Another year, another job... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

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Another year, another job...

whimsical-onion profile image

Has anyone else ever started out strong in a new job/career only to fizzle out feeling like a failure? I decided to go grad school 4 yrs ago to get an MSW (social work). It's a second - or maybe 7th career.

I graduated and am working in my second healthcare job. The amount of paperwork and attention to detail required by my last 2 jobs have been soul crushing. Being trained by two milennials with poor communication skills has made things even harder.

In my current job, I've had to learn 2 new, different roles at the same time, And I'm floundering. I feel like the handwriting is on the wall. My supervisor complains that I don't listen to her, I'm making many mistakes, losing/forgetting things, etc. It's like My ADHD has been turbo charged.

My workplace is not supportive so I've decided to leave before I'm fired. I asked if I could change to part time (and focus on one role) but I'll lose health benefits. So frustrating.

16 Replies

Have you thought about getting a job coach who specializes in ADHD?

I'm looking into that.

Good to hear! I have one, I just haven’t started yet.

Perhaps getting a career that allows for flexibility is key. With a Masters in Social Work you could work in the K-12 School setting as a Social Worker or you can work with Child Protection Services (CPS) as a Social Worker. I can imagine that doing more than one role and having minimal support would be awful for anyone with ADHD. Just know you aren’t alone in feeling this way, but finding a job that gives you the flexibility to compensate for your ADHD is key.

Thank you for your supportive comments. Unfortunately, many social work jobs involve excessive amounts of paperwork and documentation.

I wish we lived in a society where it felt safe to disclose an ADHD diagnosis to an employer. I am about to quit yet another job because my performance is largely measured by my deficits, not strengths.

😔 Have you ever considered becoming a teacher? You could be a teacher with a degree in any area. Teaching was my first stable job because it allowed me to do as I pleased and make learning fun for my students. There is minimal paperwork and more talking and moving around which is something that worked for me. I completely understand the stigma surrounding ADHD which makes disclosing to an employer uncomfortable and “risky”. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but do you currently take medication for ADHD treatment?

I've been on and off medication for yrs. I stopped taking a stimulant after I gor married - I thought I had "gotten over" ADHD. After our divorce I realized my very organized and detail oriented ex had managed everything, freeing me up to focus on work. Now that I'm single...YIKES. I've started Adderall.

I looked into teaching. I think it involves an 18-mo certification program - ? Would like to hear more about what you do.

I am sorry to hear about your divorce 😔 and Wow, 18 months! Here in Texas you can be in the classroom in as little as 3 weeks as long as you pass your Content exam for the area you are wanting to teach. I was a middle school Reading teacher for 8 years and then a School Counselor for 3 years after that. I currently work for an online school as a Special Education teacher. A lot of the students I work with have learning disabilities and ADHD, so I understand them and love what I do! 😍

YH21 profile image
YH21 in reply to whimsical-onion

Interesting. I am on medication. I was a teacher for many years but during life happened. I went through a divorce and then a few years later remarried to a wonderful person. Change in my personal life I think made my ADHD worse. I loved my job so much and could teach all day long but the paperwork was very difficult for me to keep up with and had similar issues with. administration getting frustrated . I am not lazy and my heart was in the right place but no matter how hard I tried could not seem to keep up . 🙁

I’ve definitely been through this. It sucks. I disclosed to my previous employer hoping to delay being fired (the writing was also on the wall). I was doing a great job in many aspects of my job, but it was too taxing on my org skills and created anxiety. In the long run disclosing delayed the inevitable. Getting let go will at least allow you to apply for unemployment while you search for a job that is a better fit.

Ultimately I think working for oneself is the best for ADHD people. We can call our own shots and go at our own pace. And being self-employed gives us the motivation/fire under the arse to keep going forward.

I am in nearly the same place as you are—finished my MSW (mid-life career change and umpteenth job change) a few years ago, and have been drowning in the paperwork ever since. I do know burnout is extremely common because of the excessive paperwork demands, especially in community mental health, which is where I work. I only work part-time, and it’s still just too much—way too many moving pieces for me to keep track of. I’ve thought about quitting every year, and I’m pretty sure this will be the year I actually do; I’m just trying to hold out long enough to finish my hours for my LICSW because I’m close. I like the field, but I struggle with next steps and the perpetual question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” Anyway, I don’t really have any advice, just responding in solidarity to say you are most definitely not alone. Best wishes, and I hope you’re able to find a job that offers more support.

You sound like My ADHD twin. Thank you for the solidarity - I feel like no one really understands so it means a lot.

It's painful to know that I'm an intelligent and capable person, while also feeling incompetent every day.

Good luck with supervision 😊. I've got about a year left to finish requirements for LICSW.

Yup, I know just what you mean. Imposter syndrome is real. Thanks, and good luck to you, too. Happy to know I have an ADHD twin out there in my social work journey. 🙃

Having worked on the system side of medical services, the documentation now required by providers is daunting. So many screens and boxes to check, oh and all while you are juggling patient care. So, I don't think it's your issue completely.

With that said, I too hate the paperwork, documentation side of my job. I have found doing meditation and thought recognition really helps. It's those random thoughts that send us/me down a path far away from what I should be doing. I do about 10 mins, every day, well I'm not disciplined enough to do everyday, but close. It has trained my mind to go to my anchor when I'm forced to do some mind numbing task that causes me to 'drift'. Good luck!

Yes, that's true. Everyone complains about the amount of paperwork. I'm struggling because I started two different roles at the same time.

Each role requires totally different systems, forms, recordkeeping, etc. And minimal training or support.

It's been 6 mos and I'm fried. MBSR is a great idea. Thanks.

I am currently feeling that same work, now. I don't work in the social work aspect, but I work in the healthcare field and it going on two years in my position. I do understand frustration when you don't have supportive work staff and supervisor who doesn't want to deal with you because you have ADHD.

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