Reply To: Unemployed and Afraid to Find New Work

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Allison Russo

This reply was originally posted by user Speechie1962 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

Dear fitnessghurl,

I am a 54 yr. old female with a masters degree in a healthcare profession (speech-language pathologist) I’ve worked in for almost 30 years. In the last 4 years, I have worked in several settings (home healthcare, skilled nursing facilities, a hospital, outpatient clinics,) both as a direct employee and as a short-term contract temp employee. I’ve quit two jobs & been fired from 4 of the total 9. I have been told I’m a great clinician, but too slow, have poor time mgt & organization skills, can’t keep up with documentation, etc.

I also worked a temp job as a professional test scorer for a national company. I had trouble being on time consistently at 8:00 a.m., but also was told I was slower than most in learning to score projects and my rate of actual scoring work. I’m currently working part-time for minimum wage in a floral shop helping in general and delivering.

My points are these:
1) I coped & compensated effectively for my ADD issues for many years, but no longer seem to be able to do so, even with a firm diagnosis almost 3 yrs ago and various med trials (now on Concerta) & counseling.
2) I thought maybe I was just burnt out where I was working when I was first fired in 2013 from an 8+ year position.
3) But, working in different settings didn’t really improve anything. I use multiple alarms but still struggle being consistently on time.
4) Meds make me feel alert, but not necessarily better focused or able to organize, prioritize, deal with interruptions or changing schedules or demands.

So, I too have become afraid of applying for another position in my chosen profession, for fear if not being able to be successful and perhaps having my certification and license suspended or revoked. Not for anything illegal or unethical, rather for not completing work/documentation “in a timely manner” (very subjective, right?!).
Or, because I live in an “at will” state here in the U.S., I can be let go at any time for any reason the employer comes up with, or even no reason at all.

Could you find part-time work in fitness, then piece together with part-time work in something else? Maybe something you always wanted to explore but haven’t? Or perhaps seek some vocational rehabilitation or retraining services? I’m currently looking into those as well as doing some online assessments to see where my skills & interests are, jobs they relate to, training opportunities, etc.

There doesn’t seem to much in my area in terms of Doctors, Counselors, ADD Coaches or even Job/Life Coaches who specialize in Adults with ADD & employment issues. Plus, I don’t think I can afford any of the coaches that do phone or online help.

I figure I need to keep praying, exploring, trying new things and eventually I hope to get to a better place, be successful again and happier.

Hang in there and keep trying!