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Where to Start When a New Job is Your Best Option
By Elaine Katz, MS,
A 2006 study by the organization Different Strokes reported
that 75 percent of 3,000 working-age stroke survivors polled wanted to return
to work, but of those 48 percent did not feel fit enough. Whether you return to
your current job after a stroke might depend on your health, a willing employer
and your ability to perform necessary duties.
For some people, moving into a new job might be necessary.
Here are some choices if you want to work, but returning to your current job is
not an option.
Look beyond traditional job hunting and consider the
advantages of networking — it might be the right solution for you. Here’s how:
- Hiring decisions often are made through personal
- Start with people in your own circle who you
know well: family, close friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, clergy and
- Get in touch with your contacts by phone or
e-mail. Ask whether they know of a job opening within your community.
- Ask if they can provide you a name of someone
they think can help with your search.
If you are shy about asking for help, use the Internet and
professional networking Web sites such as LinkedIn, an online tool used by job
hunters. Be sure to let others know you want to – and are ready to – return to
Moving into a different job or exploring a new career might
also be your personal choice. Informational interviewing is an easy way to find
out about job options.
Arrange to visit someone in a job you are interested in at
his or her workplace. You can learn about the day-to-day tasks and the training
or education that might be required. While there, you might also hear about
possible job openings.
Many local groups can assist you with your job search:
- Each state has an office that handles vocational
rehabilitation to help people with disabilities find jobs and provide access to
training, career development and assistive technology. Most states also have an
Office of Disability Services, which can provide a list of local social service
agencies that run employment-related programs.
- Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are a
national network that provide an array of services to people with disabilities
and can assist you in finding other resources, such as accessible
transportation and career fairs in your community.
- Web sites that find jobs for people with
disabilities, include accessibleemployment.org,
a national job board that offers information for those who have experienced a
stroke or other disabilities.
is a federal Web site that provides information on nine different areas
including employment, housing, training, education, and is a go-to source for
state and local resources.
Networking, informational interviews and vocational
rehabilitation can help stroke survivors be more confident as they consider
returning to work and can be an important step to finding a meaningful new
Employment information and networking sites
Elaine E. Katz, MS,
CCC-SP, is the vice president of Grant Programs and Special Initiatives at the
Kessler Foundation. She holds a certificate of clinical competence in speech
pathology from the American-Speech-Hearing Association. She received her
master’s degree in speech pathology from Adelphi University and bachelor’s
degree from Boston University in speech pathology and audiology.
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