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Careers/Job Impact This forum is for adults to discuss how AD/HD affects work and career.

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  #1  
Old 01-31-18, 05:36 PM
MindBlind MindBlind is offline
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Tips for adapting to new job?

Iím jobseeking again and Iím curious about different strategies that people use to adapt to the demands of their jobs. Currently Iím looking for any job I can get (so mostly retail) so any info would be greatly appreciated.

In my last job I was often criticised for having a poor attention to detail and at one point my boss straight up accused me of not giving a ****. It was frustrating being told to ďtry harderĒ when I was working as hard as I possibly could, which only ended up making my productivity worse over time. In retrospect, I realise that the company wasnít very good anyway but itís fair to say that ADHD didnít help things.

Also, I tend to find that I make the most mistakes near the end of a shift, when Iíve exhausted my mental faculties to the point where it canít logic anymore. Iím being bombarded by sensory input while simultaneously making loads of little decisions throughout the day. This is compounded by the fact that I have ASD and have to put in a bit of a performance to pass off as human. I suppose I can use my breaks to meditate but apparently that is seen as rude. Is there something I can do to increase my mental endurance for these times?

Another thing I found frustrating about my last job is how my colleagues thought I was stuck up because I didnít immediately get a joke or didnít want to chat while I was busy doing my job. My boss was especially salty about that. And itís not that I donít find them amusing or enjoy the conversation, itís just that when Iím in ďwork modeĒ Iím super focused on the task at hand and itís as if the fun part of my personality switches off. If I have to keep switching between ďwork modeĒ and ďbanter modeĒ my productivity and sanity suffers for it. For some reason banter is a big deal in the UK workplace and not participating in it is a cardinal sin for some businesses. Iím not entirely sure how to tell future employers about my needs without disclosing my disability to them. I like banter but I also like having a steady income, yíknow?

Iím really interested in your thoughts, guys 🙂
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Old 01-31-18, 06:27 PM
ToneTone ToneTone is offline
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Re: Tips for adapting to new job?

At some point, it's probably good to just open up to your coworkers when they are reacting to you ignoring/not getting their jokes.

There are a few tricks here ...

1. Do not go all clinical ... people don't know how to react (get confused and paralyzed actually) when we say, "Oh I have ADHD or X ... so I don't get your joke." They don't know what to do with that.

2. Instead, I've found it helpful to simply identify my behavior that strikes them as strange. "I'm sorry guys. All my life, I've been a person who just doesn't get jokes." ... "I don't mean to ignore you, but I really have a hard concentrating, so I really have to work at one thing at a time. I wish I could shift my attention like you guys, but I can't."

3. You can say that in the moment or you can open up later on ... The trick is DO NOT GO ALL OVERLY SELF-CRITICAL. Don't put yourself down in a harsh way. People ironically get really freaked out by that ...

A comment like, "I'm just a freak of nature, so I don't get jokes." Or "I'm socially inept so I don't get jokes." That goes too far and people get uncomfortable.

Just today ... I ran into three coworkers at my job ... three women I know, and these three people have the most amazing execution function and administrative and organization skills ... Give them an assignment to make ten calls and fill out ten forms, and they'll knock it out immediately!

I sort of turned the joke to their strength when I saw them... "You guys are three of the most organized, effective people I know." They cracked up laughing ... because really they knew my compliment was true.

But I had another agenda ... I'm politely saying, "I'm not as organized as you guys, and that's cool! Great that YOU guys are so organized."

So you could say something like, "I'm jealous that you guys can banter and work at the same time. It's amazing how you guys can shift your attention back and forth." Subtext: I can NOT shift my attention back and forth.

But by complimenting them, you have praised them ... and people LOVE compliments and sneakily, you have also indicated that you CAN'T do that ... and you're not apologizing for this, just noting that truth.

Bottom line: you have to give them some explanation if your behavior stands out. Otherwise, they'll interpret your behavior and responses as being rude and/or disliking them or ignoring them.

Once you tell them the truth, then a lot of people will work with you ... "I know you don't like being interrupted, but this is important. So I need to tell you this."

You didn't mention if you take meds, you might benefit from a med that lasts you through the afternoon.

Good luck!


Tone
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  #3  
Old 01-31-18, 06:59 PM
MindBlind MindBlind is offline
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Re: Tips for adapting to new job?

Well at the time I didnít have a diagnosis but now Iím diagnosed and take Concerta. I think itís helping but Iíve had to cut my dose because my anxiety was getting exacerbated by it. I wonder if I should try a non-stimulant in the future? I donít want to have to choose between anxiety symptoms and ADHD symptoms.

Yeah, the compliment thing might work. That way I can establish my needs without seeming incompetent or entitled.
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Old 01-31-18, 10:32 PM
ToneTone ToneTone is offline
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Re: Tips for adapting to new job?

Are you being treated for anxiety? ... Anxiety wasn't really on my radar ... it was all depression and ADHD. But in therapy, I did a lot of work on anxiety ... didn't even know that was what we were doing, to tell you the truth. But I was learning how to not worry over all kinds of things and to catch myself when I'm going into a panic ...

Lo and behold, once that constant fear-anxiety declined, I noticed it! ... and realized it had been hindering my memory and focus a lot! ... Anxiety just knocks out short-term memory ... really makes it hard to remember because you're sorta thrown into survival mode ...

There are lots of good therapies and meds for anxiety ... and you might even get away with a really low dose of an anti-anxiety med. You can also try other ADHD medications and they may not increase your anxiety.

Good luck.

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  #5  
Old 02-03-18, 03:10 PM
MindBlind MindBlind is offline
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Re: Tips for adapting to new job?

Yeah, I take beta blockers for anxiety and Iíve been tracking my moods to see if my hormones are playing a role in my mood and anxiety issues. Beta blockers help but only a little so maybe I should consider a different kind of drug. Iím also trying to use CBT skills as often as possible and I try to journal my thoughts as best as I can to spot any possible triggers. I hope that should help me during employment.
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