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  1. Working with Purpose: Having Experience Under Your Belt Julie Ouellette, M.Ed., CCC Paul Menton Centre for Students With Disabilities, Carleton University

  2. Post-secondary Education + Work experience _____________________________ meaningful career

  3. Why have a post-secondary education? NEADS Nov. 15, 2008

  4. NEADS Earnings and Unemployment Rate by Educational Attainment Source: Occupational Outlook Quarterly (Fall 2008)

  5. In your job search, have you seen… NEADS “Minimum two to three years of relevant experience.” “At least two years direct service experience.” “Experience preferred.” Nov. 15, 2008

  6. Why have work experience? NEADS Nov. 15, 2008

  7. NEADS Educational Attainment Source: Occupational Outlook Quarterly (Fall 2008)

  8. NEADS Nov. 15, 2008 “I should think you’d jump at the chance to hire me right out of college. I haven’t been previously owned, so to speak.”

  9. The Benefits of Having Work Experience – Employer NEADS Can you apply what you are learning in school in our work setting? (theory to practice) What will you contribute to our organisation? What strengths will you bring to our team? Nov. 15, 2008

  10. Most importantly, can you do the work? NEADS Nov. 15, 2008

  11. The Benefits of Having Work Experience – Employee NEADS Financial reasons Change of pace from academics Can bring context and meaning to studies Learn more about the options available to you with your education Develop a sense of competence with workplace learning Help determine a future career Decide for whom you would like to work Social participation Nov. 15, 2008

  12. But can you balance academics and work? NEADS Nov. 15, 2008

  13. Potential Challenges For Students With Disabilities NEADS You are already taking a reduced course load and don’t have time to work Because of funding sources you can’t earn too much additional money You have never worked in your field or in a professional setting and don’t know your disability-related needs Your disability is non-visible and you don’t know how to ask and employer for what you need to be successful You don’t want to extend your degree program longer with a coop or similar program Nov. 15, 2008

  14. How To Gain Experience As A Student NEADS What’s available within your institution? Cooperative education Programs with built-in internships, placements, apprenticeships Experiential learning opportunities Research assistant (RA) positions Teaching assistant (TA) positions Paraprofessional roles (mentor or peer-assistance programs) Semester abroad Alternate spring break program Nov. 15, 2008

  15. How To Gain Experience As A Student What’s available within your school or community? • Temporary • Occasional/seasonal • Part-time opportunities • Volunteer positions What are possible alternate work arrangements? • Flextime • Job sharing • Telecommuting • Working from home • Time-shared workspace

  16. Potential Organizational Mythsfor Students With Disabilities NEADS YLNTM or “You look normal to me” People with disabilities will need more training Accommodations cannot be made for short-term and/or student employment Accommodations are too expensive **You may need to demystify disability** Nov. 15, 2008

  17. Top Personal Qualities Employers Seek • Communication Skills (verbal and written) • Work ethic • Ability to work well with others • Initiative • Ability to relate well to others Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Job Outlook 2008

  18. What Post-Secondary Students Look For In An Employer • Enjoying your work • Honesty and fairness • Employs ethical business practices • Benefits package • Provides stability and security Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers’ 2006 Graduating Student & Alumni Survey

  19. Reframing Your Job Search NEADS Do not undervalue your skills! Nov. 15, 2008 have to work want to work WORK ATTITUDE get to work

  20. “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” ~Anatole France NEADS Nov. 15, 2008

  21. Where to go for help? NEADS Online job search sites Post-secondary institution’s career centre Disability services office People: family, friends, classmates, instructors Community agencies, professional organisations Nov. 15, 2008

  22. Questions? NEADS Julie Ouellette Julie_ouellette@carleton.ca Carleton University www.carleton.ca Paul Menton Centre www.carleton.ca/pmc Nov. 15, 2008