How to Have a Successful Career With Dyslexia
The challenges and severity of dyslexia and its symptoms vary greatly from one person to another. But whether mild or severe, it can negatively impact your on-the-job performance, especially if you’re in a job or at a company that isn’t a good fit.
At work, individuals with dyslexia may experience issues like difficulty writing, following written instructions, and understanding other written communication. Some may have struggles with time management, focusing on tasks, and organization, all of which can make it difficult to complete tasks in a timely manner. Others may have trouble with social interactions, understanding unfamiliar words, and pronouncing words accurately.
An increasing number of employers now have a better understanding of dyslexia in the workplace and are willing to provide accommodations, which is encouraging. But it’s a good idea to be proactive about setting yourself up for a successful career. There are a few steps you can take to accomplish this.
Get Clear on Your Strengths
The good news is that along with the challenges, dyslexia always comes with a range of strengths and abilities. Everyone is different, but one key to success at work is identifying your strengths so you can build and capitalize on them. This can go a long way towards ensuring that you’re an asset in the workplace. Here are a few examples of strengths you may find in yourself:
Many with dyslexia have strong visual-spatial skills, which can make them excellent at tasks that involve visualizing and manipulating objects in their minds. This can be an asset in fields like art, design, and engineering.
Some with dyslexia develop strong problem-solving skills as a result of the challenges they have navigated in their lives. This can make them excellent at finding creative solutions to problems and coming up with innovative ideas.
Dyslexics are often known to be particularly skilled at telling stories and dynamic reasoning.
Individuals with dyslexia may develop strong analytical skills as they work to overcome the challenges they face. This can make them excellent at analyzing and interpreting information, and at identifying patterns and trends.
These are just some of the strengths people with dyslexia have been able to capitalize on at work. Here are a few careers where such skills especially shine through....
Research Potential Companies
It's also to your advantage to find an accommodating work environment if you’re not already in one. Enjoying your work and finding a job you love is possible!
Look for employers who understand and embrace the value that comes with having employees with different learning styles. When searching jobs for dyslexics, seek out organizations or Jobcentre Plus employers that are open to reasonable accommodations such as modified work schedules, alternative assessment formats, and assistive technology.
When you research the company's culture and values, you can usually find indications that the company is going to be accommodating. Look for companies that appear to value diversity and inclusion, and that have a track record of supporting employees with different needs and abilities.
You can also network to find companies that will be supportive. Ask your contacts or consider reaching out to employee resource groups or diversity and inclusion committees to learn more about companies that support employees with dyslexia.
There are many organizations and programs out there that can help you navigate your career with dyslexia. Look for support from local dyslexia organizations, online forums, and educational programs.
Consider seeking support from a job coach or other vocational rehabilitation specialist, who can help you identify job opportunities that are a good fit for your skills and abilities and can provide guidance on how to advocate for yourself in the workplace.
Additionally, you might consider seeking out a mentor. Having someone who understands and is invested in your success can be invaluable. Look for mentors who have been successful in the same or similar field of work as you.
With the right support, you can make the most of your skills and enjoy a successful career. Take time to find and use the tools and resources available to you, and try to keep a positive attitude. Finding a job is hard and finding a job with a disability can certainly be tough, especially one that’s a good fit, but take things one step at a time and believe in yourself!