Job hunting tips for people living with a spinal disorder

About 4 million Australians have back problems, over 16% of the population

These include spinal cord disorders, conditions or injuries. These can result in damage to the vertebrae, cause pain, and reduced mobility.

From tumors, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, to ankylosing spondylitis, it can feel limiting to have a spinal disorder. It is possible to find employment with any kind of chronic pain.

It’s important to know your condition or injury does not stop you from enjoying the benefits of work  and living a meaningful life.

If you’re wanting to secure steady employment that’s a good fit for your circumstances, here’s a handy guide on how to look for a job if you’re living with a spinal disorder.

Consider your circumstances

Spinal disorders cover a range of conditions.

If you have scoliosis, for example, the curvature of your spine and the treatments or surgery done can limit your physical capacity. It’s best to look for less strenuous roles that won’t have you straining your back, or lifting heavy objects that can negatively affect your spine.

It’s important to note that roles that require sitting at a desk for long periods of time may seem like a good fit, but could further aggravate your existing spinal issues. If you’re looking to find a position like this, you have to keep in mind that you will need to set a schedule and walk around the area ever so often in order to ease the pressure off of your spine.

Set up a comfortable space for job-hunting

If you’re living with a spinal disorder, chronic back pain can be difficult to address.

Sometimes, we find ourselves holding a bad posture over a long period of time because we are so focused on something. If you find that a long session of job-hunting on your computer can cause prolonged discomfort and pain in your back, it’s a good idea to set up a comfortable space.

Consult with your doctor on what kind of physical support you may need to put in place while you are sitting for long periods of time sending off your job applications at a desk. This could include:

  • ergonomic chairs
  • standing desks
  • kneeling chairs; or
  • added support of memory foam pillows on your existing seating

These measures can help reduce pressure off of your spine and make you more comfortable when you have to spend an hour or two on your computer.

Get the help of an expert

Hit a bit of rut?

Not sure where to start finding meaningful employment?

When it comes to your unique situation, it’s important that you find expert assistance that’s personalised to your needs. If you’re wondering how to get a job with a spinal disorder, be it juvenile disc disease to spinal stenosis, assistance is available.

APM disability employment services can help you get job ready, find meaningful employment, and provide support as you start your new role. With years of experience helping job seekers find success in finding a job that works for them, you’ll know that you’re in capable hands as you begin your journey towards steady employment.