Caste System for ADHD

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Caste System for ADHD 2012-02-21T21:15:53+00:00

The Forums Forums The Workplace ADHD-Friendly Careers Caste System for ADHD

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  • #90542

    Anonymous
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    Post count: 14413

    I’ve heard a lot of advice for ADHDers that we should get jobs friendly to our condition. I don’t like the idea of a caste system for people with ADHD. We should be able at least within reason anyway earn a living doing almost anything we want. Truth be told many of the jobs that us adhd people get stuck with as being friendly to our illness are usually not very high paying or good for advancement. Any thoughts? Miguel

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    #112585

    Scattybird
    Participant
    Post count: 1096

    Hi Miguel

    I don’t agree with some of what you say. Of course it depends on the severity of the ADHD but it also depends on the individual. I do agree that we should be able to do any job we want and I am sure we are. Whether we would want to is another issue.

    Re. where I disagree – firstly, I don’t see my ADD as an illness. It’s a pain in the butt but an illness??

    Secondly, you are assuming we’d be in the lower caste – why?

    I work in a university – my job is varied – I teach and have student contact, I do administration (that I hate!) and I do research (when the money allows). Every day is varied. I am accountable to all sorts of people, but I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck; I don’t have to clock in and out at set times. I feel extremely blessed that I can do what I consider to be an ADD friendly job. OK I haven’t got promotions because of my ADD and I can’t ‘perform’ consistently and that p****s people off and I get hassle for not getting student marks returned on time, putting in expenses on time, doing my admin. on time etc. etc. Although it can be stressful and a struggle sometimes, it is varied and that suits me. It can be hard work and focus is an issue. Also the university seems to be full of strange people so any completely scatty, bonkers moments that I have (and there are many) are just accepted as me being weird. Yes the system is changing and the ‘suited financially aware’ brigade are starting to take over, but on the whole it’s a place full of weird folk so I don’t stand out so much.

    To me, an ADD unfriendly job is one where I am sat at a desk all day, or one where I have to account for everything regularly or have to keep regular times. Regular times!! No way.

    So I don’t see ADD friendly jobs as lesser jobs – they are jobs that suit our make-up. Surely that goes for anyone, ADD or not. If you’re an outdoor type, then farming might suit better than being an accountant or a teacher, or a shop assistant. None is better or worse, just different.

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    #112586

    kc5jck
    Participant
    Post count: 845

    I agree with Scatty. An ADHD friendly job is one which is not tedious. There are many jobs which require a variety of skills, such as managerial or consulting jobs. These, I would say, are the ADHD friendly jobs. One could argue that these are also the higher paying because they require a broader education or training to perform the required tasks.

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    #112587

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I have an ADHD friend who has his own law office in NYC.

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    #112588

    Patte Rosebank
    Participant
    Post count: 1517

    There are probably a lot of lawyers who have ADHD. They love being the centre of attention and speaking in front of a group. They also function beautifully in a crisis, and can think on their feet in such situations. They also love obscure facts and have a real memory for them. As for the paperwork (also known as “Kryptonite to an ADD’er”), they have administrative assistants and legal secretaries to take care of that!

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    #112589

    JimC.
    Participant
    Post count: 165

    Caste schmaste…sorry, couldn’t resist. if finding a job you love, regardless of ADHD or not, means success and happiness, then I’m all for it. No-one wants a job they don’t like or cannot do well; I don’t think ADHD has anything to do with it. Some are good at math, others at physics, some teach English, but no-one gets to sit back and simply choose what they want to do and then succeed, it’s a process through schooling and life experience that you learn what you’re good at, and what you’re not good at. There are so many advantages being ADD and the way you might channel yourself into a successful career. Below is just ONE example – as many of us wind up in high tech areas…Just my .02, Jim

    Top Ten ADD Advantages in a Hi Tech Career.

    1. The Ability to Hyperfocus.

    Hours of full engagement and concentration in a task, IF you find it interesting. You can get into the zone and be totally immersed in what you’re doing while the outside world disappears. When I went on the net for the first time in 1993 at an Internet cafe I got on the machine at 8 pm and around 4 am decided it was time to go home.

    2. Rapid Fire Mind.

    Your brain processes information at hyperspeed. You can do things in 30 minutes on a computer that might take other people hours. Downside if you’re stuck with an old machine and not enough RAM you’ll be frustrated cause it can’t keep up with the speed of your brain.

    3. Multitasking at Will.

    Able to run 14 apps at a time and effortlessly switch between each without breaking a sweat. Able to do several projects at a time with ease.

