Blog Post | Work Satisfaction and ADHD
Work Satisfaction and ADHD
How satisfied are you with your job? That is something I’d like you to think about. This was a recent topic we discussed at one of our Center for Living Well with ADHD group sessions. “Career satisfaction relates to the level of happiness you feel in your chosen occupation and with the work you perform as part of the responsibility of the job.” Despite all the issues we have with disorganization, procrastination, and distraction, recent ADDitude survey results from 1,450 adults with ADHD showed the vast majority are satisfied with their work. As a Coach working with clients on workplace success and career change, I wanted to understand more about what makes us happy about our work and career choices. (ADDitude Magazine article Great Job! A Career Happiness Formula for Adults with ADHD, updated 6/15/22)
According to survey respondents, the keys to happiness in the workplace were:
- Finding the work you love
- Harnessing your strengths
- Accommodating your shortfalls
If you want to assess your own level of satisfaction in your job, take a sheet of paper and write down a list of your job tasks. If you have a copy of your job description, that might help you with this exercise. Think about which of those tasks are things you are good at and enjoy doing. Put them in one column. Next jot down the tasks that drain your energy. These are the tasks that you are not particularly good at that may be challenging. Now consider what skills and expertise do you have for your job. We suggest that at least 75% of what you do at work are tasks that you enjoy doing, meaning you do them well and they energize you. It also helps that these job tasks are the ones you believe to be important to you. The remaining 25% may be skills that are boring and harder, so they drain you. These are skills you may need time to learn and develop over time.
If you are interested in exploring this topic further to discover the job or career that would be the right fit for you, Kristin Sherry, author of the book You Map has identified four pillars of career fit. Here is what Kristen suggests:
The first pillar: your work aligns with your strengths. We are all born with natural strengths and innate talents that we actively work on to develop. To identify your strengths, you can start by asking family members and trusted friends about what strengths they see in you. You can also uncover your strengths by taking strength assessments. I use two strength assessments with my clients, the VIA Character Strengths, and the Clifton Strengths Assessments (Strengthsfinder2.0).
The second pillar: your work should align with your values. Your values represent what is most important to you in your life. It’s important to remember that your work must align with your values, not the values of your parents, spouse, partner, or your mentors.
The third pillar: your work aligns with your preferred skills. Skills are the abilities and expertise you have developed that contribute to your capacity to perform certain tasks and roles. I explore skills with my clients with skills assessments and reviewing current and past work tasks. Many skills are transferable from one job to another.
The fourth pillar: your work aligns with how you are wired. This concept refers to your personal preferences, interests, passions, and motivation.
In addition to these pillars, I help my clients explore their ideal work environment, personal traits, best fit occupations, level of preferred responsibility, salary, and benefits needs. We also review ADHD challenges, skill development actions to move forward with, and how to work around some ADHD challenges in the workplace.
If you are interested in diving deeper into this topic and want to explore your current job or career path, I offer various career services, including a Career Pathfinder Program to assist my clients in exploring their next career move. I will also be offering a Career Pathfinder Group in the fall. If you want to learn more about what I can offer you, click on this link to schedule a complimentary session with me.
Victoria Roche, MSW, PCC
ADHD Coach | Center For Living Well with ADHD, LLC