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Strategies for employees

Dear-Dyslexic-01

 

If you’re starting off in the workforce, there’s lots that you’re going to need to figure out. But if you’re someone who has dyslexia and you’re starting off in the workforce, there’s a few more things for you to consider than for most people. Most modern jobs need you to write a lot, and even if it’s just a simple email to your boss or a colleague, it can be stressful.

My work life has involved lots of writing reports, which has given me lots of opportunities to figure out the things I need to do to get by. Here’s my must-do tips:

  • Ask a colleague to review your work – two or three colleagues if you can so you can share the workload. Just getting someone to sanity check your work can be super useful for everyone, dyslexia or not.
  • Take regular breaks. Stepping away from your screen, your phone, your desk for just a few minutes isn’t just physically healthy, it’s a little mental break that is a great opportunity to refresh your energy.
  • Try to find quiet places at work if you need to read or complete tasks that you find hard. Not every workplace offers quiet rooms or empty offices, but there’s often a meeting room that’s not being used or the tearoom at a quiet time. Find those spaces and use them to do any work that really needs your focus.
  • Always draft written reports before submitting them to your manager. This goes back to the first point, always ask someone to review your work. You know your job, it’s just your writing that can let you down, so give yourself the best chance by taking the time to draft and review.
  • Use mind/concept maps. Would you describe yourself as a visual learner? Most of us are, and this is where mind maps are brilliant. Draw your plan or your thinking to help you get things down coherently. Get access to a whiteboard if you can to help with this.
  • Use assistive technology like Text to Speech or reading pens. Everyone has their pieces of tech that help them to do their job as well as they can. These two could be great ones for you. Tell me on Facebook about the tools that are most helpful for you.
  • Give yourself enough time to complete tasks so you don’t become overwhelmed. This is a big one and it’s not going to be possible every time, but by writing a checklist at the beginning of the day you should be able to tell where your crunch points are and if there’s anything you’re going to need to ask for help with.
  • Use calendar tools to set reminders of upcoming events and work tasks. Most email and calendar tools have a built-in to-do list function – use it to help keep you on track.
  • Develop a checklist for routine activities. All of us start to whizz through stuff that we’re used to because it becomes automatic, a checklist can help you ensure you don’t miss a step.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Know your limits, and put your hand up when you think you’re approaching that limit, you’re a better team player when you share a problem than if you try to battle through alone.

Successful careers for people who have dyslexia