In this webinar about neurodiversity and work for the Inclusive Recruiting Network, Daniel talks about:
- what neurodiversity is,
- what it means to be neurodiverse in the workplace, and
- how neurodiverse candidates can shine in the recruitment process.
You’ll learn how to prepare to join a company and what you can do during your employment to feel safe and to progress.
This webinar will be useful for:
- individuals with a neurodivergent condition looking for employment advice, and
- hiring managers who wants to learn more about neurodiversity in order to best support neurodivergent candidates.
Neurodiversity and work webinar highlights
If you don’t have time to watch the full video, we’ve pulled out the highlights for you.
Neurodiversity is the idea that cognitive conditions (autism, adhd, dyslexia, dyspraxia) are natural variations in the way people think.
At least 15% of the population are neurodivergent.
Disclosing your neurodiversity at work
The Equality Act 2010 is set in place to protect you from discrimination in the workplace. If you don’t disclose it, your employer may not make adjustments for you.
Positive disclosure can be a way of showcasing strengths and not focusing on your challenges.
If you feel uncomfortable disclosing your neurodiversity to your employer, there may be a HR or an equality and diversity team you could refer to.
Before applying for a position, ask yourself:
- What type of work do I enjoy doing?
- What type of work would I like to have included in my job description?
- Where will the job be located?
- What rate of salary are you looking for?
This exercise will help you narrow down your selections into a job field that suits you.
Preparing for an interview
In the run up to your interview, you can minimise the anxiety of the situation by preparing ahead. Some simple strategies that might help someone who is neurodiverse include:
- Make notes of what you would like to say beforehand
This might be the key highlights of your skills and accomplishments, or details you have researched about the company.
- Ask for reasonable adjustments in advance
This allows the interviewer time to make the necessary adjustments.
- Plan your route to the interview
Make sure that you leave extra time to allow for delays of traffic. Another tip: trial journey before the interview to familiarise yourself with the location and the time it takes to get there.
During the interview
There are some simple strategies to be your best at an interview that apply to everyone. As a neurodiverse person, it can be extra helpful to have these in mind when you’re in an interview situation.
- Dress smartly and make sure you make eye contact with the interviewer.
- Ask for the question to be repeated if you do not understand.
- Answer briefly, then ask if they would like additional information.
- Be sure to describe your strengths.
Examples of strengths that neurodiverse people typically display are:
- Problem solving
- Ability to see big picture
- Visualisation skills
Work Induction Process
Your are entitled to a workplace that accommodates your needs and allows you to perform at your best. Some things you may wish to consider are:
- Explain reasonable adjustments needed as early as possible.
- A workplace needs assessment may be given to find out what adjustments can be made (formal diagnosis is not required to access workplace support).
- Ask for Mentor/Buddy if you aren’t initially given one.
- Ask your line manager to go though your job description, particularly what is expected of you and when.
About Me passports
About Me passports can be a more comfortable way of discussing your preferences and challenges. The passport lists what support or reasonable adjustments help you. This helpful document allows you to communicate what situations make you anxious.
Some people also wear a sunflower lanyard which signifies a “hidden disability”.
When thinking about their employees, managers should bear in mind that:
- Every neurodiverse person has their own unique set of challenges.
- It is important to not assume what challenges someone may or may not face.
- Certain skills may be more challenging to develop than others, but that does not mean they cannot be learned.
Neurodiversity and workplace support
There are a variety of support tools that may help you as a neurodiverse person in the workplace. Neurodiversity Specialists offer:
- Screening for those who believe they may be ND (neurodiverse)
- Diagnostic assessment is recommended to those studying or sitting exams as part of their job.
- A workplace needs assessment identifies support/reasonable adjustments on individual needs.
If you are looking for support, Daniel Brooke is a fully qualified in career coaching and career mentoring and extensive experience with neurodiversity and the workplace. Daniel provides a unique perspective on career advice for those who are neurodiverse.
To improve your job seeking skills, book a 30 minute consultation with Daniel Brooke for Specialist Career Training.