How employment helps people with disability

Why is work important when you have a disability?

Finding a job can be challenging for anyone and if you have an injury, health condition or disability you’ll know how much harder it can be to get a job.

Not only do you need to show you’ll be a great candidate for the role, you may also feel the need to be extra impressive to get an employer to see past your disability.

And that’s not to mention any impact to your mental health, confidence or if your disability results in differences to the way many other people interact, such as autism.

You might have experienced this and more.

Frustration or even anxiety can be common while looking for work, but despite the challenges you might face, getting into the workplace is worth it!

There are real benefits to working, and we’re not just talking about money.

Below we highlight some of the ways having a job can greatly improve your life.

We’re also going to show how there are jobs for people with disability and the Disability Employment Services program with APM can open doors and provide opportunities that could change your life.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a job when you have a disability?

For people with disability the idea of getting a job may seem too hard.

You may feel there are legitimate disadvantages to working or the consistency and security of your Centrelink payment is compromised.

Or maybe you’re worried about your free time becoming limited so you will have to change how you get things done in your personal life.

You may even think a new job would be difficult because you need to focus on something more and potentially overcome new challenges or unpleasant situations in the workplace.

These are all concerns that many of us have, no matter what our personal circumstances.

What we see every day is that for every perceived disadvantage, there is a very real and much greater advantage which helps people overcome their worries about employment.

Before we detail some of the biggest benefits of becoming an employee, here are a few things you should remember if you start having doubts or worries about work.

  • Your earning potential is not limited when you are working. When you dedicate yourself to working you can often further your skills, education and expand your opportunity to earn more money.
  • Managing your time means you’re less likely to waste time, and more likely to appreciate the down time you have by spending it on things you find relaxing or enjoyable.
  • Maintaining focus throughout the day and completing tasks, solving problems or managing difficult situations all lead to a greater sense of accomplishment and self-worth. What might seem difficult mentally, is actually mentally rewarding in the end.

Two men shaking hands in workplace

4 major benefits of being an employee

Employee benefits may vary depending on the type of work you do and the organisation you work for, but in most cases, as well as earning money, there are other benefits.

1. New connections

Finding a job can improve your social life and provide the opportunity to be part of team, make new friends, and engage in workplace activities and events.

2. New skills

Many employers have on the job training, or opportunities to attend workshops or further education courses. This makes you more valuable to your current and future employees.

3. New attitude

You’re helping people. You’re solving problems. You’re out in the community, making progress, spending your day giving your best. Not only are you potentially making a difference to someone else, you’re getting paid to do it. You’re being productive, and that leads to more self-confidence.

4. New way of life

Starting the day with intent, planning your time, looking forward to time off and making plans for annual leave. This keeps your mind sharp and your life more fulfilling. Imagine being able to wake up and get dressed with purpose, with somewhere to be, with people relying on you.

Young man smiling at work

What are the top 3 benefits of having a job?

Aside from the above advantages, employment for people with disability is beneficial for a better quality of life. Below are some of the specific ways finding a job can improve your life.

1. Financial benefits

Obviously, finding a job means you’ll start to earn more money. With that, you’ll gain more independence and security, and you’ll be less reliant on other people’s help.

With access to better finances, you’ll also be able to improve your housing or accommodation arrangements, improve family situations, and have access to better physical health.

Most of all, by finding a job you’ll have more opportunities to acquire the things you want or need that could improve the overall quality and comfort of your life.

Many job seekers come to APM with a goal in mind, such as buying new school supplies for their children, getting a new car or saving up for a holiday.

They then use these goals to stay motivated when they search for work and when they start employment.

2. Emotional wellbeing

Finding a job is about more than just money. The more independent you become, the more capable you’ll feel. With a sense of pride and accomplishment comes a healthier mindset.

Having a job to go to can be the difference between waking up feeling bored, uninspired, or depressed, to being happy and positive about your day ahead.

The fulfilment in knowing you are making a difference, helping others and finishing a day’s work can bring a real sense of achievement that builds up your confidence and sense of self-worth.

3. Improve your skills and knowledge

We all start somewhere so whether you’ve never been employed, looking for work, or you have a job but want something more.

Finding a new job will not only increase your experience, but it can give you the opportunity to learn new skills and acquire greater knowledge.

Whatever your situation, there’s no reason why with the help of Disability Employment Services, we can’t work together to eventually reach your goals.

Meaningful employment for people with disability is not impossible.

Whether it’s a more senior role, becoming an expert in your field, or simply just finding a rewarding and enjoyable workplace to be a regular member of the team.

Are you missing out on a positive new life?

So, on those days where you think finding a job is too hard, consider the difference to your life with a job.

The frustration or anxiety in looking for work may seem small when you consider the frustrations and challenges that come from NOT working.

If you have an injury, illness or disability and you want to work and improve the quality of your life, contact Disability Employment Services.

There are jobs for people with disability and we can help you find them.

Take a look at Chanay's journey to employment...

Read a full transcript of this video.