None of us like to feel or admit we are different. I look at my choice of careers. I used to shun the musician, masseuse thing as it was stereotypically blind. I now am spending more time singing and want to learn the message trade. I chose a career in information technology “IT”. Why because I’m wicked smart and two it totally levels the playing field for me.

IT is interesting it doesn’t matter about age, gender, color, disability, religion, education, etc.. What matters is getting the job done. I’ve found throughout my IT career the ability to learn and master a subject area is my biggest competitive advantage. I’ve master and been globally expert in a couple of disciplines within IT. A very close second is my thinking. I have a very visual, spacial, systematic way of thinking and once I get a system in my head its very easy and very quick for me to analyze it. Finding straights and weaknesses.

I was lucky. I started by working in the non-profit sector providing computer training and lucked out and found a youth employment program, where young people who were “marginalized” in some way. Be it gender, race, education, disability whatever were hired on two year terms and given and opportunity to fly. I flew and was hired full time at the company then promptly resized due to a restructuring. It was all very fortunate and ironic at the same time. The best career experience I’ve had yet.

I learned first hand, the hard way, to say I don’t know when I didn’t know, and go and find out and learn if I don’t know. Then come back with a solution or alternative. I learned to work as part of a team and set the individual and self ego aside. I also learned that with the technology I could try things over and over again until I figured them out. The technology showed me that people’s differences, diversity, were a strength and not a weakness. Only through working with a diverse group of people could you provide a quality well thought out solution to a problem.

Working on a computer provides me with a mirage a place where my blindness isn’t a detractor but a competitive differentiator. Its where I can feel sure of myself and independent and well, “Normal”.

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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