Job search with a disability, illness or injury

With a clear understanding of your strengths, limitations and a job-seeking plan, you can significantly increase your chances of securing suitable work.

Choosing the right job

You should make an action plan for job seeking:

  • Clearly communicate any special requirements to your employer 
  • Understand your skills, interests, values and constraints
  • Make a list of potential jobs, using resources such as the Job Guide
  • Search for vacant roles, use your networks and access the hidden job market
  • Ensure that you can safely perform all of the tasks involved a job. You can do this by finding out what the mental and physical requirements of the job are.
  • When you have decided on a suitable job or goal, ensure that you have an up-to-date resume
  • Brush up on your interview skills

Talking to employers

You may find it challenging to talk to employers positively about your disability or condition. Planning your discussion will help you to market your skills and abilities better.

Here are some general hints on talking with a potential employer about your condition or disability:

  • Face to face discussion provides a better opportunity to explain your skills and circumstances
  • Keep it brief
  • Clearly  state any restrictions or  special considerations
  • Remember to highlight your skills and abilities
  • Don't dwell on your disability or injury and think positively

Reasons for and against disclosure of a disability/medical or health condition

There is no legal requirement for you to disclose your disability to an employer unless it will affect your ability to meet the inherent requirements of the job, to work safely, or to ensure the safety of colleagues.

The most important reason in favour of disclosure is that the moment you disclose you invoke the protection of 'the Disability Discrimination Act' (DDA).

Useful resources

Willing and Able Mentoring Program matches job seekers or tertiary students who have a disability with mentors in leading organisations.

Stepping into.. work experience series is a paid internship program for tertiary students with a disability.

WISE Employment is a not-for-profit organisation with a professional, integrated approach to finding the right job for jobseekers.

JobAccess - help and workplace solutions for the employment of people with a disability.

Choosing Your Path - Disclosure: It's a personal decision.

Careers for graduates with a disability written by Graduate Careers Australia.

PACE mentoring program offers opportunities for students and job seekers who have a disability to develop their skills and confidence in a workplace setting.

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