I work really hard, love my career, but keep getting fired

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    • #39875
      Penny Williams

      This discussion was originally started by user InconsonantDabbler in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.


      I consider myself a team player, and I do not have any issues working with others. In fact, I willingly stand aside so others can have their way, rather than try shoving my ideas down the throat of all. I typically offer up my opinions in way of suggestions, so no one feels intimidated or attacked by my person. I love what I do and I work hard every chance I get.

      The problem, however, is that no matter how hard I work, or how nice I try to be, it never seems enough. Now when I say I work hard, I mean I work hard. I am able to complete work that would take say several hours done, in about half the time. And I am quite jovial even though I am not what you would consider talkative. I have been told on occasion that I am a good listener. However, I struggle with Expressive Aphasia, though I love to read— learning is a passion of mine. I don’t think speech therapy is for me. Anyways, this is one reason why I have learned to listened more, and say less.

      I do my best to take responsibility for my own mistakes/failures but, overall, all that never seems to be enough to help me keep my job.

      I am that employee that works about 70% better than others both on my team or other depts. in the company. Yet, it never seems to be enough. I do not broadcast my ADHD — in fact, my medication seems to do a good job helping me operate at normal capacity each day.

      No matter where I go, I always seem to run into people who end up having one issue or another with me and then boot me for the flimsiest reasons. I mean every time I have to explain the reason for getting fired again, I end up having friends tell me that the reasons given were ridiculous. One particular supervisor explained that I was hardworking, and responsible, but some of the employees thought I came off a bit too aggressive and too confident.

      The other day, I sent an email to my manager requesting information on the authenticity of a rumor about a project that was supposedly in the pipeline. In this short email, I asked for information on eligibility for the project, should it turn out not to be a rumor. This manager came straight to me the next morning essentially convinced that the email meant I did not want to work with my team any longer. He was ready to fire me for asking questions about a rumor I simply wanted clarification on.

      I am at loss at this point… and simply want to know what else I need to change to get and keep my job.

    • #41004
      Allison Russo

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

      There are a lot of politics to navigate when working in an office. That kind of subtlety can be tough for individuals with ADHD, who are often very concrete, black-and-white thinkers. For example, to you, the email was purely inquisitive. For your boss, he has to wonder why you are seeking other projects/assignments—if you aren’t happy on his team, your work may begin to suffer.

      Here’s some expert advice that may help too:

      ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #41005
      Allison Russo

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

      Thank you, Penny. I happen to believe that my meds work pretty well for me, and I think I have excellent social skills.(lol).I have no problem working with others or making friends or following along.

      The problem seems to be, that numerous attempt of mine to express concern, or ask questions for my curiosity seems to backfire, and the reaction is usually a strong one from the other parties involved.

      Either I keep running into folks who, without giving me a chance to explain my intention, take drastic actions( many a times without so much as a warning), Or I still have serious communication issues, I am probably unaware of.

      I get my dental cleaning regularly done, so it isn’t that I have terrible breath or that I am off-putting, physically at least. I don’t believe I am rude, and honestly, on many of these short gigs, I have observed people who are rude more times than not, yet can avoid not getting fired.

      Maybe an example would work better in this case. In one particular job, I had started work about a month later than other new hires in my training class. Right from my first day on the job, my lead decided to throw me into the same training classes as the other new hires. Not a single issue discussed all that second day made sense to me. Matter of fact, I could not stop my legs shaking(restless leg) throughout the sessions, and it seemed the training was in some foreign language. I popped, at least, 50mg of propranolol to keep myself from exploding. I quietly requested she allow me some time to read some documentations on the project – help me do some catching up before jumping back into the training classes. She nodded, and I took that to mean that she did receive the message. However, on day 3, She demanded that I continue in the training along with the others. I felt disrespected. So, I again stressed how torturous the first two days had been for me. Seemed she was convinced this was a tug-of-war.

      I was surprised at the reaction but knowing that I had so much work to catch up on, I asked my manager instead for permission to focus on reading documentations. He agreed with me. But of course, the Lead did inform him of the situation, and it almost seemed her version included a statement or two about me not wanting to be on the team – I did not like my team members. I felt I was back in elementary school again—Why did she go that far? Why did she have to take offense with me trying to catch up so I can gain from at least some of the training going on?

      I, of course, tried to clear things up, but it was all reported as a strike against me. The second strike was the email I had sent requesting more information on the project rumored to be in the pipeline.

      Why do I keep running into these things? Why do I keep making these mistakes? Does this have anything to do with ADHD or is it simply that I need to learn just to go with the flow( Not speak up, or be myself)?

      In the past two years, I have lost over five jobs, and it is taking a toll on my mind.I am beginning to feel more and more like a fraud, with each loss.

    • #41007
      Allison Russo

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

      Your best bet to resolve this would be to work with a therapist and/or ADHD Coach. They can help you walk through details of your communications, identify where you might have been misunderstood, and help you create strategies going forward to prevent these communication issues in the future.

      ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #41008
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user sarah444 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      I had that problem too the way to solve it is find jobs where you work independently. Making own schedule etc that works much better for people with add and jobs that you enjoy doing.

