Working with ADHD, means that you’ll need to do something you love, or risk being bored and mediocre. I once told a friend who was considering quitting his job, that if something doesn’t excite you, why do it? But maybe I was also trying to tell myself that.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where I want to go in my (young) career. I’m currently working in the advertising industry, which is arguably the most exciting among the traditional corporate jobs. I work alongside some of the best people in the creative industry. We handle the biggest brands in the country, and many people would kill to have this kind of opportunity. But strangely enough, I’m not happy.
Now, before you go all Simon Sinek Millenial-basher mode, allow me to explain why that is so. Just so you know, I love listening to Simon, I read his books; but it’s unfair for him to blanket the say the reason why millennials don’t succeed is because they all feel entitled . As Obi-Wan would say, “Only Siths deal in absolutes, Simon”.
The reason why I don’t see myself long-term in my job is simple- it doesn’t get my closer to what I want to be. I’m a naturally entrepreneurial person.That’s just who I am, and a big part of it has to do with my ADHD. I want the creative freedom, and the time to work on my personal projects. Right now, I’m in the office, from 9am till 9pm, hardly enough time to do anything else other than work.
I’m not saying if you have ADHD, that you can’t do a desk job, but you need to love your job, you need to be interested in your work, and you need to be stimulated. If you have a full-time job, but want to pursue a side project, you need to make the time to work on it.
Do What You Love For A Living
When I told my dad that I want to be a writer and entrepreneur, he told me not to do it. “Stay in your company.”, he says. The only sure way to make it in life, is if you work in a big corporate job and rise through the ranks. You don’t need to have fun and work is just work.”Take a regular job in the corporate world, and you’ll have time to do your dreams when you’re 40″ he says.
I disagree. I’m not going to wait till 40 to love what I’m doing.
Work should be like falling in love. You spend at the very least 40% of your life at work. That’s insane. If reincarnation isn’t real, then you only have one life to live. You don’t want to spend 40% of your life bored, right?
Don’t focus on having a job, focus on having a career.
Careers are like relationships. They require 2 things: passion and commitment. A successful career can’t have one without the other. No matter how committed you are to a job, if you aren’t passionate, you’ll be doing things half heartedly. If you aren’t giving 100% in your work; if it doesn’t excite you, then you need to re-evaluate your life choices.
ADHD gives us the beautiful gift of being creative, hyper focused, and restless. Working with ADHD demands that you’re doing something you find interesting, because constant stimulation is what gets someone with ADHD going. The best scientists, artists and entrepreneurs were ADHD! In fact, ADHD is counted as an entrepreneurial trait.
Where Do I Go From Here?
I wish I had a solid answer to give. But I am doing this right now: writing everyday. I’m working on becoming a better writer, and doing the best I can, which is making writing a habit.
I’m still at my day job, and I’m thankful for the lessons learned and opportunity to be there. Working with ADHD is pretty challenging in that environment, and I’ll be blogging about that soon. Though I encourage people to follow their dreams, and not stick to boring or uninspiring work, it has to be done with proper planning and timing.
I’ve already identified my strengths, and know what kind of job that will help me grow. Now, it’s just a matter of properly assessing the opportunities in front of me. I want to be a writer/entrepreneur, and I have a passion for start-ups; my next career move will be in that direction.
In the meantime, I’ll keep developing my skills in blogging. If you still have a day job like me, don’t let that stop you from working on your dreams. You can build your skills before or after work, and on the weekends. If you need to learn a course, like coding, or graphic design, check out Udemy! They have online courses for almost anything.
Working with ADHD has been a blessing for me, because when I get interested on something, I can work obsessively on it. The ultimate career hack is to make your ADHD work for you, and I’m on my way to doing just that.