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Disclosing your ADHD at work
Why I don't agree with the experts
Something is bothering me. It’s about disclosing your ADHD in the workplace. Recently, I’ve been put into spaces with some of the top ADHD experts (in webinars, courses, panels, podcasts, etc.) and the topic of disclosing your ADHD to your employer KEEPS COMING UP, and time and time again - the experts are telling us not to disclose our ADHD at work. WHICH I DO UNDERSTAND. But, still… I don’t fully understand.
This feels like a controversial opinion, but here’s my perspective as someone who 100% owns her ADHD… take it or leave it, but certainly don’t consider this legal advice in any way, shape, or form.
Disclosing my ADHD to the world (no joke, sometimes it feels like the whole world knows) has drastically changed my life FOR THE BETTER. I’ve been open to employers and to hiring managers about my ADHD. Sometimes the stigma is still there - and education is needed. But sometimes… no, MOST of the time… it sparks a deeper connection. I learn MORE about my peers, my friends, my bosses, and they learn more about me. I’m telling you, being open about my ADHD and my NEEDS has been nothing short of life-changing for me… in all the best ways.
I understand that not everyone is in a place with this kind of privilege - where they can afford the potential backlash from disclosing their ADHD to their employer. But, I want to challenge you with these questions when you’re considering NOT disclosing your ADHD at your workplace:
Do you want to work somewhere where you are not celebrated and accepted for who you are?
Do you want to be masking 24/7 at work?
Do you want to wait until you’re in an icky situation at work before asking for accommodations/help?
Again, I get it. We all can’t be so picky and choosy when it comes to employment. These are just questions that I ask myself when I’m job hunting - and I wanted to share them with you.. for no other reason than to make you think about it.
A few other things:
You can ask for accommodations at work without ever disclosing that you have ADHD. “_________ would help me perform my job better” - can be a starting point.
Companies will not make changes to the work environment if they don’t know that they need to. It sometimes takes a brave soul to move the needle for others.
If you’re not sure what workplace accommodations look like, check out this article
I HIGHLY recommend you listen to this week’s podcast episode featuring ADHD Coach, Jaye Lin, where we go in-depth about this topic and offer up some very helpful tips around disclosure. If you’re on the fence about disclosing your diagnosis, or need some tips on how to have the conversation - this episode is screaming your name.
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I feel better getting that off my chest. But, I want to hear your experiences with disclosing in the workplace. 👇👇👇👇
Have a freakin fabulous day, friend.