There are serious pros and cons involved in the decision of whether to disclose your migraine disease to your employer, and a great deal is at stake. While you may be lucky enough to have a boss who will be glad to know how to help accommodate your needs so you can continue to do your job, you may be less fortunate and have an employer who will start looking for a reason to fire you as soon as he/she learns about your situation.
If you have made the difficult decision to disclose your illness to your employer, here are 10 things you should know.
1. Make a plan of how you will disclose in advance.
2. Consider preparing a basic script you can follow so you can practice what you want to say in advance.
3. Determine who you are supposed to disclose to within your organization or who you feel more comfortable disclosing to for the first time.
4. Try to time your disclosure to occur before serious problems begin with your work or performance on the job. Most employers will believe you are more sincere in wanting to do your best despite your migraine disease if your disclosure does not seem like a last-ditch effort to save your job.
5. Decide how specific you want or need to be in disclosing.
6. Bring information that explains migraine disease in basic terms. (see Teri’s article: 10 Things I Want to Share About Migraine)
7. Be prepared to explain how you will work around your migraine disease to meet the expected duties of your position. Include both technical skills and general work skills related to your position.
8. Be prepared to discuss the accommodations you will need in order to perform your job. Tell your employer exactly what adjustments you need, but be open minded to their suggestions.
9. Discuss what your employer should do in case of a migraine-related emergency. If you are prone to fainting, disorientation, etc., let them know who to call and what to do in advance.
10. Offer a list of resources for your employer to explore for more information about migraine disease. Migraine.com is a great place to direct people who want to learn more.