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Setting Yourself Up for Success at Work

Tips for Workplace Success

Whether you’re sitting in a cubicle, presenting a report or leading a team meeting, migraine disease can present significant challenges in the workplace. Fortunately, you’re not alone. Migraine disease affects 39 million Americans, including virtually all workplaces across the country. Below is a list of simple tips and tools you can use to set yourself up for success at work.

  1. WRITE IT DOWN. Keep a journal documenting your symptoms and mark dates that you experience migraines at work. If possible, also note how the attacks affect your work. This is a great way to identify triggers and can also serve as evidence if you choose to ask for accommodations. If you prefer to monitor these items electronically, consider using an app, like Migraine Buddy, to keep track of your migraines. The user-friendly interface also allows you to record pain location, intensity, treatment and duration.
  2. FIND A FRIEND. Many migraine sufferers find it useful to ask a coworker to be an advocate in the event of a sudden migraine attack – someone to jump into action when you need it most. This person can also help you get home safely and step up to cover any work you might miss.
  3. CREATE A BACKUP PLAN. In any workplace, being proactive makes all the difference, and this is especially true for people with migraine disease. Devise an action plan with steps that you will take to ensure you’re always prepared if you suffer a sudden migraine attack. This can include completing tasks ahead of time, notifying coworkers and your manager when a migraine hits and putting a strategy in place for how you will make up any missed work if you are unable to complete certain tasks.
  4. START A CONVERSATION. Many patients find it useful to speak with their managers about the effects of migraine disease. Consider checking out our Migraine at Work discussion guide to get the conversation started. If you choose to start a conversation with your boss, make sure to explain your symptoms so that he or she understands that your condition isn’t simply a headache — since your boss often is not a doctor, it’s helpful to educate them. You may consider sharing a journal documenting your migraines and the steps you’re taking to ensure your work is getting done, even in the event of an unexpected migraine attack. You may want to bring a copy of our Migraine at Work Employer Fact Sheet to get the conversation going.