45, ADD and totally in the wrong job, I feel suck and screwed

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45, ADD and totally in the wrong job, I feel suck and screwed 2010-12-13T20:35:27+00:00

The Forums Forums The Workplace Strategies for Work 45, ADD and totally in the wrong job, I feel suck and screwed

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  • #88793
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    Louie007
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    Post count: 12

    To keep it short, cause if u are like me…… (you get it) and well if u arent why the hell are u reading this! I sell house and car insurance. I am stuck at a desk all day. The pay is not bad. Not enough to feel successful compared to most other people I know, but good enough that at least I can support my family. The big problem is that I know now that I have ADD and should be doing something different so I have two problems.

    First I am 45 and starting a new career isnt easy, and, I have a family to support. The ironic thing here as I have had many jobs over the years and got fired or told to move on from most of them. So you would think “you have had to get a new job before” but thats the catch 22, I have always done office work. I worked for a bank when i was a young man and was able to hold on to that for 10 years, just barely, I thought I just sucked at it. Not knowing I was ADD. So every job I have got after it has been office work because of my “previous experience”.

    I don’t know what to do. I have grade 12 education. Banking experience as a lender and now insurance broker. I dont want to work in an office any more. I havent for awhile even before knowing I have ADD but I feel trapped. If I apply for other things they want to talk to my previous employers, you can imagine the references I get, not good. Or they look at my 25 years of office experience and think why would you even want to do this. What makes matters worse I dont even know what I want to do. Screwed, totally screwed.

    When I was a kid I wanted to go into radio but I cant read worth a damn, I seem to have somewhat of learning disability to top it all off. Put all that to together I have the self esteem of a sewer rat. Told all my life I have great “potential” that I never live up to.

    I get by with this as my work load isnt to heavy but I know I cant do this forever. My boss is going to sell at some point and the new place will put more on me. Also I have had to take upgrading and it took me 3 times to pass an exam to upgrade my licence and the third time i just barely passed and I have another course to take to finish that level. I am just not built for this bussiness, details, details, details. Stuck at a desk.

    Any advice for someone that made the “big career” switch to something more suited to their ADD personality.

    Thanks in advance for any help

    Louie

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    #97770
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    billd
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    Post count: 913

    10 jobs and 3 careers, not one to advise on your job, but I”ll put it this way….. every single job is important in some way.

    I feel stuck myself – and am constantly “looking around”, but then I realize, at my age, it’s gonna be really really tough, esp with AD/HD.

    Then I think again – hey, I AM employed, I’m not starving, things could be much worse, and even though I’m not “happy” I am quite good at what I’m doing, and they’d really (honestly, no kidding) be lost when/if I leave.

    Even the folks cleaning the halls are important – what if they all stop doing it??

    I “look down” at no one’s job. The fellow or lady cleaning the hospital is as important as the doctor doing the surgery.

    Ever watch “Undercover Boss” ?? HA, those CEOs can’t even make a good sandwich, and mess up half the time at almost anything they try.

    How about a job at a school or college teaching what you know?

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    #97771
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    Louie007
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    Post count: 12

    Thank bill

    Not sure I have enough knowledge in any one area that I could teach on. My wife actually works for a college and she wasnt sure there was much I would qualify to do there. I live in Canada so a degree is everything up here, especially if u are going to teach.

    I too am employed and grateful I have a job to support my family but I wouldnt go as far as u that I am good at it. I get by but my boss wants me to take on more and it involves a lot more learning as it is dealing with commercial insurance. Talk about as exciting as watching paint dry thats how I feel about insurance. It just cant study for anything or at least anything I am not interested in.

    Most of the office jobs I have done are boring and there is just so many rules and regulation to memorize it just seems to be beyond me.

    I have been reading other peoples posting and it would seem I am not alone in my lack of knowing what to do when i grow up. Which is kind of good. Iike being on the Titanic and look around and saying at least I am not alone, only to realize………

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    #97772
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Waiting tables might be a good fit. The money is great but the benefits are not. I have been in the business for the last 30 years. I have always thought this would be a great job for anyone with ADD, since it’s worked for me. I’ve joked many times about having ADD, and after looking at this sight, I see, I do.

