“To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.”
— Winston Churchill
Over the last ten years, I have been on a personal and professional mission to learn as much as possible about the challenges and problems (and successes!) that adults with ADHD/Executive Functioning Deficits face around their career and their work, their jobs, and their futures! Recently, many clients have reached out to me who are unsure about how to succeed on the job with ADHD. The typical person reaching out is a successful adult with ADHD who feels like things at work are a little rocky; or they don't want to be turned down for advancement; or they don't want to get fired; or they are not getting along with their boss. Turning to an ADHD Coach can be a tremendous support, and working with an ADHD Career Coach is even better.
One of the first questions I ask every new client, out of curiosity is: What have you done in the last three months to "better yourself"?
It is never enough to just be just "OK at your job."
According to renowned speaker and seminar leader Brian Tracy, in his book Eat That Frog, "you should always want to do your job in an excellent fashion." Mr. Tracy's book discusses the importance of constantly updating and upgrading essential skills. He also reminds the reader to remember that however good you are today, your knowledge and skills are becoming out of date or obsolete at a very rapid rate.
The working world/business world is constantly changing, inventing, creating, moving forward, taking risks, etc. It is imperative to constantly think about and take action towards moving yourself up and bettering yourself, for your entire working life! Staying where you are and not improving who you are and what you know will only keep you where you are. You have the control to make your life the way you want it to be.
"We then describe how the brain forms new connections and "grows" when people practice and learn new things. When you learn new things, these tiny connections in the brain multiply and strengthen. The more you challenge your mind to learn, the more your brain cells grow. Then, things you once found very hard or even impossible - like speaking a foreign language or doing algebra - seem to become accessible. The result is a more robust, more brilliant brain.” (Mindset by Dr. Carol W. Dweck, p.229)
It takes hard work to find a job and hard work to keep that job. How much is that worth to you? How much do you want to stay in that job? How good would it feel if the boss noticed your excellent work? How would you feel in one year when you are up for that promotion and have all these new skills to share with your boss?
Never stop learning and growing.
For all people with or without ADHD, my advice is to ALWAYS look for a way to improve yourself! Every single one of us can learn new things, skills, and talents… even by simply reading books, watching videos or taking courses!
Improving your skills, increasing your knowledge and learning new tasks and abilities IS one of the MOST critical personal productivity principles of all. (I have six favorite personal productivity principles, and this has always been on the top of my list) - I am always learning! If you stay where you are, you will never get ahead.
You will HAVE to be PROActive and not RE-Active when planning YOUR life!
YOU can create your life the way that YOU want, but you will have to be the person that finds out all the different ways that you can LEARN to be better! No one will give you a step-by-step program or system. You have to be the one to say to yourself…I want to learn this and seek it out!
To be the best YOU on the job is to take action and make those improvements yourself! Remember, you need to stand out at work positively so that your boss and co-workers look past those more "annoying/talkative/procrastinate again-personality" ADHD characteristics that can get in the way.
Here are Lynn’s TOP 7 Ways To Be
the Best YOU On the Job
(scroll to the bottom to grab your link to our free checklist of Lynn’s Top 7 Ways To Be the BEST You On the Job)
1. Take a Series of Toastmasters Classes
Toastmasters is an online or in-person public speaking weekly meeting and 10-step program where you learn and practice the skill of public speaking with the benefit of many nervous and encouraging fellow Toastmasters. This is GREAT for ADHD'rs. The other benefit is that you get the support around public speaking from a group of supportive, non-judgemental people. They were all nervous when they first went there. You all have that in common!
2. Speed Keyboarding
Most people don't think about keyboarding as an essential skill. But, this skill can make a BIG difference in not only the quality of your work but your speed and accuracy; and if you are a student, keyboarding games should be your game of choice! Keyboarding or typing IS a skill that you have to learn and practice to get better at it. Some of us type faster and more accurately than others, but imagine being able to type as fast as you think about things? When I mention this to clients, they realize how important it is to be a fast and accurate typist!
