I’m Yvonne Jack, a proud Nigerian living with a spinal cord injury. I’ve faced my fair share of challenges living with a disability in Nigeria from lack of access to unemployment. But today, I want to focus on one of the most significant hurdles – finding employment.
Living with a disability in Nigeria, especially one as physically limiting as a spinal cord injury, can be incredibly tough. The sad reality is that employment opportunities for people like me are scarce. Many of us face this uphill battle, trying to secure a job that values our expertise, skills and talents, particularly when it comes to traditional job markets. The unemployment rate for individuals like me can be disheartening, and discrimination is a bitter pill we often have to swallow.
As an international trade and Chinese language degree holder, for years I sent out countless job applications, attended interviews, and faced rejection after rejection. It wasn’t because I lacked the skills or determination, but rather because of the physical limitations my spinal cord injury imposed. Employers often hesitated to hire me, concerned about accessibility and productivity. It was a disheartening experience to say the least. But then, something remarkable happened.
One day, while browsing the internet, I stumbled upon a video of a woman talking about how she’d been working from home and earning a lot of money. I researched online courses and platforms that offered a world of knowledge and skills at my fingertips. It was a revelation! I realized that I could enhance my existing skills and learn new ones without ever leaving my home. The idea of acquiring skills online was a game-changer!
I started taking online courses, learning everything from digital marketing to content creation and virtual assistance.The beauty of online learning is that it’s accessible to anyone with an internet connection and a computer, regardless of where you are. As I delved deeper into online learning, my skill set grew, and so did my confidence. With each completed course, I gained not only knowledge but also the potential to work remotely, independently of my physical limitations.
The beauty of online work is that it transcends geographical boundaries. It doesn’t matter where you are; if you have the skills and the drive, you can connect with clients and employers from around the world. This opened up a world of possibilities for me.
As I honed my skills, I realized that the digital world had no physical barriers. My disability did not define me here, instead my skills did. I started applying for remote jobs and freelance projects internationally. To my delight, I found that employers were interested in what I could do rather than my physical limitations. Today, I am proud to say that I am gainfully employed and working with international clients from the comfort of my home.
I share my story not for sympathy but to motivate others living with spinal cord injuries or any disability. In today’s digital age, physical limitations should not restrict our potential. Online learning platforms offer us the opportunity to learn new skills and open doors to remote work opportunities. Let’s leverage these resources. Let’s equip ourselves with knowledge and skills that make us competitive in the global job market. Remember, it’s not our physical condition but our will and determination that define us. Let’s turn our disabilities into possibilities!