Applying for jobs can be challenging, especially in today’s ever-changing labour market. Job seekers with multiple barriers often face even more challenges navigating the job market. When preparing for your job search, it is essential to identify the support you may need, discover the skills you can bring to a team, and adopt the right mindset. Finding the support and resources can be a huge step to helping you achieve meaningful employment and allow you to thrive as a diverse job seeker.
Here are some tips and resources that can assist you in succeeding.
Know your rights: Knowing your rights as a diverse job seeker and worker is beneficial. The BC Human Rights Code protects residents in BC from discrimination and harassment based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, and more. For further information about the Code and disclosing your disability, you can refer to the online guide provided by the Disability Alliance BC here.
Explore employment programs: Employment programs specifically designed for people with diverse abilities are essential in creating inclusive and accessible workplaces. There are several employment programs available for people with disabilities in BC that provide support, specialized learning, and training to help individuals find meaningful employment.
- WorkBC Customized Employment Program
- Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work
- Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program (ISET)
- Persons with Disabilities in Trades Program
Discover workplace-assisted technology services: If you encounter work-related obstacles due to a disability or functional limitation, WorkBC Assistive Technology Services can help. They offer various options for mobility supports, alternative keyboards, voice input equipment, workplace modifications, and other services. You can learn more about WorkBC Assistive Technology in their Facebook Live with WorkBC Centre Westshore here.
Leverage your unique strengths: When showcasing your strengths, it’s important to focus on your abilities and how they align with the job requirements. Providing examples of how you’ve successfully utilized your skills in previous experiences can demonstrate your capabilities effectively. If you need help discovering your skills, consider taking a workshop that can help you identify your hard and soft skills.
Network: Networking in person can present unique challenges, but it can still be a rewarding experience with the right approach. Knowing what to expect and preparing beforehand can help reduce anxiety, including visiting the event page and reading up on which employers will attend the event. You can always bring a support person or friend to help you when you are there. If you prefer to network online, join online groups and communities that align with your interests and career goals. Attending virtual events, including job and resource fairs, is a great way to speak with employers one-on-one at their virtual booth. You can learn more about preparing for a career fair with the WorkBC Centre Westshore Diverse Job Seeker Career Fair Guide.
Advocate for yourself: Advocating for yourself and communicating your needs in the workplace is so important, including requesting accommodations. Accommodations can be any tool or adjustment that helps overcome physical barriers or work patterns that may not suit your needs. Learn more about job seeker and employee accommodations on the Government of BC’s website here.
Consider self-employment: If you’re not finding success with traditional employment, starting your own business or becoming self-employed may be worth considering. Self-employment can provide greater control over your work environment and schedule, allowing you to work on projects that align with your interests and passions. In BC, there are various self-employment programs available for people with disabilities.
- Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program
- Community Futures British Columbia
- BC Centre for Ability Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities