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Anonymous - early 2


3 minute read

Read an anonymous story from one of our colleagues.  

I always enjoyed maths, physics and science at school. I decided to do physics at university and for my masters year I worked on a project very closely related to the work I do now, which sparked my interest in the area. 

After university, I worked in a non-scientific job for a short time. I didn't really know what I wanted to do after university and I was so stressed by the whole experience that I thought maybe I didn't enjoy physics. But actually, what I didn't enjoy was being at university.  

When I left university I really missed physics. I was worried that if I left it too long I would lose my physics knowledge or skills. I interviewed for a few jobs before NPL, which I didn't get so I was a bit concerned, but I got the job at NPL, so it was alright in the end. 

I work from home two days a week and on site three days a week. If I am on site an average day would be probably a few hours in the lab, taking measurements or setting up some equipment. In the office, I'll write documentation, maybe do a bit of coding or data analysis and answer my emails. 

I have a long-term health condition that I only got diagnosed with a few months before I started at NPL. It wasn’t too much of a problem before, but when I joined NPL it got a lot worse, and it was quite difficult for me to come to work.  

This long-term health condition has both physical and mental aspects which are both linked together and make each other worse. I used to worry a lot about coming to work because I couldn't really sit still. I kept having to leave my desk and I was worried that because I was new people would think that I was “slacking off” and I found it really hard to go to meetings and talks. I would dread events like these for weeks in advance.  I was worried about it all the time and it stopped me from connecting with other people. Sometimes I would go home sick on the day of a meeting because I felt I wouldn’t be able to make it through the meeting. 

I didn't really want to tell anyone, but when I did tell my line manager and another colleague who I worked very closely with, it was actually a big help for me, because then I knew that they didn't think I was taking time away from my desk for no reason. When I was leaving the office all the time they knew what was going on. 

Telling other people you work with can be helpful. Most people are kind and supportive.  

The biggest help for me was doing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) outside of work and I'm doing much better now than I was six months ago. 

Initially I didn't know what NPL specifically offered that would help in my position. My group leader was supportive of me working more days from home. I also joined the NPL Accessibility Action Group.  

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The information contained on the above text is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional or medical advice. All content, including text, images and information, is for general information purposes only and NPL does not warrant nor represent that it is intended or is suitable for a specific purpose.