills and talents and why you would be the right person for the job.

To advertise jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/employers/

To find jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/jobs

A Day in the Life of an Office Runner

Being a ‘Runner’ for a television production company may not have occurred to you as a job you might enjoy, but it can be an exciting role for the right disabled person. Toni Enright talks about her experience in being a Runner at Studio Lambert:

Television studio set

If you’re a TV lover like me – I mean, who isn’t?! –  the most exciting thing about being an Office Runner at Studio Lambert is the insight and exposure you are given into every stage of making a TV show. From creating ideas in Development to bringing those ideas to screen in Production, being a Runner is the only role that allows you to communicate with every member of the company across all levels and departments. This is so exciting when starting a career in TV, as it allows you to build great working relationships with lots of talented, experienced and creative people, but also gives you the opportunity to decide which path to pursue in your career, all whilst gaining invaluable advice to help you along the way.

If I had to describe the role of a Runner in a sentence, I’d say that we are the eyes and ears of the building, overseeing all goings-on in the office and responsible for ensuring its smooth day-to-day running.

Working in a team of five under the guidance of the Office Manager, a typical day starts off with a quick check of emails to catch up on what’s going on in the office, what jobs need doing and what problems are waiting to be solved. Once we’re up to date, our day can take a variety of turns depending on the business needs of the day, but typical tasks include managing and maintaining stock of all office supplies, organising couriers and collections, updating archives, disposing of confidential material, sending post – the list goes on! In addition to this, we also provide a crucial service to all the production teams in the company, from organising the distribution of camera kits and equipment to collecting props and delivering rushes on the daily runs.

Sometimes we are even asked to help out on shoots, which is a great chance to experience creating television shows first-hand and sharpen up on essential camera kit skills. Working as an Office Runner is a busy role that relies on initiative, quick-thinking and being a team player with a can-do attitude. No day is the same, so you’re always guaranteed to learn something new, overcome different challenges and develop skills that are vital to surviving in the exciting and unpredictable world of TV.

To advertise jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/employers/

To find jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/jobs

Lloyds Banking Group Student Insight Evening

Evenbreak and Lloyds Banking Group are working together to support disabled students.

Join us for two valuable hours of career discovery and networking with Lloyds Banking Group professionals on Wednesday, 6th December at 6.30pm – 8.30pm.

Find out about your career choices, build your employability skills, network with current graduates and discover how we support graduates and colleagues with disabilities across the Group

This insight event aims to help you upskill and discover more about life at Lloyds Banking Group through our former interns and graduates, like Louis and Ross from our Group Disability Programme. Learn how we can support your disability or long term health condition through our Group Disability Programme and Access Disability Network, as well as develop key employability skills to help you excel in your career. Expect activities that will help boost your confidence, improve your communication skills and develop your personal impact.

If you require any adjustments for the event, related to your disability or long-term health condition, please indicate this on the registration form. We will then contact you to make these arrangements.

Register to secure your place here

To advertise jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/employers/

To find jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/jobs

Questions to ask at the end of your next interview

 

No interview process is a one-way street, and it’s always worth jotting down some questions to ask at the end. This will not only show your employer that you’re keen but give you a chance to get a better idea of what you might be in for if you’re successful.

What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the job?

Knowing what responsibilities you’re going to face on a daily basis will not only help you to accurately determine whether or not you have the right skills for the job but give you an idea of whether or not it is something that you enjoy. Ask your interviewer to describe a typical day at the office for someone in your role, without leaving out any of the gory bits if possible. 

Are there any challenges I might face in this role?

It’s always good to know both the good and bad aspects of the role you’ve applied for. This way, if you’re offered the job, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and weigh up the pros and cons before you decide to commit. While it’s unlikely that your prospective employer will go into huge detail about the challenges of the position, you still might be able to get a good idea of some things you might have to work with. 

Do you offer any training or career development opportunities?

Your career might not be up and running yet, but you still need to think about your future goals. Asking this question will give you an idea of whether the company promotes from within or whether you think your employer will be willing to invest in course for your training and development. Often, the answer to this question will be detailed in the job description, but it’s still worth asking. Sites such as CV-Library arrange their vacancies in a way that includes as much information as possible about the role before you click ‘Apply’.

