After graduating from high school, I attempted to join the workforce. It didn’t go well.
At the ripe age of 18, I thought I was ready for the big, bad world. It turns out the big, bad world was not ready for me.
The problem? For starters, I was completely honest.
I have learning disabilities, but I can do any job as well as the next person. My LDs are never something I have hidden. They are not something I am ashamed of. They make me who I am.
But to potential employers, I was too much of a liability. Some didn’t even want to talk to me. They agreed to a job interview just so I wouldn’t threaten them with a discrimination lawsuit! They were so hesitant to take my resume from my hands that you’d swear I was passing along a deadly disease!
The interviews always started the same way: “Tell me a little bit more about yourself” and “Why do you want to work for us?” With time, I began asking myself a slightly different question: Why would I want to go work for someone who obviously doesn’t want me there?
Better yet… why did you even invite me in? Why waste everyone’s time? And why do so many employers consider a candidate with learning disabilities to be a lost cause? So what if you need to explain some things with more clarity? You want the job done right, don’t you?
We are not stupid people. We are very intelligent.
We are just as worthy as anyone else.
You don’t want us? Too bad.
Someone else will, and the competitive advantage will slip right through your fingers.