There’s no doubt that living with a disability comes with some added challenges. If you’re one such individual and you’re also looking for employment, there may be some extra hurdles to overcome on that journey as well.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some tips on looking for a job when living with a disability, to help increase your chances of job hunting success.
#1 – Network With Others In a Similar Position
This could be other job seekers who are also living with a disability or it might even be individuals who have managed to find employment. Both scenarios can prove to be extremely useful and enlightening. If you can find some form of a support group for people with disabilities, you’ll be able to give each other encouragement and share advice and ideas. If you can connect with people who have managed to secure a job, they’ll be able to tell you the steps they took to achieve their employment goals. It’s all about support, not feeling alone, and gaining access to valuable advice.
#2 – Don’t Just Focus On Advertised Jobs
While it’s fine to start applying for jobs you see advertised online and at other locations, the downside is the amount of competition applicants face, disabled or not. Once a job is advertised, everyone who is interested is vying for that one position at the same time.
A more proactive idea is to approach potential employers directly through a simple email. Decide what type of job you wish to do or what companies you would like to work for, then craft a brief and concise email explaining that you’re someone with a disability and that you’re keen to find work. Don’t forget to include what your skills and experience are and what positives you’ll be bringing to the table if they give you a go.
If a position does become available and the employer feels like you’ll be a good fit, you’ll likely be the first person they contact.
#3 – Decide What Types of Jobs You’re Most Suited To
You’re the best person to know what you’re capable of doing when it comes to work. This includes the type of disability you have, any previous work experience you may have acquired, along with education, qualifications, and your own individual skills and attributes.
With all of this in mind, you’ll be able to work out what kind of jobs you’re most suited to and capable of doing. It’s important to have an idea of the kind of work you’re seeking, as it will make your job hunting efforts more focused.
For many individuals, some form of office position is usually ideal. It really depends on what you want to do, what you can offer, and in what ways your disability may hamper your movements.
#4 – Take Advantage of Government Assistance Programs
The good news for disabled job seekers in Australia is that there is quite a lot of government assistance out there designed to help you land a job and keep a job. One such program is Disability Employment Services or DES for short.
As mentioned, this is an initiative of the Federal Government. DES is an assistance program that’s been specifically designed to help people living with a disability find employment, along with ongoing support once an individual does successfully find a placement.
Job seekers will first undergo an assessment of their ability to work and also determine how many hours per week they may be capable of working. Once the assessment has been completed, you’ll be entered into a phase of the program that will provide just the right assistance for your needs.
While there are various ways individuals can gain access to the DES program, one of the best ways is to team up with your local Jobactive provider. They will help you every step of the way when it comes to finding a job and Jobactive providers give you access to both the DES program and other government initiatives.
While looking for work when living with a disability has its challenges, there is help available to assist you every step of the journey, along with key things that you can do for yourself.