So I introduced myself about a month ago. And I was waiting for my doctor’s appointment to get re-diagnosed and I have good news, I am officially ADHD inattentive. Hooray, now I just have to wait for my doctor to give me medications. The problem is during this time I have been on a pip at work. And it’s not going very well, it’s beginning to feel personal like my emotional issues and my cognitive issues have made it to where they just don’t even want me to work there anymore. I don’t know how to be okay knowing that in two weeks when my pip is over it’s possible that I won’t have a job. How do I move forward and be okay with the fact that I need to start looking for another job where I will probably have the same issue at some point down the road. I saw an old video of Jessica on YouTube talking about how she was waiting tables and that was a great job for her because things are constantly changing things are different all the time you have different tables that need different things and I’ve waited tables before and I loved it I loved being a bartender I loved working in insurance where something is different with every case and every file. So I’m wondering do I get out of IT? Do I leave the career that I’ve been building for 12 years and go do something else? Am I really not suited for this field? I’m feeling very unsure and very lost when it comes to my personal confidence in my abilities. I know that a lot of people with ADHD are actually highly intelligent, like there is not a lack of intelligence or lack of capability there. It’s like what Jessica has talked about and had other people or experts talk about that it’s more of a misfire and the connection between point a to point b is flimsy and unstable. So what do I do how do I move forward how do I have the confidence in myself to yet again go to a new job where I could be in the same position in 6 months to 2 years.
Hi! This seems to me like something life coaching would be useful for… bearing in mind I’ve never HAD life coaching, but I will be starting it in May for similar reasons.
My (biased) advice would be to wait to see how your medication affects you. I say I’m biased because medication (FOR ME) drastically improved my work performance and has enabled me to do a job I could never do before, due to inattentive ADHD. I’m still kinda stuck, because despite loving my job, I don’t earn enough to get by so I’m applying for other jobs and have no real clue what to look for because I’m not used to having the abilities that the medication has given me. It’s like I’ve been sent back to age 16, being asked what I want to do with my life when I have no idea what I’m capable of!
However, I like to see it as a big world of opportunity that’s opened up for you. Now that you’ve been diagnosed, you can start finding ways to manage your ADHD and get help from relevant professionals. That doesn’t just mean medication either. Since my diagnosis, my work colleagues are so much more understanding of my struggles, and through looking up ADHD strategies I’ve learned so many new ways to cope with a large caseload, deadlines and prioritising. I have a chart on my wall that helps me prioritise, and without my diagnosis, I would have felt embarrassed using it. Now I don’t at all.
So yeah, I don’t have any real answers. But try to keep your mind open to jobs you never thought you could do… and maybe be prepared to find some jobs that don’t suit you after all. It takes time to find a good fit.
Re: the PIP: Go to HR or whomever is in charge of things and say something to the effect of: “I just got diagnosed with a disability, can I get some accommodations while the doctor and I work out what I need to get myself back together?” If you live in the US, you are protected under the ADA, and most places do try to at least pay lip service to that.
You’ve just gotten diagnosed. You’re just about to try out medication. You’re stepping onto a new path for your future where you’ll be learning more about how to work around/with what you have, rather than fighting against it. This is going to be a period of self discovery and slow change. Things are going to be different. Maybe switching jobs or industries will be part of that change as well; letting go of where you were before and the “old you” and starting fresh with a new perspective and toolbox. You may find out that the work culture of where you are now wasn’t working for you. Or that with medication, you can catch the small things you missed and feel far more on top of things.
Sometimes going out into an unknown is daunting. But I think in this case, starting fresh isn’t a bad thing, even if that fresh start is letting go of past baggage and picking up with a new toolbox of strategies and support.
Since you’re recently diagnosed, I don’t think a PIP is a good thing for your employer to do, as it won’t actually assess anything, as you’ll be changing on the medication. I’d talk to HR or a manager about it, see if you can’t have it postponed until after you’ve been on medication for a bit, so they’re evaluating the ACTUAL you, not the disabled you with no treatment. And even if you can’t do that, and you have to find a new job, you’ll probably do quite well if you find the right medication, dosage, and possibly therapy combo as well.
For me, I was suddenly able to focus without being distracted by every small thing around me, and it helped quite a bit, so hopefully you can get a similar experience, which would help you look for work. Just remember that if they let you go/fire you, they’re not firing you, they’re firing you at your worst, and you’re about to try to move towards the best you can be, their loss. Surely other employers will give you a shot, and you’ll be able to prove you DO have skills. And if you enjoy those things, maybe find a job that can merge your IT background and some of your passions?