Applying for jobs isn’t easy for anybody, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began. People with disabilities experience limited opportunities for employment and often become discouraged. Applying for a job requires an interview which creates anxiety and stress and unknown results. Applying for jobs takes a lot of time and can be overwhelming.
Yes She Can Inc. helps young women with autism learn how to apply for jobs and internships online. Through the skills classes via Zoom and individual coaching sessions, trainees learn the basic steps on how to present themselves on social media to employers, specifically on LinkedIn, create a resume, and apply the resumes to the specific jobs or internships they want.
Job coaches have to be very patient because every trainee is different; some trainees find searching for jobs more difficult than other trainees.
At Yes She Can, the job coach and the trainee take the time to discuss what the trainee wants to do in the future. Building a profile on the networking platform, LinkedIn, can help the trainee narrow down their choices on possible career opportunities. Helping the trainee prepare for a job interview can also make the trainee feel more confident in herself.
Learning virtual networking skills
When I started participating in Yes She Can, I didn’t have a LinkedIn profile. A job coach introduced me to what LinkedIn is and how it can help me find employment. LinkedIn has helped me to grow my personal network, which has improved my chances of finding internships. I started making connections with the people at Yes She Can, then updated my profile based on the education I have received, the skills I have developed, and my career interests.
In addition, when I applied for my first internship, I looked up the company on LinkedIn and the company’s LinkedIn profile gave me information on what the company is about, where the company is located, and what skills the company requires. I took an interest in that company and applied on the job site, Indeed. The application asked me to upload my resume, as well as my phone number and email address so the internship manager could contact me for an interview.
A few days later, I was asked for an interview over the phone. Yes She Can staff had taught me appropriate interview responses and as a result I felt confident during the phone interview.
Some interviews are more challenging than others. I had applied for several internships but learned during the interviews that some of the internships I had applied to were not a good fit for me. It was a stressful experience. It helped reinforce the idea that preparation for any job interview you are asked to do is essential.
Lessons learned, confidence gained.
When my first internship ended, the internship manager recognized the work I had done for the internship. The manager had monitored what skills I improved on and I finished the internship on a good note.
Now, I feel more confident in myself and have started two new remote internships. Yes She Can helps women with autism develop confidence and bravery in themselves by teaching the necessary skills needed for employment and applying those skills to the jobs they want. With that new confidence, I feel like I can take on the role of leadership and can pass this experience on to new trainees.
By Baneesha Mukherjee, Yes She Can trainee
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