    4. High Energy Level.

    You’re able to keep going on a project (if it’s interesting, ADDers are more into creative and entrepreneurial activities than clerical and repetitive ones). 14-hour days? No problem. Adrenaline is my fuel source:)

    5. Highly Creative.

    Able to think beyond the idea of a box. This comes naturally for ADDers, while others pay thousands of dollars to try and learn this. Since you take in more information than the average person, and you’re easily distractible, you’re more likely to view a problem from many different angles than vanilla people (non ADDers), and therefore come up with more possible solutions to a problem. Need an idea generator? Find an ADDer.

    6. Quick Learner.

    IF it’s something you’re interested in. ADD is mainly a condition of boredom; you have no trouble paying attention to something if it’s interesting. Most people find it difficult to do boring or repetitive things but these can often totally shut an ADDer down. Your rapid fire brain + highly creative mind + the ability to hyperfocus equals fast absorption of new information quickly. Dr Ed Hallowell, who has ADD and has written several Delivered from Distraction : Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder, said he stopped teaching Psychiatry at Harvard University because the non-ADDer’s brains were just too slow and they took so long to get it. He got tired of being continually frustrated waiting for them to catch up to the ADD students.

    7. Stimulus Seeking Brain.

    A perfect match for the wired world, an under stimulated brain and an over stimulated virtual environment. Being an info junkie can be a good thing. Well, not always:)

    8. Constantly Scanning your Environment.

    Allows you to notice more and find information and resource that others miss. Also allows you to see possible problems before they arise, and opportunities that others may not see because they have tunnel vision vs. multiplex vision. An ADDer invented the electronic ticket.

    9. Great in a Crisis.

    High energy intense situation? Lots of chaos and change? Sign me up; I thrive on stimulation, change and chaos. We can create order from chaos effortlessly. We can also create such an environment as well if needed.

    10. Risk Taker.

    Impulsivity means you’re more willing to take risks and have a bias for action, act now while the opportunity is hot instead of getting into analysis paralysis. Many entrepreneurs have ADD i.e. Paul Orfalea who founded Kinko’s, JetBlue Founder and CEO David Neeleman who attributes his creativity to ADD. Both are Billionaires. Imagine how successful a high tech CEO would be if they didn’t take many risks.

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    #112590

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    Jim,

    All of what you have listed I can agree with………however you do need to be reasonably organized, meet deadlines and do it consistently

    These last three things trip up most people with ADHD a good part of the time.

    There are very successful people who are affected. You should be able to pursue your dreams.

    Most people with ADHD would do better with a diagnosis, appropriate treatment and support

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    #112591

    kc5jck
    Participant
    Post count: 845

    I would say that JimC has caught the essence of the traits that allowed me to perform well as a computer programmer/analyst for the ten or so years I remained in that profession as a consultant. It was an ADHD friendly well paying job I enjoyed.

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    #112592

    munchkin
    Member
    Post count: 285

    I have hopes that everyone can achieve satisfaction and fulfillment in their work – especially if they are able to identify what they truly want out of a job and where their talents and abilities lie. I don’t believe that anyone – ADHD or otherwise – is entitled to a particular pay grade or advancement opportunity. A business that advances people who don’t deliver results is likely to fail, causing many to lose their job.

    However, I think that responsible, conscientious ADD’ers who are willing to do the work to identify medications, tools and strategies that make them competetive, should have the same opportunity as anyone else. Allowing some simple accomodations to the work environment should not be too much to ask. Sadly, we fear revealing our disability and have to self-accomodate in secrecy to survive…

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    #112593

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    What would be a job suitable for someone with ADHD? As far as I’m concerned, it’s any job that is based upon something we love. If you love gears and pistons, a great job might be working as an auto technician (that would be my son!). If you like working with children, there are all kinds of possibilites. One could work in their own home as a home-daycare provider, in a daycare in the community, pediatric nurse, teacher (that would be me….in special ed).

    Every job has its challenges. The paperwork and record-keeping drive me right round the bend. Do you know how much paperwork is involved in the teaching profession (question mark). Then those child psychiatrists have long reports they want filled out! But it is all good when youre in a field that you love.....even if it takes you twice as long to get the job done. Id love to be able to get my work finished up as quickly as my colleagues but that aint going to happen if you get what I mean.

    Luckily, I decided to work in a field that I loved. If I could just learn to love being so darn slow getting it done. 😆

    90% of my students are ADHD (one of their minor mental health issues) and I really do believe each of them could gainfully be employed if they chose a job in a field that was related to an area of one of their interests or loves.

