Living With a Disability? Here’s What You Can Do To Find a Job

Finding and keeping that job is more challenging when you’re living with a disability. Still, it’s also important to note that the road to gainful employment in Australia is far from the impossible dream. Many employers actively employ people with some form of disability, and there is a lot of professional assistance available to disabled job seekers, including ongoing assistance after landing a job.

Here’s what you can do to help yourself find a job and gain entry into the country’s workforce.

Target Employers Who Promote Workplace Diversity

As more attention is drawn to creating diversity in the workplace and the advantages it has, more and more businesses and companies are actively looking to employ diverse workforces, and this includes people living with a disability.

Rather than waiting for a suitable position to be advertised on an online job website, research Aussie employers that promote workplace diversity and either write to them via email or give them a call and let them know you’re looking for an opportunity.

Let them know about your disability, but highlight the positive attributes you’ll bring to the company and how employing you will benefit them.

Enhance Your Employability Factor Through Training

Everyone needs to be qualified or experienced enough to successful land certain jobs (whether living with a disability or not), and that’s where training can help a lot.

Before spending time and money doing some training course, determine what type of work you are interested in and what you think you might be good at. Once you’ve nailed this down, you’ll be able to search for courses and training in your area of interest and get some qualifications and industry knowledge.

Training and qualifications look impressive on a resume, and they will give you a leg up in your mission to land a job.

Prove You Can Do the Job Through Work Experience

One of the greatest challenges people with a disability face is getting a potential employer to believe they can do the job efficiently and as good as the next person. You can prove this to them by doing some unpaid work experience. It also provides a no-pressure situation to learn whether you can do that job too.

Unpaid work experience doesn’t have to go on for months. Maybe try it for a week or two, gain some experience, and prove to them that you are a good worker, and they may offer you a paid position, either immediately or down the track, when something becomes available.

Seek Professional Assistance

There are numerous assistance programs in Australia that have been devised to help people living with a disability gain entry into the workforce. One of the easiest ways to access support services is through a local Jobactive provider. They’ll be able to tell you what your options are and get you involved in a program that suits your specific needs. Disability Employment Services (DES) is one of the main schemes.

Whether you’re hoping to be a part of Disability Employment Services Sydney or any other location around the country, talk with Centrelink about teaming up with a Jobactive provider to gain access to the service.

There are also schemes that offer financial incentives to employers to entice them to give someone with a disability a go.

Always Highlight Your Strengths and Abilities

While it’s important to disclose that you have a disability when applying for jobs, it’s not healthy or beneficial to dwell on that fact. Let your potential employer know you’re living with a disability, and then highlight your strengths, abilities and training (if you have any), so they focus on your good points and how you’ll be an asset to the company and not a liability.

All job seekers need to do this, and when you have a disability, you must sell yourself and believe in yourself.

The Takeaway

It’s more than possible to land and keep a good job while living with a disability. Focus on your strengths, seek professional assistance and follow the tips in this article to find the job you want.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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