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My career 

I knew of NPL because I did NPL Academy when I was at school, so I knew it would be of interest. I’ve been working here for 6 years now. I take part in a lot of Outreach activity participating in events like Big Bang Birmingham and New Scientists Live.  

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Thankfully I have a great relationship with my manager and we managed to work through it.

 

My challenges 

Just before the pandemic I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. It was quite poorly managed pre-covid and then I was one of the first people back on-site. After two years of lockdown, I found this very stressful which led to me becoming quite unwell. 

There was a moment when I thought “I can’t do this anymore".

 

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My advice  

The thing that’s helped me the most is just being very candid and transparent. It’s hard and it can be embarrassing, but letting people know how you’re feeling is far more important because then people can give you some slack or help you juggle responsibilities.  

There is no rhyme or reasons to my disability. People can be embarrassed to discuss that with people, particularly if it’s an invisible disability.

 

Read Abi's story

My career

I decided that I needed to take a career break to support a child with additional needs. During this time, I gained a lot of interest in accessibility and ensuring my work reflected people’s needs.

After my career break, I found it a lot harder to get into the type of work I wanted to focus on than expected.

 

My challenges

My career break was a barrier for me as I work in a competitive industry and sometimes struggled to get interviews for the roles I wanted. This really knocked my confidence and imposter syndrome set in. You start to think that you’re not as good as you could be. But then you get that role you’ve been after and fall into it smoothly.

My advice

Read the policies, educate yourself. Be as honest about your situation as possible. Good communication is key.

If you have a good understanding with your employer, where adjustments can be made and there is room for flexibility, you can manage working with caring responsibilities.

 

Read the full story

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