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Career planning and orientation

Career planning and career entry are topics that sooner or later play an important role during studies. Students with disabilities, chronic or mental illnesses in particular often have additional need for clarification in addition to the countless unanswered questions about the application process:

Do I have to take my disability, chronic or mental illness into account when choosing a career?

Should I talk openly about my invisible disability or illness in the workplace?

Should I state my severely disabled status in my application? Will this make my chances of applying for a job worse? Or will I perhaps only be hired because of a quota?

Clarifying these and other questions is often a process for which students should take their time. We recommend dealing with career orientation and career-related handling of one's own disability or illness in parallel.

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Individual counseling appointments can be made through the Career Service Portal or by emailing

Career Service

The Career Service supports all students at Bielefeld University in developing professional perspectives and pursuing career goals early on in their studies. In addition to individual counseling, students can take advantage of various workshops on the topics of 'Identifying Skills', 'Job Search and Application', and 'Goal Setting and Decision Making'.

For doctoral students and postdocs with the goal of a non-university career, the Career Service also offers individual counseling, events and workshops.

University Team of the Federal Employment Agency of Germany Bielefeld

The university team of the Federal Employment Agency of Germany supports students and graduates of Bielefeld University in career orientation, applications and career entry. The offer consists of various counseling formats such as brief counseling, counseling series and coaching during career entry. Workshops and small group seminars as well as lectures complement the individual counseling.

Registration for the consultation should be made by e-mail to

The mail should contain a short description of the concern, a telephone number and, if possible, the completed registration form.

The registration form and further information, such as the current semester program, can be downloaded from the university team 's website.

Seminar on starting a career with a disability, chronic or mental illness

The Information and Counseling Center for Studies and Disability (IBS) of the German Student Union [Association for Student Affairs] offers once a year the seminar "Career Entry with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses". The seminar is aimed at graduates and students of higher semesters who have a disability, chronic or mental illness. In addition to tips on application documents and tutorials on job interviews, the seminar also presents options for support in the workplace.

Do I say it?

At the latest during the application process, graduates with disabilities, chronic or mental illnesses must ask themselves whether they want to disclose this to their employer and, if so, how openly they want to deal with their own health impairment vis-à-vis the employer or at the workplace. There is no one-size-fits-all recommendation. If necessary, finding an individually suitable strategy can be part of a consultation with the responsible representative for severely disabled persons at the potential employer or with the representative for students with disabilities or chronic illnesses at Bielefeld University.

There are also offers on the Internet to support your own decision-making process. The website Sag ich's offers a free self-test for (future) employees. The test can help collect arguments for and against openly dealing with one's own disability or illness at work and initiate reflection processes. The website also provides useful information and materials on the rights and obligations of employees with disabilities, chronic or mental illness.

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