Can you outline a typical career path for someone in this role?

On the subject of career progression, it’s always good to ask your interviewer to briefly outline how they are expecting you to progress from the role you’ve applied for. One of the most sought-after qualities in employees is determination and a desire to learn, so asking this question will be sure to stand you in good stead.

How will my work performance be measured and reviewed?

You’ll need to know how the company will measure your work so that you know how to deliver results correctly. Not only will asking this question benefit you, but it will demonstrate to your employer that you are planning on working to the goals that will be set out for you.

What is the office culture like?

While it’s important to know what your daily schedule might look like, you’ll also want to know what the overall office culture is like too. After all, you’ll be spending most of your day in the office, and this question is the best way to get to know who you’ll be working with without actually meeting any of your colleagues. It will also give you an idea of the structure of the company and the department that you’re working in.

What are the next steps in the interview process?

To put your mind at rest, it’s worth asking what the next stage of the interview process is and when you should expect to hear if you’ve been successful. This will demonstrate that you’re eager to move along with the process and how well you’ve performed.

 

To advertise jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/employers/

To find jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/jobs

Position your Disability Positively for Employers

This is a guest blog from a good friend of Evenbreak, Louis Jameson, Assistant Manager, Group Disability Programme at Lloyds Banking Group:

Today I want to share some thoughts on how to position a disability or health condition when entering work. Whilst our universities get us work-ready, no one discusses how to address our disability with an employer. This is what I will try to do. We can show them our disabilities are ‘no worries’!

I am Louis first, being blind is secondary. Actually, my guide dog, Fleur, has decided she’s first and a top networker. I have no choice but to share information about my disability, but I would always recommend it, as then you can be yourself at work and supported by your colleagues.

Positivity

We all feel nervous at interview or starting a new role, this is natural. However you feel; positivity is vital. Sure your disability can create challenges, but that is a conversation for later.

Due to a lack of knowledge the interviewer may be nervous recruiting you. It’s up to you, be positive and show them it’s ‘no worries’ for you!

Think ability not disability! Does your disability enhance, or give you extra abilities?

Mine does. Here are three:

  • strong planning and organising abilities;
  • resilience to overcome challenges;
  • a different perspective to better serve customers.

I like to just slip disability into my CV overtly, but it can come in useful for interview questions too.

  • In my personal profile: “He … supports his team by providing disability insights on everyday issues.”
  • Under Volunteering I cover giving talks to children about Guide Dogs and living with sight loss.

Subtle.

The Power of Language

How do you introduce your disability to someone? Have you ever considered the impact this could have?

You Say They Feel
  •  I suffer from …
  •  I am a victim of …
  •  I am an “ic” (e.g. epileptic)
  • Well-meaning negative action
  • Invokes pity
  • Disability before being a person
  •  I live with …
  •  I have lived experience of …
  •  To support me in the process of       managing my disability, I need …
  • Non-emotive language
  • You first, then your disability
  • You are taking ownership

You may ‘suffer’, I’m not disputing that. When you’re out to get a job though, you need the right response. Well-meaning negative action isn’t going to help you.

By this I mean, the recruiter doesn’t want to increase your suffering by accepting you on their grad scheme. They’re not being nasty or discriminating, just negatively nice. Stick with ‘live with’ – it’s un-emotive and much safer ground.

‘To support me in the process of managing my disability’ are the magic words.

The fear factor has gone and they can breathe. You’ve taken ownership, shown them the path and guided them to simple actions they understand and can cope with. They may not quite be at ‘no worries’, but better than blind panic – no pun intended.

Positioning Your Disability

You are the expert of your own condition!

Its okay, don’t panic – you don’t need to know it all. Entering work is a big deal! You do have past experiences though and that’s a good starting point. By sharing these your putting your manager/team at ease. They’re only scared of what they don’t know and you need to empower them.

I always start by telling everyone that there is nothing they can ask which is going to offend me – dangerous! You can then have a conversation with your manager, create a one-pager and/or do a short presentation in a team meeting. In these you could include:

  • what is your disability;
  • how does it impact my everyday life;
  • what challenges you expect at work;
  • what they can do to support you.

