Job Layoffs: How ADHD Adults Can Avoid the Cut

As the economy worsens, are adults with ADHD at greater risk for losing their jobs? Here's how you can

Avoiding an ADHD Lay-Off

Going forward

Although you do have control over your own job performance, you may not have a lot of control over the overall performance of the company — just ask the employees of Enron who watched their life savings plummet regardless of their own personal performance reviews. Sometimes, despite everyone's best efforts, sales still slump, orders go down, and management is forced to make some tough decisions. What do you do then?

"Emotionally, losing a job can be so distracting that focusing on another job may seem totally impossible. Self-esteem, already an issue for ADDers, goes to an all time low. It's doubly hard to be "up" for interviews and putting your best foot forward."

Here are some suggestions:

  • Acknowledge your feelings.

"Accept that this is a form of death and allow yourself to grieve," counsels Fellman. Being unemployed can be financially devastating and personally debilitating, especially for those whose sense of self-identity is closely tied to their job. It is perfectly natural to feel anger, sadness, and loss. The sooner you deal with these feelings, the sooner you can devote your time and energy to getting a new job.

  • Make a plan for the future.

Rather than seeing a layoff as an ending, try to see it as a beginning and an opportunity for change. Fellman, who has been helping people find jobs for nearly 19 years, encourages her clients to use a systematic approach for reassessing their interests, aptitudes, strengths, values, personality traits, energy patterns, accomplishments, previous job history. "I'm really big on the pre-job, career-development piece," she said, "on finding a career that really works for you! If we take the time to assess and match ourselves to an appropriate position, we are locating a job in which we can shine! What a joy that is!"

  • Build your team.

Once new decisions are made, be sure to have someone in "your corner." Get a coach, or a mentor to help you decide on the possible "gotcha" spots, and identify strategies or accommodations that will offset them. "Do as much of this as you can from behind the scenes, allowing yourself to shine in the foreground," says Fellman. "Remember, these are very competitive times, and the less we indicate "problems" the more likely it will be that we'll be hired above others."

  • Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Be ready to continue the self-assessment and life improvement strategies even after you get a new job. "We should always be striving to improve our skills, our performance and our ability to be the best employee in the position. When we falter, we can learn from it, work with someone to offset the problematic areas, and move on to improve, improve, improve!"

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TAGS: ADHD Career Paths

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