Returning to the workforce after children can be a big decision for a deaf or hard of hearing stay-at-home parent. As a mom or dad, you are moving from one stage of parenthood to the next as you may feel like your children do not need you as much as they used to, and you would like to start working again. You may want to return to work because of the additional income; you want to jumpstart your career, or you want to keep yourself busy when all of your children are at school. In any case, here are some excellent tips for finding a new job as someone with hearing loss at any career level:
Decide what you want before starting your job search
Before you look at job postings online, write a list of your own interests and goals, including your work qualifications and job experience. Brainstorm possible jobs that you might want to apply. Decide if you can work full-time or part-time. Creating such a list can undergo several revisions which are perfectly normal. As a deaf parent, you can decide whether or not you want to work in businesses or organizations that employ other deaf and hard of hearing people. Knowing yourself and have an understanding of your unique life situation are critical to an effective job search.
Choose your favorite job boards or sites
Online job boards or job search sites can become your excellent job search tools. Clearly, you have many to choose from. There are general and niche job boards, even deaf job boards! Many employers that post jobs for deaf and hard of hearing people on deaf-related job board sites are actively seeking to hire people with hearing loss. Once you choose your favorite job boards or sites, bookmark them on your Internet browser and visit them regularly as new job vacancies are added often.
Create a great resume and cover letter
As you go through the job postings online, you should have a better understanding of what employers are looking for in job candidates. Look close at the qualifications requirements including the desired job skills and work experience. Your resume and cover letter are frequently the first contacts you make with potential employers. A resume and a cover letter are your opportunity to demonstrate to employers what you are capable of and to showcase your skills. You may need to revise your resume for each job you plan to apply, so you can emphasize your certain skills that fit the vacant job best. You also may need to explain the employment gap in your cover letter, especially when you have not been working for a while. It is perfectly fine to work with an experienced editor so that you will have a great resume and cover letters. As a deaf parent, you will need to decide if you want to put your hearing loss on your resume or cover letter. It is a personal choice. Your resume or cover letter may stand out above others if you reveal that you are deaf or hard of hearing, especially if businesses and organizations are actively looking to hire this group of people.
Prepare for interviews
A critical part of interview preparation is to analyze each job posting carefully. Make a list of your specific skills and experience that are important for the job. With the list handy, you should start practice answering interview questions that you might be asked during the interview. Use your favorite search engine to look for sample interview questions and start practicing! You can work on your interview skills with a family member or a friend. Practice often and you may find it easier to answer questions during a real job interview because of all of the preparation you did! Make sure that the employers will provide sign language interpreters for your job interviews if the hiring managers cannot interview you in sign language. You can ask for a different accommodation if you do not require an interpreter.
Stay optimistic and seek support
Searching for a job can be a slow and frustrating experience for anyone, especially for a deaf or hard of hearing stay-at-home parent. Staying optimistic throughout the job search process is very important, especially if you have been applying for jobs or interviewing for a while. Seek support from your close ones or peers. Talk with other deaf or hard of hearing parents who have a similar experience as yours can be quite beneficial for you. Ask them what has worked for them and what did not. Check with other deaf parents or peers to see if their employers are also hiring. Receiving this type of support can be quite priceless.
Congratulations on choosing to return to work! Going back to the workforce after being a stay-at-home parent can be both very exciting and terrifying times in your life! Remember this can be a life milestone for you even if you are just starting or you are returning to your career full-time.