5 Signs ADHD is Affecting Your Career
People with ADHD are known for being intelligent, creative and outgoing - but that's not all. ADHD can also be associated with specific traits and struggles that can negatively affect your career and professional relationships. Before you lose another job or get passed up for another promotion, consider whether or not ADHD might be the problem.
1) You are Late for Everything
Time management can be a constant struggle for people with ADHD. This issue is usually more complex than just failing to watch the clock. Do you find yourself inadvertently double booking appointments because you failed to check your calendar? Do you forget to consider drive time between appointments or underestimate how long tasks will take? Mismanaged schedules are a struggle for most people with ADHD and can send the message that you are not taking your job seriously. Worse yet, you may come across as being disrespectful to your coworkers or clients.
2) Daydreaming in Meetings
Meetings are the worst for people with ADHD. Do you find yourself daydreaming or working on other tasks during meetings? Do you find yourself asking others for key details you missed after meetings or failing to come through on key action items discussed at meetings? Have you been called out for not paying attention or find yourself pages behind in the material being presented? If you do well with lists and written memos but struggle taking away key points during presentations or meetings, ADHD may be the issue.
Putting things away does not rank on the top 10 list of things people with ADHD like to do. Some people with ADHD are extremely organized, but many are described as cluttered. Do you lose important documents or items like your phone or keys on a regular basis? Your employer, coworkers or clients may perceive your disorganized world as a sign of being unreliable. If your home or office is in constant disarray, you may be suffering from ADHD.
4) Social Interactions
People with ADHD are usually outgoing, terrific public speakers and can be the life of the party. Unfortunately, there is a line that often gets crossed. Adult hyperactivity can manifest as intruding into conversations, interrupting during conversations or passive listening. Do you find yourself frequently distracting others from their work with side conversations? Do you sometimes misjudge how those around you will interpret your joke or story and walk away feeling slightly embarrassed? Do you spend more time socializing than others and have a hard time getting back on task? Do you forget someone's name immediately after meeting them? Being the life of the party at work may be a sign of ADHD and the reason you are passed up for a leadership position.
5) Living Outside the Box
Having ADHD and being able to think outside the box can be a tremendous gift, but can also make following inefficient policies or protocols difficult. This last trait can be subtle, but the most problematic. You intend to help and may have even solved a problem, but sharing the solution starts with pointing out problems or flaws with the current process. If you do this too often, your employer may feel insulted and label you as insubordinate. If you have trouble getting todays work done because you are devoting too much time to your own ideas, you may be struggling with ADHD.
It's Okay to be You
Just recognizing you have ADHD may change how you interact with others in and outside of the workplace. If a diagnosis of ADHD is made, you may qualify for workplace accommodations. You may choose to consider treatment options if you find certain aspects of ADHD are holding you back. It is important to embrace the positive aspects of ADHD and be honest with yourself about what careers are best suited for you and your personality. Don't be afraid to seek other opportunities if keeping your current job requires you change everything about you to be successful.
How to Get Help
The first step is to undergo a formal ADHD assessment by a licensed psychologist. Doctors, schools and employers will all require a proof of diagnosis before offering medications, services or accommodations. Our online assessment platform allows patients to be evaluated by licensed psychologists from the comfort of home with instant access and no referrals. If you are wondering if you have ADHD, we can help.
Written by Emily Herriman, BSW