Are you unsure what to do after school? The transition from school to the “real world” can be a daunting experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Graduation opens the door to so many opportunities, and now is the perfect time to prepare for what could be some of the most exciting and memorable experiences of your life.
But while there’s plenty of opportunities out there, deciding which path to take can be tricky. In this article we wanted to show you some of the steps you can take as you look for your dream job, and what support services are out there to help you along the way.
Steps to take when looking for a job
With so many new avenues to choose from, the whole job seeking process can quickly become overwhelming. You’re entering an exciting new world filled with people and responsibilities, so it’s important to have a plan and a support network around you to ensure you feel confident and supported.
Fortunately for young school leavers with disability, there are a wide range of support options available to get you started on your path to employment. To help you get started, we’ve listed 4 simple steps that you can follow (and some supports that you can access) as you begin your journey toward employment and independence.
#1 Learn new skills
There may be times where the market or sector you currently want experience in can be quite competitive. Studying a certificate can be a great way to learn essential skills that are required in your desired role. For example, studying a Certificate III in Individual Support can lead to rewarding job prospects in the community services sector where you could be assisting your peers as a support worker. There are heaps of other certificates to choose from, and while breakthru have our very own range of courses, you can also learn at TAFE. Our support services can also guide you with what certificates might be best for your interests as well.
You can also access a range of free online resources like Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning in the comfort of your own home. While some jobs may not have mandatory qualifications, it’s a good idea to research the type of industry you are heading towards and what might be a great certificate to combine your current skills with as well. Some industries don’t require a qualification; however, employers look at this favourably which can improve your chances of employment.
“The job opportunity that I got offered was doing a Certificate III in Childcare. I did my childcare course which breakthru helped me a lot and I got that opportunity to gain those skills and to balance a bit of both home and breakthru.” – Joan, SLES customer
One of the best reasons why studying a certificate might be a great start is that it covers foundational industry skills which can be transferrable across industries, providing you with more employment opportunities. An extra bonus is that there are great options for Government subsidised training for New South Wales (Smart & Skilled funding) and Queensland (Certificate Guarantee) residents. Which means you could learn at a reduced cost, or potentially almost free!
#2 Preparing to be job-ready
Once you have some industry-relevant knowledge behind you, it’s time to start job hunting and prepare for your very first interview. This step is often the most daunting, which leads many people to feel stressed and anxious about what’s going to happen next.
To help you build your confidence and reinforce your real-world skills,
Our School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) can help you get job-ready with one-on-one and group sessions on subjects like money handling, travelling independently, time management and more.
If you’re feeling pretty good about where you’re at, we can even help you find and secure work experience opportunities so you can trial a job to see if it’s right for you without any pressure or obligation..
“Before I couldn’t work myself up to say hi to anybody… and now I’m more talkative, and more energetic.” – Amanda, SLES customer
#3 Looking for a job
By this point you should be feeling a bit more confident now that you have some soft skills and work experience behind you – the next step is to go out there and find a job! The easiest and most common way many of us search for jobs these days is to look online. Seek is probably the most popular website, but there are plenty more – including the likes of CareerOne, Jora, Indeed, and LinkedIn that you might like to try as well.
If you’re looking for extra support, we can also help you actively look for work through our extensive network and existing connections. Our Disability Employment Services (DES) can help If you are stuck on a particular stage of your employment journey, by providing career guidance, resume development, tailored work experience and interview preparation.
SLES participants may also be eligible to transition to DES supports after a period of time.
As a registered NDIS provider we also support Finding and Keeping a Job (FAKAJ) for participants with an NDIS plan. FAKAJ is slightly different to DES as participants can receive help from employment consultants and support workers to ensure you can maintain long-term employment as an NDIS participant.
No matter which stage you ‘re at in your employment journey, there are an abundance of supports networks available that you can use to set yourself up for success.
#4 Getting financial support
Sometimes job hunting can take time, so it’s important to ensure you have some level of financial stability to tide you over. Fortunately, in Australia, there are various payments available to students and people with disability, as well concessions and discounted services that you can access while you’re looking for work.
Some of these supports include:
Job Seeker Payment – for 22 years and Age Pension age looking for work
Youth Allowance – for 21 years and younger looking for work, or temporarily unable to work
Relocation Assistance – to help eligible job seekers relocate to take up ongoing work
Payments for apprentices – for Australians registered with the Australian Apprenticeship scheme or doing a full-time apprenticeship or traineeship.
Disability Support Pension and/or Mobility Allowance – job applicants with disability
If you just finished school and you need a bit of help finding work, please reach out to us today so we can help you start your journey toward success.
Through lived experiences of family and friends experiencing mental health conditions, Louise has witnessed the misconceptions and difficulties experienced by people with disability. By working at breakthru, Louise hopes to increase awareness and engagement of people with disability to promote inclusion in the community and workplace.