Moving For A Career Move


Moving For A Career Move

     “Thank you very much for the phone interview, Ted. Your company has always impressed me. I am appreciative and encouraged to know you will work with me on the needed accommodations and, as I said during the interview, this management position will be a step in the right direction for my professional development and aspirations. I will give your job offer serious consideration and you may expect that I will call you tomorrow with my answer.”

     Jason’s flip-phone snapped shut breaking the connection; the motion automatic. He was already lost in thought, pulled down within himself by a wave of mixed emotions. Here it was, his first employment break in a long struggle to make it in the world of retail sales and management. One fly in the soup--the job wasn’t here in town, not even in the state, nor a neighboring state--it was on the opposite end of the continent from where he sat. He had never been that far away from home, knew no one out there, knew nothing about that city beyond what he’d seen on television, in movies, and books. That city appeared to be so different from where he had spent all his life.

     Shaking off the spell Jason rose, checked for his house keys, grabbed his long white cane and headed out the apartment door into the sunshine of the spring day. This move to get outside for a walk had become one of his new and better habits; a long walk to clear the head, put to rest his sometimes surging emotions as he fought the stresses that can come when you were legally blind, unemployed, and struggling to develop a career.

     At the first lighted corner, Jason stopped, listened, read the status of traffic and stepped out. Half-way across the street, his bubble of comfort that had come from even just this short exposure to the familiar popped --- Oh man! All this around me is what I know: I know the layout of the streets. I know where my favorite businesses are. I know the public transportation. I’m at ease with the attitudes of the people and the culture. And I know none of these things about that other city. Man, all this stresses me out!

     Reaching a small inner-city park, Jason cut across the grass, visually located a swing-set, found a swing with his cane, dropped onto the seat, cane dropping to the ground, legs thrusting rearward, he pushed off.

     For the first few swings Jason concentrated on increasing his movement. Only when at the top of a forward arching swing which had over extended its upward energy, dropping him back earthward with a jerk, did he again allow himself to think --- I’ve got to get my career on the move. My educational qualifications are getting stale; my business degree is five years old!

     The swing started forward --- My work experience isn’t great. There are gaps, some customer service, some retail sales until that store unexpectedly closed, some management experience, even though it was voluntary.

     Swinging rearward --- My blindness seems to have me blocked out of any serious opportunities around here. I can see to do some things visually, use a mix of visual and nonvisual alternatives, but I don’t know, it confuses people.

     Forward again --- I’ve never had to deal with a totally new environment. I don’t know the layout of the city streets. They’ve got public transportation, but how good?

     Pumping hard again --- Who can I find to help with technical backup for my tech needs that may popup? May? Hah, they will pop up. I don’t know anyone there; I’ll have to make connections. Well, I’m good at making friends.

     At the top of the forward swing, he again fell back, jerking, plummeting backward --- All these worries, doubts! Jeese Louise! What makes more sense?


e-mail responses to

**1. Going from the familiar to the unfamiliar, for whatever reason...a career move, marriage, school, is a little frightening. But, I believe Jason would be smart to take the position which has been offered. He wants to advance his career, but it doesn't look like that will happen if he stays where he is. In this case, since no spouse or children were mentioned, it's probably just him. Yes, he'll miss his family, but there's the phone and email, and they can visit. He said he makes friends easily, so it won't take long for him to start building new relationships. If he has good cane travel skills, learning the new area won't be that difficult, and, before long, it will become as familiar as the streets and park where he is now.

Since it doesn't seem like he has a lot to keep him where he is, and if it's a good enough position, he should move and accept the opportunity. He could pass it up and wait for something else. But, if nothing comes, he'll regret making that decision.

Cindy Handel Willow Street, Pa.

**2. Well Jason my friend, you do indeed have a challenge. In 2002 I moved from Oregon to Baltimore. Pretty much clear across country. Although I did have some contacts, it was indeed very much like starting over. To this day the familiarity of my home town and the times I go back are much appreciated. Learning new travel situations is not the real issue. It's the friendships of a lifetime and the wealth of contacts I had that still occasionally create the need to dig deep into my reserves of self confidence and ability to make friends.

On the other hand my friend, you admit that you've plumbed the depths of your surroundings and have come up empty career wise. Maybe it's just that as Jesus found, a prophet has no honor in his own town. Or, maybe it's that you really don't have the skills you think you do. Do some serious thinking about this. Are you really as competent as your sighted competition? Or, do familiar ways of doing things cover over a lack of that cutting edge so necessary for professional advancement?

I don't know my friend, but, remember. You can always come back.

>Mike Bullis Baltimore, Md

**3. Mike, Thanks for your honesty and openness. When I visited BISOM a few years ago, it was you who helped me in the navigation of the transportation system in Baltimore. I was newly blind and scared to death of the unknown. You assisted me in travel making me feel comfortable and more competent. While I can appreciate how you missed and still pine for old faces and familiarity, your presence and competence, coupled with your confidence and can do attitude, made meeting you and exploring BISOM and Baltimore a good experience. Thank you.

