Job Redesign for ADHD

Job descriptions and duties are not written in stone. They evolve over time so that a team of people can accomplish certain goals. Team members take on roles according to their skills and strengths and the work gets done. However, when a member of a team leaves, the employer tries to replace them with a new worker with the same profile. Of course, no one has exactly the same profile and so there new employee and the team may need to adjust their job descriptions.

People resist change so if you are the team member who doesn’t fit into the available role, they will insist you change first. However, remember that the employer’s objective is to accomplish the goals of the company. If there is a way to reconfigure the team to achieve the same or better results, they may be open to making changes. As you consider approaching your employer about redesigning your job to help you perform better, here are some strategies that will help:

Be open about your disability. Having ADHD and/or ADHD and its prevalent co-morbidities of depression and or anxiety, is nothing to be ashamed of. Mental health is no less important than physical health and it is an unnecessarily hidden issue. Remember that courage is contagious!

Being honest about your struggles can be beneficial to yourself and your employer, if you phrase it that way. As you educate your employer and request accommodations, do not forget to highlight the many unique strengths people with ADHD have to offer. You can start by redefining the perceived negative traits of ADHD:

Does ADHD mean I am:

  • Distractible or Superobservant?
  • Internal Distractions or Rich Imagination?
  • Hyperfocusing or Enormous Capacity to Concentrate?
  • Impulsive or Capable of Quick Responses?
  • Hyperactivity or High Energy Level?
  • Inattention to Detail or Capacity to See the Big Picture?
  • Easily Bored or Tremendous Capacity for Innovation?

Request the most efficient and affordable accommodations first.  And remember, you are a pioneer helping to bring light to the hidden struggles of others and you are concurrently helping your employer to build a more accessible and positive work place!