Today’s Crusher blog is written by Shell Mendelson, MS, a career coach and counselor specializing in helping ADDers get out of their career ruts by following their passion. With over 20 years’ experience in ADHD and career counseling and coaching, consider contacting her firstname.lastname@example.org and at www.passiontocareer.com.
As an ADDer, you’ve probably experienced some (or many) of the repercussions of having a job that is wrong or a very poor fit for you.
Have you beaten yourself up because you just couldn’t learn job tasks quickly enough, couldn’t remember significant portions of your job description, or made almost ridiculous mistakes because you were not paying attention? Or taken extra long breaks because you were bored out of your mind? Or perhaps…
- Are you missing deadlines?
- Taking work home that could have been completed during the workday?
- Waking up each morning dreading the thought of one more day in this miserable job?
- Or, saying to yourself, “Today, I am going to do a great job…try, try, try…NOT!
These are only a few of the symptoms of wrong livelihood!
You also know, as an ADDer, that you can focus for hours when you find something that you enjoy doing. And, in fact, many of the typical symptoms magically disappear when we are hyper-focused. This applies to the work you do as well. In fact, we must love the work we do, or at least like it very much, or risk serious repercussions that can impact every area of our lives.
Here’s the very good news. We are lucky. We are indeed a fortunate tribe. Why? Because other people, and I’ve met them, can stay in soul-sucking jobs and make due until retirement. Then what do you think happens? They either die in their Winnebago’s or on their retirement trip to Europe, or they contract some horrific disease and spend their precious retirement suffering. You see, there is no happy ending to a miserable journey.
Oh, I forgot about the good news! Here it is – we MUST do what we love for a living for these reasons:
1. When we’re in the right job, career or business, many, if not most of our ADD characteristics become much more manageable. Additionally, because we are motivated, we tend to want to do something about managing them. We are fueled to find solutions and do our best.
2. Doing what we love means our relationships improve. This includes those with co-workers, bosses and who we serve (customers, clients, etc). It also includes family members and friends who receive the benefit of a happier person. There is a world of difference between feeling confident and feeling beaten because you aren’t performing your tasks well, in addition to just being miserable, and how that impacts those around you.
3. When we enjoy our work for at least 80% of the workday, the chances of remaining in one place increase many times over – at least until the next easy and best opportunity to transition comes along. We may have a tendency to job hop or unconsciously sabotage the work so that we get fired. Isn’t this far preferable to job hopping and getting fired.
4. When we love the work we do, it is far less challenging to process the information and connect to job tasks. Translation: you do a much better job because you are optimistic, interested, focused and aligned with the mission of your company and/or your business. There is also far more opportunity to get recognition for excellence in your work.
5. When we love our work, we are providing a real service to our customers/clients, co-workers, managers, supervisors and the world. Having a sense of purpose is key for us ADDers. It can literally change everything. Discovering what that purpose is can be tricky if not easily identified.
That’s where help comes in. It is ok to get help to discover your authentic career or business direction, particularly if it leads to the discovery of what has been inside you all along!
P.S. If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! – Team Crusher