Finding the Right Job for You

Strategies for Seeking Employment

Self-Advocacy and Job-Seeking Skills

Work is a significant part of your life and it is important that you make your own decisions about what type of work you want to do. Being a self-advocate means speaking up and being in control of decisions about your life.

If your career is interesting and satisfying, it gives you a sense of purpose, enjoyment, and self-confidence. The best way to find satisfying work is to focus on your interests and the type of work you enjoy doing.

Self-advocacy also means improving your job-seeking skills so that you are more in charge of your job search. Focus on core issues first, such as improving your resume, writing a clear cover letter, and taking advantage of chances to meet people who might help you with your job search. Other important skills are how to prepare for and do well in an interview.

CareerOneStop.org has articles on job-seeking skills. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) also has a page that discusses how to prepare for a job interview.

If you need another person to help you with your job search, you can apply to work with a counselor at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). Find a local DVR office.

On 211colorado.org, you can find more organizations that offer career counseling and employment support.

Disability-Related Job Resources on the Web

The Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) has a list of programs and services to help with your job search. DVR also has a list of partners in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors.

The Colorado Office of Employment First has job listings and other career services on its website, and serves people with disabilities in Colorado. Another disability-related career site is GettingHired.

DisABLED Person allows you to connect with future employers by posting your resume and finding detailed information about potential jobs.

The Workforce Recruitment Program helps connect college students and recent graduates with disabilities with federal and private-sector jobs.

Colorado Career Resources on the Web

My Colorado Journey is a free state resource that helps you create a plan to reach your career and education goals. It includes a guided process that focuses on actions you will take to reach milestones and your final goals. Topics range from career pathways to financial education.

Connecting Colorado lets you search for jobs, post your resume, and apply for specific jobs. The search feature lets you choose from more than 20 job types and more than 20 industries. Connecting Colorado also has an events calendar that includes including virtual job fairs and webinars.

Colorado Workforce Centers

Colorado Workforce Centers provide a variety of free services that can help you with your job search or career planning.

Workforce Center staff can help you:

  • Learn about any special services that might be available to you
  • Use online job banks and other employment websites, such as the Colorado Office of Employment First
  • Give you advice about local employers that are hiring
  • Teach you the basics of conducting a job search, and
  • Help you with your resume.

Workforce Centers have office equipment to help you with your job search, including:

  • Assistive technology
  • Telephones
  • Photocopy machines
  • Computers with internet access
  • Printers, and
  • Fax machines.

Workforce Center resources can help you with tasks like:

  • Searching for a job
  • Writing resumes and cover letters
  • Interviewing effectively, and
  • Finding out which industries and jobs are expected to offer good prospects for the future.

Find a Workforce Center near you.

Courses, Workshops, and Trainings

Workforce Centers offer workshops to help you with your job search and career planning. These can include interviewing skills, networking, Internet job searches, completing job applications, and writing effective resumes and cover letters. The national CareerOneStop.org website has details on the types of courses, workshops and trainings at Workforce Centers.

Local community colleges, community education departments, and nonprofit groups also offer courses, workshops and trainings on career planning and skills.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation services offer counseling, training, job skills, and job placement services. Vocational Rehabilitation is a term for programs that help people with disabilities become employed. In Colorado, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) offers these services to people who qualify.

DVR can help you get training or other services you need to return to work, enter a new line of work, or get a job for the first time. Their services are carefully chosen to match your personal needs. You and your counselor work together closely to set goals and then develop a plan to help you reach them.

Being able to use DVR services is based mostly on whether you have a physical or mental disability that makes it difficult to prepare for, get, or keep work. If you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you should qualify. Other people with disabilities who do not get SSI or SSDI may also qualify.

Check with your local office if you have any questions.

Blind and Low Vision Services (BLVS)

If you have significant vision or hearing loss, the Blind and Low Vision Services (BLVS) program can help you prepare for, find, and keep a job, and live as independently as possible. BLVS is a program of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).

The exact services you get depend on your needs. They can include:

  • Career Counseling and Guidance
  • Job Development and Placement
  • Employment Training
  • Assistive Technology
  • Rehabilitation Teaching for the Blind
  • Orientation and Mobility Training
  • Instruction in Braille

To see what services you should get, BLVS staff will look at your current needs and abilities. They will ask about your experience with:

  • Orientation and mobility
  • Adaptive communication
  • Assistive technology
  • Daily living skills
  • Low vision resources (such as using magnification devices)

For more information and to apply for BLVS services, contact the nearest office of the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Health Insurance While Looking For a Job

If you don’t have health insurance, you can apply for Health First Colorado (Medicaid) online using Colorado PEAK. Learn more about Health First Colorado (Medicaid) in DB101’s How Health Benefits Work article.

Once you’re working, you can keep your Health First Colorado (Medicaid) coverage even if your income goes way up, thanks to the Health First Colorado Buy-In Program For Working Adults With Disabilities (Medicaid Adult Buy-In). Learn more about it in How Health Benefits Work.

Learn more