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    #97773
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    billd
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    Post count: 913

    some of the folks that wait tables and are “servers” are SO into it, and enjoy it, and are so full of life and energy. It would almost seem a decent fit because the people are always changing and the constant moving and having to pay attention.

    Me, if they order burger and fries, however, I’d have to write them both down in detail or I’d forget the burger for sure.

    Maybe not a good fit for everyone, but sure a good way to meet people and if you are good, the tips aren’t too bad in some places.

    There are online places that have tests you can take that might help find a better fit, too. We use some of them at work to find clients work that suits them.

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    #97774
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Security of the existing job and a fixed reward of a pay check are enough for some. The idea of giving up that security is a big risk and requires a lot of confidence and self-esteem to make a change some times. We AD/HD folks are great at self-doubt because we never really understood the constraints we have to put on ourselves which creates doubt in your abilities and self-confidence. So what do you do? Plan it out. It might require a plan that takes a few moths or a year to realize but figuring out what makes you happy and finding a way to do that every day is a blessing. Of course I’m writing this from my cubical, while resisting the urge to stare out the window, and doing everything I can to keep busy while things are quiet here so I don’t go stir crazy. :-)

    I have a plan in place, but it is scary when you start thinking about ending the income and security that you are accustom to having in exchange for something that offers a better life balance. Animals, Dogs in particular ground me and force me to be aware of my mood, energy and focus. Last year I signed up for a Dog Training & Animal Behavior Modification program that runs one year part time and will allow me to work as an Animal Trainer and work with people and their Dogs. Because of the type of work I can fit it in with the comfortable paying job until I figure out how to make it a career. Ironically it was the research required for an assignment in to behavior, how we learn, cognitive behavior therapy and motivation that lead me to look at AD/HD.

    Things happen for a reason in my world, having the patients to wait out an answer for the reason is a little harder. LOL

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    #97775
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    billd
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    Post count: 913

    >>Security of the existing job and a fixed reward of a pay check are enough for some. The idea of giving up that security is a big risk and requires a lot of confidence and self-esteem to make a change some times. We AD/HD folks are great at self-doubt because we never really understood the constraints we have to put on ourselves which creates doubt in your abilities and self-confidence<<

    Now that rings true and was pretty well said. It’s REALLY SCARY and sometimes if I apply for another job I believe would fit better or I’d really like to do more than this one, I suffer self-doubt. In fact I applied for and missed a job I know I’d love, then it came open again, and I didn’t apply…… @callmecrazy knows why….

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    #97776
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    Curlymoe115
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    Post count: 206

    Talking about security why don’t you try that. Do you have an airport by you, the job changes constantly, there are not a lot of learning requirements, few written reports (unless there is a problem and you can always give your report orally to the supervisor or coworker to write) and it is fun to boot. Most of the time you will be given a route in the airport (and if you are like me you can use it to “watch” the people in the airport) and you are constantly on the move. These jobs are usually longer then your average office job so you get more days off to do other things, the airport usually pays well and it is a clean bright environment. And the personnel is constantly turning over so you get a new playmate quite frequently. There is also hospitals. They also require security guards, constant change and challenge and good pay.

    I have had dozens and dozens of jobs. I liked doing pre-board screening at the airport because it was an ever evolving environment. You got to “watch” the passengers, got paid to poke around in their luggage and were constantly meeting and finding new co-workers. My problem is that this type of environment had a lot of rules and they were constantly coming up with new ones. But security at the airport doesn’t have the same rules and regulations as the screeners who vet you for the plane.

    An office job is fine as long as you are in an ever changing environment. But once the rut rides in there is not a lot to make it fun. And if you are like me then you always find a petty co-worker who makes your life a living nightmare where you start to dread work. I love the challenge of a new place so that is probably why after about 9 or 10 months I start getting itchy feet and start looking for something new in an office. I also like to do the job fast and then I am bored when I run out of things to do. I come in an hour or two early if I know I am having a busy day and will stay until the job is done. Then the next day the day drags because there is nothing to do.