    Right now I wiish I had some of the IT smarts of JimC or kc5jck so I could get my BB and email all linked in on the new update. 🙄 No, computers are NOT my area of strength. Luckily for me, I wont need to stay up until 2 am tonight trying to do it since Ive left the thing at school. 😳 At least I`ll get more hours of sleep tonight.

    Our ADHD makes each of us perfect for a job. Careful consideration will help us choose the right field. I have the priviledg of earning a very good salary doing what I LOVE. Canadian teachers are very well paid. I mention that since my I know American teachers are not so fortunate in the salary area. My hubby (American) is from a long line of teachers and their salaries don`t compare, even with cost of living and other factors figured into the equation. I just wish I was down south with him right now instead of looking forward to shovelling the white stuff tomorrow!. *grumble, grumble*

    No caste system at all!

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    #112594

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I don’t feel like we are being told that we are only to look for those caste system jobs in a sense where we are told we are basically limited. My whole family has ADHD and where our condition is friendly in the work place is all over the spectrum! We may all have ADHD but that doesn’t mean we are all the same. My one brother is an interior designer for a big firm, my other brother owns his own company… and one of my sisters is really big into business.

    We all may have ADHD… but with it we still have different passions. My sister can’t stand to think of sitting and reading about criminal psychology and yet I could spend 3 straight days in my room reading about it. hahaha.

    I think what they might have been saying is… look for a job that is friendly to YOUR ADHD. Only you know where your strengths and weaknesses are with it so only you know what is best in regards to work.

    We may have troubles with focussing… but we are also known to be able to hyper focus on certain tasks or things that personally interest us. :)

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    #112595

    JimC.
    Participant
    Post count: 165

    @zsazsa: IT smarts? if only you knew <:o|

    I hopped jobs and got fired and all the standard ADD stuff; I was using IT as an example. The key of course is always to be interested/love what you are doing, so lots of my own IT knowledge is self taught taking hours of time as I search the internet for answers to things like “WTF?, why doesn’t my email work with my Blackberry and why isn’t that Word document showing the graphics I pasted into the [email protected] thing”?

    I survived and feel lucky with what I have done and accomplished. I could help with your issues but I have no idea how we might connect. good luck though, Jim

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    #112596

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    ps. I loved what JimC posted! Sometimes for me it is so easy to focus on the frustrations that come with ADHD and I don’t grasp where ADHD can be awesome! Thanks for that!

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    #112597

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I think it’s a good idea to find work that plays to your strengths rather than your weaknesses. Sure, there will be times that our ADHD will get in the way, but if it’s a good career fit for us, it should be manageable.

    One piece of advice I got was this: take out a sheet of paper, and put a pen in your non-dominant hand (ie, if you’re right-handed, use your left hand). Then write a short sentence. You’ll notice it’s difficult and requires a lot of continued attention, and the results are not very good. If you had to do this every day you would find that your writing became more legible and it became easier to perform. However, it would always be somewhat of a struggle and never up to your full potential. THIS is what it’s like to be in the wrong career.

    I thought this was a perfect example of what I went through. So many of us are trying to “write with the opposite hand” and not even realize it! :P

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    #112598

    anniea
    Member
    Post count: 47

    JimC thank you for your post..excellent.

    I am a RN. My first job was dayshift at a nursing home. There were many areas of this job I could do well: Chaos, multiple problem sloving, very physical running up and down halls all day, crisises every week (usually). This was the job I had when I got diagnosed. I LOVED that job/nursing home. But the sheer volume of noise and non ADD people I worked with and the repetative boring stuff (passing meds) wore on me. The medication helped a lot, but still I would sleep two hours after I got home every day. I have done several jobs as a nurse. Been fired from most of them, but not because of my nursing abilities…its the stupid paperwork/deadline stuff..

    I too come from an ADD family. My Dad..add… was a school teacher Industrial Arts, my Mom was his “secretary”. He got his Masters, and even wrote a thesis.. Ran the Adult Education program in town for years, wrangled budgets, was a union lobbist, no doubt could not have done this without Mom. They were a great team. Not always pretty, but they made it work.

    To think ADDers can’t DO something is ridiculous… we just need a good partner to help keep us on task, and help with the boring stuff. Some coping skills, medication, meditation, (a coach?) It is finding the right “fit”. Takes trial and error and PAYING ATTENTION to what WORKS FOR YOU.

    If I love what I do, and make enough to pay all the bills.. I am a success in my world.

    Thanks eveybody, I love this site, here I am not weird.

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