Entry-level Or Not, It’s All About Leverage

by “Italy”

   Welcome back readers. I’m super excited for the opportunity to write to you again. Last post I said there were some things I thought might be good to consider before taking a position at an agency specifically designed to hire blind and visually-impaired employees.

  Rather than keep you waiting, which would probably be fun for me, I’m going to go ahead and jump right into these considerations.

   First question to ask yourself, why am I taking this job? It’s important to consider your reason for taking the open position. I know you’re thinking “Of course it is. I need the money.”  This, I totally understand. However, it is important to have a solid foundation. Something that is driving you to stay employed. An anchor.  

   A person who takes a job because he or she wants to get out of the house is less likely to stay employed when things get shaky. My anchor is that I have to take care of myself and my bills surpass what my government check can cover.

   When you’re educated and working for a blind employment agency, most of the open positions are in manufacturing or call centers. It is what it is. But what happens when you get bored or frustrated with working a position that is not fulfilling?

   I came into my position ready to work. I had so much energy and zeal for what I was doing. Eventually after about the first year, I was over it. Boredom and the fact that I have so much more to offer started to take a toll on me.

   I’ve been ready to walk away on many occasions. That’s where my anchor comes in. Reality is that this job is necessary and until I have secured a new one, I will be working right where I am now.

   Second, what is your plan while working the entry- level position? This is one that I wish I would have known to consider prior to accepting my position. You may be thinking “The plan is to make money and go on fancy vacations with my friends.” And I do not disagree.

   Nevertheless, I don’t want to be the person who works an entry-level position for 10-plus years because I got comfortable and I don’t want this to be you either. You need to think about how long you want to stay in the position you’re in. 

   Is this just a measure you are taking to prepare yourself for your next job at a different company? After how many years, without promotion, will you start searching for employment?  Do you plan on moving up the ladder in this organization?

   A good question to ask the recruiter during the hiring process is whether or not there is room for advancement. If possible, inquire about success stories. Not asking for personal information on employees, but try to gain some knowledge on the success stories of the organization.

     Also, ask how long you will have to work in the position you’re hired in before you can move within the organization? This way you can keep an eye on the positions and start applying right when you’ve met the required time worked.

   Third, what is your ultimate career goal and how will working for this organization help you get there?

   It is important that you always keep your ultimate career goal in mind. This will keep you alert to opportunities in the organization that may give you experience related to that goal.

   National Industries for the Blind offers a variety of leadership development programs and so do some of the member agencies. There are also volunteer opportunities, especially in organizations that have programs or offer rehabilitation services. Signing up for leadership training and or volunteer opportunities is a great way to build your resume.

   The word is “leverage” people.

   Your ultimate career goal, along with these opportunities, will help you maximize your experience as a well-educated entry level employee at a blind agency

   Finally, my posts are not an attempt to get you to give up the idea of working for a blind agency. The mission of these agencies is awesome. I couldn’t be more proud of my agency’s efforts to lower the unemployment rate of the blind.

    I just want you to be sure that it’s the right move for you and that you keep your final goal in mind. You have to be a forward thinker or you’ll get caught up in a cycle of working in an area that you know you don’t belong in.

 This, Grasshopper, will lead to dissatisfaction, which will in turn lead to you becoming angry and even bitter at the circumstances you find yourself in.

Well… I guess this is farewell. Thanks Page 7, for the opportunity. I am grateful. 

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2 Comments

  1. There is a lot of dissatisfaction when the blind are employed by agencies or companies that are meant to employ the blind. Question is, what options do we seriously have. Many people I know work in such places because they can’t get hired, or can no longer be hired, by businesses that are “main stream.”

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