Work advice?!


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    • #143803

      Hi all! I’m a 24 year old woman who was diagnosed with ADHD as a child & I still have it as an adult. It’s the pits! I’m sure you all know how ADHD can make life a bit harder. I’m always asked the question, “what do you want to do with your life”? I DON’T KNOW! I feel like my passions are always changing & I of course have shame from my ADHD. I was extremely lucky to get a job at a fashion studio right out of high school (my dad had connections & basically got me the job), but the studio had to move last year and I sadly couldn’t go with it. I had to find a new job quick. I used to help my aunt clean houses, so I started my own little cleaning business. It’s been alright, but I’m living paycheck to paycheck so it’s just not cutting it. I feel stressed, depressed & all that jazz. The fear of failing and screwing up keeps me from trying a new job. And interviews terrify me! I always jumble my words and have trouble getting what I want to say out when I’m on the spot like that. I guess I’m writing this to ask for any advice when it comes to having ADHD and getting a new job? How do you get through interviews? Any books or anything you recommend? Thanks so much 🙂

    • #143830

      I can say that for me when I was interviewing for jobs what I would do is write out potential questions in advance, and then also write out my answers to those questions. Then I’d read through those, practice them aloud, and try to recite them from memory. It helped me get rid of some of the interview jitters since I was prepared to answer the common questions.

      I would also suggest owning your anxiety. It’s not bad to go into an interview and let them know you’re nervous. It can actually help break the tension.

      Depending on what job you’re applying for, a lot of time they are looking for fit more than skills. If they’ve given you an interview they already think you’re qualified, so they want to get a sense of who you are as a person. Be genuine. Be yourself. Be engaged.

      Lastly, there’s no “right path” for most of us. Usually we stumble upon our happiness over time. Some people get lucky and find it right out of the gate. What’s important is to find something that you can continue to do over time, rather than something that you do and it feels like an obligation.

      Dr. Ned Hallowell suggests that people with ADHD look for the following in a job:
      – Something that you’re good at
      – Something that you like to do
      – Something that someone will pay you to do

      If you can get all three, great. If not, at least try for two. Definitely don’t settle for one.

      I wish I had better advice. There are usually lots of employment resources out there either at schools or local employment agencies. A lot of those places will also offer interview prep. You can also rely on friends or family to help you practice for interviews or give you ideas of what to expect.

      Bottom line, work and career choices aren’t easy and they aren’t always right for us. It takes time for us to learn what’s important to us, and then more time to find a job that meets those needs.

      • #143885

        This is SO helpful! Thanks for all the advice!!! 🙂

    • #143890

      There is good advice above. I also want to add: when someone is kind, especially older people (I’m 56), we ask you what you want to do with the expectation that the sky is the limit, and we enjoy hearing people with options talk about what they’re passionate about. We don’t expect you to have it all figured out. So if you told me in a social setting, “I don’t know. I might decide to fly helicopters, but I also like studying fashion, and I adore basset hounds so I would love to be a vet” — that is completely NORMAL sounding to me. 🙂 If someone, on the other hand, is judging you because you don’t have your career trajectory mapped out at the age of 24 during a social conversation, forget ’em.

      Of course, I know the job interview situation is different. I agree with the advice above. I have to write things out at times so I don’t deviate from the script.

      Be yourself, and your enthusiasm will shine. Good luck!


    • #144023
      Penny Williams

      Here are a couple articles on interviewing and the job search when you have ADHD.

      Acing the Job Interview

      You’re 7 Steps Away From a Successful Job Search

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

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