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Changing jobs

hetty56hetty56 Member Posts: 6 Listener
edited March 2020 in Employment and careers
I hope I’m not in here under false pretences but I’m posting this in behalf of my son. He suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident 2 years ago. He went back to work after 4 months (wrongly - he was ‘persuaded’ to return by his employer). He works in IT so a lot of brain work.  He’s doing exceptionally well but suffers from depression, anxiety, and still has issues of memory loss and total fatigue (brain shut down).  His company seem to think he’s fully recovered and one of the newcomers even seems to think it’s a joking matter. He needs to move on to another job but has spells where his fatigue is overwhelming and he’s not as productive as he should be. The environment is certainly not helping his depression.  He worries though that any new employer wouldn’t understand and he wouldn’t survive any probationary period.  I’m sure, however, that there must be employers out there who would be sympathetic - am I right and how do we find them? He’s a bright lad and a hard worker. 


  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,340 Disability Gamechanger
    @hetty56 Welcome to the community and Im sorry to hear your son is having issues with his job. Has he mentioned any reasonable adjustments to his current employer, maybe if he tells them about his struggles they can support as part of the Equality Act they should do all they can to make practical reasonable adjustments for him to remain employed. 

    Does he have a HR department at work or an occupational health service who can do an assessment and suggest reasonable adjustments.

    Failing this if he wants to move on there are lots of companies out there that support its hard to know which to suggest without knowing where you are and type of work, but look for companies that have the disability tick on their applications and ask if any adjustments are required at interview or application stage. 

    If I can help out anymore just ask also I am sure other members will have advice to add, good luck I hope your son finds something suitable
  • hetty56hetty56 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thank you for your reply. In the early days they were very helpful and made lots of allowances. I get the feeling they still do to a certain degree but with little understanding of brain injury. They’ve offered a form of progression but this would only be in the form of going out to visit customers on site. It sounds great and would give more interest but the problem is that every time he has to do something different from the norm he hits a wall of fatigue and is unable to function properly. I agree that he should make them aware but he doesn’t feel he can.   It’s a small family company with no HR department and I don’t feel they give the support a large company could.  He won’t talk to them to either as he feels it’s his issue - when he first returned to work I used to communicate with them a lot but 2 years down the line that’s not appropriate any more. 

    I’ll make him aware of companies with the disability tick - maybe that’s the most sensible option. 
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,340 Disability Gamechanger
    Maybe you can try convince him it's in his best interest to talk to them as trying to get a new job in unfamiliar surroundings and environment may not be the best for his anxiety as least his current employers have some understanding of what he has been through and how the accident has affected him . 
  • hetty56hetty56 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    That’s true. Although the progression they offered wasn’t something he could cope with at least they haven’t pushed him into doing it. I’ll speak to him some more - even if he doesn’t feel he can talk to his line manager there maybe someone there he can share with. 

    He’s always tried to manage on his own - he rejected the psychologist sessions and tried for months to do without medication for his depression. I’ll persevere along the lines you suggest

    Thank you.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,340 Disability Gamechanger
    Ok well good luck and let me know how you get on 
  • LouiseHLouiseH Member Posts: 96 Courageous
    Hi @hetty56 I'm sorry to hear about your son and the issues with work. Is he taking any medication to help with the depression at all? Or seeing a therapist? I ask as some support with that could help him, if it's something he's open to.
    I've included a link below to a Brain injury website, it has a few different sites for information on there and a forum. Maybe speaking with others with similar injuries to himself might help him feel like he's not the only one dealing with this. I know that feeling of 'I'm the only one' is often prevalent in depression.
    Regarding jobs, an employer such as the local council are usually more disability aware, as are big companies such as supermarkets. They will all have offices with IT departments, of course it depends on location but it could be a good place to start.
    Hopefully the site above might help. 
    Best wishes, 
    Louise :smile:
    Louise Hesketh
    Community Champion
  • hetty56hetty56 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi Louise. 

    He refused to take any medical advice initially and it was only when he was at rock bottom that he agreed to see his GP. He tried a lot of anti depressants but suffered with a lot of side effects and went (with medical supervision)from one drug to another. He saw a psychologist on 2-3 occasions but decided that wasn’t doing any good.  I don’t think he’s tried anything for long enough. Even getting him to see his GP for an ear infection and getting his eyes tested are an uphill battle. 

    To to be honest it’s been a serious struggle for me feeling so helpless - I’m about to start counselling to get me through it. He is slowly recovering but so slowly. 

    I use the health unlocked forum a lot but I’m going to look at the brain injury site you referred to. It helps me to speak to people who have similar experiences

    Thank you for all your helo

  • JenCoJenCo Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    I am stunned that an IT role would be so inflexible. 
    Can you elaborate on his skills and the role? 

    A small family business might not be able to make reasonable adjustments for your son but a large company would be happy to. IT as a sector is incredibly diverse and so is the workforce. Does your son have the option to work from home? This can be really helpful. Working from home once a week can be quite beneficial and for an individual with depression, or anyone at risk of burn out really, that can be a lifeline - https://www.torchlighthire.com/leading-reasons-let-employees-work-home-one-day-week/

  • hetty56hetty56 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    His role involves taking IT Support calls and resolving them.  I'm not sure that working from home would work but I will ask the question - one day to work at a different pace could make a real difference (thanks for the link).  To move to another job he feels is taking a big risk.  To the outsider he appears to have no issues which is where it falls down I guess.  Without an understanding of brain injury people can't make a true judgement - it's been a vast learning curve for me! and without that understanding 2 years seems a long time.

    At some point in a recruitment process he has to discuss the fact that sometimes he can't work as effectively as at others.  I appreciate that there are a lot of companies out there who would be very supportive but it's a big thing for Sam to be doing - going into an interview at a disadvantage (that's the way he sees it)

  • JenCoJenCo Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    Sam is right, it is really intimidating but honestly, people can surprise you :)

    Large companies (250 permanent staff or more) are getting more inclusive because:
    a) it's the right thing to do
    b) it boosts the company's corporate responsibility and in doing so, their profile

    Here's a list of the Financial Times' diversity leaders for 2020: https://www.ft.com/content/bd1b4158-09a7-11ea-bb52-34c8d9dc6d84

    You can filter by rating, location, etc. I don't know if these or similar companies are in your area but it's a good indicator of how things are improving and how Sam can hope to strive for better. I hope he finds something that's perfect for him or that his company comes round. 
  • hetty56hetty56 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thank you. That’s really interesting - the list is quite extensive.  I feel certain that once he plucks up courage to go down the recruitment process he’ll be surprised at the response he gets.  As you said, things are improving in the workplace.

    Ive discussed with him tonight an earlier suggestion in this thread of working from home. He said it is possible but he’s certain his company won’t consider it - maybe he’ll propose it now it’s been suggested. I don’t think he’d considered it before. 
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