November 8, 2021


by: admin


Tags: Achieving, ADHD, Freedom, Professional, Working


Categories: adhd

Working with ADHD: On Attaining Skilled Freedom

Technically, I was only fired from one job. It was a college summer maid job. After a couple of weeks, my boss pulled me aside and said there had been complaints about my dusting.

I hated dusting off. I’ve always hoped that vacuuming would be assigned to me. Pushing and pulling the vacuum cleaner over carpets was fun. I could just do “W’s” one at a time. I could see my herringbone work on the carpet. It was satisfying and physical and I was able to stay focused.

Dusting was the opposite. I had to be careful when picking up picture frames, tiny figures, and antique bottles. I had to remember exactly where to put them again. It was terrifying. I wasn’t surprised that dusting was my downfall. After the boss had summarized the complaints about me, I handed over my dust rag. I spent the rest of the summer working in a deli.

On the job – undiagnosed

I don’t know how many jobs I’ve had since then, but I know that I’ve felt like a scammer with all of them. Even though I had a masters degree and years of experience on my resume, every job I took became stressful and too demanding. My cheat syndrome increased with the stress. I knew how to work and I was good at it. I could deliver an end product. What I couldn’t do was create this product according to the specific steps someone else had laid out.

Jobs became fearsome memories of math classes, where showing off your work was as important as finding the right answer. The work I showed was never right, even if the answer was that. My confidence is eroding. I tried to follow project workflows and disappointed myself and my colleagues every time. My résumé became a patchwork of a year – here and two years – there – sometimes less.

[Get This Free Download: What to Ask Yourself to Find the Perfect Job]

I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 46. At the time, I had a job that required careful attention to detail and a rigorous process for every project. I failed miserably. At some point I quit – just before I was fired – and changed careers twice in three years. By the time I turned 50, I knew I couldn’t make a career in an area that wasn’t a job. Maybe it was time to get clean.

Working with my ADHD

It was around this time that I saw a job advertisement for my dream job, writing for a federal agency. Federal regulations allow applicants with “disabilities” to apply on a “Schedule A” and, if hired, to receive accommodation. Although ADHD is recognized as a “disability,” I didn’t like the idea of ​​taking someone else’s job away. I also had the impostor syndrome.

A friend who knew my work history said, “Your ADHD has been career negative for long enough. Make it positive this time. ”It made sense. My therapist wrote a schedule A review and I applied.

Freedom to do things my way

When I was offered this job, I knew it would be different. I explained my problems to my boss, my colleagues. I told them exactly how my brain processed information. I said I would give them the product they wanted every time, but I needed the freedom to do it my way. I explained what it took to make my part of the process a success.

[Read: The Best Work Schedule for ADHD Brains]

At first I was afraid, even ashamed, to ask for special treatment and to admit my imperfections. But no one has ever responded with anything other than understanding. In fact, several colleagues thanked me who are still in the back of their minds about their learning differences. It’s not a secret that I struggle with alone. It’s a fact.

I’ve learned that my ADHD is a big part of what makes me creative. This enables me to find solutions that no one else has thought of before. When I stopped fighting my ADHD and embraced it, I became a better co-worker. For the first time, I am not afraid at work. I am not hiding anything and I do not feel like a cheat. My ADHD is a good thing indeed. Just not when dusting.

Working With ADHD: The Next Steps

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