Overcoming barriers to employment can be daunting in today's job market. Challenges such as having a criminal record, a poor work history, a significant disability or just being unemployed for extended periods of time can present significant difficulties even during the best economy.
Having a disability, for example, does not limit everything you are capable of doing. Having a criminal record does not make you less talented as a productive employee. We are all better than our worst mistake.
An unfortunate reality is that society often sees someone with epilepsy as an epileptic rather than a person with epilepsy and someone who has stolen something as a thief rather than a person who has made a mistake and stolen something. This reality brings even greater challenges to an already challenging job search.
Stephen Covey once said, "Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming -- such as lifting weights -- we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity."
Obviously, the question becomes what we do when we feel we are receiving more than our fair share of challenges in life.
Vincent Van Gogh has been quoted as saying, "Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."
To overcome barriers to employment, you must go about your job search by bringing together those things that will help you achieve your goals. Here are five things you can do to overcome most barriers to employment you may face:
SBlt Believe in yourself and your own abilities. Undoubtedly the greatest challenge to overcome is the sense of despair you feel and the internal belief that overcoming it can't be done. By first and foremost believing in yourself and in your abilities, you can then focus your attention on getting others to believe in you and in your abilities.
SBlt Identify your strengths. No matter how significant your challenges, you still have strengths in the form of skills, values and personal characteristics. Identify them and write them down. You may be surprised by how much you have to offer.
SBlt Identify your resources. Include people you can count on. Also include schools, on-the-job training possibilities, employment agencies and appropriate government programs.
SBlt Identify your goals. Using your strengths and resources, develop SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-specific.
SBlt Design strategies to achieve your goals. Use the resources you have identified and be willing to change your strategies as you implement them.
Mark Twain made this observation: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or email@example.com.