My one-pager talks about how I live independently; using my talking gadgets and organising my ties to match with my shirts (it’s important). In work, things like PowerPoint and travelling alone are challenges. They can help me by sending materials in Word, giving me notice of travel so I can book assistance ahead.

When I presented this in a team meeting I thought I’d make it fun. Showing them:

  • how I handle money;
  • got out the Braille and;
  • some gadgets from home.

I only started doing this after a few roles;  I found that it really educates and engages everyone. In one swoop you’ve a room of advocates. Here are some strategies some colleagues use:

  • a traffic light or scale to indicate to others their mood and what action they require from the team, such as being left alone;
  • have a seat saved near the door for anxiety or regular loo breaks;
  • having a code word to communicate that you feel stressed or anxious etc.

So now the unknown is known, they know how to behave and can help you overcome the new challenges that await. Before long, supporting you manage your disability will be second nature and ‘no worries’.

If you are unsure about something, stay calm and take it away. You have control, take some solutions back and discuss. To help you consider:

  • your firm’s workplace adjustments provider;
  • networking with other colleagues with a disability;
  • Speak to a charity or;
  • Access to Work for guidance and/or funding.

Conclusion

We’re all unique and these ideas might not suit you. That’s fine– all I ask is that you reflect and take-away:

  • be positive;
  • mindful of your language;
  • take ownership for your disability and;
  • engage your manager/teams.

Most importantly though, remember you will be an asset to whichever organisation you join. I challenge you all to ensure you do that!

Louis joined Lloyds Banking Group as a HR Graduate in 2013 after graduating from UWE Bristol with a first in Economics. His team’s role is to make disability business as usual across the Group and Louis partners HR and Recruitment in delivering this.

To advertise jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/employers/

To find jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/jobs

Guest blog: Best Careers for People with Visual Impairment?

A guest post by Cheryl Wilcox:

Over the years many people as they have gotten to know me have asked “what are the best career options for the visually impaired and blind”. I had never thought about it but there seems to be an assumption that there are jobs that are ideal for the blind and visually impaired based on their unique characteristics and limitations. I am thrilled to disappoint you!

Blind and visually impaired people are normal people who lack eyesight. For instance, a manager that loses his or her sight still retains all the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired over a lifetime of employment. These include analytical and motivational skills, and the ability to set and implement goals. What has changed is that they can no longer use visual skills to do these things anymore. They have to rely on a whole different set of sensory skills and an alternative way of doing things.

How Did I Plan My Career with Vision Loss?

What can a blind person do for a career? Almost everything! With that being said I will share a little bit of my own experience.

In high school

When was 15 years old I knew I wanted to be a Journalist. I was taking Journalism classes and working on the newspaper in high school. Writing and justice were my passions. They still are today. Over the years I have tweaked my career path time or two due to vision changes and changes in my own way of thinking.

In college

I went to college on the East Coast and although I never saw very well it was during this time that my vision declined even further and there came a day I could no longer pick up a text book and read the print. This was decades before technological advances came along offering large print, text to speech, CCTV’s or video magnification. Telescopes and prism magnifiers were the best assistance anyone could offer.

Work during college

I was a full time college student and I also worked full time at The Exchange Network in Methuen, Massachusetts. The Exchange Network was an answering service for doctors, veterinarians and a variety of other businesses. It was my job to take messages and reach out and locate doctors after hours when needed for medical emergencies and consultations. We reached these doctors through their home phones or various paging systems. Cell phones had not even been thought of at this time and computers were in their early stages.

The company was owned by Bunny Hamer and was started years before by her and her husband who were both completely blind. When the couple started their business venture all phones were answered with cord board technology and was an ideal career choice for the blind and visually impaired. Over the years the Hamer’s employed many of the visually impaired. Cord boards were easy used by the visually impaired because touch and sound were used to answer the lines and make outgoing calls.

Career began

By the time I came around to working at the Exchange Network there were no longer chord boards because technological advances in communications had changed things drastically. I did not work with anyone who was visually impaired but I do think I was designed to be in this career opportunity for a reason. I had no idea at the time but it was a foreshadowing of things to come. It was during this time that I learned that my vision had begun to decline and I was deemed legally blind. Mrs. Hamer was both a great inspiration and support for me.

