We asked Robin Roman Wright, a wonderful career coach who happens to specialize in career strategies and career coaching for people with some form of ADD / ADHD, to give us her thoughts on a job search with ADD or ADHD.
Finding a Career That Suits You: Play to Your Strengths
… by Robin Roman Wright
“The best way to change a life of frustration into a life of mastery is by developing talents and strengths not just shoring up weaknesses.” Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D, Delivered From Distraction
Here’s what I frequently hear: “I have ADD, my limitations and “disability” will prevent me from finding meaningful work.” REALITY: Yes, you may have limitations, but everybody does whether or not they have ADD or ADHD. The trick is self-awareness and recognizing how to avoid or compensate for those limitations.
Before you embark on your career search, consider taking the following 7 steps:
Understand yourself – the more you know about yourself, the better when it comes to picking a career or selecting a particular job opportunity.
Take self-assessments in order to understand such things as: your interpersonal style, your career interests, the environment that motivates you and your values.
Find out about “your kind of mind.” Some people with ADD will find it helpful to obtain a neuropsychological consult and/or a neuropsychological evaluation.
Identify your strengths. We all have strengths. We have exhibited these functional skills in the course of our lives, the things we have accomplished, challenges we have overcome or problems that we have solved. These are called transferable skills. Find out what yours are.
Select the fields of knowledge that most interest you (i.e.: you are enthralled by them; you can’t get enough information about these things).
Once you have identified your eight top transferable skills and the fields of knowledge that most interest you, you are ready to begin identifying where within the world of work having this knowledge and these transferable skills are valued. (In other words, someone is willing to pay you!)
The next step involves identifying job targets. You need to narrow down to three the number of occupations that interest you and where you have the skills, talents and abilities to contribute and make your mark. Again, coaching can help you winnow down the number of options and select the few job targets that are the most promising.
Now you are ready for the Job Search and Networking.
Remember as you proceed on with the job search, as Dr. Hallowell and Dr. Ratey say, finding the right boss is key. You will have the most success in a future job where you get to know the person who you will be working for before you take the job.
The Job Search process can be long, tedious and discouraging. Develop a supportive group of people around you.
When you land that job, enjoy. You have accomplished much.
Continue to learn and grow. Remember that we live in the twenty-first century, in the fast moving “job-free” world. Keep learning and growing and keep those networks strong. You may find you are in this current organization for quite a long time or you may find that you move to a next job quickly.
Finding a rewarding career is a journey. A mentor of mine calls it a “Quest.” With a clear goal, a tried and true process, self-knowledge, guidance and steady steps taken towards the goal, you too can find a career that suits you and successfully land a job.
~shared with permission by ©Robin Roman Wright, Career & ADD / ADHD Coach, 2011-2016. All rights reserved. www.youthleadershipcareers.com
You can connect directly to Robin through our Coachfinder resource, if you select “ADD/ADHD” in the “Special Circumstances” section.
What about you? If you (or a family member) have ADD or ADHD, what’s the hardest part of the job search- is it narrowing your interests? Staying focused on the search? Finding a career that will play to your strengths but not require mind-numbing focus on things that don’t interest you? Let us know.