How to talk to an employer about your disability

How to talk to your employer about your disability

First of all, let’s just make one thing very clear – this is your private information which means only you can decide when and who you want to share it with. There may come a time though where you need to chat to your current or potential employer about your disability. Here are our top tips for having this conversation.


There are a bunch of reasons why you might talk to your employer about your disability. It could be that you need some additional support in your job or physical modifications to your workspace.

At different stages of the recruitment process you may also be asked the question “Do you have any health problems that may impact your ability to do this job?”

Don’t panic. Here’s how to answer the question no matter what phase of the process you’re at.

1. On a job application

If there’s the option to leave it blank and explain your situation at an interview- take it. It’s much easier to have this discussion in person, and the employer can ask any relevant follow up questions.

If you have to write something here are some options:

  • Not that would affect my ability to do the job
  • I have a health condition, but feel I will be able to do what’s required in the job
  • In the past I had <insert condition> which I’ve recovered from and I don’t feel is going to impact on my ability to perform well this job

Whatever you do, don’t lie. Honesty is the best policy and being up front about things means you can get the right support.

2. At a job interview

If you’re asked this question at an interview, here’s a good response:

“I have a good understanding of my health condition and know what the signs are for my illness. I’ve worked on strategies to manage it and don’t feel it will impact my ability to do my job”.

Prepare some examples to back up your statement such as “I wear a knee brace when I feel fatigue and this helps me to feel more secure and supported”.

3. After the job is offered/ accepted

Find a good time to talk with your new employer in private. Let them know that you may need some extra support or time off for regular appointments to manage your condition.

You may want to explain how you would make up the time and assure them it won’t affect your work. Feel free to tell them you’d appreciate regular feedback on your performance and leave it at that.

Some final tips

Keep it short

Focus on the positive points including your experience, abilities and skills that are relevant to the job. They don’t need to know all the details about your condition, just that you can perform the job. You’re more than your disability. You know it, we know it. Show them that.

Keep it simple

Talk about your injury, illness or condition in basic terms and without using medical jargon. Instead of saying “I have a rotator cuff injury” try “I have a shoulder injury”.

Practice makes perfect

Practice talking about your condition as much as you can so you’re comfortable with how you’d explain it to an employer. If you’re comfortable, it’ll show.

Provide Solutions

Show them you’re all about making it work by suggesting some options and strategies for workplace adjustments to support you, and make it easier for your employer.


READY TO FIND WORK?

Not sure where to start? Talk to your Employment Consultant today – or send us a message and our team will be in touch shortly.

Top tips to finding a job in your 50s

Find a job in your 50s

Looking for a job or changing careers in your 50s (and beyond) can feel really scary, overwhelming and sometimes downright disheartening. Working in our industry we often hear our customers say things like:

“I’ve been raising kids for 20 years – who’d hire me now!”

“Employers only want young workers. It’s nearly impossible to get a job over 50, how do I get help?”

“I’ve worked for the past 7 years then COVID came along. I’ve tried getting back to work again and just can’t get anywhere.”

“I’m 54 and have over 30 years experience, but I can’t get an interview anywhere”

While it is true, finding a job later in life IS different to being fresh out of school, you’ve got more of a chance of being a standout candidate and landing a job than you realise. Here are our top tips to finding a job in your 50s.


1: You’ve got more skills than we can poke a stick at…

Yep really! Even if you don’t believe us, it’s true.

Chances are, you’ve held a bunch of different jobs over the years that have helped you hone your skills. If you have a long work history try to focus less on your age, or the year attached to your qualifications and more on showcasing that you have the relevant qualifications or better yet, that you’re willing and able to learn!

If you feel like you need to catch up on current trends or brush up on some skills you haven’t used in a while, consider some upskilling opportunities. Find out more about upskilling here.   

If you’ve been out of work for a while, there’s no need to panic. You’ve got something young applicants don’t have – life experience.  Raising kids, volunteering, caring for family members or being involved in the local community are all commitments that have helped build transferrable skills that are desirable in the workplace.

