Skip to main content
Family Information and Services Hub

What is a job?

A job is the regular work a person does to earn money”

Everyone can work!

Having a paid job is an important part of most people’s lives and helps to make us who we are. People do all sorts of jobs. They look for jobs they like and they are good at. There are a lot of different jobs that you could learn to do. 

Why have a job?

“The best thing that I ever did was go out to work because along with a career there comes a social life as well you know, and I would dread to think of sitting at home or going to a day centre, that would kill me off. I just couldn’t do that.” Young person


Your job should change your life for the better.


There are lots of reasons why people want a job:

  • they want to make money to pay bills and buy things
  • they want to be more independent
  • they want to be a member of a team
  • they like to be busy. They don’t want to stay at home and be bored
  • they want to meet new people
  • they want to learn new skills
  • they want to feel useful and be helpful
  • some people feel more confident when they have a job. They are proud and their family are proud of them. They know other people respect them
  • other people may have told them that working is fun. Their family told them. Or their friends or teachers. So they decided to give it a try. And they found out that working can be fun!


Watch a video about why having a job is important here

How much should I work?

Some people work full-time, they work for about 38 hours a week. Other people work part-time. They work for less hours in the week for example 3 days a week or 3 hours a day.


You need to decide what is best for you.

  • full-time work may be difficult for some people if they get tired easily or have a medical condition
  • for some people a mix of part-time paid work, voluntary work and leisure is a good choice
  • 16 hours is the aim for many but it could start at as little as one hour a week.
  • you will earn money if you find a job.
  • do you receive any benefits now? You may lose these (or some of these) if you earn more than a certain amount.
  • getting a job can mean that you are better off than being on benefits.


Top Tips

Have a think about what sort of job you want

  • what things do you like to do?
  • what things are you good at?
  • how many hours a week you want to work?
  • where do you want to work? Can you get there easily?

Find out what your family and friends think too, do they have any ideas?

Who will want to give me a job?

"People judge me before they see what I’m capable of. They don’t give me a chance …" Young person


Employers have often been asked what they think is most important when giving someone a job. Examination results are never top of the list.


What employers do want is someone who is:

  • reliable and turns up for work regularly
  • punctual
  • well dressed, clean and tidy
  • willing to learn
  • good at getting on well with other people
  • good at following instructions
  • keen to work


With the right support and help, many people with a disability can be really good at their job and a very valuable employee.


Sometimes employers are a little worried about giving jobs to people with a disability. Employers may not have very much knowledge or experience of hiring people with disabilities and may be a little afraid of what to do or that it will be expensive. There is lots of support available to employers so that they can learn what they need to do and how they can get help.


Watch a video about jobs for people with a disability from an employer’s point of view here

How am I going to get a job?

The Government said in 2005 that “any disabled person who wants a job, and needs support to get a job, should be able to do so”


Getting a job when you have a disability or special educational needs can be difficult. You may meet a lot of barriers and have to face lots of challenges.


Stay positive and don’t give up!


Many people do not find their ideal job straight away. However it is important to keep working towards having a job. There are people that can help and support you and there are other things that you can do which may make it easier.

  • Work experience and volunteering. Volunteering is a way to get experience of working without getting paid. It can help you to find a job.
  • Do some training to help you to decide what sort of a job you might enjoy.
  • Get help and support. There are many people who could help you to find a job and make sure you have the right support to make it work. This could be your family, your teacher, a Disability Employment Advisor at your local JobCentre, Supported Employment Agencies or a job coach for example.
  • Think about what other support you might needed to get a job, is there anyone else who could help, would a piece of equipment help?, some training?, or some extra funding?
  • Start your own business (sometimes called a Microenterprise). Most people start by thinking about what they are good at or what they are interested in. You can choose when and where to work but it can be very hard work. There are lots of resources to help you with starting your own business here
Back to top