18+ Years

Next steps: help you can get after 18 if you have dyslexia

You might have left school but you can still get lots more support for your dyslexia.

There are many organisations and resources available to help you navigate the next steps after college and when out in the “real world”.

This article will cover the following topics:

  1. Researching jobs and careers
  2. Writing your CV
  3. Work placements
  4. Job search sites
  5. Preparing for interviews
  6. University and higher education help
  7. Self-esteem/confidence
  8. Support and community

Click on the dropdowns below to find resources in the area of your life you’re looking for guidance in.

You can also contact us on our Helpline or via email for more information – visit the Useful Stuff section for our contact information.

If it’s time to find a job, you might first want to look into what career paths might appeal to your personal strengths and passions. Here are some handy links and tips for getting started:

You’ll need a CV and/or a LinkedIn profile before you begin to apply for jobs. Here are some tips for getting started with this.  

  • Mind map your CV 
    Before you write your full CV, you can use this visual technique to summarise all of your strengths, experiences and achievements.

    Use the example below for inspiration.

 

Many internships and apprenticeships can lead to permanent employment or help you get to the next step in your career. They are well worth pursuing!

  • Apply for an internship
    There are lots of internship programmes available at companies that understand the needs of those with dyslexia. Find a list of current opportunities here: http://www.employ-ability.org.uk/internships.
     
  • Apprenticeships
    You can find out more about apprenticeships on the Gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/apprenticeships-guide.

    If you’re in Scotland, there are several great resources; have a look at Apprenticeships.scot and My World of Work where you can search for current opportunities in Scotland.


     
  • Get inspired
    Here is a case study showing how Amy, who has dyslexia, is doing in her business admin apprenticeship.
     
  • Work shadowing/work experience
    This is more informal and shorter term than an apprenticeship.

    To get started, ask friends and family if you can join them at work (usually unpaid) for a few days to understand more about their job and see if it’s something you’d be interested in doing.

There are plenty of sites that specialise in helping people with dyslexia and other learning difficulties find employment.

Here are a few to get you started:

You could also use the LinkedIn Job Search App.

If filling out lots of several job application forms sounds really daunting, help is at hand! Here is a video about how the LinkedIn app works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL2eXVDIpPA

You can download this app from the app stores on Apple and Android.

After you have applied for an apprenticeship or job, you might be offered an interview. Preparation is key here – here are some tips for impressing your interviewer:

If you’re planning to go on to further education, then you might be entitled to extra help through your college or university.

  • Set up some meetings 
    Within the first two weeks of arriving at your new university, you should talk to the Head of Department, your supervisor and the Disability Advisor (who might be known by a different title – your student union or course tutor should be able to help you identify the right people).

    Through these meetings you should be able to find out what support is available to you, as well as how to go about organising any additional assessment arrangements you might be able to receive.
     
  • Find out about grants 
    For example, if you’re in higher education in Scotland, you might be eligible to apply for the Disabled Students' Allowance, through Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS). 

    This is a grant that allows you to purchase up to £5,358s worth of equipment and software to help with your studies. Read a guide about Disabled Students' Allowance here

    Find out more at: http://www.saas.gov.uk/forms_and_guides/dsa.htm.

Working on your self-esteem and confidence is a life-long skill, one that you might need to pay attention to every time you navigate a new challenge. Here are a few resources that can help.

 

  • ​Read this book: ‘Dyslexia: How to survive and succeed at work’ by Sylvia Moody (London, Vermilion 2006)

This book helps adults with dyslexia to master organisational skills, manage a large workload, and cope with deadlines.

It also has advice on how to improve your confidence, deal with stress and build on the creative talent that many dyslexic individuals possess.
 

  • Mentorship
    It’s always good to find someone to talk to, especially someone who has been through the same challenges that you might be facing.

    If there is someone you admire and respect, ask to take them out for coffee for an informal chat about their work or how they navigate their life.

 

  • Remind yourself often that dyslexia can be a strength!
    Here are just a few really successful people who haven’t let their dyslexia hold them back - Keira Knightley, Richard Branson, George Lucas, Jamie Oliver. The list goes on!

    Bookmark this page for whenever you need a little confidence boost - Fab stats, facts and quotes about dyslexia.
     
  • Work on cultivating a “growth mindset”
    Change the story in your head - put a positive spin on the challenges you face. This video shows you how. 

It’s always a good time to reach out for support and grow your community. Here are some good places to start.
 

  • Young Minds offer mental health support for young people in the UK.
    https://youngminds.org.uk/
     
  • Dyslexia Scotland Helpline
    If you’re in need of dyslexia-related advice, you can call the low-cost Helpline on 0344 800 8484.
    Advisors are available Monday to Thursday 10am to 4:30pm or Friday 10am to 4pm.
    You can also email helpline@dyslexiascotland.org.uk or fill in the contact form on our Useful Stuff page.
     

If you’re in England, Wales or Northern Ireland:

  • Contact the British Dyslexia Association (BDA)
    The BDA are a national charity that offers a helpline on Tuesdays from 10:00am - 1:00pm and Wednesday and Thursdays between 10:00am - 3:00pm.

    Or call them for free on 0333 405 4567.

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