Mary Tatum Chappell Alexandria, Virginia NFB Human Service Workers Mailing List

**4. My response is complex, yet simple.

It's like this. Whether you're employed or not, blind or not, each person when they are seeking a job takes a chance. You take a gamble at how people at the new company are going to like you. You take a gamble at find suitable housing accommodations; ways to get around; how your cube or office is going to be; your officemates...are they going to wear strong perfumes or not?

Whether it's moving from one side of the country to the other or moving across town, blind or not, these things are mysteries until you've been there, tried them on for size and still, you're always uneasy.

I worked for both IBM and AT&T, two of the better corporations for which to work for 24 years. I worked in five different building locations. I had no public transportation to and from work and had to rely upon either people going to and from the job sites, or I had to pay private taxicabs to get me to and from my job. Getting the job was easy as compared to the transportation issues.

But, as the writer of the story suggested, making friends was easy. I'm quick with a joke, a laugh, I love to share a smile or help someone out in time of need if their tale is a sad one. But, I also relish the good times. But, are you truly accepted for whom you are if you're blind or otherwise have a disability?

After the novelty wears thin of your disability, of your blindness, do your accomplishments stand on their own merit? If you make fast friends, will they be there for you when you need them through thick and the long haul?

I would hope that all of the above questions could be answered affirmatively in that your friendships would be lifetime, your coworkers could accept you for the person you truly are and that your disability wouldn't matter much. But, as I have found, both in my working life and in personal (outside the nine to five), that you are lucky to count the number of true friends you have on one, maybe two hands. And, in making decisions like life altering ones, such as a job change or your first step in your employment journey, you have got to think long and hard about things like where to live, how to get to certain places, and so on and so forth.

Being disabled, and in this case, being without sight, we have to plan so much in infinite detail to get it right. Simple things like finding a grocery store's location...finding a vet for our dog guides...finding out about transportation to get to and get home from work...all takes so much planning that often times, we've not got the time to enjoy the benefits of our labor and the joys, the very simple joys that life holds in store for us. And, too, we're not competing against other blind people for our paychecks, we're competing against the majority of workers, who are not blind, who are not disabled, and that makes the fight that much harder, and the victory gained that much more satisfying.

Little things make a difference. For example, one year, I spent close to nine thousand dollars on cab fair. And, as I was making $35K, that ate into my expenses of simple living. It wasn't fun getting to and from work, and I worried about doing so, for missing even one day of work may have meant that I wouldn't have gotten paid for that day, thus making it hard to meet expenses at the end of the week.

Getting yourself psyched up to deal with every-day worries is a challenge, and it appears to me that even the most well healed traveler and well adjusted person, who accepts their disability, their blindness, their circumstance may face more than one time or two during a life's journey where they doubt their efforts are going to pull them through.

I'm semi-retired now, as I was downsized by AT&T and they did away with the entire marketing effort in which I was involved. I recall the early days during which I felt like our writer in wondering whether I made the right decision to take on jobs, or whether the difference I made was enough. I am glad to say that I think that I made the right decisions and I made a difference not only for me, but for others in the AT&T working community, because I went to work and did my job to the best of my ability. But, while I was employed, I never turned down anyone who came to me for help, nor did I write off any requests that were put before me to assist anyone with a disability that needed assistance. I launched efforts that were well borne out in terms of making people aware that diversity awareness was not only an issue which spoke of ethnicity and skin color, but of disability as well, and that for every person who was employed who was disabled, there were so many less fortunate sitting at home who weren't.

No law is going to guaranty you employment nor provide the most simple of accommodations once you get there. You've got to make your own inroads and fight your own battles, but it's nice to know that you have or could have a few successful persons in your corner to go to bat for you or with you if you need them. And, this is what makes these provokers so revealing yet challenging at the same time.

As I reflect on statistics, the employment of blind people in the U.S. seems to hover somewhere around 20 to 25 percent, give or take a few, and of that, there are about 25 percent of those folks making over $25,000 a year. I was one of the lucky ones, and for my 24 years of employment I'm truly grateful. We can all sit on that preverbal swing of life and think "what if" and try and motivate ourselves to push forward and climb higher or choose to sit on the bench and regard the person in that swing. I'd rather be the one making the effort than having that effort made to keep me from the door of an employer. To be in the enviable position of having an education, some technical background and the opportunity to get out there is worth the worry, and I do hope that more of us are in that position of being able to consider that we can make that choice in the not too distant future.

