Living with disability doesn’t have to be a barrier to finding good work. atWork Australia has put together seven useful tips on how to find meaningful employment for people living with disability, injury or health condition.
It’s important to remember that everybody’s employment journey is unique and Disability Employment Services providers in Australia like atWork Australia can help people find meaningful and inclusive work, via tailored and personalised employment services.
Tip 1 – Highlight your skills and abilities
Whether you are developing a job search plan on your own or with assistance from a Disability Employment Services provider, it’s a good idea to focus on your abilities rather than on what you are unable to do. Consider identifying the kind of work you’d like to do or you would be capable of doing, based on your goals, skills (including transferable skills), training and experience.
Being successful in your new role starts with finding a position that suits your knowledge, expertise and interests, so you can enter a potential employment situation with confidence.
Highlight your strengths on your resume or in an interview to remind employers why you are the right fit for the job and that you bring the right skills and experience with you.
Tip 2 – Reframe for a positive approach
A positive attitude can have a positive effect on your employment journey and your personal life.
If living with a disability, injury or health condition is new territory for you or if past experiences have left you feeling negative about your career, part of your challenge is to reframe the way you think about yourself. For example, you may say to yourself “Nobody wants to hire me because I am living with disability”. You could rephrase that thought and say: “I may be living with disability but I also have many abilities that employers will value.” A Disability Employment Services provider can assist you with reframing some of your employment barriers and beliefs and identify what you have learned from them in the past and what abilities make you unique.
Living with disability, injury or health condition has developed many employability skills in you, e.g. creative problem-solving or flexibility and adaptability.
Tip 3 – Plan for the long-term
Career planning and your employment journey are a lifelong process of continually reassessing your goals and adjusting your plans. This could include looking for work or completing training or further education prior to that. A Disability Employment Services provider can assist you in finding out more about the education, training and skills you need for your desired position; where it will be available and how much it will cost. We also support our clients to access free training and courses.
Tip 4 – Stay motivated
Setting and achieving short-term goals will help you maintain your confidence and motivation in the long run. Successfully taking small steps, such as being invited to a job interview, preparing your interview outfit or accepting a volunteering or part-time position, is an important part of your employment journey and achieving your long-term employment goals.
One rejection email doesn’t mean that you will not be able to achieve your employment plan but you should take it as encouragement to improve further until the right opportunity comes up.
Whether you’re looking for full or part-time work or exploring opportunities through education, volunteering or self-employment, developing a career plan will help you move towards your potential and stay motivated throughout the journey.
Tip 5 – Know which workplace modifications you require
Be transparent with your next potential employer about the workplace modifications you might require for working efficiently. atWork Australia supports our clients to do this, liaising directly with employers. This could include a standing desk, screen-reading software, flexible working hours or the opportunity to work remotely. These form of modification or adjustment will help you overcome the impact of your disability, injury or health condition and build a more equitable and inclusive workplace.
For your next employer, it’s very easy to make workplace adjustments to remove barriers to employment when needed, via Government funded service JobAccess. Disability Employment Services providers like atWork Australia can help companies access funding for workplace modifications for you, at no cost to their business.
Tip 6 – Learn from experience
During your employment journey, you might not always hear back about the outcome of an application or proceed to the next stage of a job interview and that is okay.
It is essential in these situations to keep yourself motivated and don’t get discouraged. It is important to keep searching and keep your employment goals in mind. It is also beneficial to ask HR managers or employers about feedback which can give you indications on how to improve in the next interview.
Practice creates masters and with every resume you write and everything job interview you attend, you will feel more confident.
Tip 7 – Register with a Disability Employment Services provider
If your own job search has not been successful, perhaps it’s time to engage in professional help from a Disability Employment Services provider.
A Disability Employment Services (DES) provider helps people living with disability, injury or health condition to find and keep meaningful work. Appointments can be set up face to face or virtually to make your job search as simple as possible.
A DES provider like atWork Australia will take into account your individual situation, listen to you, help you focus on your needs and strengths and set employment goals that are best suited for you. You will be provided with tools to unlock your full employment potential. atWork Australia offers their clients a suite of support, ranging from practical help at the start of the employment journey through to post-appointment check-ins once the job commences. The services are tailored to each individual with a team of employment experts supporting the client throughout the whole employment journey. This could be through activities like running sessions to enhance your confidence, working with you to develop your CV and put your existing skills and attributes down on paper, or mind mapping potential sectors you have an interest in finding out more about, through to negotiating with your employers and ensuring your workplace remains accessible and inclusive.
DES is a cost-free, practical, friendly and holistic service. To find out more, visit https://www.atworkaustralia.com.au/disability-employment-services/