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  #1  
Old 12-28-11, 10:24 PM
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How could I ever get another job?

I'm 50 years old and have been unemployed for a few years. My wife has been kind and has given me time to explore playwriting, but I'd like to bring in some income.

Since quitting my last job, I've been diagnosed with ADHD-PI. I haven't been fired since my early 20's, but I always reach the point where I have to quit because of burnout, anxiety, job stress, being overwhelmed, etc. The only real skill I have is being bright, imaginative and a quick learner. I start out doing clerical work or data entry and eventually find myself doing tech support, accounting, report design, software development, etc. until I can no longer handle it, usually leaving behind a big pile of uncompleted work that no one knew about. By the time I'm applying for my next job, I've forgotten how to do most of what I was doing at my last job.

At my last job, I spent a large percentage of the time doing anything except my job. I constantly came in late and I would disappear for long periods of time. None of this seemed to matter because I was valued for my unique ideas and solutions, my ability to spot potential problems and the way I somehow raised the morale of my coworkers.

I just don't see how I could ever make it through an interview now. I feel strongly that I should be honest and be myself, but it seems like my ADD is such a major component of who am I on the job. I'm not sure I can explain why past employers valued me when I had so many issues.
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Old 12-28-11, 10:55 PM
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Re: How could I ever get another job?

You can find the most random jobs if you look.

Nude modelling at a local art class (the college or the rec centre) can earn you 50 bucks for a couple of hours of standing around while people draw you. Older gentlemen are the best to draw and rare.

I know a guy who is 60 and he works 4 days a week, 4 hours each of those day canvassing for a local food co-op. He makes a couple grand a pay cheque.

A part time handyman job?

I had a job putting tags on clothes in the back of large franchise thrift store.

Don't be afraid to apply for jobs you might otherwise look over. If you don't have a lot invested in the interview, you won't panic. You might even get surprised with a job.

What can you do?

If nothing else, it will get you out of house, earn a little pocket money and maybe you will meet some people who know some people. That's how you get jobs now a days.

And it can be added to your resume to update it.
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Old 12-28-11, 11:00 PM
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Re: How could I ever get another job?

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Originally Posted by Yasha View Post
I just don't see how I could ever make it through an interview now. I feel strongly that I should be honest and be myself, but it seems like my ADD is such a major component of who am I on the job. I'm not sure I can explain why past employers valued me when I had so many issues.
Yasha, I know what it's like to be in this type of thought process. You feel like you are on the border of dishonesty, and ADDers generally don't like that. Am I right?

You don't want to tell an employer about having ADD. They haven't learned how to capitalize off of an ADDers strengths yet. Just because you don't tell them doesn't mean you are being dishonest either! The ADD brain thinks in all or nothing ways.

If you have good ideas and your past employers were able to use them, then that makes you a good communicator. If you're a good communicator, then you know how to communicate verbally, which means you can speak well or non-verbally through the written word. Or both. Which one is it?

I think you need to make a list of your strengths (ie good communicator), leaning them towards how they have benefited you on the job. Doing so will help build your confidence for an interview.

Edit:

This process will take some time.
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Last edited by anonymouslyadd; 12-28-11 at 11:24 PM..
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Old 12-29-11, 07:44 AM
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Re: How could I ever get another job?

I have to wonder exactly how big this "pile" of work really was.... due to some recent changes at my job, I've discovered I did a **** of a lot better job than I ever gave myself credit for! I've also discovered lots of other folks have "piles" too. Don't let them fool you, they aren't as perfect as they play themselves off to be.
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Old 12-29-11, 07:30 PM
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Re: How could I ever get another job?

Hi Yasha,

I relate to what you're going through, as I am on the market too, and am finding the search difficult due to anxiety attacks, being overwhelmed, tiring quickly, etc.

Anonymouslyadd pointed out something really important: communication skills. You're a very good writer – I don't know if you realize that, but this is a rare talent these days. So many people want to write, but the people who can express themselves clearly and cogently are few and far between. If you live somewhere with a strong IT or high-tech market, I could see you succeeding as a business analyst, project manager, or QA specialist. While some of these positions require technical knowledge, others don't. You mentioned previous experience in software, and this would give you a major leg up. Unique ideas and solutions, and ability to spot potential problems are all assets in software, especially if quality control is a big part of your job. Impetus is right too: You'd be shocked at how many NT people are totally inept at their jobs and are just faking it. I've come across them all the time.

RedHairedWitch is also right about modeling for art class. I took some drawing classes in undergrad to earn my design degree, and while my school had no problem finding female models, they had extreme difficulty securing male models for class sessions. I wound up drawing the same guy in every class, and I think I'd have learned more if we'd had more variety. If you're not comfortable with nude modeling, you might find that a lot of small businesses or one-man shops need someone to help with the clerical work, taxes, accounting, advertising, or proposal writing. Do you know anyone who owns a small business? Is there a political campaign in town that needs help? (2012 is a BIG year for elections, so I'm betting there will be tons of work on multiple campaigns in just about every city.) Or have you checked out your local CraigsList? I know that in my city, small as it is, people even ask for help on coffee shop bulletin boards and in the student newspaper at the local college.

Best of luck with your search. If you let me know what other work tasks you enjoy, I might have a few more ideas.
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Old 12-29-11, 10:32 PM
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Re: How could I ever get another job?

Reality check: Before we talk interviews and beyond, have you actually received any responses to the resumes you have sent out? You might want to check out some of RHW suggestions.

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I'm 50 years old and have been unemployed for a few years.
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Old 12-31-11, 09:55 PM
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Re: How could I ever get another job?

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Originally Posted by Retromancer View Post
Reality check: Before we talk interviews and beyond, have you actually received any responses to the resumes you have sent out? You might want to check out some of RHW suggestions.
Good point, but I think the OP is struggling with psychological issues, not obtaining employment. I don't think he said anything about going on an interview yet.

I think he needs to feel confident enough to get himself out there. This confidence might come from RHW's suggestions, but the OP needs to tweak how he views his work strengths. Moreover, how will he be able to send resumes out if he doesn't feel like he has anything to offer an employer?
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