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 have. They can work with you to:
- Figure out what you're good at and match you with jobs that fit your skills and talents
- Think about what you want -- and don't want -- in a career
- Define your job goals
These programs may offer tests to help you think about your interests, strengths, and limitations. You can also look online for self-assessments to get a better idea of your job needs.
Counselors could 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'll even help you write your resume and learn job interview techniques.
How Do I Know If My New Workplace Is Safe?
A counselor can watch to see if it's safe for you to do certain tasks. He might recommend a change in your duties or your work site to improve safety.
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.
It's best to work with your employer to make adjustments rather than take legal action right away. For example, it can help to show your company how changes to your workplace or equipment will make you more productive.
What Is Job Coaching?
Community agencies may offer job coaching for people with severe disabilities. This provides on-the job help 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.