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  • Best Jobs For a Person With SMA?

    Posted by ryan-berhar-2 on August 17, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    I have always felt really limited in terms of what work I can do, because, well, I am. I’m a type 2, and I’d say I’m on the weaker side. I don’t have much use of my arms or hands. Writing is the only form of employment I’ve been able obtain, but I am curious how others provide for themselves financially. Maybe my eyes will be opened to something.

    ryan-berhar-2 replied 5 years, 9 months ago 7 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • kevin-schaefer

    August 19, 2018 at 9:30 am

    I’ve met people in the SMA community who are entrepreneurs, engineers, teachers, writers, software developers, government employees, financial advisors, etc. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the possibilities are nearly endless. Especially in this day and age when so many occupations require little to no physical labor, there are numerous opportunities out there.

    What kind of things are you interested in? Also have you considered taking some online classes? It’s a good way to gain some life skills and kind of figure out what interests you.

  • deann-r

    August 19, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    I kind of fell into both of my part time jobs.  My major in college was business, and when I graduated I got a job through my neighbor. She knew the person doing accounts payable where she worked was retiring and recommended me for the job.  Now I just do payroll for them.  It is difficult to work at a job outside the home, so luckily I can do most everything from home.  Networking with family and friends benefited me most when it comes to job hunting.

    • kevin-schaefer

      August 20, 2018 at 7:46 am

      Yeah networking is a big part of it. By the time I graduated college I knew so many people and was able to get freelance work that way. Utilize all of your resources Ryan. I promise there is work out there.

  • ryan-berhar-2

    August 20, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Networking seems to be the key for sure. I think writing is the thing for me, I just want to be open minded about others jobs.

  • michael-morale

    August 20, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    I was a college instructor for eighteen years. Three of those years, I taught online classes from my house. This worked out really well because it gave me a chance to continue working while I was on disability.

    • ryan-berhar-2

      August 20, 2018 at 5:50 pm

      Michael, this weekend, a friend actually suggested that I look into teaching online writing classes.  She said you don’t need any sort of teaching degree, you just need writing published somewhere. Is this true as far as you know?

      • lydia-fecteau

        August 21, 2018 at 9:21 am

        Ryan, I’ve been teaching on a college level since ’96. You do not need a teaching certificate, but you need at least a Master’s degree. Many colleges are on the look-out for adjuncts. Adjuncts are part-time professors who usually can teach up to three courses a semester (depends on the college) and do not have to be on committees or engage in other college activities.

      • kevin-schaefer

        August 21, 2018 at 10:29 am

        Yeah you’ll definitely need some school under your belt in order to teach. You can also take classes online. I’m more than happy to help you in this area, but just starting by taking a few classes could be really beneficial for you.

  • mike-huddleston

    August 20, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Hey Ryan –

    I’m a Systems Analyst.  Well, actually a lead with 10 people reporting to me.  But this type of work allows us to use our brains while not requiring much, if anything, in the way of physical strength.  Related fields could be a business analyst, a developer, or database related work.  I typically go into the office 3 days a week and work from home the other 2.  I’ve never insisted on an accommodation to work remotely full time, but I know that would be available if I wanted it.  A lot of companies are open to remote workers.

    Granted, I’ve been with this company for almost 32 years (yes, I am indeed that old – I started there when I was 7!!), but this provides a decent salary, excellent benefits, a more than fully funded pension, a 401k retirement plan as well, along with profit sharing.   They also have tuition reimbursement available, which I took advantage of, basically going to school part time while working full time.

    I think it’s a matter of folks getting beyond physical appearances.  I mean they aren’t “allowed” to ask certain questions,  but that doesn’t stop them from making often significantly wrong assumptions.  You make them overcome those negative stereotypes or preconceptions by showing them, whether it’s something like this type of work or anything else, the value you’d bring intellectually and with a strong work ethic.

  • michael-shane-hollen

    August 22, 2018 at 11:37 am


    I went to school for psychology and philosophy, but found myself liking technology towards the ends of my college career.  I did a little bit of recruiting / headhunting right out of school (calling employers, interviewing people, etc).  Didn’t require much other than some light typing and being able to talk on the phone.  I later moved onto helpdesk work for an IT company.  Required a little more hands on computer work.  That job led me into what I do now which is I’m a Sr. Relationship Manager for a telecom company.  Basically I’m assigned to one of our customers and act as a middleman between the customer and my company.  I help escalate issues, create incident reviews, coordinate activities within our datacenters on behalf of the customer, etc.  I’m the guy who knows just enough about technology to understand what the customer is asking for and then being able to translate that for the engineers or vice versus.

    I work from home 4 days a week (5 if needed).  Most work is responding to emails and opening trouble tickets for customer.  A little bit of time is on the phone or listening in on conference calls.  My job is fairly laid back unless a big issue occurs, but that rarely happens.

    I was always fearful of what employers would think when I came rolling in for the interview in a chair OR talking about what I would need accommodation wise.  Yet, every experience i have had has been positive.  In fact, I think I have landed jobs because I am in the chair.  If you go in with some level of confidence, are able to have a simple conversation with the people you interview with, and have a little knowledge of what the job description is requiring, you just might end up with a sweet career.  Dont let fear hold you back.  If you want to work, I guarantee there is something out there for you and a whole new world to be explored.  We are so much more than SMA.  Let me know if I can help in any way


    • ryan-berhar-2

      August 22, 2018 at 5:48 pm

      That’s awesome man. Thanks for the comment!

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