A rewarding part-time job (that isn’t in retail or hospitality)

by Nov 21, 2022

Do you want a part-time job that’s fun and rewarding?  Are you looking for something different from hospitality or retail? Have you considered disability support work?

I am a value-driven individual who looks to make a difference in the work they do.  While working in the University sector, I developed an interest in learning more about how I could support people with disability in my work.  In early 2021, I followed my interests and took a role as a Disability Support Worker.  I have now returned to the University sector after 18 months with a fresh perspective, energy and rewarding experiences I will never forget.

What does a Disability Support Worker do?

You work with customers to reach their goals. These goals are varied and based on the individual. They may include building employability skills to get a part-time job, life skills such as learning to cook, and fitness goals to increase mobility.  They also take place in different settings, one-to-one at home or out in the community, group programs in a centre or excursions to explore different places. Every day is different!

You also get to meet a variety of people who you might not normally get the opportunity to hang out with.  You get to make new connections, find out things you have in common, like a love of gaming and all things marvel and get to do fun things like ten-pin bowling.

The benefits of disability support work

While working in disability support, you also develop a wide range of transferable skills that will help you throughout your life; communication, problem-solving, negotiation, teamwork, resilience, patience, empathy, I could go on…  All these skills are highly valuable in the workplace, and one of my old colleagues drew on his experience in disability support to gain his first role in Engineering. At first, you would think, how is that related?  But it’s all the wonderful transferable skills he gained that can be used in the workplace and in dealing with external clients.

Do I need qualifications to do this job?

You don’t need a degree to be a disability support worker, so it makes it a great part-time job while studying.  You need a commitment to supporting people to meet their goals, a positive mindset and energy.  There is some paperwork to keep customers safe, but a lot of health and education students will already have this.  You need a first-aid certificate, a working with children check (WWCC), an NDIS worker check and an Australian Driver’s Licence.


After working in disability support, I feel more resilient and that I can cope with a wide range of situations with confidence. I have also developed empathy and awareness of the barriers that face people with disability in our society and a passion for encouraging people to give disability support work a go and broaden their experience.


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Cara Dobinson

Cara Dobinson

Careers Consultant

Cara has five years’ experience working in different Careers services in the University sector and has ten years of internal recruitment experience working across a diverse range of sectors; Financial Services, Not for Profit, Professional Services and Higher Education. She enjoys working with people to unearth their interests and skills to where they want to go, in life and in their career.