Another year, another senior class! As we move into the new year, another commencement will be upon us. More young fresh minds will now be entering the labor force, at least we hope. And with them, many questions. Where do I go next? How do I find a job? What job is right for me? How do I know that I am joining a good company?
For new graduates, this can be new terrain and a stressful time. First, it can be a full-time job looking for a full-time job. Between editing your resume and cover letters, writing follow-up emails, and interviews it can really be a giant time burden to keep up with the job hunt.
What do you need in a job? Start by identifying the objectives for finding a job. Some of you may be in a tight fix and need to find a job fast to pay some bills. It is ok to pick up a job you wouldn’t normally be drawn toward if you know that you are only doing it for some fast cash. Just remember that your day is not over once you clock out. In order to move out of the job that just gets you by, and over to the job that you want, you need to put in double duty once you leave work for the day. Spending just an hour a day working on your job search is enough to make a difference. Your time is precious, so use it to the fullest.
Consider what is important to you to have in the job you want. Yes, we all need money to get around in this world. However, a good income is one small part of the right job for you. Remember, this job is where you are going to spend a third of your day Monday thru Friday. If you spend your weekdays waiting for the weekend you are going to miss out on a very important part of your life.
What do you value? Values are very precious to us. Living in contradiction with what we value causes us to live in anxiety, pain, and poor health. Everyone is different and there is no wrong way to list your values. For example, some people find that the need to express their creativity is a value of great importance to them. If you apply to work in an assembly line at a factory, what kind of opportunity would you have to express creativity? Answer: not much. If you value independence, what kind of job does that look like to you? Would a job that keeps you on a fixed schedule and monitors your every move (Amazon delivery people) be a job that serves your need for independence? Not really.
It is important to frame your values in a way that works for you. For example, lots of people value “freedom”. However, what freedom looks like to a 16-year-old who just received their driver’s license might look very different to the freedom envisioned by an adult with more complexity to balance in their life. So what do your values look like to you?
Here are some more questions to get your brain moving.
What time of day are you most productive?
Some people are not morning people so getting to a job at 5 am is not ideal for them. You might prefer a work schedule that begins in the afternoon. I know a person who took a job because the shift didn’t begin until 3 pm.
What kind of perks do you enjoy at work?
I like access to a coffee machine at all times of the day and the freedom to pour myself a cup whenever I feel the need. This is especially important to me during the 1-3 pm low energy drag I experience after lunch. Perhaps you would enjoy having a whole hour for a lunch break to answer some personal emails and texts.
What kind of benefits do you require?
Some have very specific needs when it comes to healthcare coverage. It is very important for them to review the health insurance benefits before committing to a job.
in the new year, I will be hosting a multi-week workshop “Finding Your First Job the ADHD Way”. We will be talking about all the unique strategies for finding the right job for you. Each class will be full of information on what makes finding a job when you have ADHD so difficult and how to overcome those obstacles. Stay tuned.
Or, perhaps you would rather get started now. Individual coaching is an option. Schedule a complimentary get-acquainted session with me to explore if our work together can help you start preparing in the spring semester of your last year.
Nate Hooper, CALC
ADHD & Executive Functions Coach