› Are you a disabled professional looking to change or enhance your career? Listen to the voices of these professionals as they tell their career stories in their own words:
My disability is related to having a damaged nervous system and a sensitivity to acoustics due to working for years in environments that contain a lot of electronics, specifically sound, radio and electromagnetic devices. My work encompasses wearing many hats in order to both research and manufacture food products that will be popular with the public. Because our product line focuses on healthy food, we normally have fewer options when it comes to ingredients and therefore have to be very creative in order to please people that prioritize taste over health.
This job has been one of the most rewarding that I have ever had. I'm fairly lucky to be involved at the level I am doing something I enjoy. To be able to do my job, I would recommend that you get a 4 year business degree and maybe an MBA because most the people that you compete with at your level will have that background.
I have a bilateral, moderately-severe sensorineural hearing loss. I need minor accommodations like closed captioning on televised or video training programs, a telephone with an amplified handset, and some solution that doesn't involve listening to conference calls on a speaker phone. My own disability has never been a concern with my job, but it does cause some minor headaches occasionally.
One of the biggest misconceptions about government workers is that we are all lazy and don't work hard. This is absolutely not true for many of us. Me, and many of my colleagues, will go to bed at night worrying about how to fix a problem for a client or how we can better help someone.
I am proud of my career because of the difference I can make in people's lives. I feel like I am providing a valuable service to the American public in the best way that I can.
Construction Materials Technician
As a high-functioning autistic person, finding a job that offered stable income without the hassle and frustration of coping with other people all the time seemed almost impossible for me. Ten years ago, I hired on with a geotechnical firm in Las Vegas, Nevada as a sample pickup driver.
Being a construction materials technician has a lot of advantages and a lot of opportunities for advancement, but it comes at a price. Long hours and the occasional confrontation with contractors make this job difficult, especially during peak construction times. Even so, for someone like me who functions better when the job parameters are well-defined and my interaction with others is limited, it's well worth considering as a career option.
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