Transforming Disabilities into Opportunities [VIDEO]
July 15, 2014
Being blind since birth, I’ve faced struggles throughout my life – from interacting with people to establishing a career to using new technology. Rather than being discouraged and giving up, I used these challenges as inspiration and repositioned obstacles as opportunities.
My passion is in recruiting. I’ve been a recruiter for more than 30 years, starting my career at a recruitment firm and now owning my own consultancy. I’ve worked hard and established meaningful relationships that have helped me realize my professional aspirations. By sharing my story of how I used my disability to fuel my career ambitions, I hope to inspire you to overcome obstacles to achieve your career goals.
Surround Yourself With People Who Fuel Your Ambitions
My aunt was the first to fuel my ambition to do something significant. She put me in in community service clubs, debating and public speaking. Later in life, I had mentors who eventually got me into business. I surrounded myself with people who realized I had talents that I didn't even know I possessed. One is never self-made, so I encourage you to find people to push you and draw out your hidden qualities.
Turn A “Disability” into a Unique Ability
Once I realized what I was capable of, I no longer considered my blindness as a disability, but rather as an unparalleled quality. When I was looking for jobs at recruitment firms, their feedback was, “You can't be a recruiter because you can't see” or “You can't see what candidates look like” However, not seeing someone’s physical appearance helped me bring a cerebral, unbiased approach to recruitment. My unique selling point was that I operate on raw input of data. If you interview a person, much of your impression is their packaged presentation. With me, I look at the aura that the individual communicates, and I form an impression of what they really are about. This unique ability helped me secure jobs and succeed in my career. So turn your weaknesses into valuable skills, and you’ll be able to improve your career path significantly.
Find A Career That Puts a Smile on Your Face Every Day
Finally, you should take the time to find your passion. I started my professional life as a sales manager in wholesale businesses and manufacturing, particularly in radio. I also dabbled in retail businesses. But the one thing I was good at, and was really passionate about, was recruiting. Headhunting is something that I love doing because it's a matter of mixing, matching, finding the right person and providing them with the right opportunity. If you get it right, you can seriously impact the individual and the business. My job puts a smile on my face at the end of every day. Follow your passion and find that level of satisfaction in your career, and as they say, you’ll never “work” a day in your life.
Editor’s Note: If LinkedIn has helped you transform your career or business, please share your story with us or write a post on LinkedIn with the hashtag #MyLinkedInStory. For more inspiration, check out more success stories.