I went from a service industry job to a desk job! HELP

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    • #131597

      I went from working in a 100 degree fast pace kitchen with no air conditioning. To an Admin desk job. The struggle is real. Because I was non stop before my Adderall seemed to really help me succeed at my last job. Now it is making me be to overwhelmed. And sweaty and unfunctionable. SO I stopped taking it. Now I am way worse. Im screwing up small tasks. I forgotten things. I am just not on my A game. I cant think, I cant focus. The first two months were amazing. Now I feel like a failure. Im not sure where to begin , then next thing I know its time to leave, and I feel like I didn’t get anything accomplished. I listen to music to ease the distraction, but the tasks keep piling up. When silly errors are made its so embarrassing. Just trying to plug on. Some type of structure is need.. SOMETHING….

    • #131629

      You should see your doctor and let him know about your reactions to the medication, he’ll need to prescribe another one for you

    • #131800
      Penny Williams

      I agree, talk to your doctor about this. You can try a different medication or a lower dose that may work better for you in your current job environment.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #133185

      It seems to me that your new job is the problem if you did well at your previous fast paced job. Desk jobs are not the ideal for ADDers. We thrive on movement, excitement, challenges, creativity. Sitting at a desk is the opposite of what in invigorates and drives us.

    • #133394

      Same here. When I left serving/bartending for a desk job I went crazy! I was use to the constant movement which seemed to keep me on track. Sitting at a desk was to mundane for my mind and I couldn’t keep tasks straight. Ling story short, I went back to the service Industry and am doing much better.

      • #134921

        Okay, your reply gives me SO MUCH RELIEF! I’ve been at my desk job 2 years. I make ridiculous money for not having a degree…I finally have health insurance and paid time off…all the things I thought I wanted when I left the restaurants. BUT IM MISERABLE!! I’m not physically, intellectually, or socially stimulated. Plus I feel extra alienated being around neurotypical people who don’t ever seem to understand me. Restaurant folks are just a different breed. My partner is worried about me going back, constantly reminding me of what I didn’t like about my old jobs but I keep trying to explain that I just really thought the grass was greener. It’s not. I need insurance I guess but all I use it for is mental health support that I didn’t need when I had a job I liked.

    • #134951

      I know how you feel. I used to work in more socially engaging jobs, and now I work a mostly sedentary job in a library doing book and media orders and dealing with magazines. (Oh the hell that is magazines… I tell ya…) I’ve been here about 4 and a half years and I still struggle though not nearly as badly as I did when I first started.

      Like you, my first couple of months were fine, good even… but that’s mostly because it was new, exciting, and most of the difficult-for-me stuff hadn’t really kicked in yet. I have to track long standing orders and magazine renewals, I have to track transactions and file invoices in specific places, and I have to remember to double check for missing issues. The worst thing is when there is a problem I can’t resolve right away and sometimes I would forget to follow up on them.

      I do a number of things that have increased my success in the meantime:
      – I listen to music or pod casts or audiobooks I’m already familiar with (cuts down on ambient distractions, coworker’s converstaions carrying, etc.)
      – I write out “To-Do Lists” AND “Follow Up” lists. Even your every-day tasks can go on that To-Do List if you know it’s going to be a busy day… that way you can avoid some build up.
      – “Follow Up Day” – every Monday I have a block of time saved in the early part of the day to focus on my “Follow Up” items… be they emails, vendor questions, whatever went on that Follow Up list that isn’t complete yet.
      – Write those lists by HAND, even if you have to re-write them. There’s a connection between writing things down and brain processing.
      – I created Excel documents that have helped me track my long-term responsibilities better. I make it a habit to review those documents once a month at the start of each month. I even write it on my calendar and add Outlook Calendar alerts to remind me.
      – When I feel like some part of my job has really backed up on me, I devote half a day or a whole day to resolving that back-log. Not only does it get done, but I feel better about it. Don’t underestimate the impact of ANXIETY. If you are anxious about an old to-do pile, then you are going to struggle with EVERYTHING. Just tackle that pile, the anxiety will likely decrease dramatically, and doing your other stuff will be easier.
      – try different time systems. there are lots of methods out there, but a basic one is: set timer for 25 minutes to work on a task and devote to that task, when time is up then set for a 5 minute break (bathroom, coffee, stretch your legs, something relaxing but won’t throw you down a rabbit hole), then set a new 25 minute timer and rinse and repeat.

