Job seekers with a disability
Top 10 Tips for Job Seekers
- Get a part time job while you are still at school. Research shows that if you have a part time while still at school you are likely to be more successful getting a job after school.
- Complete year 12 at school and do further education and training. Keep a record of all the training you have done, anything from barista training to first aid training.
- Do some volunteering. Find a local organisation or register with an organisation that can help you volunteer.
- Register with a Disability Employment Service. They can help you in many ways.
- Make a resume and list your education, qualifications, life skills, work experience and how you overcome difficulties. Click here for more information
- Work on your interview skills- practice with friends and family. Apply for jobs and ask for feedback. It’s all good experience. For more assistance click here
- Seek out work experience and mentoring programs. For more information click here
- Contact organisations like Grad Australia and Australian Network on Disability They can put you in touch with useful opportunities.
- Decide whether to disclose information about your disability and what information you want to share. Click Here for more information
- Make a list of the workplace adjustments you might need. Click here for more information on adjustments & workplace examples
Disclosing your disability
When should I disclose my disability?
Some job seekers discuss their disability when they apply for a job. Other employees share information about their disability when they need things changed in the workplace. Many employees only tell their employer once they’ve settled in to a position, because they are worried they will be discriminated against.
Remember, your employer only has the right to ask you about how you will perform the role and what changes you may need.
You never have to provide personal details. It is normal to be worried about disclosing your disability to your employer. Take your time, know your rights, and confidently say what you need.
It is against the law for an employer to discriminate against a person applying for a job because of a disability.
What about when my disability affects my ability to do the job?
In some situations, it may be practical to tell an employer about your disability, especially if you might need changes made to the workplace to help you work.
If you know your disability will affect your work, you must legally share this information during the recruitment process. You should tell your employer about your disability if it directly affects how you can do the job. For example, a job that requires the lifting of heavy objects needs workers who can lift heavy objects safely and without risk to themselves.
Employers can request all job applicants to undergo pre-employment medical tests to ensure they can do the job advertised. These tests need to be given to all job applicants and employees, not just to an individual an employer thinks may have a disability or injury.
- Employers will appreciate if you are upfront and you will present as self-aware, proactive and resourceful.
- You can make it clear about how you’ll carry out a job and you can ask for the changes you require.
- You can offer the employer solutions that you know work for you such as technology that helps you work efficiently, or a list of support services that the organisation can turn to, or ideas about effective work space set up.
- If your disability has no bearing on how you do your work, you may feel it’s unnecessary to discuss it and if you don’t need changes in the workplace– or can manage these on your own – you might prefer to keep this information private.
- Sharing information with anyone, let alone complete strangers at a job interview is difficult. Unless you must inform your employer, only share what you are comfortable sharing. Your disability is your business.
- Perhaps you don’t identify as having a disability.
- You don’t want to be treated differently. A lot of people are worried that sharing information about their disability will cost them their job. There are laws and policies to stop this happening however it does happen and it is probably the number one reason why people choose not to inform their employers of a disability, even though it is against the law.
Make sure are informed about your disability rights in the workplace.
Employers increasingly want to create inclusive workplaces, attract the best talent to their teams and work with their team members in a way that allows them to succeed. Most managers and work mates want to support their colleagues. Everyone requires support in different ways at work, not just workers with a disability.
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