ADHD Can Work For Me!
I’m going to say a sentence that isn’t going to make a lot of sense to a lot of people:
I have ADHD and I enjoy working in a 9-5 office job.
Does it have its challenges? Yes. Did I have a nickname of “Wanderer” that followed me around different offices? Yes. Did I think that people from previous offices were calling the new one to tell them the nickname? Also, yes. Was I completely unaware that an inability to sit still was a symptom of ADHD? No.
There are lots of things about ADHD that are not publicly well known, and they are things that tend to make working in an office that little bit more difficult for us. Which is why we can get branded as the one who can’t sit down, the one who can’t be quiet, the one where Ross and Rachel were on a break. Oh wait, that last one was an episode of friends (they totally were by the way). Anyway! There is a phrase that gets passed about in these environments which is “You need to learn to play the game”. I cannot express how much I dislike this phrase. To me it is office speak for you need to learn how to manipulate people, this I where I have an issue.
I know a lot of people mask. I can’t, which is good and bad. The good side is I can mostly make a good impression because I’m enthusiastic, I speak open and honestly and I treat my superiors as if they were my level. The bad side is I’m enthusiastic, I speak open and honestly and I treat my superiors as if they were my level. I have trouble understanding the difference between doing what I’m told to do and doing what I think I should be doing.
I enjoy my job, it’s dynamic and I’ve got freedom to do my work in some respects and in others it’s quite restrictive. I’ve been with my current company going on 12 years and I’ve been in my current role almost 3 years. As much as I enjoy it I’ve known for quite some time that I needed a new role with more responsibility.
The problem with looking for new jobs for me is both the application and the interview. The application I feel needs a lot of detail and examples, however I have to redo it with every application and proofreading my own writing is so painful. The interview used to be my forte, but then I realised that, at the level I’m at, it’s no longer charming to forget the question whilst you are answering it. Ask me a simple question I’ll give you an answer, ask me a comprehensive competency question I’ll start telling you about the best out of office response I’ve had.
Now one of the questions that comes up a lot is “Name a time that you’ve worked collaboratively with someone”. I’ve struggled with this question for a long time, not because I’ve not done it, more that I don’t have enough belief in myself that the people I worked with felt that it was collaborative.
Recently though, I’ve started working collaboratively with a wide range of people all over the world on a personal project that means the world to me. Ok, not ‘A’ more many, many, many personal projects.
This website and this community.
How do I tell people, never mind prospective future managers, that not only have I been a part of this amazing project, but that the project is based around my ADHD? I mean, I am impulsive, I am open? Why not? What could I have to lose, a potential job? There will be others, lets be honest.
So, I did it.
And it worked! Not only did I get the promotion, but I got it by using my ADHD as an example as to why I would be good for the position! I’ve been wanting to shout this from the rooftop for over a week, due to work protocol though wasn’t able to announce it officially.
I can now and I’m so unbelievably happy! My new manager not only knows about my ADHD, they know about the website and that it’s important too me. They know that I have a great attention to detail, but also that I’m terrible at recording what is relevant detail and what isn’t.
I believe that success is what you want it to be. Some of the most “successful” people in the world aren’t happy, and don’t believe they are successful. Some of the least “successful” have nothing and couldn’t be happier.
To me success is happiness, if I can have a job that I enjoy, then to me that is success. So don’t be so hard on yourself.