Simple changes at your workplace and help from job counselors can keep you on your career path when you have multiple sclerosis (MS). The key is to learn where to get the advice you need.
How Do I Find a Job That Matches My Skills?
State government agencies and health care facilities offer job rehabilitation services to help you find the right job or succeed in the one you've got. They can help you:
- Figure out what you're good at and match you with jobs that fit your skills and abilities
- Think about what you want -- and don't want -- in a career
- Define your job goals
These programs may offer tests that can help you think about your interests, strengths, and limitations. You can also look online for self-assessments that can help you better understand your job needs.
Counselors may use a computer database to match jobs with your work history and your current physical and mental skills. They can also support and guide you through your decision-making process. They can even help you write your resume and learn techniques for job interviews.
How Do I Find Out If My New Workplace Is Safe?
A counselor can observe you at work while you do specific tasks to see if you can safely perform a job. He may then recommend a change in your duties or your work site to improve safety.
Keep in mind that your rights are protected by a law called the Americans with Disabilities Act. In general, it means employers need to make "reasonable accommodations" for any disabilities you have because of your MS.
"Accommodations" means that your employer makes changes to the way a job is done or to the equipment you need to do it.
The National MS Society recommends that you work with your employer, rather than take legal action right away. For example, it can help to show your company how changes to your workplace or equipment can make you more productive.
What Is Job Coaching?
Community agencies may offer job coaching for people with severe disabilities. This lets you get help on the job to learn procedures, organize and prioritize tasks, and meet your employer's production standards.
A job coach works closely with you to set up your duties based on your overall strengths and limits.