Meet Kirsty; Employment
Here, Kirsty tells us about her thoughts on entering the world of work.
Employment is one of the most important factors of a person’s life. Without it, we have no means of earning our own money. Of course, there are benefits for those who can’t work, but for some people, the feeling of gaining money without actually having done something to earn it feels somewhat selfish.
I am now in my sixth year of high school, and we have begun thinking about what we will do with our lives once we leave. I certainly don’t want to be stuck at home watching daytime TV 24/7 (as nice as that sounds!), I would much rather be out doing a job I love, and gaining from it the money I need in order to live comfortably. However, I do realise that my journey into “the real world” will be far more treacherous than that of my peers.
Firstly, there are so many more aspects to take into consideration; whereas most people my age are thinking solely about their qualifications, and whether they have done enough to get into college/university, I will have to focus on how accessible these places are and whether they can accommodate me, not just whether the course is suited to what I want to do once I graduate.
I have to admit that I haven’t thought a lot about what I’m going to do once I leave education completely. I’m taking it one step at a time and my next goal from here is university. However, the world of employment to me still seems like uncharted waters. I know what I want to do and I’m good at what I do, but, being disabled, these elements are the last thing that employers will consider. I almost feel like everyone else in my year has it easy. They have fewer worries when leaving school, and, even though some may be nervous about moving on from their comfort zone, I am apprehensive about whether I will be given the proper support I need, and whether my life will be a lot more difficult once I leave my comfort zone.
I think what I am most worried about when entering the world of work is the fact that some employers may dismiss me because of my disability. I’ve been writing stories and poems since I was nine years old, so I’ve had years of practice and experience, however, I always fear that employers will patronise me – that’s my biggest fear. I hate being looked down upon, and I am scared that when I do get a job, I won’t be seen to be as capable as my co-workers.
Since I started volunteering at Bobath I have had a glimpse of what the working environment is like. I feel very comfortable here as I have been given an opportunity to experience what it is like working in journalism. Even though I am volunteering, having my work published makes me feel like I have actually achieved something worth shouting about, and writing for a charity which has helped me so much throughout my life makes me realise that I’m doing this for a reason.
Right now, for me, there are a lot more questions than answers, and I realise that I have a long way to go, and a lot of changes to get used to, before I can stop stressing over qualifications, interviews and access issues. I love writing, and I love sharing my opinions. If I were to get a job in journalism, I think I’d be the happiest person alive. However, I realise that my road to employment will be a rocky one, and that there will be many hurdles to overcome, but, if I have confidence in myself then I can achieve anything I put my mind to.