Jessica Michaels spent the first two decades of her career hearing: “You’re meeting all your goals, but you’re still failing. You can’t get along with people.” Her performance was fantastic, but she rubbed people the wrong way – and she didn’t know how to fix it. Still, she leaned on her strengths and powered her way from recruiting and sales to leadership. When she wasn’t training, managing, or selling, she toured the Midwest as a standup comic. She became a recognized facilitator and speaker. However, the pattern repeated: Be a great individual contributor, get promoted to manager, and have things blow up spectacularly. Finally, she received a diagnosis that explained those struggles – she was both autistic and ADHD.
Thus began the process of figuring out how and where someone who is “too much” could fit into the professional world and succeed. Along the way, she discovered how outdated and narrow ideas of what a “professional” person looked like, sounded like, and acted hurtful towards both, people and profits.
She also found managers and leaders brave enough to open their minds and hearts to people who live and work differently. She now uses her passion, humor, and unique perspective as a neurodivergent professional to help employers and leaders bridge the Corporate Neurodivide.
Jessica and her wife, Ellie, live in Colorado with their aptly-named dog, Detritus. They are proud aunties of 3 siblings and love to do all things geeky and nerdy. Befitting her neurodivergence, Jessica also collects gnomes, bells, elephants, seasonal decorations, and franchise merch. Current favorites include Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Bob’s Burgers. Her book, One Size Fits No One: A Guide to Neurodiversity in Employee Training and Growth will be available on Amazon and Audible in 2023.