What career is right for you?

A job shouldn’t have to be boring or make you miserable — your life is yours to forge a unique career. [Source: Shutterstock]

What did you want to be when you grew up? Let the team at Disability Support Guide know!

Key points:

  • If you’re looking for work, it may help to build experience while pursuing your hobby as a side-project and using what you learn to improve your desired skillset in a dream job
  • Psychologist John Holland detailed six different categories of job suitability, which may help you to identify a future career
  • Remember — it’s not just what you do for work or where you work — people are important and a good work environment can make all the difference


This edition of Disability Support Guide explores the magical world of kickstarting a career and putting your best foot forward. Although people with disability deserve more opportunities in the workforce, some employers are starting to recognise and accommodate the untapped potential of talented applicants.

This Guide is intended to help you get inspired and find a sense of direction for your future in the workforce or even narrow down your job hunt to discover your suitability. Knowing what you want to do with the rest of your life is one of the most difficult decisions we, as people, can make. When people ask you what you would like to be, they are asking you a question without a definitive and correct answer, which makes it even harder to respond.

Thankfully, you should have a good understanding of who you are as a human being. If not, ask people around you to define your best qualities — it will help you to learn more about yourself or simply brighten up your day. Based on what you learn and what you know, you may find that you fall into one of six categories:

  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Artistic
  • Social
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional


In this article, you will learn all about Holland’s six personality types in the workforce and which jobs are best suited to your respective type.


If you’re a realistic person, you’re pragmatic, practical and direct — you don’t like flowery language, corporate jargon or emotional tension getting in the way of a task that you can do bit-by-bit with some directions.

People who live with an autism spectrum disorder may fall under the ‘realistic’ category, as they may prefer to do things methodically, routinely and with a pre-determined structure. Hyperfixation on a given topic is also a common trait shared by people with ASDs, so interesting and dynamic topics, such as engineering or computer science, may be areas to consider.

Vocational trades can support career progression for ‘realistic’ types to find a job that suits their performance and passion — as electricians or plumbers, for instance.

Realistic traits work in a range of different office environments and career pathways, as they intersect with practical results and deliver tangible progress, which is always a plus when considering long-term career progression.


If you’re an investigative person, you’re naturally curious — always wanting to know the ‘why,’ rather than simply hearing the ‘what.’ Thankfully, there are many uncertainties in this life and at work which make it an open door for the bright and inquisitive person reading this article.

Consider the wide array of groundbreaking journalists winning Pulitzer Prizes through asking the questions others might not or the detectives breaking cases — perhaps even the lives of private investigators and their mythology on the silver screen.

However, an investigative person should consider tertiary education as a potential career pathway, not only to learn more about wherever they go later in life but to also brush up on what they knew when they first stepped through the university doors.

Universities may offer scholarships that are funded in part or in full for people with disability, which can allow you to get involved and figure out more about your passion in life. Assuming you haven’t used that qualification as a jumping-off point to pursue your passion, you can consider post-graduate studies, allowing you to actively further your chosen discipline and bring new knowledge to the public space.


If you’ve ever been told that a career has to be ‘boring’ or that everyone hates their job — to that, I must say that I love mine. A writer who loves writing and writes for a living — imagine that! An artistic career pathway is competitive, but it’s far from a delusional feat or a pointless endeavour, as it can be rewarding and personally worth the time you invest into sharing your abilities with others.

If you’re an artistic person, you may have been told a lot of nerve-wracking stories of failed artists or fear that artificial intelligence is here to stay — however, Wikipedia, nor an encyclopedia, could ever replace a teacher. People need your wonder, vision and ability to engage others.

As a person with disability, your lived experience and the art that it may influence is unique in a world of generic AI-generated content; so too is your style and message important in a world filled with original art created by other people with different lives.

You may find that you are best suited to marketing, advertising or editorial campaigns to finance your future. Although you have your own ideas, goals and projects, the work you do with others as you fund your creativity will only help you to hone your skills for later.


An artistic type


If you’re the type to talk things out, find out how people are feeling and develop bonds throughout the course of your life, you should feel proud of the skillset you have developed. Not only will it make your hiring process that much easier, but there are a number of jobs that require your talents, such as:

  • Human resources
  • Public relations
  • Hospitality
  • Care and support work
  • Counselling
  • Retail and sales
  • Real estate
  • Communications
  • Nursing


Enterprising people want more out of life and know an opportunity when they see it — this is the kind of attitude that will help you stay positive during the job hunt and nail down something that is best suited to you. If you are an enterprising person, you are ambitious, forward-thinking and know what to say at the right time. In this sense, enterprising people are somewhat all-rounders — thinking out of the box like a creative person, questioning the potential outcome of a situation like an investigative type, leaving a good impression like a social person and being realistic about what is achievable.

People with disability may be uniquely suited to enterprising roles, due to their lived experience and learned ability to blow stigmas and stereotypes out of the water whilst lifting others up through advocacy.

Potential career paths for the go-getters reading this Guide include:

  • Sales
  • Management
  • Client management
  • Marketing
  • Brand ambassadors
  • Advocacy — both paid and unpaid — as social media influencers, public advisors or lawyers


Last, but certainly not least, are conventional workers — much like the ‘realistic’ type, conventional workers prefer doing things in an orderly and efficient manner. Although, whereas ‘realistic’ employees prefer to work with things rather than people or something they can physically do rather than mentally determine, ‘conventional’ workers can apply their skills… Conventionally!

Conventional doesn’t mean ‘generic’ or ‘boring,’ it means learning and refining your most employable qualities through double-checking your work, tallying your numbers and learning as you go.

For the diligent, meticulous and efficient minds making sure the world doesn’t turn to disarray, you may find that you are needed as an:

  • Accountant
  • Receptionist
  • Copyeditor
  • Bookkeeper
  • Auditor
  • Building inspector
  • Typesetter
  • Teacher
  • Data scientist


For more information on employment for people with disability, please check out the following articles and subscribe to the Talking Disability newsletter for more engaging content.

To look for courses, employment pathways and education support, please visit StudyAustralia, Courseseeker or Open Universities Australia to learn more.


Related content:

‘Tell me about yourself’ — how to respond

Finding work when living with a disability

Part-time work is valuable to people with disability

Job interview preparation and tips for success