ADHD is an employment barrier you can address

As a social worker practising in Toronto, I work with people who have ADHD, and other adults who face a variety of barriers to employment. (For those interested, check my other website, www.vantagepointcareers.com). Because of my social work background, I bring a different focus to the area of career development, or career counselling.

Social workers are educated and trainined to help people understand and cope with their challenges – and we all have some! So, I decided to take that approach into my work with career counselling.

For adults with ADHD, understanding what your barrier is should not pose a problem. You have likely known since you were young that you had a type of disabilty that made school, and later paid work difficult. If you were lucky enough to pick a career well suited to ADHD, you already conquered one of the biggest barriers you migh have faced!

Career counselling for ADHD includes helping people understand the unique ways ADHD affects their work styles, productivity, and creative process. As you know, there is no clear cut career plan for an ADHD client – each person is uniquely different in terms of the way ADHD poses challenges, and indeed, what strengths in confers.

I have found that people with ADHD, like any other significant issue, have to go through a process of acceptance before they can become very comfortable talking about it in terms of their on the job performance. This is where working with a career counsellor trained in ADHD is very helpful.

Before any client begins to seek out interviews, or even dust off their resume, I like to work with them to be clear and confident about the impact of ADHD on their working lives. Today many workplaces have accomodations in place to support you. Researching your local job market – talkiong to people who work in H.R. is a good place to start. Often, magazine reviews of top companies will point out who has excellent HR policies in the area of disability.

Rather than think of ADHD as a hurdle to be overcome, work to see it as a way of describing how you behave in certain situations – and how you manage it – well.

For more information on workplace disability and accomodations, please contact me.

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