Developing Work Skills and ADD
Many students with Attention Deficit Disorder have difficulties in school. Since kids with ADD/ADHD lag somewhat behind developmentally, that’s understandable. Other kids with ADD/ADHD have learning disabilities in the areas of reading and math. Reading comprehension and math fluency are typically impaired for this group with learning disabilities. For both groups, having a teacher who is familiar with Attention Deficit Disorder can help. Couple that with individual tutoring, and the student can catch up to their peers through learning strategies. Combined with hard work, kids can achieve at high levels in school.
For many kids with ADD/ADHD, this doesn’t happen. These students work hard, but lack the support structure to help them excel. They grow up to be adults who have holes in their basic skills. Some people become despondent and drop out of school. If this happens, there is a way to get help.
Go to the local community college and take a placement test. That will show the prospective employee their skill level. If it is low, or if the person needs a GED (General Education Development test), there are adult education programs. Community colleges also have remedial education courses. People (who weren't developmentally ready for learning earlier in their academic careers) might do very well when they take these courses later in life. Don’t let earlier academic problems keep you from finding a good job. A low skill set does not have to remain low.
People skills are an integral part of being an employee. Any employee needs to be a good communicator. Speaking in a formal register, rather than using casual speech, isn’t trivial. When you want to be employed or promoted, you need to become an effective communicator. Using correct grammar and accurate word choices lets people know that you are a professional. You need to be a good listener and take turns speaking. If any of these communication components are a problem, you can get help. Ask a friend who has acceptable grammar and word choice to help you by giving you friendly feedback. You might also get opinions about how well you listen and take turns when carrying on a conversation. Ask people who care about you to help you become more effective when you communicate with others.
Communication also goes beyond talking. Writing concisely is essential for business communications. If this is a problem area, a prospective employee can take a course in business writing. Sometimes, local community colleges offer non-credit courses that aren’t expensive.
People skills include working in a group or as part of a team. Listening to members of the team, while keeping an open mind, is a fundamental skill. Being willing to learn about projects that the team is working on is important, too. This includes researching and accomplishing tasks in a timely fashion. Planning and organizing can help. Keep a planning calendar and a timeline for completing jobs. Use check lists. If you don’t already do this, start now.
Establishing good work habits is vital. This is a matter of ingraining those attributes that employers want to see. You can cultivate these attitudes until they become a part of who you are. Showing honesty is important. A dependable employee is on time each day. They come to work ready to do the job that they are assigned. As an employee, you need to be reliable. If your boss asks you to do a job, you need to use your natural adaptability and creativity to get the job done. This means that you show determination and persevere until the tasks are carried out. At times, you need to be flexible. Things don’t always work out the way that they begin, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t finish what you started. Just go another direction! Maintain a positive attitude and keep motoring forward.
It is a sad statistic that adults with Attention Deficit Disorder have a high rate of underemployment or unemployment. This means fewer promotions in the workplace. Of course, that leads to lesser pay. The cycle can be broken. By focused attention on the basic work skills that employers look for, people with ADD/ADHD can increase their employability. You can develop positive work skills when you have Attention Deficit Disorder.
You Should Also Read:
Finding a Job with ADD
Keeping a Job with Attention Deficit Disorder
ADD and Project Management at Work
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