Mike Townsend Arlington, VA 22204

**5. I read the most recent TP with interest. On an emotional level, I understand exactly how this person must be feeling. I had a medical situation happen last week that caused me to think about these things in more depth than I have ever thought of them before. What if I didn't know anyone in the new city and something like this happened to me again? Who would help me? Who would relieve my dog guide? Who would even feed her if I couldn't even do that? This is all from the perspective of a medical emergency, but I believe someone needs to think about these preparations as well when planning a move to a new city, whether that's in the same state or clear across the country. When I moved from my familiar community to Kalamazoo to attend grad school, I never gave any of this much thought. Sure, I was worried about learning the layout of the community and learning where things were in relation to where I was going to live, but I knew I would have easy access to people with vehicles if the need ever presented itself. Experiencing the medical situation last week though made me really stop and think about what will happen when I move somewhere completely new for internship next year. I won't be living on a college campus. Most likely, I will be living in provided housing at a VA facility in Tacoma or a rehab center in Cleveland. At this point, my advisor and I have not made a definite decision as to where I will go.

In thinking about everything that I have to prepare for when moving and even learn about when I arrive at the city, my brain goes into overdrive. It seems as though the list of questions is a mile long. What's the public transportation like? What businesses are around the place where I will be living? Is there a vet close by? Where is the closest primary care doctor? Is there a pharmacy close by that will accept my insurance and fill all the meds I need? That's not even half of the questions that occur to me when thinking about moving to an internship location.

I asked the same questions before coming to Kalamazoo, but they didn't feel as overwhelming as they do now when thinking about going to a whole new city for internship.

I really don't have any concrete answers or thoughts because I can understand how the person feels. His or her feelings are completely valid.

Alexis Read Student in Blindness and Low Vision Studies Western Michigan University

**6. I am a licensed clinical social worker who happens to be in my mid 50's and is totally blind. I live in Highland, CA. I am married with two adult children, and my husband is legally blind. We are all employed.

Much of the time, it has been my experience that people often to not get their career initiations or boosts in their own communities, be they blind or otherwise enabled. While it is a daunting challenge for most, it is even more so for those of us who happen to be blind, with some or no vision.

While many of us do not move across the country, even moving to the next community or county can be very challenging. It is scary and lonely, and often, it can take over a year to begin settling into the community, even forcing a couple of moves.

Our daughter decided she needed to make a change. She ended up moving from California to New York, following her heart and a new job offer. I traveled with her to assist in apartment-hunting. The process of obtaining an apartment is very different in New York than in California, so I'm glad I was there to help -- the blind mom helping the sighted daughter.

Her first year was very lonely -- no time for friends. She had decided the job was not what she wanted, and after three weeks, she had a feeling they were coming to the same conclusion about her. Thankfully, she was able to sign on again with the large corporation where she had resigned in California. She got a job in a tiny, wealthy town, 30 minutes by train from her apartment in Manhattan.

The next year, she realized her rent of $1,650 was just too expensive, and the extra added train fair was causing her to make choices between eating and traveling to work. She moved closer to her work and paid half the rent for a studio three times larger than the 200 square-foot one she had rented in Manhattan.

She began to make friends and has a large challenge again before her, as she has decided to move to Austin, Texas, to purchase a home with her friend.

Our daughter hopes to work toward a position with more increased management decisions. She has learning difficulties and struggles to learn the position, as she is a hands-on, kinesthetic learner. She has had to work extra hard to prove herself. She has accepted the challenges, good and bad, of making her decisions.

I realize not everyone has parents like our daughter does, who will stand behind her and be her "safety net." But my husband and I have also made decisions to move -- get the job and then deal with how we'll handle the details. That's probably one reason our daughter has been able to make her own decisions, even though she is not one for liking change.

I say to the young man, "feel the fear and do it anyway." Make calls to groups such as blindness organizations, churches, clubs, etc. and begin the networking process immediately. Work with any agencies possible, nonprofits, rehabilitation, library services, community service clubs, etc. to get out there and get settled in. If there is family to assist, or even a good friend, get and accept the help to begin an exciting and challenging prospect of moving forward and making that business degree count. If not, his level of self-worth, self-confidence, and job prospects may harm him for the rest of his life. If so, he may find this is successful or not, but he won't know unless he gives it the "old college try.”

Christy Crespin

**7. I would not like to relocate. I enjoy staying close to home in familiar settings. I guess it's like that old saying, better the devil you know, then the one you do not know. I have live here all of my life.

Edwin Yakubowski

**8. Well - And, who hasn't found themselves in a similar situation? The unfamiliar, the untried, the unexplored. So, generally speaking, (always a risk, speaking generally),we need never be challenged or struggle, grow, or retreat to try again, if we don't take on some of the new and unfamiliar.

But it seems to me that blind people often fall into a sort of quagmire, and neither philosophy, nor outlook, nor much else governs the choices. This quagmire I'm talking about concerns how we often associate more with our blindness than our blindness actually deserves. While many issues involved in successful living relate to blindness - i.e., screen readers that work, transit systems that function, accommodations provided on the job, the bigger issues are those faced by someone developing a career each day.

A young father might have to be deployed - what happens to his family, and how to choose; a young woman might find the specific program she wants to pursue, but has a full scholarship to another school; a middle aged employee finds opportunity for work in another country that will make his family rich, but if he leaves his current job, he says goodbye to years of paid benefits.