Use this lived experience to highlight your time management, finance & budgeting, problem solving & organisation skills on your resume instead. You can back them up with solid examples from your life and how this would add value to the workplace.

2: Update your resume

A well organised, professional resume is worth its weight in gold.  You could have all the skills in the world, but if you’re not selling it well on paper, you’re unlikely to catch the eye of an employer. If you can’t remember the last time you wrote a resume, then it’s definitely time to breathe some life into it!

Be sure to tailor your resume for the position you’re applying for, ensuring you highlight the relevant skills and experience you have that would make you the ideal candidate for the position. Not sure where to start? Check out our advice on writing a resume.

3: Make your network work!

Ever heard the saying it’s not what you know, it’s who you know? This does hold a bit of truth to it. Having someone introduce you to an employer directly is much more valuable than unsolicited job applications.

Your network of friends, family, former colleagues, bosses and community members are your biggest cheerleaders and between them all, they’re bound to know an employer who is dying to meet you.

Reach out to your network and ask if they know of any available positions or have any contacts, recommendations or introductions they can make for you to help you get your foot in the door. While asking for their help might feel daunting at first, remember, these people care about you and want to see you succeed. You’d do the exact same for them.

4: Prioritize your goals for this next job

Before you go in and apply for every job under the sun, think about what you’re actually after with this job. If it’s to ensure retirement savings, then earning potential is key. If you’re looking to find something that works around your family, then flexibility is important. Perhaps, you’re looking to re-enter the workforce after an extended period of time off, so an understanding employer and training is vital to your success in the role.

Identifying what your job search goals (and must-have’s) are upfront will save you time and energy on applications by helping you whittle down which jobs you should actually put your time and energy into. Everyone’s path is different so find what works for you and your situation!

If you already know what your goals are for the job or industry you are looking for, that’s great! This will help you understand what skills will be required for the job. To match up your skills with potential jobs, you can use a skills match to enter the previous jobs you have worked in, see what skills you may have from your jobs and compare those with new jobs.  

5: Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

This tongue twister is our way of saying be prepared for any question an employer may ask you. If it’s “you’re over-qualified” tell them that you have considered this issue but know that your experience and skills will be a big asset to the organisation and you’re committed to showing them that. If they are concerned about employment gaps in your resume, speak about the skills you gained during this time (remember point 1 and how you’ve got a tonne of skills?) and how you would apply this to the workplace.

Preparing your answers ahead of time and being equipped to address any employers’ potential tricky questions will help you to feel calm and confident in any interview and will reassure employers. Feeling nervous about job interviews? Here’s everything you need to know about nailing it.

6: Keep your options open and stay positive.

Looking for work can feel like a never-ending battle for anyone at any age. No matter what stage you’re at in the job search, having the right attitude is key – so if you submit an application or go into an interview believing you’re the right person for the job and showing off your willingness to work, you’re instantly that much more employable.

7: Find the right support

Having a great support network to lift you up is important in any job search. If you need support to find work, we can help!


READY TO FIND WORK?

We’ve got your back through every step of the job search process. Send us a message and we’ll will be in touch shortly, or better yet, call us now on 1300 139 920

Campbell Page customer Maria finds her dream job!

Disability Employment Services customer Maria recently started a job in aged care support, combining her passions of helping others and working with people. We caught up with Maria to find out how the new job is going (spoiler: she’s loving it!)


Before working with Campbell Page, Maria was battling with ongoing health conditions and didn’t see work in her future – in fact, neither did her doctors. Not only was she struggling with her health, she lacked confidence in finding work and didn’t know where to start. When she had tried to find support in the past, she felt that it wasn’t getting her to where she needed to be: “I felt like I was a number in the system and felt stranded”.

The Campbell Page team supported Maria by creating a resume and helping her to identify her skills. Though she hadn’t been in paid employment, her time raising a family and organising a household meant she had a tonne of transferable skills! She was also guided by the team to develop her interpersonal skills, build resilience in the workplace and set boundaries so that she could offer support to others, while still taking care of herself and her condition.