As the years passed I pursued my journalism career and tweaked it to include marketing which allowed me to pursue my love of writing and art. I have had the opportunity to do what many fully sighted people wish they had the opportunity to do.

Limitation & Chances for Visually Impaired People

Unlike those who are totally blind, those who are legally blind usually have a limited amount of vision. Many are able to read large print and identify shapes and colors, but are unable to drive. Computers and technological advances have opened up a wide range of careers for the legally blind giving them the ability to change the text size on the screen and the option to read text out loud.

Ideal choices for those who are legally blind are jobs which allow most of the work to be done over the phone. For some, telemarketing may be an ideal choice. You are often given a script that you present and scripted arguments help offset a customer’s objections. You can memorize the script or use a large-text program that allows you to view it on a computer screen.

Another great choice may be customer-service. Call center customer-service jobs, such as those that allow you to assist customers who are placing product orders may be a perfect fit. You must be properly trained and become familiar with the company’s products and know how to find them in the company’s system, but technology designed to assist you in reading text on a computer screen can make that possible for you.

Media and marketing may be other avenues for the visually impaired to pursue. If you enjoy writing, there are many options. There are free-lance opportunities available in many areas. Many times you can write for newspapers or magazines as long as the interviews are typically conducted over the phone or by email. Good public transportation also allows you to do interviews in person. You may also find a career in advertising, writing scripts for commercials and catchy copy to reach customers.

These are just a few of the employment opportunities available to those who are blind or visually impaired. With the proper training and a little heart, you can achieve any goals that you set for yourself and for the most part can pursue any career you choose.

To advertise jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/employers/

To find jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/jobs

(Please note that the views expressed in guest posts are not necessarily the views of Evenbreak)

Career Resolutions for the New Year

Whether you are looking for a change of scenery, looking to kick-start your career or even looking to climb the ladder in your current place of employment; the New Year is the perfect time to make some career resolutions and ensure that you meet your career goals for 2017.

Here, Attic Recruitment go through a few of their top career resolutions that will help see you where you want to be in your career in 2017.

Did You Learn Something Today?

Treat every day like a school day, learn a new skill, or work towards learning a new skill at the very least. If you’re established in your career and you are just looking for a push to further yourself and further what you are able to do, then this is definitely the resolution for you. Each and every one of us should aspire to learn something each and every day, this not only benefits you and your career but it also benefits you in your life as well, as these skills can be utilised in both personal and work interactions and work.

Remain Ethical

Don’t try to jump through hoops that you can’t reach by burning the lower ones down, basically what we’re trying to say here is don’t try to race ahead when you’ve not got the experience. If you’ve just started out after university, you won’t be placed in a managerial role straight away, these things take time. And being ethical in your approach is the best way to ensure you reach your goal and feel proud of the way you go there. Chances are if you try to cheat your way to the top, you’ll get found out and end up further down at the bottom of the pile than you ever expected to be!

Build Your Communication Skills

One of the best ways to reach your career goals is to build on your communication skills, interact, integrate and go to as many business networking events as you can. Building a name for yourself, and your current position at the business you are working for will help you to be recognised when you are up for future roles and positions in other places, as well as helping your current boss to recognise the hard work you are putting into yourself and the role that you are in.

Organise Your Desk

A tidy space means a tidy mind, and having a messy or cluttered desk could reflect poorly to your management on how you work; make sure your desk is a reflection of your personality and how committed you are to the work by keeping files organised and your desk free of clutter and any mess. Having a few personal items on your desktop can help relieve stress and create an environment that you want to be in each day, and this will have a positive impact on your colleague’s perception of you in a work environment.

Don’t Burn Bridges

If the time has come for you to expand your career in another role at a different company, one of the most important things is to ensure you do not burn bridges with previous employers. Remain friendly through the course of your leave, and keep in contact with colleagues, you never know when you will need them and you don’t want a leave on bad terms to come back to haunt you further down the line.

To advertise jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/employers/

To find jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/jobs

How to find the confidence to re-enter the workplace

To be disabled in the workplace is to have to prove yourself more than anyone else in the room. Despite increasing awareness of the challenges faced by those with a disability, the number of places that are accommodating towards the needs of this section of the population are still low.

According to government figures, disabled people are more likely to be in employment than they were in 2002, but still less likely to be in employment than the vast majority of other people.

