The title of my blog may cause you to raise your brow. As a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) working to prepare my students who are blind or visually impaired for the workforce, I find myself raising my brow when I hear excuses from students who choose not to locate or utilize known solutions to be successful in school, successful in the workforce, and well, just successful period! All of my students with vision loss are capable of achieving their individual greatness in this world, and I know you are too.
I get it. I’m guilty of making excuses too. We all are. Excuses are often our way to deter our regrets or humiliation and protect ourselves from criticism. When I didn’t exercise yesterday by going on my daily walk, I blamed it on the Florida heat. It was a credible excuse, but I also had an alternate option to workout inside. Our excuses make us feel less accountable, but unfortunately, they can be self-handicapping.
A quote by Tony Jeary (author and coach for top executives such as Walmart) inspired my focus for this week’s blog: “If you choose to live in solutions, the world eagerly awaits your dreams and provides every tool and opportunity you need to turn them into reality.” There is truth in Jeary’s quote.
Are your excuses preventing you from reaching your goal of employment or advancing in your career as a person with vision loss? If so, it’s time to make changes by "living in solutions." How? I offer you three suggestions:
Evaluate your current employment situation. Where are you in the workforce right now as a person who is blind or visually impaired? Are you employed? Are you volunteering but desire a permanent position? Do you want to advance in your career by being promoted? Are you working part-time but need a full-time position? Has a rapid decline in your vision prompted you to consider making a career change? Are you unhappy at your current job?
Acknowledge your employment situation. This is the step where you may find yourself swallowing the lump in your throat or taking a deep breath. It takes courage to admit a situation exists, especially a situation which is not working or needs change.
Initiate and follow through with a plan for change. Now’s the time to follow Jeary’s advice and use the "tools and opportunities in the world to make your dreams a reality." AFB offers solutions and tools to support your plans as a job seeker or employee who is blind or visually impaired to create employment opportunities for yourself. I’ve gathered some for you to review.
Tools to Support Your Employment Plans
- Take the Maintain Employment and Advance Your Career course to prepare yourself for the promotion you deserve.
- Read how to Develop the Confidence to Succeed in the Workforce to generate success not excuses.
- Research Worksite Accessibility to ensure your environment and tasks are accessible to you in a manner which increases your productivity at work.
- Hone Your Job Search Skills to locate a job opportunity.
- Find a cheerleader to support you by Connecting with Successful Mentors in the Workforce Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired.
- Overcome your fears of changing jobs by reading Steve’s Story of Changing Jobs.
- Advocate for training from your state’s Vocational Rehabilitation Agency to support you in entering or advancing in the workforce as a person who is blind or visually impaired.
The tools available to you extend beyond what I listed. The next time you make an excuse for your employment situation, write it down and find a solution to the excuse. Better yet, locate a resource for helping you overcome the barrier which may indeed lie within your excuse for not using the "tools and opportunities" to make the dreams you have about your employment status a reality.
If you found inspiration in Jeary’s quote, share a solution you used in place of an excuse to create an opportunity for yourself. Another reader may find inspiration in your example!