Re-entering the workforce with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

22 May 2024

Re-entering the workforce with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

Re-entering the workforce after an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) can be an important milestone that helps you regain a sense of purpose and identity.

For some people, returning to their pre-injury employment is not possible, and pivoting into a new job is required. Assimilation back into the workforce will still take time but we can help you navigate the journey and find a job you’ll want to keep.

Why returning to work after an ABI is so important

Work is a big contributor to our sense of self, it also provides a sense of achievement, supports personal growth, and fosters independence, so when the ability to work is taken away, it can be extremely detrimental to our social and emotional well-being.

Potential barriers to employment with ABI


Sometimes an individual’s desire to get back to work does not match the actual reality of their readiness to rejoin the workforce. Your therapists and doctors will be able to advise you of your personal work readiness and work with you to create rehabilitation and treatment options that will, with time, help you meet your work goals.


Experiencing a loss of self-confidence after a brain injury is completely natural. Our team will help you regain confidence through training programs and one-on-one support. We will help you create an effective resume and cover letter; we will give you interview coaching, and – once you have landed a job – we will work closely with your employer to ensure your transition back into employment is a success.


Fatigue and overwhelm are very common symptoms after brain injury and can be a significant barrier to employment. Fatigue may manifest behaviourally, cognitively, physically or emotionally. You may see it impact your attention span, communication, energy levels or memory. Being aware of your physical and emotional limits, approaching one task at a time, and being able to work in a quiet, distraction free environment will help to combat fatigue and lessen overwhelm.

Too Much Too Soon

Often a slow return to work is required, starting with a reduced number of hours and limited responsibilities, with the workload and hours gradually increasing over time. Sometimes there are setbacks, which can be frustrating, but the CoAct team is here to support you.

How CoAct will help you find a job after an ABI

When you register for support through our Disability Employment Services (DES), our dedicated team can support you with:
  • Building confidence and motivation to start (or continue) with your job search
  • Getting the training and qualifications you need
  • Helping connect you with local employers who understand your needs
  • Helping you to find and apply for jobs in your local community

How CoAct works with you and your employer

Through Disability Employment Services (DES) we can work closely with your employer to develop an individualised plan that meets the needs of all parties. We will use a collaborative approach to create realistic goals and expectations, help your employer implement any workplace modifications required to accommodate you and we will provide mentoring, on-site support and ongoing assistance as you continue your work journey. Contact the CoAct team today to find out more about how we can help you through DES.

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CoAct acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay our respects to the peoples, the Cultures and the Elders past, present and emerging.

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