February 4, 2011 at 1:46 am #95383
Barrister14ParticipantFebruary 4, 2011 at 1:46 amPost count: 12
I can’t help but make a friendly comment (but real life observation) about Megatron never being fired. That’s actually wonderful and I mean that not to be funny but I couldn’t help but howl with laughter when I read that! The reason it impacts me in such a funny way is that I’m sure YOU’RE being truthful, and I’m glad for you. Its so refreshing to hear from someone who can actually say that with a straight face. Why? Because in my profession, even though I stated earlier I’d been fired regularly every 5 yrs since I was 16 because of my ADD/ADHD related failings, impulsive (sometimes destructive-to myself and loved ones) acts, unpredictability but then always redeeming myself by performing at a level higher than my peers–according to all 35yrs. of employment records I “resigned to explore other opportunities, interests, etc.” Now, I knew I was fired. I sat there everytime with the client or the employer and we agreed that I no longer had the “fire” for the work, didn’t pay attention to even minor details, blew off important meetings/people that didn’t challenge me, etc. Funny thing is that everytime the employer, often someone who’d become a good friend, was more upset than I was. Exclaiming, just like my mother did when I was in kindergarten:” You’re intelligent!! You know this stuff better than anyone! Why can’t you just “buckle down” ? Are you lazy?,etc., etc.” So, I could without fear of contradiction by any employer or client I’ve ever worked with say that I’ve never been fired because of my ADD/ADHD ingrained behaviors and attitudes. Even though each of those persons would privately reveal to you: “You know, when we were in trouble or had something complicated and critical, he’s the only person you’d want. And right after saying that, it would be: “but we could just never be sure when he’d suit up a do it. When he did, he was the best but when he didn’t, he’d find a way to screw up.”
So, in going through my otherwise impressive resume (though now most all prospective employers know of my “flash in the pan” work approach), you’ll not find one instance where I was fired. But, I know every one of those times, every resignation letter where I wrote eloquently of my partners, co-workers and friends, expressing regret at having to leave to fulfill my desire to hike the Appalachian Trail, and so on. Great thing about that is that at the many jobs I’ve had over 30yrs. and because my “firing” was turned into a lovefest, almost everyone one of these former employers and colleagues still love me (or feel sorry for me). BUT, they would not remotely consider having me as an employee. An unpredictable, impulsive, “live for the day” type of guy they’d love to play golf and socialize with….but work together again? Never.
ON the medicinal and therapy note: The Adderall and Valium (for the associated anxiety disorder/depression) finally seems to be the right combination to keep me focused and moving forward. It took 8 weeks of Staterra/Serax, Ritalin/Xanax, etc. to try to get a medication balance The bi-weekly counseling (with coaching later) is a great accompaniment. I think its a must with the meds. However, I was still advised to apply for SS Disability Benefits because my pscychiatrist (one of the best in our area on Adult ADD/ADHD impairments) has refused to approve me for any form of employment for at least one year, and then only after a successful re-testing/re-evaluation.
MY Catch-22: As a former trial lawyer, if I file for disability and do a good job of proving my case, doesn’t that tell the Judge that I’m not disabled????? Still pondering that one. It is very difficult for us “ADDers” to intentionally dumb ourselves down, even if sometimes we should!!!!REPORT ABUSEFebruary 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm #95384
AnonymousInactiveFebruary 5, 2011 at 3:03 pmPost count: 14413
It is good to hear that I am not the only one going to job after job. My profession-corporate recruiter-should be a good one for someone with ADD and echoing what others have said, I am always a superstar at first. Then the same problems come up: why I have to work so many hours to get the job done; why do I have to argue with my manager, etc. I love recruiting and am very good at it but I always end up at odds with management and ‘quit’. It is very discouraging.
I was diagnosed in 2000 but always knew something was different with me. I self medicated in college and managed to get my masters in record time while working as a bartender (another good job for an ADDer). Then I began my career and a long string of jobs. I have been on medication for 10 years and do find it helps but I have to keep changing meds because I build up a tolerance after about 6 mos when they become ineffective. Has anyone else experienced this? Even when the meds are working I still have trouble controlling my mouth and my mind is seldom still. Meditation helps when I can do it. Usually there is just too much noise in my head to have clear thoughts, much less clear out all thoughts!
