Many adults with Attention Deficit Disorder are either underemployed or unemployed. This can be especially frustrating to hard workers who are creative and intelligent people. Each person is a compilation of personality traits and skills. You need to take your personal characteristics into account when finding the right job for you. How can you do this?
Make a list of things that you loathe doing. List those skills that you find difficult. If possible, stay away from jobs that require tasks and skills that you don’t prefer doing. If you have trouble multi-tasking, that Project Manager job may not be for you. Your life will be happier and your chance for long-term job success will be higher if you don’t take a job that you are unsuited for.
Confucius said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."It’s important to also list those tasks that you enjoy doing. Make a list of skills that you find enjoyable and easy to do. These lists of skills that you loathe and love are important tools in choosing an appropriate job. Sometimes people need guidance in making these lists.
Get help. Our local community college has a career counseling center, as do many educational venues. Counselors are on site to help job seekers. They have a list of jobs that are available in our locality. There are a lot of services available, if you need guidance. One service is providing skills and interest inventories. Take an interest inventory and a skills inventory. You might find some jobs that you never considered. Practice your interview skills. You can also find support at local job clubs. I found a list of our local job clubs by going to Google, putting in the name of our county and adding “job clubs.”
Another consideration is the schedule that you will need to keep with a particular job. If you are a night person, and many people with ADD/ADHD do come alive at night, don’t choose an “early to rise” day job. Choose one that lets you go in later to accommodate your sleep patterns. Some folks with ADD/ADHD find satisfaction in working the 3 P.M.-11 P.M. shift or the overnight shift.
Do you like novelty in having your days off, or do you want all of your weekends off? Many people with ADD/ADHD work well with having different days off each week. They are satisfied with having just a couple of weekends a month off. If days off are important to you, be sure to factor them into the job search equation!
Finding the right job takes a lot of focus and the ability to follow-up in a timely manner. Typically, this is difficult for adults with ADD. Carefully consider medication to help you. Find a health care professional who specializes in adult Attention Deficit Disorder. Have the medication discussion. Be open to trying different medications and dosages. Often, finding what works is a matter of trial and error. Medication is part of the focus equation. The second part is the cognitive behavioral therapy piece. In conjunction with medication, it can help manage symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Mental health centers can help with this. If you have anger issues, you can learn techniques to diffuse anger. Relaxation techniques, like meditation and guided imagery, can also help alleviate ADD/ADHD symptoms and aid focus.
If you have a company that you’d like to work for, try taking a temp-to-hire job. Sometimes, it helps to find out whether a corporate culture suits you. Temp-to-hire jobs allow you to get a foot in the door. Once you have established yourself during a probationary period, you might be offered the job of your dreams.
In this tough economy, sometimes finding any job is difficult! When you have Attention Deficit Disorder, finding a job that suits you is especially important. Do your homework. Look for jobs that match your skills and personality. Be persistent. Follow up on leads. Take the opportunity to find a job that you love.
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Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?: A Crash Course in Finding, Landing, and Keeping Your First Real Job
Lynn Weiss' comprehensive book offers great advice for finding the right work environment if you have ADD/ADHD. How can you manage stress on the job, stay organized, and maintain positive interpersonal relationships? This book can help with all of these things!
A.D.D. on the Job: Making Your A.D.D. Work for You