From Pitfalls to Prospects: A Personal Recruiting Tale
Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbor was. “Light! Give me light!” was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour. ―Helen Keller
What follows is a personal anecdote shared with The Sourcing Institute by a recent graduate:
“Hi, my name is Kelli and I am one of those statistics above. I’m a recovering unemployed disabled professional. No, I’m not recovering from an addiction but a circumstance. The circumstance of being unemployed.
Imagine going to college and obtaining a graduate degree, just like your parents told you to do as they raised you. Diploma in hand, proud to be part of that “college grad” demographic, you find yourself eagerly searching for work. Soon after you realize no one will hire you. They don’t care that you’re educated. They’d rather hire someone who isn’t disabled or who doesn’t need special accommodations. So what do you do? You find employment, (as some blind people do) working as a Braille proofreader. Over the next six years you make less than $10,000 a year, well below the median income of $30,000 for those with disabilities, putting you well under the poverty line. That job ends for reasons out of your control and you start working for yourself because you’ve already tried and failed at getting a job in the so-called regular workforce. Why kick a dead rat when it’s already stiff and stinking? Over the next few years, your financial situation improves enough to keep you away from the soup kitchens, but you still don’t make enough to live independently, much less equal to what most educated folks do.
You begin to despair and lose faith that your working life will be filled with toil for little to no pay and reward. You become depressed yet remain hopeful that something good will eventually turn up. You start asking yourself questions like: Will I ever make enough to have a life of my own? Will I have to live off of shitty benefits forever? Will anyone recognize the value I can bring to their organization and appreciate me enough to pay me more than pennies to the dollar? What can I do to improve my situation when I’ve tapped out all available resources?
Now imagine said resources are such complete crap they, instead of helping me, blame me for my current situation? Because you know, just like minorities people with disabilities are lazy, used to being on the dole, and unmotivated to change their lives. Why not continue to milk the free ride?
Why should my story matter to you? Why should you care? How would you even be able to lend me and others like me a hand anyway? There are millions of highly-qualified, educated, skilled, unemployed military veterans and people with disabilities who are exactly where I used to be before I qualified for a full scholarship with The Sourcing Institute in their Talent Sourcing and Recruiting program. And, there are companies the world over who don’t yet know to utilize the immense benefits Talent Sourcing and Recruiting can bring to their bottom lines.”