- Thinking about looking for a job or changing jobs?
- Feeling anxious and wondering where to start?
- Wondering if it’s feasible with the current situation?
Let’s first acknowledge that this is indeed a uniquely challenging time for older adults with disabilities to find work.
Now, let’s focus on what you CAN do and the many resources to support you.
The first resource is yourself and focusing on the aspects of your life that you can control. Lifestyle choices, such as sleep and eating habits, moving to the best of your physical abilities, positive self-talk and connecting with others.
If you need help finding support for lifestyle improvement, please look at other postings in the “News” section of our website. Additionally, you may want to look at:\
- DAS Benefits and Resource Hub, https://www.sfhsa.org/services/access-empowerment/das-benefits-and-resources-hub
- Bay Area Community Resource Map: https://www.bayareacommunity.org/#/
Growth Mindset v. Fixed Mindset
Whether you’re currently employed or looking for employment, staying in a position to create options and take opportunities is ever more important. Shelter in place isn’t a notice to stop. Planning may feel thwarted, yet it is now that you can create some space to look at how your mindset impacts your success.
Carol Dweck, the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University is known for her groundbreaking work on mindset. Her work focuses on how our mindset impacts our success and ultimately the quality of our lives.
Enjoy Dr. Dweck’s presentation on, Developing a Growth Mindset. You may want to mark it on your calendar to do so several times a year! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiiEeMN7vbQ
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Set goals that feel doable right now; those that will support a growth mindset. Find out more about S.M.A.R.T. Goals right here: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm
Wow! Do you have Skills!
Work, volunteering, being in a community, a family, riding the bus – you are constantly using skills to navigate life. Decision making, leadership, teamwork, critical and analytical thinking…the list goes on!
Create an inventory of your skills. Sit down and start writing. No editing. No evaluating. Get it all out there and set the list aside for a day. When you return, 1. Add to the list, 2. Use a 1-5 scale, color coding, anything that works for you to highlight your strengths and mark areas you’d like to improve upon.
Create your Support Network
Have you ever had a “Board of Advisors” for yourself? Three to five people who you trust; who will be honest with you; and who have your best interests in mind?
We all have personality traits and skills that we overlook as being unique or strong. Try asking a handful of people what makes you unique and to provide an example. Listen for important words and the story they tell you about how they perceive your strengths.
Perhaps you want to find an Accountability Buddy; someone else who is either looking for employment or who has a goal toward finding work. Dedicating time to check in on your respective goals will help you to move along, adjust along the way and support another person.
Skills and Telling your Story
Reflect back on the skills you listed and those that your Board of Advisors shared with you. Determine which are most important for the type(s) of position(s) you’re seeking. Which skills can you weave into examples of what you’ve done, how you did it, what the result was and the impact of that result? Create multiple examples that use the vocabulary in job descriptions, from the organization’s website, and research of the work sector(s) you’re exploring.
These examples will help you communicate YOUR story in a way that shares how you would perform. They will give the interviewer a picture of who you are and how you could be a valuable member of their organization.
Transferable Skills: Existing skills which you can bring to a new job
Upskilling: Building on a skill or skills to increase your knowledge, competence and expertise
Reskilling: Learning new skills for a job you’ve never performed
- The Penny Hoarder: https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/make-money/ways-retirees-can-work-from-home/
- Flexjobs: https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/companies-that-hire-remote-freelance-jobs/
- AARP: https://www.aarp.org/work/working-after-retirement/info-01-2011/great-work-at-home-jobs-for-retirees.html
- Retired Brains: https://www.retiredbrains.com/work-at-home.html
- The Balance Careers: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/best-part-time-jobs-for-seniors-4138302
- Indeed: https://www.indeed.com/q-Remote-l-San-Francisco-Bay-Area,-CA-jobs.html
- com: https://www.linkedin.com
- ZipRecruiter: https://www.ziprecruiter.com
Your Cover Letters
- The Interview Guys: https://theinterviewguys.com/cover-letter-examples/
- Glassdoor: https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/how-to-write-perfect-cover-letter/
- AARP: https://www.aarp.org/work/job-hunting/info-2017/the-new-rules-for-cover-letters.html
- Zety: https://zety.com/blog/how-to-write-a-cover-letter
A great way to learn and build upon skills to transfer to the workplace!
- Volunteer Match: https://www.volunteermatch.org/virtual-volunteering
- Create the Good/AARP: https://createthegood.aarp.org/
- Operation Warm: https://www.operationwarm.org/blog/25-volunteer-jobs-to-do-from-home/
Technology and Software Tools
Get comfortable with technology. Zoom, WhatsApp, WeChat, Microsoft Office Suite are just a few examples. Go to the websites of the technology and software tools, go to online universities to get free training. AARP is also a great resource.
On May 11, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health launched a free course on Coursera, https://www.coursera.org/learn/covid-19-contact-tracing?edocomorp=covid-19-contact-tracing, to help states expand their contact tracing capacity by training thousands of contact tracers. It is expected that the U.S. will require 100,000 Contact Tracers, which is work that can be performed virtually.
GOOD LUCK! THIS MAY NOT BE EASY, BUT YOU CAN DO IT!