I believe that it behooves every blind person to try to sort out what really is a blindness issue, deal with it, then move on to the broader issues.

Jason's trying to do this on the swing.

I'm surprised by something, though, I'm thinking that most of us would want an on-sight interview. Such an interview would answer many of the questions he has. I don't know many who would travel cross country for a new job without checking it out first. Which brings me full circle back to the question of how we blind people view our world. Might a young man, just beginning his career, overlook some things, fearing that the potential employer might have second thoughts?

I'm saying, Jason might worry that if he asks for an on-sight interview, the employer might question his ability and decide not to hire him.

From the perspective of someone who's worked for a while, I'd say to that: "if that makes an employer suspicious, then you're always going to have to worry about it, and might not want to work there in the first place."

Then, it doesn't really sound as though Jason has found a dream job; it's going to be a job to get him started in his career.

While it's true that most of us never actually have "the dream job", I wonder how many blind people take whatever job they can get, just to get a foot in. For that matter, and going back to my original thoughts, how many sighted people do it?

Finally, but not in the least the most insignificant, I guess we each have to weigh the options in terms of what makes most sense. How is it, for instance, that a person like Sabriye Ben_Berken traveled to Tibet and set up a school and created a new Braille alphabet? Would she have moved cross-country to a job offered via a phone interview? Very likely I could have selected a less dramatic circumstance, My own example: I moved to Saipan in the '80s with my two small kids, pretty much without knowing what was what; it was the days before email and websites, at least for me. But I don't feel I have any better perspective than anyone else here.

Jason just needs to go and check things out, but keep some options open in his place of familiarity.

Kat Guam

**9. To be entirely frank with you all, I'm grateful to Robert for posting this particular Thought Provoker. This really hits home for me at this moment. Let me be candid with y'all about the reasons why.

I got a girlfriend back at the end of last year, the day after Christmas to be exact. She's from and lives in Puyallup, Washington. Let me be further frank. As I see it, there's precious little chance for a blind person to land a paying job here in Houma; where I was born and raised and where I now make my home. This place, therefore, is part of my heart and soul; and yet, the plain truth cannot be denied. Is the grass really so much greener over in Puyallup than hear? I suspect it may be; and yet, I have no job offer, no hard data to go on. All I have is the love in my heart for this person who is in most every way I can possibly imagine (even especially in that way known to all or most of y'all) that I could ask for. Yes, it's true I moved to Omaha some hears back. Yes, it's true, the job situation there was an unmitigated disaster. Yes, as a result of that, I became depressed. "So," I hear y'all thinking, "who's to say that if you do move away again the same thing won't happen to you just like what it did the last time? After all, it was completely a case of severe culture shock to you going from southern hospitality to the cold mid west where you knew no one and the job at Marriott was horrible and so on ETC..."?

Good points all; but, I feel in my heart like maybe this time, it won't be so. Why? Sarah is the reason why. My father held for years a job he hated; an international pipeline welder; but, he did it. He certainly didn't do it for himself; rather, he did it for Mom, Mary, (my sister) and me. But for having the incentive of us to do this, he'd have been a truck driver; for you see, that was the profession for which he had the greatest love. Still and all, he did what he did for us. Back when I was in Omaha, I asked myself why I could not then do as he did. The answer it turns out was simple. I had no one else for whom to do it. For me, doing what I was doing just for myself was just not enough; not by far. Now, however, the dynamics will be very different. I'm going to see my Sarah in Puyallup in August. Doubtless, she'll try to sell me on making an effort to move there and find work. For her sake, I'm inclined to make such an effort.

Mike, and any others of y'all from the Washington state area, I'd appreciate y'all's feedback (on or off list) about what I might expect with regard to life in Washington; beyond just the weather I mean. To put it plainly, what are employment prospects for the blind in Washington state nowadays? As y'all can tell, I've got quite a lot to think about; and Robert's thought provoker is quite a good opportunity to spill the beans and give y'all some good news for a change, while at the same time seeking feedback and advice as to how to proceed from those of y'all who doubtless know better than I with regard to that area. Thanks in advance.

Ray Foret JR. NFBtalk mailing list

**10. To risk nothing is to gain nothing:

To dream the impossible dream.
To fight the unbeatable foe.
To bear with unbearable sorrow.
To run where the brave dare not go.
To right the unrightable wrong.
To love pure and chaste from afar,
To try when your arms are too weary.
To reach the unreachable star.
That is my quest.
To follow that star.
No matter how hopeless.
No matter how far.
To fight for the right, without question or pause:
To march straight into Hell for a heavenly cause.
And I know.
If I will only be true to this glorious quest.
That my heart will be peaceful and calm
When I am laid to my rest
and the world will be better for this.
That one man
Scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star.

The Man of La Mancha MGM 1983

Go for it and never look back. The adventure begins<.>

Scott Wendell Bray, Ph.D.

**11. I'm in the same boat. If it will get you the job, then do it. This is what I say I would do. I hope I get the chance to have the choice. I say go for it.