    When I was in the Reserves as an Administrative Clerk I would come in, race through the work by just after lunch and then go home early instead of playing computer games with the rest of them. Probably why I never advanced in 5 years. Because they look at your hours not your accomplishments. My brain requires that I be busy, not necessarily by body. A challenge is like cat-nip and I am compelled to finish. I took my Life Insurance License. Got fantastic marks in class, did really well in the provincial exam and I have been a licensed agent for 5 months and have never been on an appointment. I hate trying to convince people to buy something that they don’t think they need. Everyone complained about how hard it was, I found it really easy in the areas that you could study. But I took the course through the company I joined not the College that teaches the course. So half of what was on the provincial exam was not covered in our course. That I find frustrating.

    My reading and comprehension are great, I have a great difficulty in math and languages. The only math I excel at is money. So I can do anything as long as it will end up in dollars and cents. My brother is the exact opposite. He can do anything with numbers but has a really difficult time reading. He went and got his truck driving license and became a long haul trucker. Not great if you need a lot of physical activity but always a different place you are heading. Horrible for a person with a young family. He worked for a while as a garbage man (waste engineer) and now he drives a tow truck. Always something different, and your work determines your pay. And you are a hero to a lot of people so instead of negative comments a lot of the time they are flattering.

    Hubby is also ADHD and he has a degree and graduate courses but now works as a construction labourer. He works in an ever changing environment, and he gets paid an incredible amount of money, with time and a half or double time after 40 hours. There is a great benefit package, but there can be a lot of lay off times during slow periods, there is no sick time and he is outside all day. He also worked as a taxi driver when he couldn’t stand being cooped up in an office all day. Again lots of different situations, new people and you set your own schedule. I also had my own company for 2 years in Ontario. Lots of work, but I couldn’t find anyone else to take up the slack and I was working 19 hours a day with the paperwork.

    If none of these things appeal to you you can also go to the Canada Employment Agency. They have a Choices test that they can administer that will help you determine exactly where your interest lies. Good Luck. I am still trying to determine what I want to do when I grow up and I am 42.

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    #97777
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    billd
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    Post count: 913

    Reports? Get a dictation recorder, TALK your reports into it, and have a clerical person type it up.

    Lots of us enjoy talking – there’s your chance!

    Yeah, security might be ok – ya gotta be alert – but I think it’s possible in such a situation where things are always changing.

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    #97778
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Louie007 I am in a very similar boat. I live in Florida, and got fired last week from my most recent office drone job. Just like all ADHDers, I can’t concentrate, pay attention or follow instructions well, which mean that I have been less than the ideal employee.

    Now the thought of going back to clicking buttons for some evil corporation 55 hours a week, sickens me.

    Making much worse is the fact that I have no medical insurance, nor prescription coverage.

    I am 36 years old and still wondering what to do with my life.

    Please let me know what you end up doing, just might copy you!

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    #97779
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    Buz
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    Post count: 13

    Louie, I love that bit about wanting to be in radio. Is there a community or campus radio station where you live? Selling insurance is not be for everybody and pragmatically speaking you need the income right now to support yourself and family. But if that creative spark was with you as a boy, you can bet it sure is still there and wanting to poke through. You are bending over backwards making a living, but it may not be nourishing you spiritually or emotionally.

    I am in an administrative job too; actually quite good at it but……..(ADD right!). As I have begun working with my ADD I have noticed the right brainer, creative boy come shooting out the bottle; I’m writing poetry, stories etc. Next month I start a poets group at an art studio I helped set up……..with a view to doing something on community radio. Hence my interest in your comment. So yes, like you I have a pragmatic side in terms of generating income to support a family, but who knows where our creative sides can take us, especially when it is nourishing the spirit! And my family is happier because there is a tempestuous artist in the house replacing the overtired, overwhelmed, over extended administrator. Good luck brother, I hear you.

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    #97780
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Do you like people? How about bartending? Lots of variety, lots of interesting conversation, good tips…

    I’m sort of in your boat, Louie. I’m 35 and realizing that I haven’t really done much career-wise. I should’ve been well on my way doing my dream job, but I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. No idea what one career path will allow me to feel like I’m fulfilling that great “potential” that I apparently have. I’m starting to think that maybe there isn’t one single career for me. My attention span is so short, and my desire for breadth of scope is so strong that I’m probably better off doing several things at once. I have the perfect office job: flexible hours, GREAT pay, excellent benefits, my own office with THE best view, nearby parking, awesome boss and coworkers, easy work… But I’m on my arse for 8 hours a day, and I’m feeling my brain turning to mush. I am literally losing IQ points here, people. My hours were cut back last spring and so I started working one day every other week cleaning houses. I’m tired and aching tonight because that’s what I did today. But you know what? I actually enjoy it. It’s the change of pace. It feels good to walk away from a sparkling clean house and not have to see it get dirty. It feels good to know that the homeowners will come home order and beauty, and to know how much they appreciate it. And they do. It feels good to help out seniors who are unable to clean their houses like they used to. And it feels good to get paid well for it! It actually pays better than my office job.