The figures continue, “In 2012, 46.3% of working-age disabled people are in employment compared to 76.4% of working-age non-disabled people.

“There is therefore a 30.1 percentage point gap between disabled and non-disabled people, representing over two million people. The gap has reduced by 10 percentage points over the last 14 years and has remained stable over the last two years despite the economic climate.”

Ebbing confidence

Although these figures show an increase in the number of disabled people in work, it also highlights a yawning gulf between the number of non-disabled people in work and their disabled counterparts.

The reasons behind this disparity are manifold – disabled people are less likely to be deemed fit for work – but it’s important to ask how many people are simply lacking the confidence to enter the workforce.

Confidence building, then, is a necessity when it comes to reintegrating someone into the working world. Like a hummingbird, people who feel happy in their career are have never stopped, always had a project on the go.

This motivation isn’t an inherent trait. Instead, it’s developed and nurtured from a variety of outside influences. A few of these influences include training and professional development – and they don’t always have to be tackled on the job.

Using the internet

It’s difficult to motivate yourself, but the internet can be a useful tool. An online degree, for instance, can be a perfect way to build your business acumen and enjoy a fully accredited qualification in your sector.

Online degrees build up slowly and are specially designed for people who require flexibility in their studies. So you’ll be able to study any time you like, holding down a separate job and still able to keep abreast of your modules.

What’s more, the vast majority of distance learning degrees (which are generally vocational) are designed to bolster people skills in the workplace, turning newcomers into leaders within a relaxed teaching atmosphere.

Charismatic workers

Determination and charisma are the keys to gaining entry into the workplace, especially if your disability has knocked your confidence in the past.

Although the government is arguably unreasonable in forcing people back into work (checks from private companies revealed that more than 2,300 people died shortly after being declared fit for work between 2011 and 2014), there’s a case to be made for training more disabled people who don’t feel confident or capable enough in the workplace.

And with a real, intensive and comprehensive educational strategy, more and more people will be able to enter the working world without a stutter.

To advertise jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/employers/

To find jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/jobs/

New Year, New Job?

The New Year is traditionally a time of resolutions, new starts and reviewing our goals. If one of your goals for 2016 is around employment (getting into work, getting a better job or moving into self-employment) please read on!

First of all, back to basics. What is your motivation for this employment goal? Income is likely to be a part of it, but are there other factors? Benefits from working can include having a purpose, using existing skills, learning new skills, doing something you enjoy or feel is important, having a structure in your life, the social aspects of working with other people, a feeling of accomplishment, or just getting out of the house and doing something different – there could be a multitude of reasons. Figuring out what your motivations are will help you decide what to do. For example, if the social side of work is important to you, working from home probably won’t meet your needs. If you want the freedom to make your own decisions, maybe self-employment or stating your own business are worth exploring.

The next thing to consider is what kinds of work you can and want to do. This involves an internal audit – what are you good at? – as well as an external audit – what opportunities are available? Alongside these are other considerations like your circumstances. Do you need a regular, predictable income, or could you manage with a variable income month to month? How many hours would you want to work? How far could you travel? What support (e.g. financial, physical, adaptations, or reasonable adjustments) might you need, and are these available?

You may have already decided which direction you would like to go in terms of employment, so what are your next steps? If you are looking for employment or promotion, how current is your CV? Where will you look for work (e.g. Evenbreak job board, disability journals or any other sources)? What do you have to offer that will make you particularly attractive to a prospective employer?

If you want to be self-employed or start your own business, you will be thinking about planning. Do you have the resources you will need? Who will be your customers? How will your offering beat those of competitors? How much will you charge?

Answering these questions is a great start to planning your activities for the coming year. Decide what your goals are in terms of employment, and then think of all the ways you might achieve those goals. Write down your options, and the actions you will need to take in order to explore them further.

You might decide to try a number of options – for example, applying for jobs in a field you are familiar with as well as looking for jobs in a different field in which your transferable skills can be used. Volunteering or work experience can be a good way of “testing” a new field to see if it fits with you.

Whatever your employment goals in 2016, I hope you achieve them and enjoy the journey!

To advertise jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/employers/

To find jobs on Evenbreak go here – http://www.evenbreak.co.uk/jobs/