Charles Q. Beebwick Just my thoughts

**12. When people speak of "independence," there will come a time when they are tested. If a man will not work, neither should he eat. So Jason is going to have to show just how independent he is, by leaving his comfort zone for the sake of staying alive.

On another list, several people complained of being treated like helpless children. My answer to that was, "You prove your independence by DOING."

As far as Jason is concerned, there is a flip side to independence: The world does not owe him a job, nor does the job have to come to him. He has to go to it, just like any other person.

David Lafleche Rhode Island

**13. What this guy needs to do is to find the NFB affiliate in that city and give them a call. That is likely the fastest way to find out about some of what he is getting into. Of course, sighted people face challenges when moving too. Some companies even have relocation services that help new employees move. Years ago, when I was interviewed by IBM and Tektronix, both companies gave me large packets of information about the areas they were located in. I suggest that someone take one step at a time and don't worry about all the steps.

Regards, Robert Jaquiss, Executive Director VIEW International Foundation
Web site:

**14. I've lived in 4 states in 11 years, I don't think I'll move again, unless I get a really good job, I've done that twice though, and have gotten laid off both times, but I do love going to new cities and learning all about them, I like a change sometimes Even If you move, then move back, you'll know about that city, and that's something you didn't know before. Me I like to go to a city and check out the transit system, and the address grid. I would say check out things like how the transit system is before you move, you will be board If you can't go anywhere . I just turned down a job, because the busses stop at 6 PM, and don't run on Sundays. I lived in a city like that for 3 months, I couldn't take It. anyway that's my 2 cent worth.

Bradley NFBtalk mailing list

**15. It's really interesting that you put this out now, because this is exactly what I might be dealing with. Actually, I kind of dealt with it before, many years ago. I was living in San jose California, and I landed a job in Nashville TN. The new job was combined with a new marriage, and we spent our honeymoon on I 40 headed for Nashville. my wife's parents drove us, and spent two weeks with us, helping find us an apartment , learning how to go from home to work, etc. I returned to California, and am now living in l. A., where I have lived for over 30 years. I recently applied for a job in Daytona Beach FL. It would be a promotional opportunity, and the work would be rewarding, and more up my alley. But, like the guy in the story, I am scared. I know nobody there. I am a NASCAR junkie, so I know about the Speedway, but that's it. I have used the web to gather some basic information about the size and population of the e city, but most of the info is geared toward tourists. I even located some apartment complexes. I have a skeleton, so to speak, but need to put some meat on the bones. I don't even know what to do first, and this time, there will be nobody to help me get started. I have the job interview next Thursday, and I am afraid that my apprehension will effect my performance on the interview.

Andy Baracco ACB-L listserv

**16. Jason is in the process of processing. Swinging fore and aft his mind and his emotions are also traveling to and fro. At some level Jason knows that he must take the job. He is young, but to wait, out of uncertainty, he may find himself still waiting years from now. He knows the job is his for the taking. He knows he has the confidence and training and adaptive tools to handle the work. What he wrestles with is the fear of the unknown. Uprooting from all he knows. long established friendships and familiar haunts. But Jason also knows that his stress is normal. He understands from his many discussions with friends who have traveled this same road, that the stress will dissipate as he settles into new surroundings and builds new friends and hangouts. Even as his swing comes to a complete stop, Jason is reminded that when the swing is not in motion it is stagnant. And the last thing Jason wants is to find himself not going anywhere.

Leslie Mash KY USA

**17. To quote one of my favorite songs by Garth Brooks, "Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain, But I'd of had to miss the dance."

In other words, nothing worth having isn't worth taking a risk for.

Allan Wheeler NFBtalk Mailing List

**18. Look like he want to go back to his childhood and wish the move away. He does not want to step out and yet he apply for the job. He should have check out transportation and living problem before he really apply for the job. One key factor in getting a job is when they call you to come in be ready to accept appointment and time. Getting the interview is half the job. The other half that he need to stop swinging and get himself prepare for the job

Only a opportunity come once in your lifetime, should like this person is about to throw it out the window.

Dexter Terry

**19. Yes, many blind persons have moved to different parts of the country for jobs. I admire it. I moved from Denver to Billings, because of getting married. I started looking for jobs until I saw what was happening here. I still would love something from home. Wouldn't want to do part time and all of my money going to transportation. then come home and clean house. Just didn't sound comfortable for me. I also have to watch my insurance. I sure wouldn't want to loose that. So my barefoot buddy is planning to move? Smile, Many blessings.

--Dar NFBtalk Mailing list

**20. I've both made moves for a job and refused to make moves for a job. Remember that sighted people also move for career reasons and have to make the same adjustments. In many ways, it's easier for them than it is for blind people, but not so much that it should prevent us from doing what's best for our careers. Long periods of unemployment are demoralizing for us and make it even harder to get the next job. I am now retired, so won't face this issue. I have had thoughts of getting out of over-populated Southern California. Learning new routes and making new friends is not as exciting now as it once was. It's a tough choice for all of us. I wish our fictional, but very real, protagonist all the best as he makes his decision.

