You finally nailed it, and you started a new job. New beginnings feel so good. The excitement comes first, and you celebrate with family and friends. After that, self-doubt emerges. “Can I handle the responsibilities of this new job?”
Starting a new job can be exciting and stressful. Transitions can be difficult for ADHDers. You can minimize stress with the right strategies and mindset. Let’s explore how to make this transition easier.
Give Yourself 90 Days
To start taking some of the pressure off, know that it takes at least 90 days to get used to a new job. Your boss probably will not expect you to jump into the new role until you understand what is expected of you.
1. Prepare Yourself: Review the job description to understand what is expected of you. What are the key objectives of the job you will be performing? Review it with your boss and ask questions about your role and what is expected for the first few weeks. Focus on the most important things for job success and reduce the time spent on low-priority tasks.
2. Ask your boss for regular meetings once a week to discuss priorities for the upcoming week. That time will also allow you to ask questions about your role.
3. Company Culture: Take on the role of an observer. How do people dress? What language or vocabulary do they use? How do people behave in meetings? What kind of training will you receive? What are the supports in place for employees? What strengths do you have that align with the position?
4. Small Wins: Focus on a few small wins in starting a new job. Make sure you ask your boss about how the company defines success. Then you can build some momentum and begin establishing your credibility.
5. Build New Skills You Need: Feeling stressed when starting a new job is expected. Just remember that you were hired for a reason. The employer believes you have the right skills and personality for the job. To help you build competence in your new role, you can create a learning plan to address your strengths and weaknesses and then identify the skills you will need to learn for your new role. It will help to have a beginner’s mindset and be open to new learning opportunities.
6. Get To Know Your Co-Workers: Once settled in, learn who everyone is and what role they play in the organization. If you are working with a team, meet with each team member and ask about their job. Figure out who does what well. For example, who is a good communicator, problem solver, creative thinker, and who has solid interpersonal skills? You will soon be able to identify who you can align with for questions and support.
While I do not encourage my clients to disclose their ADHD diagnosis to a prospective or current employer, there are times when workplace accommodations are helpful. If you are interested in learning more about accommodations, hire an ADHD coach to help you find solutions to your issues. An ADHD coach can also give you the structure and support you need to maximize your success at work.
Victoria Roche, MSW, PCC