Dec 12

ADHD and Career Transformation

Recently, my trusted advisor/coach told me today that it is time to get out and use my natural gifts and talents of teaching, coaching and healing now! In other words, I got the royal kick in the booty.

And since my specialization is in the career world, specializing in ADHD, I am here to say that whether you are currently living your dream in an amazing career or still trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up, something is definitely about to change – and soon.

For those of you who are happy in your work, consider how it could be better or how you can expand in your current situation. Maybe it is time to transition on to the next big thing because you’re getting a bit bored. And yet, you might be uncertain of where to go and how to get there.

Maybe there are rumblings going around your office about layoffs and you actually think you might be one of them, Maybe it is because, well, you’ve been bored lately and haven’t been showing up 100%.  Are you spending too much time doing tasks that are less than fun and would prefer to focus on tasks you enjoy more?

Or maybe you are ready to finally figure out what you want to do so that you can look forward to opening your eyes in the morning knowing you’re headed somewhere you really want to be. What a concept!

Here are just three tips, yes just three, that I want to share with you on how to navigate and manage the feeling of simply knowing that something is about to change or that you are ready for a change:

  1. What you resist persists. I am certain you have heard that one before. The truth is that any of those feelings you are having now are not about to go away. So why resist? You can start to explore what is up in your career life by asking yourself this simple question – am I in the right job or field? And by “right” I mean the one that makes you feel happy, peaceful, energized….all the positive feelings.  If not, it is not YOU, it is that you are in the wrong job, career or business.  Answer this question with ruthless honesty.  Write it down.
  2. If you like your work but can’t get a grip on enjoying the people you work with or the subject/field of the work you are in, yet you enjoy the tasks, it might be that you need to look at plugging those tasks into another field. Here’s an example: You’re an IT specialist for a large supply company, yet you love all things green. Why not consider looking into using those skills with an eco- friendly company. Sometimes just being in the environment of people who you share commonalities with can make all the difference. And, who knows where it will lead.
  3. Spend five minutes a day visualizing your ideal work setting. In other words, where are you? Home office? A shop, store or office? How long does it take you to get there? The setting you visualize might change often when you ask this question daily, but eventually you will start to see a pattern. And here is the most important piece – see it “as if” it is real now, present tense once you are settled on the one that feels right.  This is a start.

A couple of years ago I woke up with the feeling of having an idea that seemed as if it had been literally “downloaded” to my brain. As a result, I wrote it down and followed up on a new concept for a mobile app for over 2 years.  The concept is currently on hold.  However, I learned more about myself in those 2 years than in a lifetime. I connected with amazing people. I found a niche that still needs filling.  I have zero regrets and recognized the pieces of this experience that made me happy. Taking inspired action on insights can be exciting and literally life-changing.  I love feeling excited!  There is more to the story, of course, but let’s just say that it is not over.

Ask yourself, “What’s Next?” Sound silly or too simplistic? Try it. I am big on meditation, particularly for those of us in the ADHD tribe. This is for everyone.  Put it in your favorite scheduling app as a reminder to do in the morning each day and before you go to bed each night.

Penzu (penzu.com) is my go to online journal. It works for me because I can type much faster than I can write. Use any of the above three tips to get started.

If you feel that now is the time to consider career coaching on a support that will clarify your direction and “What’s Next” and provide support to get you there,  let’s chat at no cost. Go to www.passiontocareer.com and schedule a convenient time.

Oct 18

Coffee, Career and ADHD

Inspirations Along the Path

Shell Mendelson, MS

Evolution of a Career-Related Podcast for ADHD adults

In November, Career Coaching with Shell will launch a brand new podcast focusing solely on all things career for our tribe of ADHD adults, including ADHD in the workplace. And, since many of us are incredible manifestors, movers and shakers, entrepreneurs and creative big picture thinkers, it goes without saying that everyone will benefit from the information presented.

I chose podcasting as a way to reach out to our tribe on the subject of all things career for a couple of specific reasons.

  1. Many of us become distracted from incorporating information in video mode, even if you are a visual learner. Listening allows us to keep the distractions to a minimum. It also allows the listener to incorporate information that can lead to taking real inspired action. Being inspired is the number one key and cornerstone to making a unstoppable career decision and/or transition.
  2. I chose podcasting for me. I discovered a love for interviewing when I put together a webinar series interviewing 20 experts. Not only was it great fun, but I realize I have a knack for creating a conversational environment that allows the guest to open up. In short, I discovered a new, practical skill. Listeners will also have the opportunity to discover skills that come naturally and learn to incorporate them into their current or future career, and particularly how you are impacted by ADHD in the workplace.

