Settling into a new job

You got past the interview, secured the job offer. Worry over right? Actually, probably not! This is where a lot of Neurodivergent adults start to get nervous.. how do you settle in the workplace well and give a good first impression to your colleagues?

The important thing to remember here is you got the job, the employer sees something in you that they feel will be valuable to them. You also need to remember that many people, Neurodivergent or not are nervous at this stage.


This is something many people worry about, if you have not already disclosed at interview then disclosing to your manager at your first meeting might be something to consider. For more details on disclosing your disability take a look at our Disclosure resource for individuals.

Preparing to start

It might be helpful before starting to write down a few questions you have and send an email to your new line manager before your start date. You could start this email with “I am really looking forward to start working with you, I just have a few questions to make sure I have everything right for starting” – questions you might want to ask include: What is the dress code? What facilities do you have for lunch – am I best to bring a sandwich? Who do I ask for when I arrive?

Asking these questions might just help ease some of the first day anxieties you might have, an employer will not look down on you for this and will see it as a keenness to start and know what is expected of you.

First Day

Take a notebook to write things down as there is always a lot to take in on the first day and you are likely to not remember it all. If you struggle to remember everyone’s names then make light of this, and say to colleagues “don’t be offended if I have to ask your name again, I have met a lot of people today”.

Take time out – Remember to use your breaks well. Go for a walk, listen to some music or just go and sit outside for a few minutes to give yourself time to recoup at lunch or break time.

Be Honest – speak to your employer about your disability, explain that you will be fine when you are settled but you might need a bit of time to adjust or might ask more questions because you are keen to get things right. Explain to them that learning new things can be overwhelming sometimes but once you are in a routine you will be fine.

Create a wellbeing plan – if it helps then write yourself a wellbeing plan, include in this reminders for what you can do to help you keep calm. The wellbeing plan can help you if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Getting to know colleagues

This is probably one of the more challenging aspects of settling into a workplace. Trying to understand the workplace rules, trying to fit in whilst learning a new job. The important thing to remember is to relax, try not to overthink the situation and use your calming techniques to help you when you feel yourself getting anxious. It can be helpful to speak to your colleagues about your disability and let them know that you may appear a little awkward but that doesn’t mean you aren’t interested. Ask your colleagues to give you time to settle in. You could ask your manager to provide a peer buddy that you can check in with or who understands more about your disability that you can speak to for advice if needed.

If you are needing more support and guidance, then contact our team and we can discuss whether a workplace assessment would be helpful or if you would benefit from our workplace coaching and mentoring support.

If you have just started work or about to start work then take a look at the in-work support we can offer via our Access to Work programme.

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