Tips for Finding a Job After a Traumatic Brain Injury

Tips for Finding a Job After a Traumatic Brain Injury

For some people, their job is their life. After sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI), however, acquiring and maintaining substantial employment can be difficult. Not only can being jobless hurt your bank account, but it can also negatively impact your emotional well-being and self-esteem.

Some of the barriers that brain injury survivors may face in the workplaces include:

  • Cognitive - Difficulties with concentration, problem-solving, or memory.
  • Physical - Extreme fatigue, weakness, sleep problems, a lack of coordination.
  • Emotional - Depression, anxiety, mood swings, or inability to control anger.
  • Social - Impulsiveness, lack of communication skills, or difficulty building relationships.

So, what can these individuals do to overcome these obstacles? Below, we provide some tips that can help you return to work after a brain injury.

Don’t Go Back Until You Are Ready

While you may be eager to get back to your productive lifestyle, remember that one of the most common mistakes people make is going back to work too early. Even if you have physically recovered, your cognitive abilities may still be hindered and your work performance may suffer.

Don’t rush the process! First and foremost, you should always wait until your doctor tells you that it’s safe to begin working again. Then, once you feel like you are ready to deal with the stress and pressure of a workload, you can begin the process of getting back to work.

Identify Your Skills and Strengths

Building up your self-esteem can help you feel prepared and ready to go back to work. Try identifying your skills and strengths and write these down in a journal. If you are ever feeling down or full of self-doubt, refer back to your strengths and remind yourself how far you’ve come.

It’s important to be positive but also realistic. Brain injuries are unique in that they can often leave lingering symptoms for months or years after the fact. Know what your limit is and communicate it to your doctor and employer so that you don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself and those who you work with.

Communicate With Your Employer

You are not required to disclose any information about your health. However, you should also not keep your employer in the dark.

It’s a good idea to send regular updates about your recovery progress and give an estimated time for when you will be returning to work. This also allows you to let them know whether you need any type of work accommodations specified by your doctor.

Work accommodations for a brain injury may include:

  • Modified work schedules
  • More frequent breaks
  • Taking on a different role
  • Written instructions and checklists
  • Temporarily modifying training materials or policies

Get Help From Kornfeld Law

After any serious injury, it’s natural to feel like you are fighting this battle alone. At Kornfeld Law, we want you to know that we are here to help you recover the right way. Our head attorney, Rob Kornfeld, was seriously injured in an auto accident and understands the variety of emotions you may be experiencing.

Get someone on your side who knows what you are going through and will fight to ensure your voice is heard. Contact our Seattle attorneys at (425) 657-5255 to schedule your free case review at your earliest convenience.


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