View Full Version : Just starting my career

06-22-16, 12:06 PM
I have been diagnosed with ADHD since the age of about 6, (I'm 21 now) and have been on and off various medications for most of my life.

Currently i am trying to manage without medication as i find that it over stimulates my brain and makes my anxiety's to difficult to deal with (thats another matter).

Any way this year I started my first 'real' office job in a career which i love and doing what i am good at. Previous jobs have been practical part time jobs and so ADHD hasn't been a massive problem.

While for the first 3 months or so i found it challenging and exciting enough to maintain my attention now i am really struggling. I feel as if in a typical work day (9 hours) i am only achieving 3-4 hours of effective working where i am managing to pay attention. On top of this my attention to detail is becoming more and more of an issue.

I have also been given extra responsibilities that mean a key part of my role is the organisation and scheduling for other consultants.

Does any one have any good advice for somebody just starting out in the career for managing ADHD and making it work for you? - eg learning to control 'hyper-focus'

Also - Should i have told my boss or line manager about having ADHD i didn't - not becuase i'm ashamed, but because i didn't want to be able to use it as an excuse or have less expected of me.

06-25-16, 10:15 AM
Don't tell it to your line manager.

Concerning coping, in my case it was essential to find a job that corresponds to my strengths.

For example I found it very difficult to work for small organisations where everybody knows one another and for slow-paced companies. I find politics fascinating, but I was constantly underwhelmed when working in a small political org. Similarly as a scientist... I love science, but in my field you spend a lot of time working alone and the environment was awfully unstructured. Basically, I love science but after a few months started to hate the job.

Now I'm in business consulting and whereas there are aspects I'm struggling with (extensive travelling; stress, superficiality and office politics in the alpha male, super competitive environment), focus is not one of them. I feel my performance is as good as it could possibly be. The environment is changeable, challenging, a lot happens, adaptability and creative problem solving is required.

I'm not saying you will flourish in the same environment, just encourage you to try things out and draw conclusions from your experiences.

06-25-16, 10:20 AM
Don't be afraid to take your medication. It is legally prescribed to you.

In fact, under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), it would be illegal for them to fire you, stop you from taking them, or any other punishment etc. for taking them due to your ADHD disability, unless it could interfere with the safe conduct of your job. But it sounds like you have a desk job, not running heavy machinery or anything, so that wouldn't be a problem.


Ooh, just saw you're in London so I don't know what laws you have, the ADA obviously wouldn't apply to you. Perhaps they have something similar though.

06-25-16, 10:48 AM
What helped me the most was medication..could you maybe try a different med or a different dose? You might not have anxiety on all stimulants.

Like then others have said, I wouldn't recommend telling anyone that you have adhd. Very few people really understand adhd. It might be used against you.

I also have the same problem that after a short initial time of doing extremely well at any job I sort of burn out or lose most of my stream once the novelty has worn off. However, 3-4 h of solid work in a single day is not bad. I'm not sure that most non adhd ers manage to do a lot more than that.

A few things that help me:

Take a break when you realise that you can't focus anymore or when you haven't got anything done I'm for a period of time. Going for a walk really helps.

Use task planners, lists, alarms, Internet blockers, etc.

Write down everything in a single notebook (so you don't have to deal with million bits of paper )or on your mobile.

Set yourself very short deadlines for parts of your work. Distant or intangible deadlines mean the end of all working for me. I can only work to deadlines so I try to artifically create a bit of accountability.

Make sure you give yourself enough time for relaxation and having fun. It took me a long time to realise that I was a lot more productive when I didn't sacrifice all my free time for work.

What exactly is it that you struggle with? Loss of motivation? Lack of focus? Procrastination?

06-25-16, 11:04 AM
I kind of forgot that part...

What kind of medication are you taking? A slight change could help.

For example if you're taking Adderall, switching to Dexedrine will give you a much smoother experience.