Strengths vs. Challenges in the Workplace
Common Challenges in the Workplace:
Individuals with LD may take significantly longer than their co-workers to accomplish tasks, leading to overall low productivity on the job. If you're affected by this problem:
- you may be frustrated trying to keep up with your workload
- you may worry about co-workers resenting your slow pace or ridiculing your difficulties staying organized and getting your work done
High Error Rate with Tasks Involving Academic Skills:
Individuals with LD may have trouble writing memos, taking messages, reading instructions, filling out forms, and making changes. If you encounter these sorts of difficulties:
- you may find yourself trying to avoid tasks, especially if you feel embarrassed when your boss or co-workers must double-check and correct your errors.
Problems Learning a Sequence of Tasks:
People with LD may have difficulty learning and carrying out multiple-step tasks and following directions. This may be especially true when steps needs to be carried out in specific ways or in a particular order. If you're having trouble completing multi-step tasks in the right order:
- you may find yourself looking for shortcuts (that unfortunately often have a negative impact on the quality of your end product)
- the speed and the accuracy of your work will likely suffer.
Learning disabilities can have a negative impact on your ability to manage time efficiently. Some frequent challenges include:
- having trouble planning ahead, and keeping a calendar of activities
- arriving too late or too early for meetings
- meeting critical work deadlines
People affected by learning disabilities may find social interactions to be especially challenging. Common problems might be:
- knowing what to say and how to behave when meeting people for the first time
- helping people feel good about working with you on a team
- engaging in small talk, and knowing how much is too much to disclose about your personal life
- sharing information about your LD
- making and keeping friends.
Strengths You Bring to the Job:
Self-determination is one of the most important characteristics seen in people with LD who have achieved success. It is not unusual for people with LD to:
- try different approaches to solving problems, even after co-workers have given up
- share their determination with supervisors and co-workers (often appreciated as a sign of interest, dedication, and loyalty to the company)
Individuals with learning disabilities often have great problem-solving skills and are extraordinarily creative and resourceful in the ways that they tackle problems. It is not unusual to find people with LD who:
- come up with innovative and creative solutions to problems at work.
- Are valued by team members as the one to "think outside the box" or to come up new and unusual ideas
Individuals with LD often develop and rely upon unique strengths in specific abilities that help them compensate for their disability, and make them especially valued employees. These might include:
- drawing and design
- public speaking
- mechanical activities and work space adaptation