Are you ready to go from campus to work?
- Put your strengths front and center. Focus on your strengths, manage your disability.
- Understand your legal rights as a veteran with a disability. You do not have to tell your employer about your disability either during hiring or later when you’re employed, except in a few situations, such as when requesting an accommodation. You have a right to a reasonable accommodation so that you can perform your job with your disability.
- Choose a career path that’s right for you. Think through some key questions and do a little homework. Use resources such as the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
- Most of what we need to know to be successful at work is learned outside the classroom. Get real-life learning experiences through apprenticeships, internships, mentoring, and connecting with others who are working in your chosen career.
- Get ready for hiring. Make decisions about if or how you want to discuss your disability. Use disability- and veteran-friendly workplaces to see which employers would be a good fit for you.
- Understand that you have a right to an accommodation during hiring and when employed. Go to the Job Accommodation Network to find out more about accommodations and for accommodation suggestions for veterans with disabilities.
- Social interactions in the workplace matter, both for job performance and job satisfaction. Your view of your own disability can impact how you interact with others at work. Assess your own beliefs about your disability—are you falling victim to internalized stigma? If you find yourself in a workplace where you’re marginalized because of your disability, try to point out how things can change for the better. If this doesn’t work, consider looking for another job.
- Women veterans are strong and getting stronger. Though services for women veterans still lag behind those for male veterans in some areas, things are getting better. Programs and services are now improving to meet the needs of women veterans.
- As a veteran with a disability, you have a lot to contribute to your chosen career. Your strengths, skills, and abilities matter now as much as they ever did.