Abby ACB-L listserv

**21. I was living in northern California when I got my first job. it was with the VA in Nashville. The only acquaintances I had there were a couple that I had met at the previous summer's ACB convention. I wrote to them when I found out that I got the job, and they offered to help me when I got to town. I was married shortly before leaving for Nashville, and we spent our honeymoon on interstate 40 headed for Nashville. we arrived on Saturday evening, and I started work on Monday. my in-laws drove us there, and spent two weeks with us. They helped us find an apartment, and helped us to learn our way around the neighborhood, to find the grocery store, bank, etc., and they showed me how to get from home to work. After they left, we still needed help from time to time. The couple who initially offered to help gave various excuses why they couldn't, and we only actually saw them twice in the year that we were there. My coworkers made generous offers of help, and I took some of them up on their offers, even though I am basically independent, and accept as little help as possible from strangers. Well! I was surprised when one day I was summoned into my boss's office. He told me that one or two of my coworkers had complained to him about my asking them for help with grocery shopping. First of all, I was troubled by the fact that they went to him, rather than saying anything to me. Second, I was somewhat angry because all I did was to accept an offer that they made. I never asked them for help out of the blue. My boss said that they didn't feel comfortable approaching me, because they knew I needed the help, and felt somewhat guilty about their feelings of resentment. nd, he told me that offers of help are often simply made out of politeness, and the persons making the offer do not really expect you to take them up on it. well, I felt bad then about accepting help from strangers, imagine how I felt after that. I still avoid like the plague, asking for help from strangers today.

Andy Baracco ACB-L Listserv

**22. I've done this a couple of times, in 1996 to work at the Colorado Center for the Blind in Denver, and again in 2003 to work for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. To be fair, in both places, I knew people. I had a number of friends in Colorado, who both encouraged me to move, and helped me learn the city. I had to learn it at a dead run, since I arrived over Labor Day weekend, and was expected to be at work first thing Tuesday morning. Deciding factors were salary and opportunity to do something different. It didn't hurt that my wife was looking for a change of venue as well

In 2003, I moved from Denver, with a population of over a million in the general area, to Portage Wisconsin with a population of 9600. Again, I knew people in Wisconsin, but not in Portage. I got to learn the city using cabs (that was their mass transit system) and asking a lot of questions. By the time the department changed my job after five months, I knew the city (ok, the town) well enough to get around.

I got moved to Janesville (no choice this time) and got to learn a second city (around sixty thousand) in a year. Again, friends who worked there. Deciding factors in all of my moves to new cities were salary and opportunities. I like jobs where I need to learn new things,, teach new things, and use new skills. I wouldn't have made the move to Colorado without the support of my friends in the N.F.B. and I wouldn't have had the opportunity to move to Wisconsin without the things I learned teaching at the Colorado center. In a dozen years, with the moves, I have almost tripled my salary.

David Hyde

**23. I did something similar to this when I took my current job. At the time I was living in Colorado, in Fort Collins, a place I loved. I could not find work there so my job search took me all over the country. I took a job in Western Massachusetts almost three years ago, where I knew one person. It turned out to be a good move. I gained valuable job experience. I got O and M to orient me to new areas. I am living where I am able to keep my retired guide. I can get most places on foot or by bus or cab. The bummer is that I do not like the culture here at all. Aside from my original friend, I have not made other friends. I have hated living away from my family. I want to move back. Yet, I do not regret making the move in the first place.

Sarah L. Gales
AdLib Center for Independent Living Advocate/Peer Counselor
ACB-L Listserv

**24. Ottawa Canada: I would advise Jason to find out as much as he can about the other city, especially its public transit, cost of housing, crime rate etc so he can make an informed decision as to whether he should take the new job.

Considering he has a so-so employment history and it is a big break, he should accept the job offer if at all possible based upon what housing and living conditions will be like in the new city.

Brian K. Lingard New York, NY

**25. Moving for a Career Move Been there, done it. Moving across the country for a job is really hard, but ultimately when you are blind you have to go where you can get a job. This guy will adjust

Toni & Lenore

**26. Ray; I would go and visit the town and your new love a few times and explore the town before making the big move. Do not just make the move with out exploring the transportation in the area. Meet with the NFB chapter in the area or the leader and discuss job options. The Federal government has an on line job listing that you can refer to. Before I moved to Germantown, I made sure there were shopping centers near me, and I got 3. I made sure metro access was in the area, and it is. I made sure my condo was on the first floor, with no stairs, and I got it. There are busses that stop outside my complex. Secure the job before making the move. If buying, you are more likely to get a mortgage with a stable job. You need a foundation to support you. No offence, but you want to be the bread winner if possible and not totally depend on your new girl friend. Explore before making the big move. Good luck finding a stable job. I had to do some volunteer work along with working for 2 summers before a job was created for me, but I have held it for about 22 years. I am proud to have SSI be a thing of the past.