Also, I kind of detest doing videos. It once took me 40 tries before I finally released a two minute video. Even then, I didn’t love the way it turned out. I’m not likely to do that again anytime soon, although I highly recommend doing videos to my clients who enjoy the process. And yet, as the saying goes, “never say never.”

Topics and Format

  1. Guests that “bring it.” My goal is to have on a number of people with ADHD who consider themselves successful and have ingeniously developed ways to do what they love consistently, as well as how they happily cope with ADHD in the workplace. Listeners will see themselves in many stories and be inspired to take the first steps toward creating a joyful worklife. My first guest actually wrote a book that focuses on career and ADHD. I am happy to be a contributor…and his own story is extremely relatable. You can look forward to hearing some fun, funny and inspiring tales. We are cool, often hilarious and sometimes over-the-top folks who are unstoppable when we get excited.
  2. Tips, Practical Advice and Juicy Insights. As a practicing career coach of some 30 plus years, who was trained by the late great Richard N. Bolles, I will also offer up practical tips that you can incorporate easily into your own day to get the ball rolling if you are:
    • Stuck in your current career and need to find ways to ease out
    • Eager to discover more of who you are plus what YOU have to offer the world of work and how to navigate your ADHD in the workplace.
    • Have no clue what you want to do or where you want to go next
    • Have way too many seemingly crazy ideas and can’t seem to focus on one
    • Know that something has been missing in your search for pleasing, fun, exhilarating, energizing work and are screaming for just one “ah ha moment” that will light you up and get you started
    • Hoping to find a podcast that thrives on the needs of its listeners and wants what YOU want.

In short, I hope to break new ground on the subject for our tribe by delving into areas that are both practical and entertaining. If you are tired of seeing the focus on resumes, cover letters, interviewing skills, networking, blah blah blah as a way to make a solid career change to creating the work you love, and goes beyond the surface, this podcast is definitely for YOU.

Be a little scared … in a good way. Creating a sustainable, happy work life and navigating ADHD in the workplace is an onion-peeler….and your story is just beginning.

You can join me, Shell Mendelson, next month, the exact day and time to be announced. You can always contact me at a href=”mailto:shell.mendelson@gmail.com”>shell.mendelson@gmail.com or go to http://passiontocareer.com/ to learn more about how you can make a difference in your career and life. If you would like to be a guest with a unique story to tell about your own career happy place, send me an email and I will get back to you in 48 hours.

Talk soon.

Sep 20

Career or Business Cobbling Joys of Flexibility

Man touching his toes, careers and ADDBy now, most everyone knows that retirement from one company in which you start, work your way up, and end up retired with the Golden Parachute rarely exists. Besides, if you have ADD characteristics like me, you would not likely have the patience to stick with anything that requires taking orders, operating within a bureaucracy and doing the same things everyday, Granted, not all jobs are tedious, but as a group, we tend to require a bit more flexibility … or a great deal.

Today, many of us are “cobbling” our careers together with skills and talents that we joyfully love to use in a field that rings our bell and fascinates us. If we are successful, it is because we not only love it and have done our homework, we have also found a niche where our cobbled together business or career is of value to others – preferably a lot of others.

Someone said to me once, “Shell, you have to keep reinventing yourself to keep from getting bored.” WOW, how true is that? For me reinventing myself, means always considering the possibility that I have something new to offer of value. Then it is about having the confidence to actually offer that service or use a skill that I suddenly realized I’m great at and get a kick out of using. Like being a podcast interviewer!! Why hide? So I continue to cobble.

Getting to the point where we can cobble a career together means acknowledging that there are only a few skills we love to use frequently because they are fun to use at any given time. Then we rearrange them so the skill that is currently the most fun is being utilized the most during our day.

For me now it is communicating via coaching – uplifting – motivating others – using humor to help others make a shift – using my creativity at every turn, brainstorming, researching and, of course, writing, and of course, interviewing… you get the idea.

It also means taking a little of this and a little of that from my background and having the confidence to use what I love in my work and to say “NO” to the rest. My own next cobbling phase is as a podcaster. Why? Because one of my favorite things to do as a coach is to ask questions and hear juicy stories that can really make a difference to a lot of folks.

