Nowadays, adults living with Down’s syndrome live with greater independence and enhanced skills development because of a greater number of employment opportunities. Employment has been seen to help build confidence for each individual, and a lot of people living with Down’s syndrome have gone on to have meaningful and dynamic roles such as working as a barista, working in reception, working with their hands in the great outdoors, and so much more. With the right support and training, those with Down’s syndrome thrive and succeed in a wide range of positions. If you’re wondering how to get a job if you’re living with Down’s syndrome, this guide will explain the process and give you some useful tips to help you on your job search.
- Consider your strengths, abilities, and interests
Finding meaningful and lasting employment means finding the right fit position for you. This means considering your strengths, abilities, and interests. Have a chat with a parent, teacher, or a friend, as they can give you a better insight on what role can be right for you. Questions such as, what do you like to do, what are you good at, do you prefer to work on your own or with other people, or would you like to work outside or inside, can go a long way in narrowing your options down and helping you find the right employment.
- Build the right job skills
The NDIS has programs in place for individuals living with Down’s syndrome wanting to find meaningful employment. From upskilling programs to services that help you sort out getting work experience in real workplaces, you can get familiar with the routines and responsibilities of being an employee, as well as help you discover what you’re good at and what roles you’d like to do. There is also additional support that can be sought, for example, a caregiver can help with day to day tasks and utilize home care software to make notes on progress, as well as keep the family and doctors updated in the instance that additional support is needed when seeking employment.
- Develop interviewing skills
Interviews are an important step in the job search, and can be daunting to deal with. However, while sometimes those living with Down’s syndrome find it difficult to communicate, it definitely does not mean that they are not qualified and skilled to succeed in the role they are applying for. It’s important to prepare for interviews and ask for support!
Try role-playing and practicing interviews, so you can practice eye contact and listening, and build your confidence, too. You can also take a support person, who can be a friend, a family member, or an employment consultant, as long as you let the employer know in advance! And, having someone like an employment consultant advocate for you means that you can work with your potential employer to adapt the interview and give you the best opportunities to demonstrate your skills, abilities, and passion for the role, too.
Need help in finding a job? Services such as the Disability Employment Services program by APM DES can go a long way in providing much needed support as you embark on your journey to find meaningful employment. In this day and age, employment not only helps your financial independence, but helps build confidence and greater interpersonal relationships, too. Finding the right role, with the right support, is within easy reach!