The Career Doctor™

OVERCOMING LEARNING DISABILITIES?

Hello Career Doctor:

I've been out of work since the end of February. I've been trying to find work ever since, with NO luck. I've been on a few interviews, have filled out many many applications...STILL nothing.

I am unable to go back to school due to learning difficulties. I never tested well. Also, I do not have the computer skills most help wanted ads are looking for.

Right now, the MOST important goal for me is to find a job...ANY job! I am a very creative person too,and love to work with people/children. I've tried Assistant Teaching (I LOVED it), but never landed a permanent position.

DO you have any suggestions for me? I Thank You VERY much in advance. Any positive words would be encouraging.

JD

Dear JD:

A career counselor's ears always perk up when someone says they LOVE a certain kind of work, because strong feelings are vocationally significant. So, rather than take ANY job, I would focus on the kind of work you like, working with children.

I asked a friend of mine who runs a pre-school program in Pittsburgh to give her opinion on your prospects. Here's what she said: "In schools that believe in diversity, her learning disability should not matter. I hired a young woman who was presented to me through her Life Skills class at her high school as a work study student. When she graduated, I hired her to work as an aide. She is still here -- a dependable and very willing worker." So, I would continue looking for what you want, an assistant teaching position.

In the meantime, I agree that it is important to find a job now, but instead of taking ANY job, try for other jobs working with children, like working in a daycare center or a children's clothing or toy store.

Here's another idea: becoming a nurse's assistant/aide on a pediatric unit in a hospital. Yes, you will probably have to go back to school -- but only for a 75 hour course to prepare you for certification. Some hospitals, like White Plains Medical Center, offer this training for free to people they hire as Nursing Assistants and they only require applicants to have a High School diploma or GED.

You have important assets: a love of children and some experience working with them. Do you know any teachers who can coach you on how to best approach schools (or other employers) for a job? Perhaps you could benefit from some advice on how to present yourself in the best possible way to employers.

The Career Doctor

 

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