The first step to cobbling a career is to be clear about what you love, no matter how disjointed your various talents/skills may seem to be. What I’ve found over the years is that they always, almost magically come together to form a service or career that someone (or a lot of someones) need.

I recently received a great testimonial from a former client who described her cobbling experience perfectly. This is actually most of what she wrote so you understand where she began.

“My career history is a complete patchwork…

A b-iatch at work and at home. I’d wake up most mornings curled up in the fetal position and burst into tears at the thought of going to the office for even one more day.

…I’d spend my evenings scouring the internet for a weird blend of inspirational quotations, job advertisements, Shark Tank, and fall into bed square-eyed and despairing that I wasn’t a Park Ranger with a 4-Hour Work Week.

After years of changing companies like I do with my toilet paper, I didn’t do much. I was still at the same place – unfilled and always looking.

My whole approach and emotional relationship to my career change began to transform when I started working with an ADHD Career Coach…Shell..

I started to give myself permission to enjoy the journey. If it was going to take longer than I expected, I might as well have a little fun along the way, right?

Over the months, shifts began to happen:

  • I spoke about ADHD in the Workplace in front of an audience of 50 people
  • I got a organization to hire me as a consultant to work on disability in the workplace project
  • I turned down a contract job and they came back offering me a full-time perm position
  • I always envisioned leading a hiking group and starting my own outdoor excursion group. I’ve now created an opportunity to speak with the founder of a well known outdoors company to lead a hiking + coaching group.

I found a way to make money from those things. And be surrounded by people that made me happy.
… I’ve created opportunities for myself and expanded my comfort zone.

Being happy and fulfilled doesn’t happen until you sign a contract for work you love. This is it, so take a step back and celebrate your wins.”

Once Stephanie laid her foundation or Flower, the cobbling soon began.

If you are interested in chatting more about laying that foundation for yourself, simply send an email to Shell Mendelson or go to www.shellmendelson.com and use the pop up to schedule a convenient time to chat.

Aug 17

To the Parents of ADHD Adults in Career Transition

Are you the parent of an adult son or daughter with ADHD in career transition?

ADHD Adults, Career ChangeIf so, you will find the information contained in this article quite helpful. Parents who support their adult children through this process, as often stressful as it can be, are to be commended. If this is YOU, kudos – it’s not easy and perhaps one of the greatest parental tests of all!

Let’s assume, for the purpose of this post, they are between the ages of 18 and 34.

 

Career transition pre-supposes that your adult child is:

 

  • Stuck/overwhelmed regarding a clear career direction
  • Interested in so many possibilities, they are “paralyzed” and make no decision
  • Dislikes his/her current job and as a result makes mistakes that could put them in jeopardy of being fired, and/or risk their emotional and mental health
  • Job hopping – taking a job just to make ends meet but ultimately failing due to ADHD characteristics
  • Is ready to find a career direction that will sustain him/her over the long haul, and is open to “outside-the-box strategies and opportunities.

As the parent of an ADHD son, I watched my son (then in high school) make the decision to go to a university of 30,000+, with a focus on engineering starting in his freshman year. He insisted on going to a university, even though he had opportunities to go to smaller schools that might have been more suitable for his personality. He is an introvert with inattentive ADD and is easily overwhelmed in crowds.

For many reasons, he dropped out after the first year to work full time. One reason is that the university environment was simply too overwhelming. Luckily he has a career coach mom who helped direct him to a job and company that fit his personality. He has remained with this company for over 4 years and is now receiving full ride college tuition with them.

Looking back, he says, “Mom, I wish I had gone to a community college first.” Sound familiar?

It is not unusual for your adult child to feel pulled in many directions, particularly with regard to determining a strong career path or choosing an educational program specific to their career direction. Adult children, like anyone, can be influenced by others and have a multitude of self-doubts and confidence challenges to make career decisions that are not simply based on what others want for them v. what they love and can ultimately sustain.

For this reason, you might notice that they pay attention more to things like job titles, wages, educational requirements and job opportunities versus what is the best for our kids because they truly resonate with and are fascinated by a particular field. Outside influences can and do lead to hasty decisions – like enrolling in the wrong school or the wrong major.

You might have noticed that when they love a subject (of any kind) they can spend hours focused on it. Zelda anyone? This is nothing new in the ADHD world. It only makes sense that in order for them to have any degree of success, they need to have the same kind of passion and energy for the work they do.

