Getting a good job today is not easy. You don’t get a job for life and there is no such thing as job security. Many people in our generation grew up seeing their parents and grandparents holding on to their jobs, even if they didn’t really like what they were doing. But things have changed a bit and now people look for more: not only the salary matters!
What might make the difference now is the job environment: enjoying what we do, having fun at work, being allowed to be creative or having a flexible schedule …
And employers have realised that it is good for the companies’ overall mental health as well. Employees who love their work and have a good relationship with their co-workers are more likely to do all they can for the company’s success.
But it is still not easy to find the perfect job.
Now imagine going one step further. Imagine how hard it gets if you have some sort of disability. According to official data, there are over 10 million people with disabilities in Germany, and out of those 7,9 millions are considered severely disabled. Wholesale and retail trade, car repair shops, and accommodation and food service activities are the branches where it is most difficult for people with disabilities to find a job.
But that doesn’t mean it is impossible.
“I was always told you are not going to make it, and I lost my motivation,” Adrian Sinani, a 27 year-old transport aid from Berlin told us. “Now this has changed. I have a job and everything is so much better,” he adds, smiling. Adrian works emptying used clothing containers across the German capital with his colleague Jürgen and has held his job for two years. His employer, Hannes Liebach, trusts him fully and is happy to have him on board. “He is of great help to us,” he said. “He has changed so much since he first arrived here. He brings a lot to the team,” he added. The invisible or variable nature of many disabilities are unknown to many employers, and Liebach admitted it wasn’t easy at first.
But he and his team partnered with a coaching team – and especially a young psychologist – who assisted them both in the accommodation process. Today he still describes them as “absolute key” to building the relationship his team has with Adrian today. As Adrian, many people with different disabilities make it into the job market every year, but only after pushing through adversity.
In this video, you will see how several young people managed to find their way.
Jörg Schmidt, 37, works as an Application Manager at the IT department at LaGeSo (Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales), Berlin. He completed a traineeship there and signed an indefinite contract last year. He feels really proud of himself and thankful to the people who helped him all the way through.
Vivien, who did not want to share her surname, works at a textile recycling company sorting wearable second hand goods. After several bad experiences she is now happy. She is allowed to wear what she wants while at work and she has found a team who values her.
Malik Wels, 25, is doing a traineeship at the Berlin Fire brigade. After trying out several other options, he now says he will fight hard to stay because his biggest dream is to one day be able to drive the fire truck.
The latest official figures in Germany show that 30% of people with disabilities were integrated in the labour market in 2017.
I will quote Adrian to finish:
“It doesn’t matter whether you are disabled or not. You can’t stop fighting”.