Reply To: I got fired today, after the second day at the job

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Teens and Young Adults with ADHD I got fired today, after the second day at the job Reply To: I got fired today, after the second day at the job



I am sorry to hear about your job, and I think a lot of us can relate to this situation. I’ll tell you a few words about myself, so you know who this comes from. I am in my forties, I have a 9 year old son who we suspect has ADD and is in the process of being diagnosed. I myself have never been diagnosed, however I do think I have an ADD-type brain, though my symptoms have lower intensity than those of my son.
I think a lot of us with ADHD brains have a hard time holding “normal” jobs, the kind of jobs that require us to be reasonably fast, reasonably sociable, reasonably organized. Entry level student-type jobs such as waitressing, or pizza delivering in your case. These are jobs that anyone is expected to be able to do, because they do not require any special degree or education. However, for people like us, they can be excruciatingly difficult, a/because they are often based on speed of processing, common sense and common organizational & social skills, which we often lack; and b/because a lot of us are bored to death by these types of jobs, and people with ADHD find it nearly impossible to stay focussed if they are not interested. We’ve all tried these kind of jobs, and I guess it’s safe to say we have either failed, or it was pretty obvious we were just not very good at it. I am sure all of us have tons of funny stories about our experiences in these jobs! Here’s one of mine:
Fruit processing in a farm: I was placed in front of a conveyor belt that filled a tray with all the peaches I had to place in boxes. My job was to place the peaches in “grade A” box (good quality peaches) and “grade B” box (lower quality peaches). No-one felt the need to explain what were the factors deciding whether a peach was good quality or lower grade, so that created a level of uncertainty that panicked me and slowed me down. I would pick up each peach, take a quick look at it and decide it was OK, place it in the grade A box. Then I would pick the next one, do the same thing, but then I would second-guess myself and go back to the first peach, decide it was actually not so great and switch it to the grade B box, and so on and so on, and all the while, the tray was filling faster and faster and the girl next to me had to stop her work and help me before it would overflow… It looked like a scene of Charlie Chaplin’s movies, I still laugh about it every time I remember…. Of course that day didn’t go so well, and I did not keep the job…
I had some others of these ill-fitted jobs as a student , some of which I managed to keep even though it was frustrating because it definitely wasn’t showing the best of me. I was very lucky at some point to have a boss who took a liking in me, and was very patient and teached me to keep up and get better, even though it wasn’t the best job for me. I am forever thankful to the important lessons he taught me.

The thing is, we all have skills and interests, and my advice would be to find out (if you don’t know yet) what you’re interested in, and what you are good at, then focus on developing these areas and find a job that is a closer match. If you’re are at entry level, it might still be a job that’s not perfect for you, but it might at least be closer to what’s good for you, and put you one step in the right direction.
For example, like a lot of people with ADD, I know I am not good at “fast” jobs, but I am very good at things that require patience and attention to detail. I also have an interest in arts and creative environments in general, so this is were I oriented my career. Today, I have a job that is very detail oriented, in which visual observation, sense of proportions, precision and technical quality are extremely important, and speed is of a much lower priority. It’s also in a creative field in which I am passionate about (I am a product developer in the garment industry). This is a much better fit to my personality and skills. Depending on which company I work for, speed may be higher or lower on the priority list, this is why companies that produce quality products usually offer a better environment for me than those who specialize on cheaper/faster product.

I hope this helps!! You’re doing the right thing to open the conversation, and look for feedback from the community. Don’t get discouraged and remember, there’s lots of us like you! You should focus on what you are passionate about, and what is a positive environment for you!