    • #41010
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user Trakfloater07 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Wow this hits home. I honestly have been through the exact same thing. I feel like I am generally a very nice and pleasant person but in every job I have there are multiple people that have issues with me. I try to go out of my way to be as polite, and selfless employee but it seriously is like I think on a different planet than everyone else. After a my last firing it honestly makes me never want to work, but I have a wife and 2 kids to feed. I wish we could sit and have coffee because it sounds like you go through the same thing I do 🙁

    • #41011
      Allison Russo

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

      No matter how nice I am or how much effort I put into communicating with those on my team, I always seem to get stuck with the knife in the back. Am I really to blame for the reaction my manager had to a simple email? I don’t get it at all

    • #41012
      Allison Russo

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

      putting in lots of effort but none of it is paying off / trying really hard, much harder than anyone else around me seems to be trying / not able to control other people’s reactions, which are often inexplicably adverse and irrational / getting less reward but doing much more work, than other people / knowing that I HAVE TO put in so much so much effort and again and again I see the injustices of how the rewards don’t come to me / keep on losing jobs even though I know my work is really up to very high standards, and even though co-workers or supervisors never seem to have problems with my actual work product /

      The above set of ideas could come straight from my life and career, too. I know how you feel. I don’t mean to belittle it, but, it’s very highly probable that it’s just ADHD, really.

      My quick suggestion is, stop trying to be a “farmer” type, and learn about trying to be a “hunter” type. We have to make a living, in this world, but the livings that are afforded to us have been invented these days by people who don’t have ADHD. Well? No WONDER we don’t fit in!

      This is a metaphor from the work of Thom Hartmann, the farmer-versus-hunter thing. I don’t really agree 100% with the whole thesis, but there is a Wikipedia page about it where you can start reading about it, if you’re not familiar with it. It has some major weaknesses, but it’s a great starting point. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_vs._farmer_hypothesis

    • #41003
      Allison Russo

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

      I am sorry that you are in this predicament but you are not alone. My learning to manage my ADHD meant understanding certain things about myself:

      1. People see me as strong- sometimes too strong

      2. I have a habit of saying things that I regret later (although at times a peer enlightens me because I did not even realize what I said was perceived wrong.

      3. I seek very regular feedback from my superiors because I absolutely do NOT see through the same lens that they do.

      4. I get caught up in tasks that (with my dislike of details) are EXTREMELY difficult, and never will be my best work.

      But do not dismay, my answer may be yours as well, and that is to FIND WHAT YOU LOVE and work towards getting there. Those with ADHD are blessed with hyper focus when we are doing what we love. For me it is public speaking and I could not be happier. So what is it for you? You could spend the rest of your career trying to understand what is wrong, but I suggest you begin searching and doing what you love, and you will soon see how successful you can be. Bless you and best of luck.
      – ARC

    • #50813

      The one thing you didn’t mention is how long have you worked in your position before you asked your manager about the new project. Unless you’ve been there for a few years “and” have already talked to your manager about job growth, taking on additional work, a better use of your skills, etc., most good managers should be more than happy to promote someone or help them move to another position to better utilize their skills.

      IMHO, I have found that being a team player, affable, non-argumentive, having a sense of humor, not difficult to work with, will get you pretty far. It’s also helpful to have a personal relationship with your co-workers and managers. Going out to lunch and happy hour are good ways to develop relationships that carryover to the work place.

      Also, saying anything that could be construed as negative or a criticism should be done in private and not in a group setting. You really need to discuss with your managers your condition so that they know what’s going on with you and can work with you.

      A long time ago I took Paxil for migraines, and which is used for social anxiety, and found myself blurting out or saying things I would not usually say to people. Maybe your medication is too strong. People who have ADD can also be argumentative when not on their medication.


    • #50956
      Uncle Dharma

      I can identify with all that you have said.
      Examples include being moved to another job because I didn’t work hard enough, only to see two people replacing me.
      Other people in the office complaining that I didn’t work my full hours, supervisor checked my time sheets and found that I was working an extra day (equivalent) every two weeks.
      Taking on a small project that my manager thought could not be done, and finished it, and then being told that my methods to get to the solution were wrong, that it should have only taken one week not two, and that I should have had at least 12 meetings with a certain person (in one week!). So how did my manager know how to work on an impossible project? It was a success and was used immediately. After that, he did not renew my contract because “I can get someone who knows more about this subject” Really?

      When I was on unemployment for a while I was assessed for my ability to keep a job. This was a phone call with a psychologist. I rated 4 out of 4, which is the worst rating. A few weeks later, I got work on a big project where the supervisor was asking my advice because I had years more experience.

      It does not make any sense to me.

    • #50968

      Wow, I must say, I can relate. I have been fired from every job I have held and ended up settling for a low paying job that I can work out of my house. I agree, the issue is that ADD+ADHD are simply not understood and folks don’t like those that are non-conforming despite that we tend to be overachievers. They would rather have an employee that is more compliant and does not need any effort to get/understand. As an ADHD’er I am very well aware that others talk behind my back and socially shun me and yes, it hurts and always have.
      But, you are not alone and we are all here (on this site)for each other. Be great if there was an industry that was more geared toward our skill sets! It would be great to be a team player with other folks who share the affliction, can you imagine what could be accomplished?

    • #51105
      Auntie Boo

      It was nice to learn that I am not alone with my employment issues. How’s this for a reason that I was fired. I was told that someone overheard me talking to someone else and it made the person who overheard me cry. I don’t know who I was talking to or what was said. For all I know I got fired for scolding myself.

    • #55230

      I can relate to everything said here. I am 50 yrs old and have been fired many times. I think post mentioned working alone. I agree!! It has helped but does have it’s own challenges. Actually working. It is hard for me to keep on task. I also need some time with others. I can isolate very quickly, then a whole new set of problems arise. I love the post that listed communication issues. That is right on for me. I say things that come out wrong or I just should not have said. I don’t even see it until later then it is crystal clear. I at times focus on the fact that I have been fired so many times that I sabotage myself by thinking this will always happen. Right now I am on a new adventure of school and becoming a firefighter and paramedic. I have always wanted to do this. Scared to death!! Not of doing it but fear that I will fail. Living and learning is all I can do. Wish you the best and you are not alone.

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