Disclosing Diabetes In The Workplace

Do you have a disability or medical condition that will impact on your ability to perform the role?

If you’ve applied for a job before, you’ve probably seen one of these lovely stock standard questions *rolls eyes* on a job application form.

So, how do you go about disclosing that you have diabetes in front of a potential employer?

In my experience of job hunting (and this is my opinion only), employers can receive hundreds and hundreds of applications for an advertised role. There’s a good chance that they’re not going to have the time, or the effort, to go through and carefully read each one. In some cases, employers may have an ideal ‘type’ of candidate in mind for the role. Perhaps someone who will gel easily with the young, savvy communications team. Or someone who has been raised in a similar culture to that of the European family construction business. Employers cannot exactly ask for these traits on the job description, but they certainly may look for them during the selection process.

When I’m applying for any job, I want to make a good impression. I want to present myself in the best light possible, so that an employer will want to hire me right away. Yet sadly, many people don’t know enough about diabetes. There is a lot of stigma out there about us. Sadly, people will make judgements. When my application is sitting in a pile with 100 others, I need to make it a good one. So why would I risk ruining that first impression of myself in front of a stranger by ticking that box asking about a medical condition?

When I interpret that question myself, I personally do not believe that having diabetes will impact on my ability to perform a role. Aside from occasionally ducking out to check my blood sugar or treat a hypo, diabetes doesn’t really affect my job. Many of the people I work with don’t even know that I have diabetes, and I believe that goes to show just how good I am at it. I’ve taken on one of the more physically demanding roles in my workplace, and I’m very proud that diabetes hasn’t held me back. In fact, I’d even go as far as saying that I perform my own job a lot better than some of the other people in my workplace who don’t have diabetes!

I have gone for many job interviews in the past, and believe me, diabetes has been the least of my worries. Usually it’s the ridiculous question they asked me that had nothing to do with the job, or that the role sounded completely different to what was advertised online. In fact, one of my interviewers made the news last year when he was sentenced to imprisonment! Let’s just say he wasn’t a very nice man…

I believe that an employer absolutely has the right to know about my diabetes. If I were hiring someone to work for me, I would definitely want to know what to expect. I would want to make sure that my employer is comfortable with my having diabetes. If I were successful in getting through those application “hoops,” I would then proceed to disclose my diabetes before accepting the job. In my opinion however, until I find an employer who likes me and wants to hire me, there’s nothing to tell.

One thought on “Disclosing Diabetes In The Workplace

  1. Frank: When I apply for a job I tell them straight up. I figure this, if they do not like my diabetes, they will not like me and life is way too short to be somewhere that I am not liked. My approach has only failed once that i know of and it failed in a big way in the short run. In the long run it turned out OK. Ahh life.

    I want you to know I referred your blog to TUDiabetes for inclusion on our blog page.,

Leave a Reply