Terry Powers Sorry if I was a bit harsh here. NFBtalk Mailing List

**27. I can understand this story. When I became of the age to go out and work, I had to move away from my home town to another city. I not only had to learn all about the new lay of the land, a new transportation system, witch their was little of, but I had to learn about the work force itself, because it was my first job ever. Over the years I've been faced with many challenges. In just the last two years, I not only got a new job, but I changed the whole entire type of work that I had always done. I went from a factory worker, to an office worker, doing work that had absolutely nothing to do with factories what so ever. However, I soon found a new and wondrous comfort zone, so the moral of this story is, The only constant in life is change, and change should be embraced. Remember nothing is ever written in stone, and if you try some thing new, and it doesn't work for you, then at least you know, and if you're lucky you'll have taken some thing from the experience of trying with you when you either move onward toward another new type of work, or back in to the work that you were already doing. As long as we are trying, we can never fail. It is only when we quit, and give up forever, that we become failures. The wonder of life is, that we get to make it happen!

Patty Fletcher

**28. This TP certainly hits me where I live. I'm sure everyone who reads it can say the same thing. Every one of us has had to face this dilemma at one time or another. I am a risk-taker. That doesn't mean that I take risks for the thrill of taking them. It means that if something I believe is right for me has risks involved I will step out in faith and take the risk in spite of my fear of not being able to make the connections I must make in order to become oriented to my new home, my neighborhood and my job environment and tasks. I don't have super mobility skills. I use my cane safely and can get where I need to go as long as the intersections aren't too complicated. I am, however, very good at getting to know people and asking for the help I need. I am also learning how to reciprocate when I have been helped. It's a good idea in my opinion to do what I can on my own and to reach out when I find I'm at the end of my own resources. Does that make me look dependent or childish? Would my employer and coworkers see me as less than their equal? If I am uncomfortable switching back and forth between doing it on my own and asking for help others around me would certainly never have confidence in my abilities but if I'm up front no matter what I'm doing the new people in my life will know that I'm sure of myself and even if I'm not always flawless in my performance at least they can count on me to get where I'm going and get the job done. Yes, I would strongly consider making a move to an unfamiliar city if I truly believed the job was right for me.

Chris Coulter from Edmonds, Washington ACB-L Listser

**29. Moving for a Career Move I recently made just this kind of move. I, too, had a long gap of unemployment, with the exception of volunteer work which I liked very much, and a brief disaster as a telemarketer. I had the opportunity to move from Cleveland, Ohio, to Stuart, Florida. This was to accept a position as a proofreader at Braille International Inc. And I have got to tell you, all of those thoughts and feelings went through my head. I accepted the job offer here, and after the pleasant euphoria of knowing that I could be employed again, if I wanted it, reality set in. First of all, I didn't know anyone here in Florida. What was Stuart going to be like? Could I get used to the climate, me, a person who loves winter? And I knew Stuart had a much worse public transportation system than Cleveland, which has one of the best public transportation systems of any city I have ever lived in. I imagined that Florida was going to be much more conservative politically than what I was used to. And, I had no idea how we would afford such a move without my taking out a loan.

Well, I did a lot of kicking and screaming about this move, and even for a while after we made it, especially because of the transportation issue. But what worked for me was that I had a lot of support from my family, from my girlfriend, who just wanted badly to make this move, and financial and emotional support from our church in Cleveland and from my future employer. And it has proven to be the right decision. I have made good friends here, I work with wonderful people and am learning new skills as a proofreader.

Having said that, this kind of move would not be right for everyone. I think it depends upon what you value most in life, and nobody has a right to judge your decision. Jason may very well want to use this as an opportunity for restarting his career, but he also seems to value very much his friends in his present city, the public transportation system, a feeling of being settled, and who knows, he may yet find that retail management job in his present location. And let's face it, moving is always traumatic, especially into an unknown situation. That kind of move is not for everyone. And, I think the "gut" plays a much bigger role than one might think. For example, in my case, I knew the public transportation would be worse than in Cleveland, I knew that it would be quite a financial strain, yet we did it anyway, in my case not only because of the employment opportunity, but because I like to travel and meet new people. So there you have it.

Mark Tardif Florida

**30. Its funny, I have lived in California, Western Samoa, Michigan, Alabama, Texas, Oregon, Colorado and now Missouri. Sometimes you have to take risks to get ahead. The skills he has learned in his home community won't disappear and it is easier to get services when you move in to a new area. If he already has a job lined up, most rehab agencies will jump at the chance to open a file they can readily close as a success quickly by doing some orientation to the local transit system, provide some upgrades to equipment needed for the job and some tech support. Also, if Jason has connections with any consumer groups, he will have a quick entry to the visually impaired community. As a graduate from a prominent guide dog school, I have classmates and friends all across the country. Someone I know is sure to know someone where I am going and be happy to give me info about the things I should know, like housing options, transportation, and anything else I might need to know. Since the job offer was made, the company doing the hiring can be counted on for some help too as they are used to having to assist with moving costs and perhaps can setup phone assistance with a realty or other assistance in locating housing options. Sure it takes some extra planning and some creativity to pull it off, but a job offer is worth the effort.