In the right job, career or field of fascination, they can easily become superstars. This was the case with me when I finally landed on the field and type of work I was always meant to do. It just took me a bit longer to get there. I was 32 when I finally began my career.
In my experience, a large percentage of parents of ADHD kids also have the diagnosis. If this is true for you, it will serve you well to make sure that your adult child gets the specific help they need, as it will impact how you can support him/her to stay on track.

I would encourage you to listen to your son/daughters’ journey with an open mind and without judgment about what direction it may appear they are developing. For some parents, it might be best to simply wait until a direction has been developed to avoid feeling the need to chime in. I certainly understand the challenge, particular if the field or direction is something other than what you might feel is in their best interest.

I can tell you this from 30 years of experience in my field and in my life with ADHD – if we are not doing the work we love, it will not last. No exceptions. This might sound like a cliché, but for ADHD adults, this is reality. The more you can support your son or daughter to freely explore any and all possibilities they are drawn to, the greater opportunity for them to succeed, and ultimately to make a great living.

What cannot be valued in dollars, however, is the confidence, clarity, focus and commitment you will see when they are finally doing their life’s work. That is when you will begin to see how our “super powers” kick in and what real transformation looks like in your loved one.

Please feel free to contact me via email at shell.mendelson@gmail.com or text me at 830-237-2735 if you have questions. My joy and mission is to guide, uplift and empower everyone to love the work they do.

Jul 17

ADHD Professionals in the Corporate World

Challenged to keep the fires burning?

ADHD Image,

Corporate colleagues

With or without ADHD, navigating your professional career can be daunting. This is particularly true if you have a great deal invested in an education, years in your field, and are now working in a corporate environment on the executive track.

I knew my corporate years were numbered when I realized that I did not enjoy being the boss of others or being “bossed.” Since that time, I have had the pleasure of growing in my own business, career coaching numerous ADHD corporate executives to create a joyful, uplifting work/life direction. Some moved on to develop their own businesses, while others chose to remain with their company or another organization…joyfully. The key ingredients are always confidence, focus and direction.

Have you experienced any of the following:

  • FEAR! Fear of what, you may ask. Well here’s a laundry list:
    • Lack of attention to detail (often a by-product of ADHD)
    • Being “found out” (that you may not be qualified to manage others), yet doing fine (false assumption)
    • Feeling less than confident in your overall work product (whether or not you have made a significant financial impact on your company)
    • Knowing too much or more than your CEO/Founders who may feel “threatened”
    • Being perceived as a “know it all”
    • Losing your job because you now dread the environment and coming to work
    • Communicating your true understanding of the improvements needed to move your company forward.
  • LOW SELF-CONFIDENCE.
  • BEING PAID WHAT YOU ARE WORTH AND BEYOND
  • LACK OF FOCUS
  • LACK OF DIRECTION
  • FEELING OVERWHELMED AND OUT OF YOUR ELEMENT

It doesn’t really matter what the challenge is. If any of the above exist for you, you are likely not fully engaged in your day to day work life, and therefore, not truly of service to your company, your employees/staff or yourself.

With so much at stake – your livelihood, lifestyle, business/work persona, and most importantly, how much you enjoy what you do, understanding the need to get to know yourself introspectively is essential. Self-reflection is key.

Start here:

  • List what you do everyday – use bullet points – leave nothing out – even responding to emails and/or text messages. Do this every day for a week. EVERYTHING!
  • Make a note of how each one of those tasks makes you feel (create your own system)
  • Note how much of one or two tasks you are regularly doing that you do not enjoy and could even be creating a bit of anxiety – can you eliminate them or delegate?
  • Create a list of tasks you do that you truly enjoy. Leave out anything that is a thumbs down. How do you think focusing on these tasks will impact the fear you are experiencing in any of the above challenges mentioned?

Next – contact me with your list and let’s discuss the next possible steps. No charge. Believe it or not, you will feel much clearer about what is possible. Contact me via email at shell.mendelson@gmail.com or text 830-237-2735 and let’s set up a time to talk.

Jun 30

Details, Details

Piecing together your life’s work

Magnifying glass image,  Career for ADHD AdultsArgh! Cringe. That is my first response to the word “details.” When I hear sayings like, “The Love is in the details”, the first thing I want to do is hire someone to take care of them …. Whatever they are!

