Finding the Right Job for You

Explore Your Options

The best way to explore a career that interests you is to talk to people who do the work or find a way to try the work yourself. Start by talking to people about the career you are interested in. Ask if they know anyone who works in the field. As you talk about your interests with more people, you learn more about the career.

You also make valuable contacts who can help you get experience in the field through apprenticeships, internships, volunteering, working with a mentor, and job shadowing. When it comes time to seek employment, these early contacts will all be valuable to speak with about possible positions. Learn more about these in the Building Your Skills section of this article.

Job fairs are also a great way to learn about career options. They bring many employers together in one place at the same time. They are a good place to apply for jobs or learn about which industries are hiring and what types of work are available. Career One Stop has a page on job fairs and what to expect. To find a job or career fair near you:

Traditional Work Options

Full-Time or Part-Time Employment

CareerOneStop.org lets you see the types of jobs that are available that match your interests, and the state of Colorado has a good list of job search resources, as well as a Calendar of Job Fairs and Events. In Colorado, you can get local help at your nearest Workforce Center.

Connecting Colorado is a website where you can search for jobs in Colorado, post your resume, and apply for specific jobs. The search feature lets you choose from more than 20 job types in more than 20 industries.

Ability Connection Colorado's Employment Works program helps people with disabilities with their job search

USAJOBS is the federal government’s official job site. It lists resources for jobseekers with disabilities and information on federal employment for people with disabilities.

Gettinghired.com is another national job search website with information for jobseekers with disabilities.

Retirementjobs.com is a national job search website for people 50 years and older that lists jobs in Colorado.

Self-Employment

Self-employment is an option for people with disabilities who are good at planning and organizing and have the discipline to work for themselves. Being self-employed lets you be your own boss, create work hours that fit your needs, and decide for yourself how to handle disability-related and access-related barriers, such as transportation issues, inaccessible work environments, and the need for personal assistance.

Starting a business can be intimidating, but there are people who can help you. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers individualized technical assistance, consulting, and mentoring services to people with disabilities, family members, and service providers. JAN consultants handle each inquiry on a case-by-case basis, offering expertise and referrals for all aspects of the planned business, including help with business planning, financing strategies, marketing research, disability-specific programs, income supports and benefits planning, e-commerce, independent contracting, home-based business options, and small business initiatives for disabled veterans. You can call JAN at 1-800-526-7234 or 1-800-232-9675, or contact them by TTY at 1-877-781-9403 (TTY). Get more information about entrepreneurship from JAN.

The Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities has an extensive self-assessment process for people with disabilities who are considering self-employment.

Temporary Employment

Temporary employment can be a great way to gain experience and start a career. If you are returning to work after some time out of the workforce, getting work through a temp agency can help you re-enter the workforce, gain new skills, and re-orient yourself to the job market. If you have been out of the workforce for a while, temporary work is also an easy way to update your resume and add recent work history.

If you sign up with a temp agency or staffing service, they match you with short-term or temporary-to-permanent positions. At first, you may not think of temporary work as a good option, but it can have several benefits:

  • It lets you learn new skills and earn money while you look for a full-time position.
  • You may be able to get more flexible hours or working conditions to fit your personal situation.
  • It can help you gain work experience, develop skills, get training, and make new contacts.
  • Perhaps most importantly, temporary work allows you to check out an employer or an occupation before making a commitment to training, a particular career, or an employer.

CareerOneStop has links related to employment agencies and temp work in Colorado.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) looks at temporary jobs as an option for people with disabilities.

Self-Designed Work Options

Customized Employment

Customized employment is when an employer modifies a job description so they can better use your talents to support the employer’s work. It takes into account your skills, interests, and abilities, and the work conditions, including the job supports you need to be successful. Customized employment works by matching your strengths, abilities, and interests with the needs of an employer. This allows for flexibility and makes the relationship between employee and employer more personal, making a better match for both employer and employee.

Customized employment can give you a chance to discover a job that suits your skills and lets you make an essential contribution to a business. It also boosts the productivity of the business by finding job candidates who are good matches to fill positions.

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) offers information, resources, and guidance on its Customized Employment page.

Telecommuting or Telework

Many people like to telecommute, and it can have special advantages for people with disabilities. Telecommuting reduces or does away with travel and commuting, often allows for a more flexible work schedule, and makes it possible for people with significant mobility issues to work.

The National Telecommuting Institute (NTI) has a program that matches available opportunities with people with disabilities who want home-based work.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has a fact sheet discussing working at home and telework as a reasonable accommodation.

Learn more