Briefly describe your daily job duties.
I work as a Senior Business Analyst for Conifer Health Solutions. My job involves helping implement, modify, and monitor software that hospitals use to manager patient healthcare data and health insurance data. This software manages healthcare data from the point that a patient schedules a hospital visit until the point when the hospital receives a full payment for the patient’s healthcare service.
As a person who stutters, share the most challenging part of your job.
Every week I lead and attend conference calls in order to discuss projects and issues. When these conference calls have large groups of about 30 people, the fear of stuttering impacts the way I communicate. Instead of communicating in a way that allows me to openly stutter, I communicate in a way that avoids stuttering. I’m currently attending speech therapy so that I can better succeed in challenging situations, such as these.
Did you self-disclose your stuttering during the job hiring process? If so, how did you do it and how do you currently disclose your stuttering to co-workers?
During the job interview process, I believe that I self-disclosed myself as a person who stutters. Generally, when I interview for a job, I say: “I am a person who stutters, so if you hear any delays or repetitions then I would truly appreciate your patience.”
Also, I have had one-on-one meetings with many members on my team in order to let them know that I am a person who stutters, and if they hear me stuttering then they should be patient with me, keep eye contact, and not fill in my words. Doing this has allowed me to feel more comfortable as I communicate with them, and it has helped them understand how to support me as a person who stutters.
Describe how stuttering makes you a better, more valued contributor at work.
As a person who stutters, I often ask others to be patient with me and listen carefully to me. As a result, I have learned how to be patient with others and clearly listen to them. This has helped me improve the way I communicate with others and support others on my team.
What is your proudest moment at your current company?
My proudest moments at my current company have been when I’ve made a difference in the lives of others. Last year, I had several opportunities to share my skills and knowledge with a newer team member so that they could successfully complete several tasks. As I did that, I learned work is most rewarding for me when I am able to help others succeed.
What are your long-term career aspirations?
Currently, I am working towards a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification so that I can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to lead, manage, and direct business projects and business project teams. Work is most rewarding for me when I am able to help others succeed, so I aspire to be a Project Manager that can help others succeed and help improve the way businesses perform their work.
What’s your best advice for people who stutter just entering the workplace and for those in a career striving to achieve greater success?
My advice for people who stutter is to self-disclose early on and self-disclose often.
People generally want you to succeed, but because many people do not have a good understanding of stuttering — it is up to you to tell them how they can support you as a person who stutters. When you self-disclose, you make yourself more comfortable in your work environment. When you self-disclose, you help others understand what stuttering is, so that they can support you and so that they can support future employees who stutter.
For people who stutter that want to achieve greater success, my advice is to be confident. Great leaders display confidence in the way they communicate, in the way they take risks, in the way they make decisions, and in the way they persevere through difficult times. Being confident will truly help you succeed in your career.