I would love any advice on what has worked for others. I am in between jobs now and the prospect of getting and losing yet another job is daunting. I am really having a tough time with motivation. Thanks for listening.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 5, 2011 at 8:56 pm #95385
Shadow NexusMemberFebruary 5, 2011 at 8:56 pmPost count: 181February 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm #95386
shutterbug55ParticipantFebruary 6, 2011 at 10:18 pmPost count: 430
Being fired/laid off and most recently, having my contracts end early. That is my work history and it is very hard for me to pick up and do it again. I am currently employed at a job your average Chimpanzee could do blind folded and one hand tied behind it’s back. I’ll give it another few months and I’ll be looking for another job. My mistakes are causing me to be noticed, but not in a good way.
I saw the TV special and my wife and I looked at each other at the same time and exclaimed “THAT is why!!!” Hopefully I will last long enough at this job for me to make some progress and get the next one with a few new tools and make it last a year. Then the next one… and the next one… until I finally have one long enough where *I* get to decide if I want to stay or not.
Hang in there.REPORT ABUSEMarch 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm #95387
AnonymousInactiveMarch 23, 2011 at 4:42 pmPost count: 14413
I identify with Barrister14 & creeder38’s early career successes, as that is the case with me also. I just haven’t figured out how to sustain that level of success. Jobs start off exceptionally well, but invariably things break down. Even when things looked good on paper, I knew they were about to unravel.
In the past, I have made job changes to avoid “the fall’, but two weeks ago, I was fired for the first time in my life. Ironically…or not…it was the frst job I’ve had since being diagnosed with ADD.
I’ve been in sales for over 20 years & in the same industry for the last 10. I can ” talk the talk” and for a while, I can “walk the walk” once again.REPORT ABUSEMarch 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm #95388
AnonymousInactiveMarch 23, 2011 at 4:48 pmPost count: 14413
sorry…the above post was inadvrtantly sent. To compete the thought/question….
I am afraid that if I do, history will repeat.
Could anyone share how they succssfully changed this pattern? I simply do not want to keep doing this.
Thanks…REPORT ABUSEMarch 23, 2011 at 5:55 pm #95389
AnonymousInactiveMarch 23, 2011 at 5:55 pmPost count: 14413
Wow WT…..timing is everything. I just posted on the ADD and Lying thread…about how I managed to be successful in my career. The very thing you speak of the exceptional success and the inevitable slide. I don’t think it prudent to re-post the whole damn thing but it is a quick kinda sketch of what worked for me. I too was very successful and managed to stay in one corporation….not one position… for 30 years. It was the gift of our fantastic ADD brain that I attribute my success to….but I truly understand your dilemma. Have a look it’s nothing earth shattering but it worked for me.
The only part that’s missing in my last post is…. whenever I took on a project, I always made sure I had the best “worker bee” support team around behind me to do the administrivia. That function is not my strong suit…..I know that.
toofatREPORT ABUSEMarch 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm #95390
AnonymousInactiveMarch 25, 2011 at 5:32 pmPost count: 14413
Thanks so much for your response. I had actually already read some of that thread before posting on this forum and went back & re-read your comments.
What you describe is something my former boss often praised me for. He called it “drawing order out of chaos.” Which for me, is another of the ironies of my ADD because I am either fanatically detailed about something or miserably and hopelessly disorganized. I know this about myself but unfortunately, I’ve never been in a postion to have a squadron of worker bees behind me. In fact, it’s usually quite the opposite because I work from home and am solo most of the time.
I’m trying to love my “fantastic ADD brain” as you call it, but it’s difficult. Particularly since my inability to manage it is what let to my being terminated in the first place. One thing is certain, I have a lot to learn.
So here’s another question…or two. Did you choose your occupation out of passion or practicality? Did you start out loving your job or just find things about it to love, i.e, new projects?