Yet when it comes to piecing together the elements that will ultimately lead to your next career direction, details do matter. And, it is the details that get overlooked on critical decisions like choosing your best possible career path.

As a member of the Profinder network on LinkedIn, I have noticed a distinct pattern in the requests for career coaching.

  • Finding a job with no defined direction (and no request to explore options)
  • Preparing for the interview – with no defined direction
  • Help to get “pointed” in the right direction
  • Lowering of expectations after an absence, layoff, with no real direction
  • Help with networking skills – again with no specific direction

  • How do I leverage my current experience and jump to a new industry? (now there’s a loaded question!)

This is really the tip of the iceberg. Of course the pattern is always, no defined, laser- focused direction. The “love” is in the details when it comes to increasing one’s odds of connecting with the people and situations you align or resonate with. It is the details that will create the momentum of creating a work environment that aligns with who we are, what we need and where we truly want to be headed, whether it be a new career entirely, a new business or anything in between. It is in the details

Add the element of ADHD, and you can easily have a head-spinning situation.

How we decide on the direction requires a simple way for us ADHDers to identify and own the details that will start us on a fun and satisfying trajectory. Keep in mind, it may also require help. Most of us have not explored or even identified the details before. I have found this simple structure in the system I have used for 30 years, What Color is Your Parachute? Yes, Parachute.

Our racing minds need a structure to get focused on the details. We often forget about the details, push them to the side or devalue them along the way.

If you have ever asked yourself, “What do I want in a (i.e. partner, house, city, friend etc.), you have completed the first “detail” test. Recognizing what is most important to You in any of these situations increases the likelihood of creating momentum in actually having what you want.

If you have ever completed this process and said to yourself, “OK, so I have all this in writing, but do I really believe I can have what I want?,” you are like 99% of the population. This is the critical critical first step. The same is true for detail identification of what you want in your work life.

I am not talking about your past experience, your strengths and weaknesses or your education. Write down in details what you really want, no matter how uncomfortable you feel, regardless of your past experience. Then look for opportunities that come your way in the form of people, conversations, articles you read, google researches.

Next, pay attention to the details and fill in the blanks. Don’t go to one more interview without them.

For more information on how Parachute can help you leave nothing to chance, identify your true preference details and align with the best possible next career path ever, contact Shell at shell.mendelson@gmail.com or text 830-237-2735.

Apr 10

Career Uncertainty (Certainty) in Today’s Climate

finding career passionDisclaimer: This is not a political article. It is an article of hope and clarity.

How many times have you heard stories about folks who thrive during the darkest times in our history – 2008 economic crash perhaps comes to mind. There were companies and individuals who lost their shirts. Then there were individuals and companies who not only survived the “crash”, but went on to take the world by storm. What made the difference?

Today, many of us are asking these questions. And, what will always prevail is that we are in charge of our own lives. The thoughts we think, our past beliefs, our current behavior and actions will “dictate” what happens next for us and for those around us. If we lose our focus, we bring all the repercussions along for the ride. It starts within.

By now the “blame game” has become commonplace. We spend inordinate amounts of time expressing our views (me included) on social media in outrage and frustration or simply to distract ourselves from the truth of what is going on in the world. But when you consider 1) the time spent, and 2) the outcome, would it simply make more sense to invest in a journal or a notebook and extract those feelings daily, leaving the world to sort out its differences?

Creating a Career We Love – Regardless of the “Climate”

Despite what you or anyone around you says or thinks, it is more important than ever to pull back and self-reflect to thrive in today’s career/work environment. There are opportunities for you to love what you do no matter what the political or social climate. Grab a piece of paper and write down your thoughts on the following questions.

  1. Does my work environment, including the people around me decrease my stress and/or bring me joy?
  2. Do you enjoy your work despite today’s climate.
  3. Does your work provide a respite to get away from it all?
  4. Do the tasks you perform each day give you pleasure/joy/satisfaction?
  5. Do you worry about how the current political climate will impact your job/career?
  6. Have you been considering a career change, but fear that doing so will jeopardize your family or your personal stability as a result of the current political climate?

finding career passionThe old adage, help yourself first before you try and help others is perfect to revisit. And, with ADD, it is easy enough for us to get off-track and distracted when it comes to taking care of our personal career goals or to even claim them. Stay focus, get clear, take care of numero uno first. By doing so, you will serve all.

