In the last 15 years so much has changed in the disability and caring industry. It was very rare to be able to work for yourself, most of the time you were employed by a large organisation who focussed on providing services to as many people as possible in an attempt to help everyone who needed it, while that was better than nothing usually it came at the price of support that a person actually needed to live a life they wanted. 

Today with the NDIS in full force many people and families living with a disability have the ability to better direct the care they need and employ the people that they want to work with. This has led to an amazing opportunity for many to become their own boss and better manage their work life balance in a very rewarding role. 

Over the last 5 years I have been able to be my own boss, dictate my hours and working conditions and help a huge number of people in my local community to access support and make a difference in everyday lives. This is a great opportunity for anyone looking at a caring role to participate in. 

These top tips will help you to set yourself up as your own boss:  

Know your Job 

There are a huge number of different jobs people need help with; cleaning, personal care, cooking, home handyman, therapy, and transport assistance to just name a few. No matter what role you decide to do, make sure you can do it well and make that your niche. Research green cleaning techniques, have all the tools and knowledge to fix things, have done the defensive driving course and learn how to help transfer people in and out of a car. By doing the role well you will get the best sort of advertising – Word of Mouth. 

Understand the NDIS and your requirements if you decide to work in the industry  

There are many resources out there that will provide you with information about how the NDIS works, and what your legal requirements are to work. Making sure you understand the NDIS code of conduct, and all the legal requirements covered and have a general understanding of the NDIS and its lingo will both protect you and make you a better worker. 

Research how you want to work  

There are a range of opportunities available that will provide you with varying options on how much of the admin stuff you need to do. Do you want to be responsible for tax and super and insurance, would you like the backing and opportunities a contractor platform provides or do you just want to dictate your hours and have the full support of a platform that will connect you to clients as well. Knowing what you want out of working for yourself will allow you to find the right balance – or even a stepping stone for your career.  

Get organised 

Working in the disability industry means being organised. People will be relying on you for assistance and being organised ahead of time and knowing what needs to occur is important to longevity in the industry. It will help you and help those you work with. Also paperwork – there is a lot but being organised helps make it easier. 

Get Support and training 

Working for yourself can be hard and the caring industry unfortunately does have a huge burnout rate due to working not caring for themselves. Making time for training and self-care are important. There are many opportunities to participate in training – there are a huge number of short courses, communities of practice and forums you can participate in. Find yourself an informal or formal mentoring or supervision person – having the ability to bounce ideas, get 1:1 Training and sharing of experiences is an important part of your professional self-care routine.  

Working for yourself in the disability is easier today than ever before. If your prepared to work hard, know your product and be organised your clients will do your advertising for you and the sense of satisfaction from assisting individuals to live their best life while getting to be your own boss is well worth the effort. 


Elizabeth Hickey from AFA Support Coordination is an independent Support Coordinator and mentor that works to assist individuals with disabilities and small businesses/sole traders to navigate the NDIS and get the best out of the disability industry. Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook or email direct to

Facebook: @AFASupportCoordination 



If you’d like to book a call – get in touch – send me a message on any of my social platforms or book a call at

And – I also have a wonderful online community called Like Minded Business Owners which is a fantastic Facebook group of small business owners who have a wealth of knowledge to share – please join if you aren’t already a member and become a part of a wonderful community!

Or you can DM me on Instagram or Facebook; or send me an email

I wish to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land, the Yorta Yorta People, on which I conduct my business today and pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples reading this blog post today.


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

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