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I was unable to stay in the same job for more than 4 years, it seemed. My last job was the one I held the longest – 4 years. I found myself dreading waking up in the morning, though.
Much of my career has been in sales and/or service roles, but as happens with undiagnosed ADHD, lack of focus, interrupting, and all the usual triggers meant it was very difficult to actually do the job. Clashes with managers, customers, and the like usually aren’t conducive to career advancement.
I think it’s an ADHD trait as well to “hang on” to things. I catch myself ruminating on past experiences – negative ones, to be exact. Just this year, well after my diagnosis, I had an extremely bad experience with a group for whom I volunteered. I did nothing wrong, and I will maintain that I did nothing wrong for the rest of my life, but they saw it differently and, unceremoniously dumped me. It was a very rewarding and enjoyable role. I catch myself, almost daily, going over the details, re-hashing the conversations and planning new conversations in my head. (One day, I may decide to tell the full story on my own personal blog, but not today.)
In any event, rumination over negative experiences, or with rude or angry prospects and/or customers is also not very conducive to a sales career.
In any event, I took a leap of faith back in 2012 and quit that job. I took on a part-time job which I still hold to help pay the bills, and I joined a freelancing website and I now write software for people anywhere in the world, from the comfort and freedom of my own home office.
This, I need to stress, is not necessarily the solution for everyone. When things are slow, self-employment can be extremely grinding. Getting started can also be extremely grinding. But I saw it through and I’m building momentum.
The key, and this principle really applies to anyone, with or without ADHD:
Find your hobby. (To find your hobby, what do you hyperfocus on? Watching TV doesn’t count.)
Figure out how to get paid to do it.
Never “work” again.
Now, the risk that you run — and this is what I hit up against — is that whole pesky hyperfocus thing. I get on a role. Code is flowing, my mind is engaged, and everything else is tuned out.
And then I get called to help bring in groceries. Or set the table. Or talk to my child.
GRRRRRRRRR (Does this sound familiar to anyone?)REPORT ABUSE