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Thread: Degree in wrong field

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    Platinum Member Jetta's Avatar
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    Degree in wrong field

    Well it's something I enjoy but am not well suited for personality wise. My degree is in Housing Studies. I've applied for housing jobs through the county I only have my degree no experience. And having a disability turns off employers. I've worked in real estate tried to get back to it but feel it's too stressful financially. So gave up.

    I really fear losing my disability income because my hours sometimes go over at my chiropractor job so I may have started the ticket to work I don't know if once you start it it continues or starts and stops. So I feel at a loss on what to do. Finding a job in my field seems unlikely.

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    Well the thing is it's not yet your field. It's what you studied in school. Did you do internships back then in that area? If so call the people you interned for. My friend is 52, like me. A few years ago she switched within her general field to a very different area. After volunteering for over a year part time for a nonprofit she applied a number of times for paying full time positions and finally got one. So that might be a way in but it might take time and volunteer work. I don't think having a disability is the turn off. It's what precisely you can and cannot do that might be a challenge for employers. How is it the employer knows you have a disability? Do you mention it or things you cannot do because of your disability?

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    Well, I'm wondering if you could volunteer with a local housing non-profit or find a political candidate interested in housing issues to get some experience. Also you'll have to check with disability. In some places, they simply deduct the amount you go over from your check, but they actually want you to work and won't drop you. But I don't know how your state handles it.

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    Originally Posted by Jetta
    Well it's something I enjoy but am not well suited for personality wise. My degree is in Housing Studies. I've applied for housing jobs through the county I only have my degree no experience. And having a disability turns off employers. I've worked in real estate tried to get back to it but feel it's too stressful financially. So gave up.

    I really fear losing my disability income because my hours sometimes go over at my chiropractor job so I may have started the ticket to work I don't know if once you start it it continues or starts and stops. So I feel at a loss on what to do. Finding a job in my field seems unlikely.
    What turns off an employer is not a disability but for them to have to accommodate your limited hours to able you to collect disability.
    Employers are VERY accommodating if your disability doesn't prevent you from performing the job (ie they are not going to hire you as a paint color mixer if you are blind, etc.)
    If you need the desk at a different height to accommodate a wheelchair, or you need to swap desks so you are by a window and not in the middle of fluorescent lights if you have sensory issues, etc,
    If you need a "grabber" thing to reach things below your waist level, etc, But if they have a job where they need someone for certain hours and you can only work X, they are not obligated to hire two people to have a backup for you since you are not allowed to fill the hours.
    Or if they only need people for 6 am to noon and you can't do that because you have trouble waking up.

    Isn't that the whole point of collecting disability -- if you are able and well to work - you should not be collecting it? Wouldn't it be your goal to be gainfully employed so you can get ahead?

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    Platinum Member Jetta's Avatar
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    Yeah well there's a box you check have you ever had a disability or do you have a disability. I have to check yes.

    Thanks for the places to volunteer idea, yes I did intern not enough experience though was the excuse I was given at the last job I applied to in my field.

    I have treatments that currently would require time off more than usual. Once I've been stable for a while and feel comfortable I may return to full time, for now I work part time. And I'll only do it if I make enough to warrant the change. I have medical needs to consider.

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    Originally Posted by Jetta
    Yeah well there's a box you check have you ever had a disability or do you have a disability. I have to check yes.

    Thanks for the places to volunteer idea, yes I did intern not enough experience though was the excuse I was given at the last job I applied to in my field.

    I have treatments that currently would require time off more than usual. Once I've been stable for a while and feel comfortable I may return to full time, for now I work part time. And I'll only do it if I make enough to warrant the change. I have medical needs to consider.
    I have never see a box to check that you have a disability _- "do you require special accommodations" to do this job - yes i have seen that. Someone can write "i am only able to lift 30 lbs." "the cubicle i work in needs to wide enough for a wheelchair". concrete accommodations. They are not allowed to discriminate you JUST because you have a disability - unless it completely prevents you from doing the job (they need a point guard for the LA Lakers and you walk with crutches, etc.)

    Could it be that you were just not qualified/cannot work the hours they require?

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    But it wasn't necessarily an excuse. I have had experiences working with people who were hired without enough skills/experience to do the job. It can be really stressful for everyone including the new hire because if the assumption is that you do have enough experience then there won't be resources to teach you the basics or the extent of training you would need.

    Also your degree sounds broad. What precisely are the skills you have because of your degree and do you think you do a good job of communicating those and applying for jobs where you would be a good fit?

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    A bachelor's degree doesn't limit you to the field of your major, it's just a degree of study that specifies a concentration and a 'possible' platform for specialization. Most people do NOT end up working in the field of their bachelor's major.

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    As a housing studies student, you will learn about human needs and behavior, housing policy and community development, housing for special populations, and how to analyze designed environments. Students in housing studies find careers in state and federal agencies, nonprofit community organizations, housing regulation, and higher education

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    I think you have to decide what is most important; getting a full time job or keeping your disability benefits. It doesn't seem like you can have both.

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