DeAnna Quietwater MO USA

**31. Well Mr. Thought Provoker, It seems that the job hunter needs to research the new location for the services, assistance that will be needed. Most of the reach can be accomplished over the phone. He/she, can start with the Commission for the Blind, local transit company, the chamber of commerce, real estate agent, and subscribe to the local newspaper and have a reader start reading it to them. As the information is gathered, he/she, will have new questions to ask and have answered. However, since time is of essence, the first call to make is the transit company, if the transportation is inadequate, then, one's hands are pretty much tied. This information is obtainable before the return phone call is made concerning the acceptance of the job offer. Aside of the above, the new surroundings can be learned, even fun and adventuress!

Jack Mindrup Omaha Nebraska

**32. It sounds as if Jason will have to go back to school to hone more skills, such as the technical ones to which he refers. If he's in a state with good enough VR services, they should be able to pay for this education. What exactly is Jason's job, or his field of choice? That wasn't clear in the TP. I too, am more or less between careers although my situation is a bit different than that of Jason. I am currently working as an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit. I had been doing this at least once a month for two hours. But my hours are hopefully going to be increased. I rolled silverware at a local restaurant as part of a 3-week internship, but that internship has ended. I am still trying to decide what else to do right now with my life. I really need to have more work somewhere, but I don't want to get involved with the state VR agency again because they just don't seem to have all the answers.


**33. Hmm I can relate to this Robert, since I'm in the same boat. If it well help move towards better paying jobs, I say go for it. Just my thoughts.

Yours, Sean Moore

**34. Poor Ted. His mind wasn't in reality when he was on the phone. He should have thought about what he really felt when he was talking to his perspective employer. He could have said, Everything sounds terrific, can you give me a day or two to think about this? When he got off the phone, he came back to reality and he wasn't at all comfortable venturing out to try that new job. He didn't want to move. He was just fine in his own community. One thing was wrong. He wasn't getting work. The question is, How much did he want to work? Was he even qualified to work in the new job? He had probably read many books in which he was told perfect things to say if he wanted to work for employers. He reeled off one of these perfect speeches and then on second thought, he probably found out that he wasn't being honest with himself.

Leslie Old Hang 99

**35. I believe that, regardless of whether you are blind or not, the mixture of excitement, worries and doubts come into play. Not only does the person thinking about moving have to consider their new environment and new people to meet, but they have to consider the kinds of situations that might pop up and how they'll be able to overcome them. Some people may say that moving to a new town or country is harder for blind people than for sighted people. I, myself, believe that the ease or difficulty of adjusting really depends on the individual rather than their disability or blindness.


**36. wow what a brain challenge. I am truly retired after being forced into early retirement by the place where I worked for almost 15 years. Before obtaining that particular job placement I looked 33 different places then received a job offer near my home town. Then after that job finished I looked 34 different places for any type of job in the area. No job was forth coming even though I had done volunteer jobs with an opportunity to be taken on with an organization only to have them back out of that offer. My challenge at the present time is that my daughter wants me to consider moving where they will be relocated to after their time in the army finishes. I like my present situation but time will tell whether I move or just choose to visit from time to time etc. This challenge is what older aging hands you as well. (smile).

Sally Baird

**37. What is the alternative? Jayson needs this job.If he has a job to start with, then, he can make a decision to choose between the two. But, it sounds as if he does not have a job. Many blind people would jump at it because we know how it is to be unemployed. The question is: to be unemployed or not? And, let's say that he does get laid off about 6months after he accepts the job offer. How is he worse off -- at least economically? He's unemployed now, he'll be unemployed then. Yes, the family and friends and connections are crucial and I understand the desire to keep them close. But, if it is just Jayson -- no wife or children to consider, and he said that he makes friends easily, then, I would go for it.

Andy Wright

**38. This is the most painful and heart-rending TP yet. I have made moves from the extreme west to the extreme east and then back again in the past two years for work. Neither time did I know anyone or anything about where I was going but I had to take job offers. The first time I moved from Nevada to Ohio to work at the Braille press. If I was sighted I would not have made this move. But as a blind person I frankly wanted the experience of working at a Braille press, and also, I was drowning. I was out of college for two years with no paying job whatsoever. NOTHING. All my college friends had gotten jobs and were gone. Not me. I might as well have been dead. It seemed like all I did in that time was send resumes and fill out job applications. The only thing that kept me out of absolute despair was volunteer work. So I grasped at any chance that came by. Luckily I found the life preserver. And I was able to use that experience to get an even better job more tailored to my skills and come back to the west, which is my home. My point is that I would have done anything and I think I pretty much applied for it all. I think anyone starting out in this situation needs to grab the offer.

Mike from Corvallis, OR