Looking for work if you’re disabled

Looking for work if you're disabled

 Searching for a job when you have a disability can feel extra challenging but you can take the pressure off yourself by understanding that you don’t have to travel the job search journey alone and that there are indeed job opportunities out there for disabled job seekers in Australia. There are also no hard and fast rules about how many hours per week you should be able to work, as there are loads of part-time jobs that might suit your skills, experience, and employment desires.

Read on to discover some tips when searching for a job and also to learn what type of assistance may be available to you as a job seeker with a disability.

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 Seek Out Employers Who Promote Diversity In the Workplace

There is a lot of focus on employing people in minority groups in Australia and creating diversity in the workplace. The diversity of employees can encompass people of all different age groups, cultures, ethnic backgrounds, experience levels, and also people living with a disability of some kind.

Many Aussie employers are jumping on the diversity bandwagon, so rather than just looking for advertised jobs, do some research and come up with a list of employers and companies that actively promote workplace diversity. These will be the best employers to approach when looking for opportunities.

You could send a simple email to each business or company, letting them know that you have a disability but are keen to find work. Ask them to consider you if and when an available position comes up. It’s a proactive approach to job seeking that can yield great results.

Identify Your Skills and Interests

Your skills and your interests will help you define exactly what industries, jobs and careers you should be targeting. If you’ve been employed previously, then your past work experience will also need to be factored in.

Before you can convince an employer of your worth as a potential employee, you need to know yourself and what you have to offer. Once you’ve identified this and believe you have something to offer, you’ll be able to confidently convey this to prospective employers.

Upskill With Training

Getting training, whether it be a certificate course, a diploma or some other type of training will give you more ammunition to present when you’re applying for jobs. Disability or not, employers want to know that you have the skills and the knowledge the position requires.

Not all forms of training are expensive or take years to complete. There are numerous short online courses, for example, that allow you to develop vital skills that can help you land the job you want.

Do Volunteer Work Or Work Experience

Undertaking volunteer work will get you active in a job role even though you aren’t getting paid. It will also prove to you and others that you are capable of working and you’ll gain important experience, confidence, and possibly even useful contacts.

The same goes for work experience. If you can find an employer that will take you on part-time and offer you some on-the-job training, this will equip you with skills and experience that can help you find paid work. Your work experience employer may even offer you a paid position after a time.

Disability Employment Services – Job Search Assistance for People With a Disability

DES, or Disability Employment Services, is a program specifically designed to provide assistance to job seekers who have a disability. Job seekers can avail of this service through a number of providers but one of the most common is via a Jobactive provider. Both Jobactive providers and DES are Federal Government initiatives.

If you are accepted for Disability Employment Services, you will receive assistance in both finding a job and keeping a job.

To find a DES provider near you, you can search online for your location. “Disability Employment Services Sydney” is an example of what to search for.

DES is just one of a number of assistance programs available to job seekers with disabilities.

In Conclusion

While searching for employment comes with extra challenges, there are things you can actively do to increase your employment prospects and there is professional help available for you to take advantage of.