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From: Beth Bienvenu
Date: 09 Oct 2006
Time: 07:32:09 -0500
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
Thanks for your post. That's one thing that my office is seeking to do - helping employers see past the disability to see the person's abilities. As for your question, I’d first like to point you toward an article that Chris Roach posted for 2004’s ISAD conference called “The Dreaded Job Interview: Secret Tips from the Inside -for Stutterers!” He points out that we can be just as competitive in job interviews (and on the job) as people who don’t stutter. Not only can we focus on our abilities, we can demonstrate how our stuttering has given us the ability to tackle problems and handle obstacles that come our way. You can find the article here: http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/isad7/papers/roach7.html Check out other articles in the archived conferences that deal with job issues. There have been many articles written on the topic, from many different perspectives – mine’s just one of many. (Thanks, Russ!) The best thing that I’ve found to build up my confidence in my abilities is to focus on my successes. Landing the job that you want can go a long way to building confidence (Yes! They like me, they really like me!), but focusing on the smaller successes – the tough project completed, the bonus or pat on the back for a successful project, the compliments from your co-workers or boss – all go toward reminding you of your skills and ability to do the job. Rather than limit yourself to what you know you can do, challenge yourself to reach a bit farther each time – make the extra phone calls, volunteer for the extra duty or speaking opportunity – and add those to your list of the things that you have done a good job with. Keep a portfolio of your accomplishments – every email where someone praises your work, every good performance evaluation. You can use this when it’s time for the next job interview or raise request, but you can also use it whenever your speech gets you down and you need a little confidence boost. Maintaining one’s confidence in the face of something that can be so ego-destroying as stuttering is a tough challenge – one that many of us face throughout our lives. But keeping a positive attitude, maintaining affirming relationships, and focusing on our successes can help keep a positive focus on our abilities.