I’m trying to figure out if the pattern I need to break is WHAT I’m doing for a living versus managing HOW I’m doing it. In this economy and at this point in my life (major bread-winner, two high school aged kids & a big fat mortgage), I’m not sure that is a question I have the luxury of answering honesly. On the other hand, if I don’t, will my work experiences continue to go from great to good…from good to bad…from bad to worse…and from worse to fired?REPORT ABUSEMarch 26, 2011 at 12:27 am #95391
AnonymousInactiveMarch 26, 2011 at 12:27 amPost count: 14413
I was recently diagnosed, and have been quite successful in my career (though… not successful at the part of my career that I want to be successful in, but I think that’s an ENTIRELY different discussion thread altogether , am I right? ) One of the first things my doctor said to me that really made sense was that sometimes those of us with ADHD just naturally find a career that works for them; and and the more I learn, the more I realize I really truly did. Even before diagnosis I always said how much I love my work because it’s freelance contract work, I don’t have to sit at a desk all the time, and if I don’t like the gig, or some of the people I’m working with – it’s okay because I’ll be done in a few (months, weeks, days) anyways and on to the next project, with new people, and maybe some old people that I always wanted to work with again. I’m always doing something new, which keeps me interested. And the only challenge really is networking and keeping myself consistently emplyed, but being a very social person I don’t have much trouble with that. (I’m an excellent interviewee!) And there are so many different areas of my industry that I could be working making rent money on one thing, while dabbling in my spare time on another thing. (Have to admi thought… most of the time I have TOO many things going on; out of a combination of not wanting to be bored, and not wanting to pass up an opportunity) But as I learn more about ADHD, I’m understanding just how I got to where I am today. I have experienced my share of lay-offs, two in my life, as far as I can recall, it hasn’t been as a direct result of my ADHD.REPORT ABUSEMarch 26, 2011 at 12:36 am #95392
AnonymousInactiveMarch 26, 2011 at 12:36 amPost count: 14413
Hi again WT. I started my career as a job I guess. Bottom rung of the ladder, I guess I liked the work once I got going. It was physical at the start and I was young. I found as I progressed up the food chain the work became more challenging and I enjoyed my success. So to answer your question….I was glad to start an occupation in a place where there was room to advance and many different departments and therefore aspects of the industry to move into and thru. It wasn’t a passion.
I was fortunate in many ways. I was able to move every two to three years in a lateral ( gaining knowledge and experience) or upward to greater responsibility and $$$$. I was able to capitalize on my (as you said) roller-coaster height success and bid out to a new or better position when my value was peaking!!! To make a long story….shorter. It was the depth and breadth of the company and the opportunity to move around that I was able to take advantage of. An environment to consider maybe???
I never had to sit and get stale. I think we (ADDers) are best suited to those environments maybe….we have a chance to avoid those very pitfalls you mentioned.
I also job picked along the way……..I observed problems along the way so, when an opportunity came to move into a administrative support type role I took it…natural fit right. Had the business knowledge and the issues knowledge… it was a match. Also no fear helps. I moved through various departments doing those types of administrative things and learning the business of the business. Eventually I ended up in a management position and in Corporate Council as a Policy Analyst. So when it came to… hey…. we need to change the business I knew how the business ran from inside and out and what was the problems where and how I would fix them. Natural fit again…right. Everybody was scared shitless about taking the job..but me. Woohooo…..fearless ADDers!! I thought it looked exciting. No footprints to follow, nobody had a clue how to do it or make it work….perfect!!!! I had always bailed at the top of my game (key learning)…..sometimes it was close but…. like I said, a little luck and a lot of hard work…..and there you have it.
It really comes down to knowing the business your in….knowing and exploiting your strengths and what you can do for that business……and getting out and moving on at the top of your game. Selling high as it were.
I you find yourself a little chaotic in nature……tools you might consider are a “Project Management” course(s). I found PM to be a most useful tool. It is actually just an organization process, and a great one. It is step by step organizational tool, fool proof. I could run with 10>20 people right under me who had the same number under them each all going in one direction (mine), all meeting project deadlines and goals (mine). I’m not real smart, I can’t balance my bank book….never have, but certain things seem to work for me (vision/direction/ the elements of implementation) and work real well , things I seem to be able to excel at. Oh ya..PM works as a great tool for folks work all alone too!!!
