Take a minute to scroll through your LinkedIn feed and you’ll find most experts agree: The job market is hot right now. But in today’s fast-paced working world, how does a disabled professional stand out amongst a crowd of less qualified, more able-bodied candidates?
Don’t stress! We rounded up five fashion tips to help you nail that interview and make the perfect first impression — namely, “Look! Look at me! My disability is sooooo palatable. Like, SO palatable. Don’t you want to hire me and check off that DEI box without having to, you know, actually do anything?”
1. Wear a dress, girl boss!
Sure, they know you’re disabled, but do they know you are also a lady? Blow their minds and befuddle their senses with the revelation that a girl can be disabled and hot. The straight man interviewing you won’t know whether he’s supposed to sexualize you or pity you — and you can sneak into the job while he’s busy figuring it out.
2. With accessories, less is more.
Remember what Coco Chanel said: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” So before you head out for that chat with the hiring manager, lose one of those mobility aids! Are they accessories? Of course not, but your future boss is going to act like they are, so you might as well get used to it now.
3. Bring a nondisabled friend who has learned to look at life with a new perspective after meeting you.
Nothing says “I am Daddy’s perfect inspiring little disabled worker” like a nondisabled friend who learned to be grateful about their own life from witnessing yours. Show them you already know how to be a convenient prop for the growth of others by being one, in real time, during the interview! And as an added bonus, you can use your friend as a reference to confirm that no, you won’t ask anyone to actually interrogate the way ableism permeates the company (because you’re disabled, but not Like That).
4. Cosplay as Paddington Bear.
If he can cost the British government millions in property damage and still be adored by the people, surely you can manage to get one (1) reasonable accommodation in the workplace without retaliation. It’s called manifesting, bestie!
5. Don’t be afraid to experiment with prints or a pop of color —
Wait, they hired that nondisabled friend you brought? When he doesn’t even work in this industry? Well, I guess just go home then.