Handicaps – Disabilities or Prejudices?

“…. “handicap” is a loose term, referring to either job-hunters’ disabilities or employers’ prejudices. There is a difference, and you need to remember that.

Suppose you cannot hear. If you are considering a job that requires acute hearing, then that is a disability: it means there are certain skills you don’t have, that are essential, at least for that job.

But now let us suppose you can hear perfectly, but you are way overweight. If you are applying for that same job, this is not a disability unless it interferes with your ability to do that work. Nonetheless, a particular employer may be prejudiced against overweight people, and simply won’t hire you.

So, here’s the distinction: a disability is something within you. A prejudice is something within the employer.

Both may appear as handicaps that keep you from getting hired, but it is important to understand that a real handicap is a disability you have – you cannot do some important task required in that particular job. On the other hand, a prejudice is a phantom handicap. It may raise its ugly head in one particular interview or more, but if you keep on going, find the right employer, then poof! – the so-called handicap vanishes.

You must just be sure you don’t share some employers’ prejudices. That is, don’t look at yourself through their eyes. Look at yourself through your own eyes.”

– Richard N. Bolles, What Color Is Your Parachute?. 🙂

It’s selling cheaply on Amazon, especially if you live in USA. It’s selling much cheaper on Amazon than in my bookshop here in Singapore ($27).

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