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Taking Medication? How To Communicate This To Your Future Employer

Taking Medication? How To Communicate This To Your Future Employer

Many people get worried they’ll have a hard time finding work because they are taking prescription medication. Some jobs that are sensitive in nature will ask if you are on prescription medication during the application process. Random drug testing is growing in the workplace; the growth can be attributed to workplace safety concerns, productivity, and staying ahead of your competition. If you’re someone who’s taking prescription medication, then I know your concern. For years, I suffered from ADHD, so I had a hard time focusing. My ADHD was something I needed to disclose when applying for work, so know firsthand how it can be a sensitive issue for people.

The practice of drug testing and ADHD[1] has been becoming more prevalent in many states, especially with growing concerns over terrorism. States want to ensure a safe environment is kept under all circumstances, and testing has even become law.

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Over the years, I found a great pattern that works and can help increase your chances of a successful interview process. Here are the things I’ve learned over the years that I know will help you, too.

Be Honest

The first thing is to be completely honest about the medications you’re taking when asked about them. You have a better chance of getting hired if you are honest than if you lie during your interview process. Not disclosing the medications you are taking when asked shows employers the type of person you are, which lowers your chance of a successful interview. If you’re an employer and someone lies about being on prescription medication, then you’ll want to avoid making this person part of your establishment, right?

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Going forward, the next time you are asked this question be honest, because it shows character. Employers have dealt with people on prescription medication before, so they are just looking to find out if you’re honest. It’s important to note that they have measures in place to find out your medical history, so they’ll eventually find out anyway.

Explaining Medication

Giving an explanation on why you take medication can shed light on your situation. At the same time, you can explain how the medication will help you perform the job you are applying for. It’s very easy for people to make up their own thoughts about why people are on medication, but if you explain the situation, it can eliminate any confusion. Most of the time, if you disclose you are taking medication, then you’ll be asked for what and why, so just be honest about that, too; it’s a great feeling to get it completely off your chest.

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Understand Employment Standards

There are many forms of prescription medications, so if one doesn’t meet employment standards, you can try to find an alternative. Pharmaceutical companies have made billions coming up with alternative types of medication to stay competitive in the market. You might switch between brand or generic drugs that will suit the employment standards better. Before you can proceed, it’s important to find out what the standards are and the alternatives available. The employer may be able to give you a list of relevant medications that are allowed under company policy.

Doctor’s Note

I’m sure you’ve applied for insurance before and they’ve asked about your medical history, right? When you list prescription medications on the form, insurance companies will most likely require additional information from your doctor. When you provide this information, it helps with the approval of your application, even though it’s at a premium rate. The point I’m trying to make is bringing a doctor’s note supporting your ability to continue to work is a great way to secure employment with a company. Sometimes, the company just requires additional information for their own comfort before accepting your employment request.

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Advise During Drug Testing

As mentioned, many companies are now taking part in random drug testing, and it’s important you advise them about this before testing. A fail on a drug test means immediate termination, even if you are on prescription drugs and they didn’t know. It’s because companies must follow state policy, and failing a drug test falls under strict regulations which have no leniency.  Let the company document your medication use prior to the test so that they can avoid putting evidence of the medication on the drug test results. Remember, being honest about the prescription medication you are taking can be beneficial to your employment process, because it shows that you care about the well-being of the company environment.

Featured photo credit: gainesvillegalawyer.com via gainesvillegalawyer.com

Reference

[1] PsychCentral: ADHD Meds and Job Drug Tests

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

Traditionally, when you have a lot of ideas in your mind, you would create a text document, or take a sheet of paper and start writing in a linear fashion like this:

  • Intro to Visual Facilitation
    • Problem, Consequences, Solution, Benefits, Examples, Call to action
  • Structure
    • Why, What, How to, What If
  • Do It Myself?
    • Audio, Images, time-consuming, less expensive
  • Specialize Offering?
    • Built to Sell (Standard Product Offering), Options (Solving problems, Online calls, Dev projects)

This type of document quickly becomes overwhelming. It obviously lacks in clarity. It also makes it hard for you to get a full picture at a glance and see what is missing.

You always have too much information to look at, and most often you only get a partial view of the information. It’s hard to zoom out, figuratively, and to see the whole hierarchy and how everything is connected.

To see a fuller picture, create a mind map.

What Is a Mind Map?

