MY BOSS JUST DOESN’T UNDERSTAND ME
In 2007, I completed my degree course and left university, started temping and found a permanent role within a year. Every change of job meant another application form, and each time I declared my disability. When doing so, I assumed that the definition of dyspraxia was widely understood, something I now know to be untrue.
I imagined how useful it would be to have a concise list that I could provide to my new line manager before I started the job. I wanted something better than a hyperlink to a webpage, on which the medical definitions were either too broad or too specific, complicated further since not all aspects of the condition applied to me.
The list could be a talking point in the job interview, proactively addressing elements of the job description which would need additional support or consideration. Otherwise, a convenient and transparent set of rules that would help both parties in the event of future complexity, which can erode managerial trust and lead to personal anxiety, apologetic over-explanation and shame.
I produced a table which includes dyspraxic traits, their impact on my work and my preferred method of managing them. I included some humour to illustrate some scenarios which are rather uncomfortable in everyday life. It felt good to address the effects of my disorder gracefully, knowing and accepting myself a little more in the process. I hope some similar could work for you, too.