Self-Awareness Drives Workplace Success for Dyslexic Adults

Carly Godden  |  04/07/2020

Identifying strategies for emotional wellbeing will help build confidence, say UK researchers. 
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A UK study has suggested that self-awareness is the key to build confidence for dyslexic adults and increase their job satisfaction. 

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A UK study has suggested that self-awareness is the key to build confidence for dyslexic adults and increase their job satisfaction. 

Dyslexic adults who are positive about their strengths as well as areas of growth are more likely to thrive in their careers, according to researchers from East Carolina University and Cass Business School. 

They are also better placed to develop strategies to control their work environment. Consequently, these dyslexic adults generally feel more capable at their jobs, say the researchers.  

However, the study suggests that a significant number of dyslexic adults are held back by their negative thoughts about being dyslexic. Data was collected in an online survey of 173 dyslexic adults, mostly living in the UK or the US. The participants were asked about job history and their emotional experience with dyslexia. Those who had had more negative or uncomfortable associations tended to feel they were less competent in the workforce than those who held a more optimistic view.

Confidence at work is believed to be the most reliable predictor of whether someone will have a fulfilling career over and above their gender, age, salary or level of education. 

Over 27.2% of study participants were diagnosed with general depression or anxiety. Often that is the result of emotional traumas of bad experiences at school that can continue into adulthood.

Furthermore, disclosing dyslexia at work can be met with misunderstanding and discrimination and may even lead to them reliving trauma. Consequently, many dyslexics report high levels of anxiety. 

The researchers say universities should help dyslexic students with tailored strategies that better reconcile emotions tied to dyslexia and bolster resiliency. “Work internships such as those offered in colleges of business social work [or]psychology, nursing and others could be a perfect place to begin this process,” say the researchers.

To foster self-awareness, dyslexic adults can self-assess their emotional patterns linked to their dyslexia and how these can impact on their work life.

“[Dyslexic people] may consider professional dyslexia counselling or perhaps join a dyslexia support group,” the researchers add. 

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