A mind map is a simple hierarchical radial diagram. In other words, you organize your thoughts around a central idea. This technique is especially useful whenever you need to “dump your brain”, or develop an idea, a project (for example, a new product or service), a problem, a solution, etc. By capturing what you have in your head, you make space for other thoughts.

In this article, we are focusing on the basics: mind mapping using pen and paper.

The objective of a mind map is to clearly visualize all your thoughts and ideas before your eyes. Don’t complicate a mind map with too many colors or distractions. Use different colors only when they serve a purpose. Always keep a mind map simple and easy to follow.

    Image Credit: English Central

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    By following the three next steps below, you will be able to create such mind maps easily and quickly.

    3 Simple Steps to Create a Mind Map

    The three steps are:

    1. Set a central topic
    2. Add branches of related ideas
    3. Add sub-branches for more relevant ideas

    Let’s take a look at an example Verbal To Visual illustrates on the benefits of mind mapping.[1]

    Step 1 : Set a Central Topic

    Take a blank sheet of paper, write down the topic you’ve been thinking about: a problem, a decision to make, an idea to develop, or a project to clarify.

    Word it in a clear and concise manner.

      What is the first idea that comes to mind when you think of the subject for your mind map? Draw a line (straight or curved) from the central topic, and write down that idea.

        Step 3 : Add Sub-Branches for More Relevant Ideas

        Then, what does that idea make you think of? What is related to it? List it out next to it in the same way, using your pen.

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          You can always add more to it later, but that’s good for now.

          In our example, we could detail the sub-branch “Benefits” by listing those benefits in sub-branches of the branch “Benefits”. Unfortunately, we already reached the side of the sheet, so we’re out of space to do so. You could always draw a line to a white space on the page and list them there, but it’s awkward.

          Since we created this mind map on a regular letter-format sheet of paper, the quantity of information that fits in there is very limited. That is one of the main reasons why I recommend that you use software rather than pen and paper for most of the mind mapping that you do.

          Repeat Step 2 and Step 3

          Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you need to flush out all of your ideas around the topic that you chose.

            I added first-level (main) branches around the central topic mostly in a clockwise fashion, from top-right to top-left. That is how, by convention, a mind map is read.

            In the next section, we are covering the three strategies to building your maps.  

            Mind Map Examples to Illustrate Mind Mapping

            You can go about creating a mind map in various ways:

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            • Branch by Branch: Adding whole branches (with all of their sub-branches), one by one.
            • Level by Level: Adding elements to the map, one level at a time. That means that firstly, you add elements around the central topic (main branches). Then, you add sub-branches to those main branches. And so on.
            • Free-Flow: Adding elements to your mind map as they come to you, in no particular order.

            Branch by Branch

            Start with the central topic, add a first branch. Focus on that branch and detail it as much as you can by adding all the sub-branches that you can think of.

              Then develop ideas branch by branch.

                A branch after another, and the mind map is complete.

                  Level by Level

                  In this “Level by Level” strategy, you first add all the elements that you can think of around the central topic, one level deep only. So here you add elements on level 1:

                    Then, go over each branch and add the immediate sub-branches (one level only). This is level 2:

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                      Idem for the next level. This is level 3. You can have as many levels as you want in a mind map. In our example, we only have 3 levels. Now the map is complete:

                        Free-Flow

                        Basically, a free flow strategy of mind mapping is to add main branches and sub-topics freely. No rules to restrict how ideas should flow in the mind map. The only thing to pay attention to is that you need to be careful about the level of the ideas you’re adding to the mind map — is it a main topic, or is it a subtopic?

                          I recommend using a combination of the “Branch by Branch” and the “Free-Flow” strategies.

                          What I normally do is I add one branch at a time, and later on review the mind map and add elements in various places to finish it. I also sometimes build level 1 (the main branches) first, then use a “Branch by Branch” approach, and later finish the map in a “Free-Flow” manner.

                          Try each strategy and combinations of strategies, and see what works best for you.

                          The Bottom Line

                          When you’re feeling stuck or when you’re just starting to think about a particular idea or project, take out a paper and start to brain dump your ideas and create a mind map. Mind mapping has the magic to clear your head and have your thoughts organized.

                          If you can’t always have access to a paper and pen, don’t worry! Creating a mind map with software is very effective and you get none of the drawbacks of pen and paper. You can also apply the above steps and strategies just the same when using a mind mapping tool on the phone and computer.

                          More Tools to Help You Organize Thoughts

                          Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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