Saturday, December 4, 2010

Must be able to lift at least 20 lbs.

Most job listings are very badly written. One of the more useful pieces of advice I ever got was from a career counsellor in college, who told me to treat the required qualifications as the employer's wish list...not an actual list of requirements. Of course, that was back before any job I might possibly be applying for was sure to be getting applicants with ten and fifteen years more experience than me. The recession is pretty awesome that way.

One of the things that bothers me the most, however, is the legalese tacked on at the end of many of them, stating that you must be able to lift x amount of weight, stand for a certain amount of time, or reach overhead. And I'm not talking about physical labor jobs here...working in a warehouse maybe, loading trucks...but just your basic run of the mill office desk jobs. Of course, I feel free to ignore those sections; I don't run out and find some weights to make sure I really can lift however much. As an able bodied person, they aren't targeted at me. It is true that even the most sedentary jobs sometimes include something that would be harder to do from wheelchair or with some other type of disability...reach the top shelf in the supply cabinet maybe, and I'm sure employers would rather be lazy and not have to find workarounds for that kind of thing. But is it really necessary to attach the same language to practically every job listing at some institutions, making sure that anyone with physical limitations feels discouraged from applying? Hopefully they had career counsellors telling them to apply anyways too, but it still seems pretty wrong to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment