I am quite active on LinkedIn, where I enjoy adding my response to posted questions. Usually I add to job related questions, but also to wellness and other categories. This morning I woke up to find that my answer to a question had been selected by Trenton Wilson of Dream Coachers, http://www.linkedin.com/in/trentonwillson, the colleague who posted the question, as the Best Answer. I think the topic, barriers to employment, is worth sharing, and here it is:
There are certainly barriers to employment, but there are also many people with perceived barriers who work. Older folk, those who have been in jail, those without high school education and those whose childhood was so dismal that many would have given up hope and relied on welfare or handouts.
Why does one person work, and the other not, even when both can claim identical "barriers"?
I agree with other responders who have cited "self-imposed limitations" as the biggest obstacle. Someone once said something to the effect of "If you think you can't, you won't, and if you think you can, you will."
Sonny Bono of Sonny and Cher admitted that he was not "qualified" to be a song writer, or a successful businessman, nor a mayor, and yet he performed all three with great acclaim.
Just yesterday I watched a video that brought tears to my eyes of a young fellow without limbs who hasn't allowed that disability to disable his approach to living. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOlTdkYXuzE) Our own minds can be our worst enemies if we allow a negative, limiting, self-deprecating internal dialogue to flourish.
How do we as career practitioners help people overcome perceived barriers? Some are beyond our means to help and would benefit from therapy or counselling, but many benefit from seeing their resume transformed from a ho-hum generic document, to one that reveals the actual, the authentic, the on-the-job value they brought to past employers.
I can honestly say that the comment I enjoy hearing the most from my clients is along the lines of "I had to read my new resume twice, but yes, I did those things and I have so much more confidence now. Thank you so much." Sweet words that sustain me when my days are long!