Making a career choice is a big decision, especially if you are not quite sure which field to enter. Those who are just starting out in the workforce have an equally big decision to make.
Before beginning a new career it’s important to ask three questions:
1) Will this job be fulfilling?
2) Where will this job lead me in the future?
3) How much of an investment in education does this profession require?
Let’s address the first question: Will this job be fulfilling? Most everyone wants to have a meaningful life, one where their actions make a difference in someone’s life, or they have somehow made the world a happier place. Of course, there are exceptions to this but for the most part, people feel good when they help others or help the world in some way. Why do people commit to volunteer work or other philanthropic acts? It fulfills the inner need to contribute to society as a whole. When a job fulfills that need, the person feels complete.
The second question is: Where will the job lead if I move on in the future? Looking ahead is practical and wise. Life takes different turns, and planning prevents a dead-end career choice. Some beginning careers are versatile with a multitude of other career options readily available should the person move on. Other careers tend to be narrowly focused and make it more difficult for career changes.
Finally, you may wonder: How much money will I need to invest just to get in the door of a coveted career choice? Investing in an education is not always practical or doable for everyone. With the cost of education very high, it makes sense to consider other alternatives to traditional university degrees initially.
A career working in a facility supporting people who have disabilities is one in which all of the above questions are satisfactorily answered. They are among the most vulnerable in our society and children with disabilities even more so. Helping people in an educational setting achieve academic and life goals is both noteworthy and deeply rewarding. There would not be any question as to whether you were making a difference in the world or not; you would see the evidence before your eyes every day. As people make progress and you witness the change and see the delight in their eyes when they accomplish their goals, you will be fulfilled.
The other benefit of working with people with disabilities is the open doors it provides for future opportunities. Not only are you working in a learning environment or educational setting but you will also gain experience in the realm of healthcare. This will provide work experience in viable, growing industries. According to statistics, the health care industry is a growing market offering a vast array of different jobs in healthcare. Actually, it is growing faster than all other industries. Over the last year, healthcare facilities provided over 500,000 new jobs. This represents the largest increase in one year for the last twenty-five years, and the market is on the upward trend.
Now to the question about how much of an investment in education will you need before you gain access to a fulfilling healthcare career. Many entry-level positions working with children, teens and adults with disabilities offer excellent training programs, tuition reimbursement, and positive environments. These programs prepare employees with the needed experience for future careers in healthcare and education. So, not only are you gaining a fulfilling job opportunity but valuable training opportunities as well.
Working with people with disabilities in schools and residential settings provides an opportunity to be fulfilled inwardly, receive valuable training, and expand future career options. ACLD currently has many opportunities across Long Island that allows you to have meaningful impact on those you support. For information on Helping People to ASPIRE HIGHER by becoming a Direct Support Professional at ACLD, please apply online at www.acld.org. An EOE m/f/d/v.