4 tips for neurodivergent individuals starting a new job

Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking, as there is a lot to get used to. For neurodivergent people, this transition into starting a new job can be particularly challenging. In this blog post, I will give 4 tips for neurodivergent people starting a new job.  

Be proactive before your first day

You don’t have to wait until your first day to do things that will help you settle in your new job. Before I started my current job, there were two main things that I proactively did to help make things easier. One thing I did was get in touch with my team leader to organise an office visit. This allowed me to visit the team before I started, and I was also able to discuss support needs face to face. Another thing I did was to get in touch with people that work in the D&I space at my company via Linkedln to introduce myself and start a conversation. This was particularly useful as it meant that I already knew people before my first day.

Firms will be happy to do what they can to make things as easy as possible when it comes to starting a new job. However, it is also important to be proactive in communicating with the company before you start on how you can be supported. This will help make things much easier when you actually start the new job.

Go with an open mind and don’t make assumptions

It may have been the case that your previous job wasn’t accommodating of your neurodivergent needs. Or the previous job wasn’t something that you enjoyed. However, it is important that you go in with an open mind and treat the new job as a fresh start. At the end of the day, not all firms are the same, and some firms will be better than others when it comes to being inclusive and/or our career progression. Making assumptions that the new job won’t be accommodating of your needs won’t help you in any way. Furthermore, if you didn’t have a positive experience in your previous job, it is important to reflect on why that was the case, and learn from what things could have been differently.

Do what makes you feel most comfortable when it comes to disclosing

There is no right or wrong answer on how soon upon starting a new job should you disclose that you are neurodivergent, and who you tell. You should do what works and what is comfortable for you. When it comes disclosing that you are neurodivergent, you may decide to prioritise settling in to the new job first before disclosing. On the other hand, you may choose to disclose as soon as possible. When thinking about who to disclose to, you may choose to tell the whole team, or you may choose to disclose to only a few people. Furthermore, you may choose to not disclose at all, as you don’t feel it would benefit you. You shouldn’t feel the need to disclose in a certain way within a certain time period, and you just need to find something that works for you.

Know what your needs are and be upfront about them

Before you can discuss reasonable adjustments and support needs with your line manager, you need to know what your needs are. Needs could include things like working from home, having quiet spaces or having additional equipment. It may be hard to know what your needs are if this is your first job, and you haven’t had prior experience in the workplace. However, it is still worth thinking about what support you may need in the workplace, as this will make it easier to arrange reasonable adjustments and support needs.

Furthermore, it is also important to be upfront about your needs. Your needs are valid, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. Therefore, it is important to be upfront and honest about your needs. In particular, you should be clear on how any support needs put in place will benefit you.


One thought on “4 tips for neurodivergent individuals starting a new job

  1. Thanks for sharing this! God is always working & right on time & is working through you today. I start a new job on Tuesday & the hiring process was extensive the last couple months. I had to refamiliarize myself with “neurodivergent” & ultimately the post led me to new discoveries.
    I especially appreciated the reminder of going in with an open mind after not having the best experience at my current job.
    Be well & thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

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