PARKINSON’S IN THE WORKPLACE … Our bodies may fail us from time to time, but there is no halting our minds.

Prompting this blog, is a statistic that I have read this morning. It is published that “a person with disability is 4 times more likely to be unemployed compared with an able-bodied person of the same age”. At first, I thought that this couldn’t be correct and then I recollected my own disappointment with myself as I left an interview yesterday.

Feeling quite isolated from being self-employed and working alone I have recently applied for many roles within a market sector I know well, but I am finding getting interviews tough, so when invited to an impromptu first interview yesterday I should have changed my day to reflect the importance of the event. But with less than 24 hours notice to attend, truly believing in my Wonder Woman powers of positivity, beforehand I undertook an already scheduled training session of a 5 mile run in the Surrey Hills as with the support of my son and his girlfriend I hope to run to fundraise for Parkinson’s UK at the Royal Parks  London Half Marathon in October. Big mistake, run complete, showered and changed I headed off on what was a short 10 mile car journey but as I approached the venue I could feel my right side tighten and so, it remained until the closing stages of my meeting when feeling more confident with my delivery of content versus the likelihood of my posture being judged, I relaxed!

Why oh why do I always feel that I need to over compensate my day to prove to others (or, in fact myself) that my disability doesn’t affect my routine. I am left feeling cross with myself as a) not even many able-bodied candidates would have risked this b) I know I was paying more attention to my posture than what I delivered in respect of replies to the interviewers questions and c) as I debated the answers to a) and b) in my head, initially the stiffening worsen with self torment. Therefore, lesson learnt, if this situation arises for you:

1.

Don’t fight the need to change your diary, there would have been no shame in delaying my training session with the volunteering medic who is kindly monitoring my progress.

2.

Allow time before important events. Again sub consciously, your body and unfortunately your mind knows it’s a big deal and like any other able-bodied individual we are bound to feel a little anxious, eliminate this by arriving thirty minutes ahead,  grab a coffee and calmly read over your notes.

3.

If things aren’t quite right, try to relax.  Your interviewer is aware of your disability, light-heartedly maybe refer to whatever symptom you are experiencing like a problem shared, it will feel halved and allow you to continue clear-headed and in the knowledge that the truth is “I’ve got Parkinson’s, I’m not Perfect” …. But, I’m god damn near it in strength of mind if not body.

These three things are as simple as my three P’s. Plan with patience and you will be prepared. Why, do I never listen to my own advice?

alison@parkinsonspeople.co.uk

 


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