Living with Attention Deficit Disorder can be quite an adventure when you are studying something new. However, it is important when learning a new job to be methodical about it. Disorganization and spontaneity are not your friends in the case of picking up the skills that a new occupation demands.
Here is a framework for starting a new occupation:
Take notes during training: When the company gives you training, be sure to take notes on the subject matter. Draw diagrams when it is appropriate. If the training is on-the-job, make your notes as soon as possible after you have learned a new skill. Review your notes each day until they have become a part of your knowledge base. As you learn on the job, add important details to your notes. You might want to start a notebook to help you keep the critical information about the job.
Attitude is important: Show a positive attitude. Do the work that you are asked to do with a smile. Even when your boss requests that you do a job that you actively dislike, be upbeat. Everybody in an organization needs to pay their dues. The cost of getting a job that you especially enjoy might be doing one that you donít really like. Of course, you might get lucky and find a job right away that you relish.
Observe seasoned workers: Whenever you get the chance, observe workers who have been doing the job for a while. What actions do they take that allow them to work efficiently? How do they work more quickly? Ask them what is important. Add this information to your notes. Learn the job correctly, then build speed.
Identify helpers: In any organization there are people who love to help newbies. Then, there are those who just get irritated by new workers. Figure out which ones want to help and go to them with simple questions. The same goes for supervisors. Some enjoy helping, so ask them the important questions.
Ask for feedback: Solicit feedback from your peers and supervisors. Donít do this incessantly, since that will make you look excessively needy. However, you may ask a simple, ďIf you see me doing something that I shouldnít do, would you please let me know?Ē
Build routines: New jobs can comprise a dizzying number of details. When you have Attention Deficit Disorder, itís easy to get confused or to forget things that you need to do. One way to help this is to make routines. Have your before work routines that allow you to be ready for work. When you get to work, what do you need to do in order to be effective? Do this consistently. After you get home from work, how can you get ready for the next day? Have a regular routine. Every person and job is distinct, so the necessary procedures for being an effective worker will be different, depending on the individuals and circumstances.
There are absolutely hundreds of new skills and procedures that you need to learn as you master a new job. Donít forget that every job has its own learning curve. Some are steeper than others. As you absorb all of the details of this new occupation, be kind to yourself. Those people who are working around you have been doing the job longer than you. Some have been at it for a lot longer. Donít expect that you will be proficient overnight. You will only be frustrated if you expect immediate perfection. However, with your ADD outside-of-the-box problem solving skills and creative ways of doing things, learning a new occupation is a way of bringing growth to your life and expanding your horizons.
Growth is the result of change. You will grow in unexpected ways as you make progress in learning the job. Happiness comes when you take a proactive approach to acquiring your new skill set.
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