For more information about how Shell can help you stay focused on your career and thrive, email shell.mendelson@gmail.com or go to www.shellmendelson.com/ and complete the pop up info. Let’s discuss your answers to these questions. I look forward to serving you.

Jul 05

How to Love Your Means-to-an-End Job

gratitude rocks, stories of gratitudeIn my twenties I worked for a large corporation in San Francisco as a legal secretary. Imagine, if you will, an off-the-chart, inattentive ADDer doing this job in the first place. This is a job that requires organizational skills, minimal ego, ability to take direction with a smile, learn new processes and technology, whether I liked them or not.

This profile that never suited me in any way, yet it supported me through college and graduate school, for which now I am extremely grateful.

In an effort to keep me on board, the company shuffled me around the legal department to various attorneys to see who I might show the most promise with. I ended up with a attorney who was three years my senior.

In the morning she plunked down several personal tasks for me to do like writing letters to her friends, paying her bills and basically anything but the work I thought I was hired to do. Little did I know that these tasks were commonly performed by secretaries.

Rather than just roll with it, I adopted an adversarial attitude and refused to be her personal assistant. In reality it really didn’t matter whether or not I did her personal work. I still received a paycheck. But this was the last straw for the company.

What mattered was that I had a job in a nice company that paid well, and I could actually avoid doing the legal secretarial work I abhorred doing in the first place, if only for a little while.

I was, instead, indignant, arrogant, distrusting, feeling put upon, taken advantage of, incredibly bored and plain angry. Who did she think she was anyway? I was not was much of a team player in those days.

Even though she WAS the boss, I acted as if she were not. I simply refused to acknowledge that I was given a job to do and was expected to do whatever the job entailed.

Of course, I WAS in the wrong job. My goal after graduating from college and completing my Secondary Credential program was to become a teacher. I was suppose to change lives! Yet, jobs were scarce for teachers. Still, I thought I was too good for this stuff.

Bottom line – I was fired! Again.

I had good friends who worked there, the company was very generous in a way that you rarely see today, and it was a comfortable place to hang on the way to figuring out how I was going to get to be the professional I so longed to be. But I was determined to start the ADD isolation process early in my career.

Let me tell you, I scored no points on any count. Had I displayed one ounce of maturity and simply took the attitude of doing the best I could no matter what I was doing, there is no doubt in my mind today that my generosity of spirit would have been rewarded. At the very least, I could have taken pride in a job well done. Maturity rules!

Many of us ADDers tend to cut off our noses to spite our face when it would take just a minute or two to breathe and make another choice.

It would have also helped my diminishing self-confidence. I was just one angry employee.

I repeated this scenario until I was 29 years old when I finally got into my Master’s program and started heading down the path of career fulfillment. It was a LONG road.

In hindsight, it was really not necessary to go through what I went through.

If you are currently in a job that you do not feel measures up to either your expectations of how you think you should be doing, or is a step along the way to doing what you love, I say MAKE THE MOST OF IT. Here is what I only dream I had done at the time:

  1. Adopt an attitude of gratitude.
  2. Be determined to do the very best work you can do, no matter how much you are not loving it.
  3. Ask co-workers if you can help them if you have time on your hands.
  4. Smile more, encourage your co-workers.
  5. Act as if you love it – OK, just try it for a day and see what happens.
  6. Get coached to change directions – but don’t forget the folks (jobs) that helped you develop lifelong skills (physical, emotional and spiritual) along the way.
  7. Think of your “job” as a living in the present meditation.
  8. Always think about the tasks you enjoy doing and try to do more of them.
  9. Remember always that You Are the Boss of You.

Remember the road to career happiness often hurls us in a number of directions before we eventually recognize the path we are meant to take. Being on that path makes the “means to an end” so much more palatable. Learn more about how you can get coached today to change directions or do more of what you love in the work you are already doing. Schedule your Complimentary 30-60 minute Career Strategy session with Shell and take away a rush of cool ideas you can apply today.

Apr 28

Why I Love to Lose A Client

Shell Mendelson photoBefore you read this, you might be wondering what the heck I mean by why I love losing clients.

There is a caveat – and a big one. Let me explain.

There are certain kinds of clients that I love to work with – those that are unconditionally Ready to receive a specific type of support, and are Ready to take action on coaching.

I am in awe of the thoughtful client. The one who has really taken the time to consider what it means to dive into a process and see it through. But I also love the clueless but ready client!