    This is a really cool web page: http://www.audiotranscription.org/how-to-make-money/

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    #97781
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    All this talk about jobs — I am burned out in IT. A lot of that has to do with my ability to concentrate, plan and engage right now — sucks. My new counsler told me to try and come up with some good traits that I may have. I said I can always make people laugh, and I adlib like Robin Williams.

    I saw above some part of a convo that said radio stations… I was a DJ in my youth and that was a gas. Even though 80% of the time I just played church tapes — but when I got to talk and such it was heaven.

    Anyone know about stand-up comedian training schools??? I’ll sell the house and attend. Maybe Robin Williams is taking apprentices???

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    #97782
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Well at 56 with a 12th grade education I went back to college after a 38 year hiatus; in 2002 I had a “nervous breakdown” became homeless and was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder; have been on Social Security Disability ever since. The “kicker” is I was never treated for ADHD until now despite the fact that, it was known about since I was 7 (so much for “growing out of it”).

    Before I went back to school I went to see a psychollogist via my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor and was advised not to go back to school because of my ADHD and was offered counseling for six months the “upshot” is I just completed my first semester and can proudly say I had stright A’s. (Not bad for someone who was told he “couldn’t make it in college.”) My dream is to be a psychologist a “social scientist” specializing in ADD/ADHD. I figure if Albert Einstein can do it… I can… hey! why not right?

    Louie, don’t be afraid to be a “risk taker” that is to say, allow yourself to dream; do it for your family and yourself; from personal experience “self-doubt” has been a defense mechinism I used to sheild myself from failure or should I say success which often preceeds failure.You know it’s true; a person will fail many times before they succeed; failure usually is not the issue, learning from it often is. Living is a “journey” not a destination as an ADDer I am reminded about this lesson daily.

    As far as not knowing what you want to do is concerned; you need to DECIDE what you WANT to do then figure out HOW you can do it; then and only then will you be able to overcome the “trapped” feeling. Take the time to “brainstorm” possible career options and don’t limit yourself to working for someone else perhaps you are better off working for yourself. Maybe, going back to school may be an option; Don’t let your age or ADD be a deterent you never know what you can do until you try… Good Luck

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    #97783
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    Louie007
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    Post count: 12

    Thanks everyone for your feed back. I think one of the big things I need to do is look at what really makes it impossible for me to do a given job and want is the negitive crap I have been telling myself for years. (others such as bosses, school teachers and the general public also have done an excellent job of reminding me how much I suck)

    Some things i just can legitimately can’t do. Reading out loud and pronouncing words I totally suck at, hence I was scared shitless of going into radio. It is like so many things I rock at parts of a job but suck at other parts. Like I know friends who went into radio and you always start off reading the news etc to prove yourself or pay your dues so to speak. Then maybe after a few years you move more into the entertainment part and reading is no big deal. But yeah my personality is a good match for it.

    So i have some learning disabilities making the school thing a challenge on several levels. closest university is an hour and a half away so that complicates things too. I really want to be realistic about what I can do but it is hard to fight all the years of bad self talk.

    I live in a small town so oportunities are limited and schooling is also. My first wife left me because “it was too hard” to live with someone in constantly losing jobs etc and who was working below their income potential. So I have to boys that I have every other week and I could never leave them so I am here for at least another 10 years. My current wife is very supportive so that helps. She says I am really good in bed but just not a very transferrable skill.

    Maybe we need to get like 5 of us together, each get a job and convince our employers to let each of us work a day at each place. that way we have something different every day. Hell with so many of us only sticking with a job for 6 months to a year they are going to see 5 of us along the way reguardless.

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