Is it time to change jobs?

May 13, 2021 by Lisa Bywaters


Often when we go through times of enormous challenge and change we start to re-evaluate and prioritise what’s important to us: quality time with family and friends, taking care of our physical and mental wellbeing, and our feelings and goals when it comes to work.

Many Australians experienced, or are still experiencing, personal and financial stress due to loss of work because of COVID-19.

When you add a chronic musculoskeletal condition (or conditions) to the mix, the situation becomes more complicated. Living with a chronic condition is expensive, so if you’re no longer able to work – because of your condition, the pandemic or both – financial strain is almost inevitable. If you’re in this position at the moment, read our information on financial support – there are a lot of options to help you through this tough period.

Reconsidering work

When we conducted our 2020 national consumer survey, we asked people how their musculoskeletal condition/s had affected their ability to work. Seventeen percent of respondents said they had to change their job or profession to accommodate their condition/s.

If this sounds familiar, or you’ve lost work due to the pandemic, this may be the perfect time to reflect on what you value when it comes to your job. Ask yourself – ‘is my job still working for me’?.

If you answered no, there are many options to help you move forward and find a new job or career that satisfies you, provides you with an income and gives you a sense of fulfillment.

Job Outlook
This is a great website and a good place to start when contemplating your next career move. It has a range of very helpful tools including:

  • skills match – this tool helps you find new jobs that use your existing skills. You simply add your previous jobs, including unpaid or volunteer work, and it’ll give you alternative jobs that use your skills.
  • career quiz – this simple quiz gives you a range of work scenarios. You choose the ones that appeal to you the most. Based on your answers, the quiz provides a range of career paths that may interest you.
  • explore careers – provides all the relevant information about different occupations including tasks associated with the job, salary, future growth, skills and knowledge required, and the work environment (including physical demands of the job).
  • links to training courses, job vacancies and other useful resources.

This is the Australian Government’s one-stop-shop for information and resources for people with disability, employers and service providers.

The section for people with a disability has a wealth of resources, especially on the Available Support page including:

Australian Job Search
This is Australia’s largest free online jobs website. Lots of useful info and resources for job seekers.

Job Jumpstart 
Provides articles and tools to help you find jobs that suit your interests. Information is tailored to where you’re at in life:

Department of Education, Skills and Employment – Australian Government
Provides services and support to help you overcome barriers and develop required skills to gain employment. including:

My Skills 
My Skills is the national directory of vocational education and training (VET) organisations and courses. It provides info on:

Careers counsellors
You can also get professional help making decisions about your career choice by talking to a careers counsellor. Careers counsellors provide information, advice and guidance to help you make realistic choices about work, including further training or upskilling. They can help you identify jobs that match your skills and interests, create a resume, provide info on where to look for jobs and more.

Visit Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) to find a private career counsellor who can help you work out your best career options. Note – these services aren’t free. The CDAA advises that ‘all members are in business, they charge a fee for the services they provide. You are encouraged to contact 2-3 members and discuss your needs to make an informed decision about who could help you best.’

Contact our free national Help Line

If you have questions about managing your pain, your musculoskeletal condition, treatment options, mental health issues, COVID-19, telehealth, or accessing services be sure to call our nurses. They’re available weekdays between 9am-5pm on 1800 263 265; email ( or via Messenger.

musculoskeletal health australia

Musculoskeletal Health Australia (or MHA) is the consumer organisation working with, and advocating on behalf of, people with arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, gout and over 150 other musculoskeletal conditions.

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