Job hunting can be tough and time-consuming for anyone. But if you’re a jobseeker with a disability, finding a job that’s meaningful and makes you feel valued can seem like a bit more of a struggle.
While the employment rates for disabled people in Australia have remained somewhat stagnant, the workplace environment has undergone positive shifts. The best news, perhaps is that more and more companies are now committing themselves to ensure workplace diversity and have programs in place to offer employment opportunities to people living with a disability.
If you’re searching for the right job but not sure where to start, we have some tips to help you with the process.
Identify Your Skills, Strengths, and Abilities
Even before you start looking for a job, it’s a good idea to do a bit of homework on yourself. By that, we mean taking some time to figure out your interest areas, what employable skills you have, your strengths and weaknesses, and so on. Research the potential career options that you have and relevant opportunities available to you. It’s also a good thing to understand your preference of workplace. For example, would you like to work for a small, family-run business or a large corporate? Are you more comfortable working from your home or would you prefer an office job?
Some questions to ask yourself at this stage include:
- What are the things you’re good at?
- What are your fields of interest?
- Do you have the skills required to work in the fields you’re interested in?
- What type of job do you see yourself doing in the long run?
- Do you need extra training to get such a job?
- Do you have any job experience? If not, are you willing to gain experience though volunteering or self-employment?
- Are you looking for a part-time or full-time job?
- What employment opportunities are there in your area?
It’s also a good time to scratch out the options that won’t work for you. For example, are you open to opportunities that might involve traveling? If you have limited mobility, you might want to consider options that are closer home.
Talk it Out With Someone
After writing down your answers to the questions we mentioned earlier, you would want to discuss them with a friend, family member, or someone you’re close to in order to gain more clarity on what type of jobs to look for. Consulting a disability employment service (DES) provider like atWork Australia can also help narrow down your options and develop a job search plan appropriate for you. They can further assist you in gaining any skills and training you might need to acquire a job.
Make Use of the Right Resources
Australia has several disability advocacy groups and job services specializing in working with people with disabilities. These groups along with DES providers offer job training, placement assistance and help connect job seekers with disabilities to employers across the country. Staying in touch with these resources and taking advantage of their programs and facilities can help you find a job that makes you feel happy and fulfilled.
Finally, keep a positive attitude and take every experience — good or bad — as opportunity to learn and grow. We wish you all the best for your job search!