Making ADHD Work ~ Part I
Last night I was at a concert. During intermission, I got talking with a friend of mine who runs a local business. I mentioned that I had a 6:30 AM deadline for my blog, and that I wasn’t sure what I’d write about.
He asked me why I didn’t just write about the fact that anyone who wants their business to be a success should hire someone with ADHD.
I looked at him like I had questions … which I did. I took out my pen and pad of paper and said “What makes you say that?”
So he began to tell me the reasons someone with ADHD was, in his opinion, essential to running a successful business.
He talks fast, I may not have gotten every word, and of course I have a terrible time reading my own handwriting. But I’ll give you what I have, and paraphrase what I have trouble reading.
He told me that the energy of someone with ADHD was boundless. And he said that the ideas and creativity that they brought to tasks they were engaged with was extremely valuable.
I’ve often thought that larger companies should have someone with ADHD on staff, should give them free rein to just go through anything they want, and then bring things to other peoples attention. While it’s true that very few people with ADHD will go through the books, lots of them would find ways of doing things more effectively, or doing them with greater effect.
But my friend says that any company should try to hire one of us.
And why not?
Now, as I said, I know this man, and I know that he has at least one employee with diagnosed ADHD. So when he tells me these things, I assume he’s talking from his own experience as an employer.
I can also tell you that he was not being condescending, judgmental, or negative. He was being sincere, so I took him at his word.
He values his employees and his business is a place where not only do those employees enjoy working, but his customers enjoy the atmosphere of the place as well.
My friend knows what he’s doing, and he’s not exploiting anyone, merely doing what a good employer should do. He finds his employees strengths and puts them in positions that make those strengths valuable to the company. The benefit for the employee is that they get to use their mad skills to the fullest, giving them fulfilling employment experiences.
But there has to be another side to the coin
I gave the whole thing some thought, and finally I asked “What do you have to do differently to make the employment experience positive for both you and an employee with ADHD?”
What did he tell me? I’ll tell you on Wednesday. Stay tuned.
Babcock, K. (2014). Making ADHD Work ~ Part I. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 8, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2014/07/making-adhd-work/