Returning to work: Am I ready?

Posted on the

At some point in June I will hopefully ‘go back to work’. But when exactly is a bit of a fluffy line.

The question is: How do I know where I am ready to return to work? What does ‘ready for work’ mean to me? This article is my stab at an answer.

4 Areas

I think I can see my ‘readiness’ in four key areas:

Healthy - Being healthy means that I am physically well and have good mental health.

Stable - Being stable means i expect to stay healthy for the foreseeable future and won’t be made unwell by taking on more demands.

Productive - Being productive means I can combine my stability with my skills to get something useful done.

Autonomous - Being autonomous means the things which will impact my productivity, stability and health are under my control.

I am ready

Against these four areas I am doing pretty well.

I am pretty darn Healthy. Of the lingering health issues everything is under control and my mental health is in a really good place. I can’t walk or sit up much. But meh. I’ve rejigged my life so I don’t need too.

I am reasonably stable. At least in a health sense. Physically I fall over a lot now I think about it. But anyway, that’s beside the point. I have good and bad days, but it’s more or less the same as it was before my injury. I have enough capacity to deal with most things and a resourceful and rested support network to fall back on when I need it. My chronic pain is well managed and predictable. We into the ‘long fettle’. The decade long process of constantly refinement and optimisation.

I am productive. To a point. I am generally cheerful and I can work really effectively from my phone most of the time, and I can work from my desk for a few hours a day. Likewise my ADHD meds are being really useful. They are not magic, but they help with focus and keeping me in the flow. My skills are intact and I have everything I need to start doing stuff.

I have autonomy. I am more or less back to using the same amount of formal external support as I did before my injury. It’s different in the details but at a high level…. it’s much the same. My friends help me out, but they are not doing any of my day to day care and supoort. My routines are bouncing back nicely. I’m back to having regular adventures and were slowly getting more ambitious.

So all in… I am pretty much ready to go.

From here to there.

Being ready kinda rocks, but before I can return to work I need to do a bit of testing. I need to verify that everything works and I’ve identified all the barriers.

This is what I am doing now. Sorta pretending I am back at work and seeing what goes wrong and then working out solutions. It’s better to have it go wrong now when the workload isn’t all that important rather than later when it matters.

I am pretty darn excited really. Life isn’t simple or easy, but it’s pretty great and i am looking forward to getting back to working with my team and making cool things happen.


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

Social Links

Get In Touch

Jamie: @JamieKnight
Lion: @Lickr