On top of this, Maria entered into study with the support of Campbell Page and her Employment Consultant. Knowing that someone had her back the whole time helped Maria believe in herself and remove any self-doubt about her ability and skills.

From the moment you come in you’re supported. [You’re] actually listened to, I don’t feel like a number. They make you feel like a person, and they understand the problems and come up with solutions.

After successful completion of her course, Maria landed a job in aged care support and she hasn’t looked back since. Maria said working with her clients gives her a reason to smile everyday: “I’m more energetic since starting work, I’ve always been happy & positive, but waking up now, I’m excited for the day and to go to work.”

Here’s what Maria had to say to anyone who lives with an injury, illness, disability or health condition and is struggling to find work:

I think Campbell Page is the best place to get a job you actually want and will be happy with. Even when you’ve got the job they’re still calling you and checking in.

Congratulations to Maria for her new job, we’re so proud of you!

We won’t just team up with you, we’ll get in your corner! If you have an injury, illness, disability or health condition and need support to find work, (and keep it) we can help. Click here or call our friendly team on 1300 139 920 to get started.

The best roles for people living with Anxiety and/or Depression

Living with a mental health condition like anxiety or depression can make it hard to find a job that fits. You might have concerns about finding a supportive and understanding employer, maybe you’re worried the pressure of a certain industry could be “too much” to achieve a healthy work- life balance or it might just be tough finding the right job for your skills and experience.


We KNOW you’re more than your mental health condition. A mental health condition won’t stand in the way of you finding a job, but everyone needs a little support every now and again.  So we’ve taken the pressure off your job search by rounding up the 5 best jobs for people living with depression and/or anxiety.

1: Librarian

If a calming, quiet work environment paired with methodical tasks is what you’re looking for, working in a library or as a librarian can be a great fit. While some full-time librarian positions require a degree, many libraries also hire library technicians/assistants who help with organising books, working the circulation desk, scanning and uploading documents and helping customers find books and resources.

Libraries are an important part of any community, so you’ll not only have the satisfaction of a hard day’s work, but also knowing you’re making a difference in the world. What’s not to love about that!

2: Gardener & Landscaper

These jobs give you the opportunity to work outdoors and allow you to get active, a great combination! Tasks may include grounds maintenance, watering and feeding plants, trimming trees/shrubs, weeding gardens and keeping spaces and walkways clear of debris and rubbish. You may be able to work by yourself or as part of a team, and there’s often flexibility to suit your lifestyle or management of your condition.

3: Data Entry

Data entry is a type of clerical work that involves using processes like typing and voice recording for entering information (like numbers and names) into computer systems. This can be done in a variety of industries, such as healthcare, finance, retail and transport/logistics.

If you’re analytical and like routine work, data entry could be a great fit. There is often the possibility of working remotely or from home if that suits your condition better. There are lots of different positions, starting with internships/entry level, all the way up to jobs that require degrees so there is something for everyone no matter your skill set.  

4: Courier/Delivery Driver

After 2020, people are shopping online more than ever – so the need for delivery drivers is also greater! This could include working for a postal service, local freight company, or you could even work for yourself! You’ll spend most of your time out and about, won’t have to deal with crowds of people or customer service and you get to listen to whatever music you want so that’s always a bonus.

5: Be your own Boss

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right fit for you, or you want to build in the flexibility you know you’ll need to keep yourself healthy. Becoming your own boss is a great option and the range of business opportunities are endless including:

  • Dog walking
  • Lawn mowing
  • Virtual Assistant/Administration
  • Home cleaning/maintenance
  • Or if you have a hobby, try selling your crafts online using platforms such as Facebook Marketplace or Etsy!

If you’re still not sure what kind of work is best suited to your needs, think about what you want out of a job or what you need to succeed. If it’s helping people, being active or outdoors, working alone or in a big group, identifying some of these can help steer you in the right direction and find a career you really love!

If you’re looking for help or not sure where to begin, our friendly team can help you with whatever stage you’re at. Get in touch to get started with Disability Employment Services and #CreateYourPossible.

Images: Pexel