Despite the handicap on the career ladder

Despite the handicap on the career ladder

23. November 2021 von Oliver Naser

In his very personal story, Oliver Naser tells how he found his way to Behrens Projektmanagement

My way to Behrens project management: It is not always easy to find a suitable job, especially for people with a handicap. So after my studies I attended an information event of the Deutsche Blindenstudienanstalt e. V. (better known as blista). The facility enables people with blindness or visual impairments to obtain a higher education entrance qualification, but also offers a considerable number of training and further education opportunities - including IT training. I found the idea interesting, but I was also a little skeptical, as up until then I had primarily used the PC for my university activities: word processing in Word, internet research and e-mail correspondence. On the other hand, what did I have to lose?

So I took part in two orientation days and immediately got an apprenticeship. Not to beat around the bush: The retraining was tough – especially the first year! Practically all of my fellow trainees had more previous knowledge than I did and were also much more practiced in using the tools, which was of course not surprising. You had already learned some of the training content at school, one had even studied computer science for 2 semesters. And I should end up on the same note? Without gritting my teeth vigorously and without the overwhelming commitment and the active and patient support of my trainees, I would not have survived the first year, let alone mastered the degree. 

Today I can say: It's worth persevering if you can reap the rewards afterwards. In addition to the technical content, the safe handling of aids today is an invaluable asset for me. After I had completed my retraining, the first lockdown caused by Corona was just around the corner and did not make my prospects of a job any easier. But then I was made aware of another offer from blista: PRO-Job is a program that has set itself the goal of bringing people with blindness or visual impairments to work. The participants receive support in theory and practice with everything that is in any way related to the job search. This also includes a six-week internship – the aspect of this offer that I had hoped for the most from the start. So I got the opportunity to apply for an internship in the marketing department at Behrens Projektmanagement.

Because the marketing block was one of the areas in which I could best use my skills during my retraining, I was overjoyed when I received the offer. And I wasn't disappointed - quite the opposite! Since there were no blind or visually impaired employees at Behrens Projektmanagement before me, Mr Behrens had organized a training course that was carried out by Ms Mölter, the PRO job manager, with the aim of teaching the employees who were directly in the office had to do with me to raise awareness accordingly. What was conveyed was what visual impairments entail, what is important in dealing with each other and overcoming any fears of contact that may exist. The training was very informative and enriching for everyone. But regardless of that, I immediately noticed the warm working atmosphere and the friendly, open interaction among the employees.

Since May I have been employed as a Marketing & Sales Assistant at Behrens Projektmanagement. My tasks primarily include taking care of our blog posts and telephone customer acquisition. While I had already worked with texts at school and of course at the university and I also like doing it, the acquisition was something completely new for me and initially took a lot of effort. However, being a communicative person, I managed to develop a routine.

Today, I really enjoy telemarketing and the constant flow of new people to talk to. I also benefit from my good memory and the heightened perception of tonality in customer conversations due to my visual impairment. And again it shows that it is worth overcoming inner resistance. I feel very comfortable and enjoy working for Behrens Projektmanagement.

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