#DEI, not so much

I’m going to shift gears a little bit today and give a brief synopsis of my current situation. I am 50, disabled, and no recent job experience. 3 strikes, and so far I’m out. I spent the last 3 years studying international relations. My last class ends August 10th, 2022 when I get my Bachelor’s Degree. What I failed to realize is that most government jobs, city, state, federal, require a medical exam. What I am not understanding is how a disabled individual like myself is supposed to find a job/career that my degree prepared me for, if I can’t pass a medical exam? My job search the last 6 months or so was focused on finding a government job, more like a career in government service. I did have an internship lined up, but ultimately had to pass on the internship due to unforeseen financial circumstances. That was my shot. I will just say that what happened was devastating to me personally. I can’t talk about it because of the agreement I had to sign. My daughter starts studying at a University this fall and I decided it would be best for me to stay until she moves out on her own and be completely independent. We don’t really know anyone here so she had no family except me, I’m sure you can figure out why it would be best for me to stay put. There are a myriad of reasons that circumstances dictate our lives and a lot of the time, we are not in control. Which can be a horrible feeling. This is especially true for the disabled community. It’s not a good feeling when a recruiter reaches out to you and asks why you haven’t worked for the last 20 years. You answer truthfully, and never hear from them again. The real reason can never be known of course, and no one is going to say that it’s because of a disability. Maybe it’s because I have no recent experience? I thought that’s why I went to college. I am extremely intelligent, my learning disability just makes me a little slow to figure things out sometimes. But if a recruiter doesn’t bother to find out who someone is, they will never know. The disabled community is not irrelevant. I do hope to find a place where I fit in and love what I do, but my job focus has changed to finding a job where I can gain experience. It’s not ideal, but that’s my path for now. I am not a 20 something year old college graduate. I have many years of experience, life experience, and I have developed new passions in life. Like learning about the world around me. How the world functions, politically and economically. Maybe I’m not making that clear in my resume or cover letter? I have had my resume professionally edited, so I’m not too sure about that. One thing I know for certain is that the ‘good-ol-boy network still exists. The same as it was 30 years ago when I was trying to find work. Finding a career takes a bit of luck and being in the right place at the right time. Networking, finding the best internships, having the right degree for the current era, all play a part. One thing that being disabled has taught me, being able to adapt to changing circumstances. That is a trait that has to come naturally because in the disabled arena, no two days are alike. For example, I am in constant pain, a dull pain normally. I’ve learned to deal with it and it doesn’t bother me. Some days I might be more dizzy or nauseous, or my balance might be a little off. I have learned to adapt so I can continue my days. With so many setbacks, it is very hard to stay motivated. It would be easy for me just to go through life sitting on the couch and collect my disability check, and it would be completely understandable if I did that. But part of being disabled is getting to a point that gives us the best quality of life. I spend almost 10 years as an experiment to find my best quality of life. And it didn’t come from doctors or medicine, it was me that gave myself the best quality of life because I never gave up and I continue to move forward.

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Published by Michael Foglietta

I will be 51 years old in August of 2022, I will also graduate from The University of Arizona with my first Bachelor's degree in Political Science/International Relations. It was a long road to get to this point. In December of 2003 I had a blood clot burst in the back of my head which sidelined my career as a Test Engineer. I was not expected to survive, have meaningful employment, or go back to college. I accomplished all 3 despite my learning disability and other side effects. I spend many years in recovery. I decided to return to college and then enter the workforce once again. I am currently finishing my last few classes and then I will have my diploma in August of 2022. Extremely happy and proud of what I've accomplished. Now I just need to find a job here in Tucson. Hopefully a career opportunity. I started this website with the intention of blogging about my long journey to this point and showcase my writing ability with the hopes of breaking into freelance writing. I hope that my story can be an inspiration to others who have had similar life changing events and share thoughts in this forum, which I am new to and still learning.

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