Looking back, some of the classes I took in high school are still stuck in my mind. We had to take typing classes, sewing, cooking and macrame. Even though you are not required to be a fast and accurate typist, there are skills that you can learn and practice to type faster and more accurately. It is easy to learn how to be a better keyboarder. Just search for "keyboarding games," and you will find great interactive typing lessons and games that are super fun and will improve the speed and accuracy of your typing!
3. Mind-Mapping / Graphic Organizers
According to an article written by The University of Adelaide, a mind map involves writing down or drawing out a central theme and thinking of new and related ideas which radiate out from the center. By focusing on key ideas written down in your own words and looking for connections between them, you can map knowledge to help you better understand and retain information. And that is a huge benefit for people with ADHD!
Mind-mapping can also encourage you to see the bigger picture and create unique pathways that some use to plan, make choices, brainstorm ideas and imprint on your memory. Mind-mapping can be very helpful for ADHD brains that use space, color and size differently! Try mind-mapping on paper with your favorite set of pens, or use a stylus/Apple pen!
4. Spreadsheets/Computer Applications
Excelling in creating spreadsheets can boost your employability and career prospects, in addition to being a useful tool to analyze data in everyday life, such as managing your personal finances, researching information to compare, or even keeping a list of important clients and/or projects. Excel is easily accessible software that is a valuable tool in all aspects of life and should be considered critical for personal development. You can take courses at local community centers, online or on Udemy.
5. Take Online Courses
There are courses on almost everything, even on how to start and run your own business! The flexibility of online learning can allow you to balance your current work obligations with your current curiosity. As we have seen in the last two years, online courses can transform the way you learn and what you have access to learn! The sky's the limit online! And with ADHD, if you are excited about this new bit of skill or knowledge, you will be motivated to complete and excel at whatever you do!
There are five big reasons for taking online courses:
Flexibility with time and days
Learning new skills (whether they are relative to your current job or not)
Improving existing skills
Getting instant career feedback.
Even if you LOVE what you do, there is no reason why you should not keep your eyes and ears open for new and different opportunities.
6. Attend Professional Events, Seminars and Training
Conferences are filled with industry leaders, motivating talks, and insights that provide abundant learning and networking opportunities. As a result, conference attendees expand their personal and professional development while bringing back new knowledge to their business and teammates. Before CoVid-19, attending conferences and multi-day seminars with experts was one of my favorite ways to learn new things and network with other successful people.
7. READ (or listen) To Anything and Everything Related To Careers, Your Career Preferences or Possible Career Interests
Look up a career that you "think" you know what it is, but not really. Read newspapers, magazines, research, books, and articles about different industries and jobs, and take notes! Read about a new and upcoming business trend, a new coding skill, a program, or even how to use a camera!
Get creative, but do not procrastinate!
Limit your cell phone use for non-essential tasks and spend time scouring the internet and keeping notes on anything you find that interests you, motivates you, or piques your interest! People with ADHD need some motivation to find what gets them excited to get out of bed each day! Learn as much as you can. Don't rely on "my friend told me" fake facts!
2022 is a VERY different time in our world from even 15 years ago!
NOW is the TIME for you to be informed, have a conversation with a stranger, and speak clearly about who you are and what you want to do.
Take it from me, your ADHD CAREER COACH … you know, that lady that is always talking about careers.
The work you do before you look for a job is MORE crucial than the resume and so underutilized.
Take this process seriously and get articles related to your industry of choice in your e-mail inbox so that you don’t miss a thing!
I have created a FREE downloadable checklist and fact sheet for your use. Challenge yourself to try one new thing every month! And let me know! Tell me how you did with any of these suggestions! You can comment in our Facebook group: ADHD Job Squad.
Please leave a comment and let me know if there is anything here that you have connected to! Please share!
Also, don’t forget, we are sharing our library with you. Each BLOG we write and the post will have a free checklist, worksheet, or infographic.