How to Get Your First Job if You Have a Disability

How to get a first job with disability

Share This Post

Landing your first job is a milestone. It’s a step toward independence, a blend of responsibility and the excitement of earning your paycheck. For individuals with disabilities, this leap can carry even more significance. A job isn’t just a job; it’s a powerful statement that disability does not define one’s potential or place in the workforce. 

In this blog, we will explore the best employment practices for people with disabilities and how these practices contribute to a sense of purpose, boost self-esteem, and foster social inclusion.

Overcoming the challenges of job hunting with a disability

One of the first steps in overcoming these challenges is to identify and understand your unique strengths and abilities. Take the time to assess your skills, experiences, and qualifications. Highlight these strengths in your resume and during job interviews to showcase your potential.

Networking is another essential aspect of job hunting. Reach out to professionals in your desired field and attend industry-related events. Building strong relationships can open doors to job opportunities that may not be advertised publicly.

Identifying your strengths and skills

Identifying your strengths and skills is crucial when landing your first job despite having a disability. This step will not only help you showcase your potential to potential employers but also boost your confidence in the job search process.

Start by making a list of your skills, experiences, and qualifications. This could include hard skills, such as proficiency in a particular software or language, and soft skills, like communication or problem-solving abilities. Think about any past work experience, internships, or volunteer work that has equipped you with valuable skills.

Developing a strong resume and cover letter

Developing a strong resume and cover letter is crucial for showcasing your abilities and demonstrating your qualifications to potential employers. When crafting your resume, choose a clean, professional format that is easy to read. Focus on presenting your skills, experiences, and qualifications most relevant to the job you are applying for.

In the content of your resume, use action verbs and concrete examples to highlight your accomplishments and the impact of your work. Include any relevant certifications, training, or workshops you have completed, as they can add credibility.

When writing your cover letter, personalise it to the specific job and company. Highlight why you are a strong fit for the position and how your skills and experiences align with the organisation’s values and goals. 

Proofread both your resume and cover letter carefully to ensure that there are no errors or typos.

Mastering the art of job interviews

Now that you have created a compelling resume and cover letter, it’s time to focus on mastering the art of job interviews. Before the interview, research the company thoroughly. Familiarise yourself with their mission, values, and recent projects. This will not only show your interest in the company but also help you tailor your answers to align with their goals.

Practice common interview questions and prepare your responses. Be sure to highlight your strengths and address any concerns about your disability. It’s important to remain positive and focus on your abilities rather than limitations.

During the interview, maintain a professional demeanour and good eye contact. Listen actively to the questions and take a moment to gather your thoughts before answering. Remember to showcase your unique perspectives and problem-solving skills. Ask questions at the end of the interview. This demonstrates your interest and initiative. 

Navigating workplace accommodations and disclosure

Once you have successfully landed your first job, it’s important to understand how to navigate workplace accommodations and disclosure. Different individuals have different needs, and it’s crucial to communicate your requirements effectively.

Firstly, familiarise yourself with the laws and regulations that protect individuals with disabilities in the workplace. This will help you advocate for your rights and ensure that you receive the reasonable accommodations you need to perform your job effectively.

When it comes to disclosure, the decision is entirely up to you. Consider your specific situation, the nature of your disability, and the potential impact on your work. It’s essential to remember that you are not obligated to disclose your disability unless it directly affects your ability to perform the job.

If you decide to disclose, choose a trusted supervisor or human resources representative who can support you in navigating the process. Be clear about your needs and how they can support you. Remember, the goal is to create a working environment that allows you to thrive and contribute your unique skills and talents.

Networking and professional connections

Building a strong support system and establishing professional connections can greatly enhance your success in the workplace. Networking is a valuable tool that can open doors, provide mentorship, and help you stay abreast of new opportunities.

Start by attending industry-related events, conferences, and workshops. These events not only provide valuable knowledge but also create opportunities to meet professionals in your field. Be proactive in introducing yourself, conversing, and exchanging contact information. 

Utilise social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, to connect with professionals in your industry. Join relevant online communities, participate in discussions, and share your expertise. This online presence can make you more visible to potential employers and colleagues, increasing your chances of finding new opportunities.

You can also consider seeking out disability-specific networking groups or support organisations. These groups offer a space to connect with individuals who may have faced similar challenges and can provide valuable insight into navigating the workplace.


Utilising resources and assistance programs

Securing your first job can open doors to independence and self-fulfilment, and having a disability shouldn’t stand in the way of that milestone. As an NDIS Provider, Easy M Care acknowledges the unique challenges you might face and offers personalised support, from job searching to application assistance. 

The NDIS plays a crucial role by funding supports like workplace adjustments, training, and counselling, ensuring you have the necessary tools and resources. This collaboration aims to level the playing field, allowing your abilities to shine. 

With Easy M Care’s guidance and NDIS support, you can navigate the job market, showcase your strengths to potential employers, and secure a position that suits your skills and ambitions.

Emphasising your unique perspective and value

One of the greatest strengths you bring to the table as a disabled person is your unique perspective and value. Your experiences and insights can provide a fresh and innovative approach to problem-solving. It’s essential to emphasise these attributes when applying for jobs.

Highlight any skills or qualities that set you apart from other candidates. For example, if you have experience navigating accessibility challenges or advocating for inclusive practices, mention it. Employers increasingly recognise the benefits of diversity and inclusion, and your unique perspective can contribute to a more diverse and vibrant workplace culture.

During interviews, be prepared to discuss how your disability has shaped your character and work ethic. Talk about how you have overcome challenges, developed resilience, and acquired valuable skills. 

Where to find inclusive jobs?

In the pursuit of creating a more inclusive workforce, there has been a significant push to enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Individuals with diverse abilities possess a wide range of skills and talents, making valuable contributions to the workplace. Recognizing this, numerous online platforms have emerged, specifically dedicated to connecting job seekers with disabilities to employers who champion inclusivity.

Here are some of the job portals in Australia where you will be able to find inclusive jobs.

  1. Toozly 
  2. The Field Jobs 
  3. Disability Gateway 



Successfully landing your first job despite having a disability is not just a milestone but also a testament to your determination, resilience, and capability. It’s a reminder that you are more than your disability and that with the right mindset and support, you can achieve your goals.

Embrace the possibilities that come with your new job. Use this opportunity to showcase your skills, learn and grow professionally, and contribute to your chosen field. Take pride in knowing that you are making a positive impact and breaking barriers.

Stay motivated, stay resilient, and embrace the endless possibilities ahead. Your disability does not define you; your determination and accomplishments do. Congratulations on this significant achievement, and best of luck on your continued journey!

Related Posts