So that’s the long and short of it. mostly the llllooonnnng……sorry. Hope that helps. If your looking for more just holler…always here.
toofatREPORT ABUSEMarch 26, 2011 at 3:14 am #95393
munchkinMemberMarch 26, 2011 at 3:14 amPost count: 285
I have never been fired, but “fired myself” (by transferring, applying for a promotion or switching companies) over and over because I feared the inevitable. Once there’s no longer something new to learn, my motivation drops and my productivity becomes like molasses. If I don’t either find a new, really hard challenge, or move on, I’ll end up ruining my own achievements in no time flat! I’m definitely in an ever so slow downard spiral right now, and now that I see the writing on the wall, I know I have to start making my exit plan before it’s too late… I’m in a profession where you’re supposed to stay about 5 years at a job, and I’m only 2 1/2 years along – do I find a way to stay, or move on despite the short tenure? I liked how you put it toofat – for me also there is definitely a shelf life, peaking out kind of thing. It’s agonizing sometimes, but it actually keeps pushing me to move onward and upward. I hope by learning more about ADD, I can get my act together better and not feel like I’m wearing out my welcome at jobs… They’re probably picking my billions of post-it’s out of the carpet a year after I’m gone!! Haha.REPORT ABUSEMarch 30, 2011 at 3:55 am #95394
AnonymousInactiveMarch 30, 2011 at 3:55 amPost count: 14413
Thanks to all of you for these stories. I have been fired several times over the last 10 years. I’m on meds now, and working on behavioral changes that should help me in my next job, but I am having a hard time finding a job to prove my “new” self in my industry. Unfortunately, I can’t just tell everyone I’ve worked with or for over the last 20 years that I have ADHD and now am on meds and can provide much better work quality if only given the chance.
The firings have caused me a tremendous amount of shame, and anxiety. I’m always wondering, when I contact someone in my industry and ask for help in finding a position, if that person knows about any of my firings or just assumes I have been flighty.
If someone has cancer, depression, MS, etc they can be open about it in a lot of workplaces. Those of us with ADHD cannot, at least in my field and in my part of the country.REPORT ABUSEMarch 30, 2011 at 1:54 pm #95395
AnonymousInactiveMarch 30, 2011 at 1:54 pmPost count: 14413
Well Munchkin & WT….that is what worked for me. Munchkin, your coming up on your 3rd year……… that was the time for me I had to move, I had to go. Like you I knew it….I had reached the end of my cycle, I was at peak value too. Yes onward upward, or sideways if the work was right…..whatever on to different things. New stimulating adventures and things to conquer.
WT in the sales field is it not common for sales people to move frequently??? I have friends in sales and they seem to be forever changing jobs and moving around, I would think that is the perfect environment. for an ADDer….the problem might be staying too long!!!!
toofatREPORT ABUSEApril 11, 2011 at 4:19 am #95396
BuxomDivaParticipantApril 11, 2011 at 4:19 amPost count: 109
When Dr. J. completed my application for Ontario disability he sent in my IQ test as supporting documentation. When I asked why he said the fact that a woman with an IQ of 148 can’t hold a job proves there must be a disability involved!
I’ve never quit a job that I wasn’t about to get fired from. Although I might be really good at certain aspects of whatever the job was I have always sucked at office politics. Even now, when I’m just doing a volunteer gig, my b.s. meter is on overload and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to handle staying at this placement.
I know there’s a bit of a debate about whether ADD’ers are in fact smarter than the average bear – certainly my ADD friends are all very bright – so I don’t know if it’s an ADD thing or a MENSA thing when I get incredibly impatient with people higher up the corporate “food chain” who are, to be blunt, not as smart as I am. They’re making stupid amounts of money and don’t have the common sense god gave a stump. Anybody else run into that one?
My immediate supervisor is a mensch, who is not only an ADDer himself but is also a trained social worker so he’s a great resource for me when I have a bad day (which happens a lot lately). I’m thinking about getting back into training to be a programmer again as that was the work I enjoyed the most in the last 30 years.REPORT ABUSEApril 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm #95397
AnonymousInactiveApril 11, 2011 at 1:40 pmPost count: 14413
Diva, I get very impatient. I campaigned hard to get the job I just landed and I see there’s a great deal of “gung ho” team-spirit nonsense going on in the office that I was sure I wouldn’t have to mess with. I really wanted a job where all I had to do was do the task I was assigned, do what I knew how to do and let everything else take care of itself. Instead, I feel like I’ve been invited to a dance where everybody knows the steps but me.
Why is it when I start a new job, I get scared to sit down at the computer, because something unexpected will be in my inbox? I’ve only been at this job 1 week and I’m freaking out because I feel that I should be knowing more about what I should be doing (I’ve not been given much direction) and I’m scared to ask for help because it will make me look incompetent. Meanwhile, my anxiety is off the charts. What on Earth is going on here?REPORT ABUSE
I've achieved great succes in my career, but have also been fired over 10 times!2010-09-08T21:04:12+00:00
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