    • #134979

      I used to be a cook and I felt the same way. I struggle in a regular office environment. I found an office job that lets me train others, so I’m on my feet, every day and class is different, etc.
      If you’re used to the physical work of a kitchen, maybe there is a job with Facilities or there is a more physical type of job you can get to maintain your insurance and pay. Or maybe they will give you a stand up desk?
      I also have to-do lists in order to remember things. I start my day with a list and I end my day creating the new list. Allow for Carry Over activities so that you don’t feel guilt.
      I also let my officemates know that I am ADHD. I explain to them that it’s easy to distract me, so if I need to focus, I may shut myself away from them with headphones and as others have said, put on something that I know like The Great British Baking show or something like that.
      I also use that energy when I get home, as I’m an MBA student. I work out, do homework, clean, bake, etc. Like, I make it so work is more of a “rest” for my brain than anything else.

    • #134995

      I’ve worked as a legal assistant for almost 20 years. Was released from last job (the one that “created” me and with which my identity was sealed) due to the firm downsizing. That was in 2012. I haven’t been “normal” since. I can’t find my niche. I can’t do anything right. I seem to fail at everything and anything. I no longer have any motivation, my health has deteriorated, and yet I keep trying as if I had good sense! I don’t know what to do anymore. For so long now I’ve wondered if all those years I was just “playing the part” of a responsible adult when I was really a failure all along. That thought process certainly didn’t improve anything!

      My life has been a rollercoaster of emotions. A few highs, but mostly lows. A couple frightening episodes of being terrified I couldn’t stop myself from taking my own life. And there have been many times I’ve wondered why I’m still here.

      I don’t want to be this way anymore. The “me” that people see is better than all this because of the facade. I almost always appear upbeat and together when it reality my entire world is falling apart on the inside and I don’t know what to do to stop it.

      My husband is so very understanding and loves me in spite of it all. I try not to burden him with thoughts and fears but there are times I just curl up by him on the bed and put my head in his lap. Just him slowly stroking my hair calms and centers me again. I feel protected and loved. We are raising our grandson who will be 10 years old in January. He’s been a handful and was just earlier this year diagnosed mild to moderate ADD. His mom (my daughter) has gotten her life straightened out and has been living with us for about a year now. She’s also ADD, but hers is more moderate to severe. They both have angry outbursts, etc., but they’re both improving greatly.

      I rarely cook, never clean, can’t remember the last time I washed clothes. It’s all I can do to get out of bed some mornings.
      I don’t even shower on the weekends. What a joke I am.

      Sometimes I just don’t think I can keep going.

      Suggestions, please.

    • #135024

      We need structure. I have everything labeled i have post Its everywhere. I made a list of my daily duties on a lined yellow writing pad. The yellow was easy to find. Most of all accept that you will make mistakes and dont beat yourself up. Take breaks by walking away breath and come back to complete the task.

    • #135278

      Thank you for sharing this article! For 20 years I worked in live events with a specialty in concerts. After retiring I got a job as an administrative assist for the state. I assumed because it was in a new field that the learning plus the work would keep my attention. However, six months in and I am board out of my mind. I finish all of the work they give me, joined two committees, listen to audio books (I’m on book 113 for the year), clean, ask for extra work, play games on my phone and it still doesn’t feel like enough. Now I understand why. Does anyone have any suggestions on what’re I can do to help my brain pass the time?


    • #138367

      I switched from a fast-paced IT job that had me dealing with multiple issues in multiple locations all-day-everyday to a job as a software developer. After 2 years of struggling, I was fired last Thursday.

      I’m in my forties and just diagnosed with ADD less than a year ago. It’s funny to read articles on this site. It’s as if someone kept a diary of my life and posted it on here for me to reflect on.

      On to my next adventure!

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