Jobs for people with bipolar disorder

If you're living with bipolar and looking for a job, the process can be challenging. That's why
helping you find a fulfilling job, in a workplace that supports your long-term mental wellbeing
is our mission.

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Find a job that works for you

If you're living with bipolar and looking for work, you aren't alone.

There are over 560,000 Australians also living with bipolar across our country.

Searching for fulfilling work while managing your mental health can be tricky, and it's our mission to support you to not only find meaningful work, but also thrive in your workplace.

Finding meaningful work while living with bipolar is worthwhile as it can:

  • Give you a sense of structure and purpose
  • Reduce feelings of depression
  • Build your confidence
  • Expand your social circle
  • Allow you to have financial independence

Below, you’ll find advice on understanding how to identify your strengths, learn what you really need from a job and get ideas of job roles that may fit your needs when living with bipolar.

Your journey and situation are your own, and discovering what will work for you is an essential part of that journey.

Keep reading for tips on finding a job while living with bipolar disorder.


What to look for in a job when you have bipolar disorder

People living with bipolar disorder are capable of finding fulfilling work in a range of different job roles and workplaces.

Symptoms, skills and interests vary from person to person. In your job search, focus on finding a job that enhances your individual strengths and helps you manage your mental health.

While everyone’s experience living with bipolar is different, you may like to consider the following job features:

What workplace environment do you need?

If you are living with bipolar disorder, you may find that high-stress jobs can induce more frequent manic and depressive episodes. This means it may be helpful for you to find work in low-stress environments with supportive co-workers.

What kind of schedule and structure suits you?

According to the International Bipolar Foundation, people with bipolar work best with a regular, stable routine that helps with mood balance. Experts recommend avoiding any shift work or jobs that disrupt a regular sleep pattern.

Do you need flexibility?

If your bipolar disorder symptoms make it difficult to stick to long working hours or a structured work environment, you might prefer a flexible role. A growing number of jobs can be done from home with a flexible schedule and workload.
 


Job ideas for people living with bipolar disorder

Everyone experiences bipolar disorder differently and so there is no one-size-fits-all list of best jobs for you.

However, here are some ideas to get you thinking about what might work for you.

When looking for the best options for work, you should consider your individual strengths, skills, needs and capabilities.

It’s important to remember that the kind of job that is right for one person may not be right for everyone.

If you would like more support, speaking to an Employment Consultant at APM can also help you discover other opportunities you may not have considered before, or that may be more suitable specifically for you.

Low-stress jobs
  • Clothes tailor
  • Massage therapist
  • Librarian
  • Landscaper
  • Nail technician
  • Hairstylist
  • Researcher
  • Tutor
  • Writer
  • Web developer
  • Yoga or Pilates teacher
Jobs with structured working hours
  • Bookkeeper
  • Receptionist
  • Delivery driver
  • Cleaner
  • Travel consultant
  • Sales consultant
  • Factory work
  • Assistant 
  • Construction worker
Jobs with flexibility in hours and/or location
  • Graphic designer
  • Freelance writer
  • Video editor 
  • Makeup artist
  • Personal trainer
  • Dog walker
  • Photographer
  • Social media manager
  • Software developer
  • Copywriting editor

* Please note that these job suggestions may not be suitable for everyone with bipolar disorder. These job suggestions may suit some people depending on their circumstances including, but not limited to, their current experience with bipolar disorder.


What employment support can I access?

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If you're living with an injury, illness or disability, there is support available to help you reach your goals.

If you are eligible for Disability Employment Services, (bipolar disorder is a supported health condition), APM can provide support to assist you to find work.

Disability Employment Services is a government-funded program designed to help you find and keep work and is provided at no cost to participants.

We can help with:

  • Career advice
  • Finding suitable job opportunities
  • Meeting local employers
  • Writing resumes and job applications
  • Preparing for job interviews
  • Accessing training
  • Accessing mental health support
  • Ongoing workplace support
  • Accessing funding for things like uniforms and transport
  • Accessing workplace modifications to help you succeed at work
  • Workplace assessments to help identify what support is right for you

More about Disability Employment Services

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Ready to get started?

Register now to see if you’re eligible for our Disability Employment Services program and start your employment journey.

FINDING THE RIGHT JOB FOR YOU

Your personal job plan

APM helps job seekers succeed in their search with tailored job support and guidance.

Identify your strengths:

  • Many strengths can come from your life experience, including living with bipolar (rather than just your work history). It’s important to identify these as they can be valuable in the workforce.
  • Your strengths could include things like resilience, organisation, creativity, empathy, perseverance and much more that can be valuable in many roles.
  • Identifying your strengths on your own can be hard. If you need a hand, our team at APM would love to help – our goal is to help you find a job that suits your strengths, skills and interests, and we are committed to supporting you throughout the entire process.

Building a job around you:

  • Explore realistic job options where you can succeed
  • Develop a personal strategy that includes job searches, resumes and interviews
  • Discuss your support needs with your employer
  • Look at any requirements for equipment or workplace modifications to help you perform a specific job
  • Consider what support you might need when you start working

4 steps to accessing employment support

When you register for employment support, we'll check your eligibility for the program, and help you get started. You'll be guided through the Centrelink process and your initial assessment, which decides your capacity for employment and suitability for the program.

Apply online

Register with us, and we'll be in touch in the next couple of days to discuss further.

Schedule appointment

Meet your dedicated employment consultant at your nearest APM office.

Talk to us

Discuss your disability or health condition, and employment needs.

Get started

Your employment journey begins!


WHEN YOU FIND A JOB

Our support doesn’t stop when you start working.

We also want to make sure you and your employer have everything you need to be successful together.

Depending on your level of support and the job you start, we work together to make sure you’re able to work safely and effectively.

This can include helping you access training, job coaching or tools for the workplace as well as understanding the workplace culture and what is expected from you.

We also support workplaces with proactive education to be aware of any impacts your bipolar may have so we can create a culture of support and inclusion.

If you need ongoing support for long periods of time we will also discuss this with you and establish a support structure.

Our goal is to see you enjoy rewarding and long-term employment and ensure you have the right level of support to succeed.

Get in touch with our teams to find out more.

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ADVICE & OTHER RESOURCES

Other advice to help you find a job

How to find work with bipolar disorder
Work is important for our mental and financial wellbeing. However, when you are living with bipolar, finding the right job can be challenging.
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Ways bipolar can affect your job (and how to manage it)
People living with bipolar disorder experience extreme mood changes which can impact their day to day life, including work.
Benalla Breakers All Ability Basketball Team coach
Top 3 benefits of work for people with bipolar disorder
While we all experience different changes in our moods each day, some people's moods fluctuate up and down more frequently than usual.
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