With ADD, we are often seeking the quick fix. Maybe your eyes are rolling thinking there is no way you would have the patience for a “process” of any kind. Just give me the goods…right? Make it so!

What if I told you that some processes are fun and actually make you want to dive in even more? Our ADD characteristics are really unique to us … and they are different for everyone. The right process/system makes it fun and exciting … more than a journey – a real trip!

So you can imagine that when a client walks into my practice, and they are ready to dive in, I am jumping for joy. This kind of commitment is definitely not for everyone. I use the word commitment, but I really see it as a necessity when the person is suffering in a very bad work situation….or feels that the path to finding anything that looks remotely possible has deadended.

I often wonder how many other part of their lives have taken a nose-dive.

But I digress.

The adventure begins when the client says Yes. Hope springs eternal. They learn the “system” and begin to reap the benefits of now seeing real possibilities. The most important part is that they are not alone. They have a trusted guide, coach and devoted mentor in this process (yours truly, of course).

Soon, they learn the “backdoor” (let’s call it the secret door) approach to seeing what is possible. They are engaging with folks they could only have dreamed of meeting. They are connecting the dots.

Then the magic begins.

Out of seemingly nowhere a job offer, 4 job offers, an internship, a yes to a graduate program – the right one – appears.

It all matches perfectly with everything they have discovered about themselves and have grown to know and accept as their Truest Path.

Their confidence soars, the clouds part, followed by clarity and focus.

Talk about fireworks!

That is when I will either happily lose my client, or we will continue the journey to implementation along the path.

I love losing clients when this happens. And, yes, I love those testimonials, those rave reviews. Who am I kidding?

But for me, although it is sad to say Good Bye, it is also the best feeling ever. A feeling of real happiness in knowing that one more person is going to help someone else just be cause they love what they do, with or without ADD!

Lose clients? Love it!

Jul 14

You Are Not the Boss of Me … or Are You?

How to Shift the ‘Attitude” and Have More Fun In Your Job

In my twenties I worked for a big corporation as a legal secretary. Now imagine an off-the-chart ADDer doing this job in the first place.

Confrontational Woman's Imagem After being shuffled around the legal department to various attorneys who the company thought I could work with, I ended up with a woman attorney who was only three years my senior.

In the morning she had me do personal tasks like writing her friends’ letters, paying her bills and basically anything but the work I was hired to do.

Rather than just roll with it, I adopted an adversarial attitude and refused to be her personal assistant.   

Instead, I was indignant, arrogant, felt put upon, taken advantage of, bored and angry.  Who did she think she was anyway?  I was not a team player.

I simply refused to acknowledge that I was given a job to do and was expected to complete the tasks put before me.

Looking back, what mattered was that I had a job in a nice company that paid well.  In fact,I could actually avoid doing the legal secretarial work I abhorred in the first place with a different attitude.

Of course, I WAS in the wrong job.  With my BA and Teacher’s Certification, I was suppose to be a high school teacher. I was too good for this stuff.

I was fired…again.  

I had friends who worked there. The company was generous in a way that is rare today. It was a comfortable place to be on the way to figuring out what kind of professional I was going to be.  There were very few jobs for teachers in California.  So, I started the ADHD isolation process early in my career.

Had I displayed one ounce of maturity and shifted my attitude toward doing my best, there is no doubt my generosity of spirit would have been rewarded.  

With ADHD, we often cut off our noses to spite our face, resulting in diminished self confidence and anger.

I repeated this scenario until age 29 when I entered a Master’s program and started heading down the path of career fulfillment with a clear direction.  I was lucky. And, it was a LONG road.

If you are in a job that doesn’t measure up to your expectations, but is a means to an end, consider the rewards of making the most of it.  

Here are a few tips to feel fulfilled enough for now!

  1. Adopt an attitude of gratitude
  2. Be determined to do the very best work you can do, no matter how much you are not loving it
  3. If time permits, ask coworkers if you can help them.
  4. Smile and encourage your coworkers
  5. Act as if you love it for a day and see what happens
  6. Get coached to change career directions
  7. Think of your “job” as a living in the present meditation.
  8. Try to do more of the tasks you enjoy
  9. Reward yourself for a job well done
  10. Remember you do have choices.

The road to career happiness often hurls us in a number of directions before we eventually recognize the path we are meant to take.  Recognizing that path makes the “means to an end” job so much more palatable.