Jobs for Bipolar People

Creating Employment for People with Bipolar Disorder

Jobs for Bipolar People

According to the National Institutes of Health, people who are bipolar experience “unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and concentration.” It is important to remember that not everyone experiences the same symptoms. Bipolar people fall into the broader category of neurodiversity, which employers increasingly see as manifesting a range of strengths and weaknesses that can be accommodated, just as any employee has strengths and weaknesses. While many bipolar individuals maintain employment without difficulty, some people may face stigma and discrimination in the workplace, making it difficult to get hired or promoted.

For more than 50 years, PRIDE Industries has been helping bipolar and neurodiverse people bring their unique and valuable strengths to multiple industries. We’ve placed thousands of talented, neurodivergent and people with other disabilities within our own lines of business and with our employment partners. If you or someone you know is bipolar and looking for work, or if you are an employer seeking trained, supported employees, contact us.

Employment Services for Bipolar People

Job Preparation

There are a number of ways we help neurodiverse and bipolar people prepare for the job market, including: 

  • Skills assessment: Focusing on skills instead of a diagnosis can help employers and employees be more objective in considering employment. We help bipolar people identify which of their skills best align with job opportunities.
  • Identifying accommodations: Identifying accommodations in advance can make it easier for employers to understand that hiring a bipolar person is not much different than hiring neurotypical employees. 
  • Communication training: We help people learn how to disclose their disability and request accommodation in ways that foster support and understanding. 
  • Resume and interview preparation: We help candidates create resumes and prepare for in-person and online interviews. 

Job Placement

Job placement for people who are bipolar and neurodiverse is much like job placement for all job seekers. Once skills, goals, and needs have been assessed, placement involves finding the right match for the candidate.  At PRIDE Industries, we focus on each individual’s strengths and abilities, and identify supportive workplaces that prioritize mental health awareness and flexibility.  

Ideal workplaces for bipolar people are calm, controlled environments with limited external stressors (noise, rapidly changing expectations, etc.) such as libraries, museums, research institutions and other calm, predictable environments. Remote work and flexible schedules can help people with bipolar disorder perform their jobs and balance personal and mental health needs. 

On-the-Job Support

Employment coaches support bipolar employees on the job by ensuring that they have:

  • Reasonable accommodations: This includes a supportive environment, flexible work hours, and assistive technology.
  • A welcoming and inclusive work environment: To achieve this, coaches educate staff about bipolar disorder, show them how to promote understanding and acceptance, and how to celebrate diversity.
  • Training and development opportunities: Coaches help employees develop their skills and confidence, and progress in their careers.
  • Recognition and rewards for achievement: This helps workers feel valued and appreciated and contributes to their overall well-being by providing career advancement opportunities.
CARF Accredited Seal for PRIDE Industries

Our Commitment to Service Excellence

PRIDE Industries holds the prestigious 3-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), an international, nonprofit health and human services accreditor. This recognizes that we have made a specific commitment to put the needs of our participants at the center of the services we design and deliver, and that we strive to continuously improve efficiency, fiscal health, and service quality and delivery.

In part, this accreditation recognizes PRIDE Industries for:

  • Providing excellent employment services, employee development services, and employment planning services.
  • Being highly regarded in the community and building positive relationships with partners and employees.
  • Holding safety as a high priority.
  • High satisfaction from persons served, families, and other stakeholders.
  • Longevity of leadership, which provides continuity to the organization’s mission.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

CARF accreditation means that the CARF-accredited provider is committed to reducing risk, addressing health and safety concerns, respecting preferences of individuals (cultural or otherwise), and providing the best quality of care possible. It also shows that the accredited organization values the feedback and input of their customers with disabilities and is accountable to the community. And, finally, accreditation demonstrates that an organization has opened its service delivery and business processes to outside scrutiny to improve the quality of its programs.

FAQs: Jobs for Bipolar People

Ultimately, the best job for a bipolar person is the one that best suits their individual needs and preferences. It is important to find a manageable job that does not trigger symptoms. It is also important to have a supportive employee who understands mental health needs. Jobs that can be conducive for bipolar people include:

  • Jobs that offer flexible hours: This could include working from home, part-time, or having a job with a rotating schedule.
  • Jobs that are low-stress: This could include jobs that are not customer-facing, that do not have tight deadlines, or that are not physically demanding.
  • Jobs that have a predictable routine: This could include jobs that are the same day-to-day, or that have a set schedule.
  • Jobs that allow for creativity: This could include jobs that involve writing, art, or music.
  • Jobs with supportive environments: This could include jobs where there is understanding and flexibility for mental health needs.

Resources are available to help bipolar people get jobs through normal hiring channels or through organizations dedicated to helping bipolar people and people with disabilities find jobs. Bipolar people can ease the job-hunting process by:

  • Being honest with potential employers. This can be difficult, but it can be helpful to be upfront about mental health conditions to get reasonable accommodations.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about symptoms and how to manage them. Be able to talk about your treatment plan past success in managing symptoms in the past.
  • Focus on strengths and skills. Focus on the skills and experience that are relevant to the job.
  • Ask about accommodations that may be available. Some employers are willing to provide flexible hours, a quiet workspace, or other accommodations that facilitate success.

The unemployment rate for bipolar people is estimated to be between 40–60 percent, which is significantly higher than the general population unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. This is due to several factors, including the unpredictable nature of bipolar disorder, the stigma associated with mental illness, and the difficulty of finding jobs that are accommodating to the needs of bipolar people.

Contact us today to get started.