it’s your Friday good news

It’s your Friday good news!

1. I recently left my job in the Middle East after four years to move back to the U.S. The environment was austere and dangerous and I was looking forward to returning to a normal life. Last fall, I reached out to a member of senior leadership with whom I had worked in the past and let him know that I was interested in leaving my current job site but wanted to stay with the company, which is based in the area I wanted to move to. He jumped at the opportunity to keep me in the company and put me in touch with the head of the division that best fit my skill set. After just a 30-minute call, she let me know that she’d be requesting a new position be added to her team for me and I’d be able to transition back to headquarters on the schedule that worked best for me.

While this definitely qualifies as good news (and I was so excited to tell you about it!), I was very disappointed with how she managed the negotiation process. She had initially told me verbally that I would be paid the same salary as I was making abroad, but when I received the offer letter, the number was 40% less. She didn’t apologize or explain why that was the case (though I wasn’t surprised since working in that environment means a hefty hardship bonus) and wasn’t willing to negotiate on that salary. I tried instead to negotiate for maternity leave since the company doesn’t offer any paid parental leave and I want to start a family soon and was immediately shut down. She gave me the impression that I should be grateful for the offer at all since I had asked for it and she was creating a spot on her team for me. Not a great start, but I accepted the job anyway, since it got me back to the states and I was excited about the work itself.

As I was transitioning out of the Middle East, I was contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn, who asked for a call regarding a job doing very similar work to what I’d been doing abroad, but for a tech company based on the other side of the country and with significantly more ownership and seniority. My LinkedIn profile included an abbreviated version of my resume, which I’d revamped using your tips and made it accomplishment-based instead of duty-based. Even though I had a job lined up, I agreed to an initial call to discuss the position (what could it hurt, right?). After talking to her and sending her my full resume, I researched more about the company, its mission, and the job and got really excited about the opportunity. They apparently felt the same about me and moved me through the next steps almost immediately.

While I was moving from one continent to another, I went through an extensive interview process, including a take-home assignment that I completed my first weekend in my new house surrounded by boxes, and five hours of interviews with the team (split into two sessions, after business hours of my first two days on the job with headquarters). A week and a half after I started the position with my original company’s headquarters, I received an offer. Not only did they match the salary I was making in the Middle East, they offered significant bonuses, four months of maternity leave, great healthcare coverage including fertility insurance, and fully remote work, even after COVID, so I didn’t have to move again.

I still felt guilty about leaving a job so quickly, but I searched through your archives and asked for advice in the open threads and was reassured that I had to do what was best for me. Even though I knew I’d be burning bridges with my old company, I resigned my position and offered to work a two-week notice (technically longer than I’d even been in my new job). They were more gracious about my resignation than I expected and offered to let me stay on if I needed the paycheck or, if not, to take a two-week break before I started the next job. I took the next two weeks off and started my new job this past Tuesday. I’m so thrilled with my new company, the job, and my new manager, and I keep pinching myself because I can’t quite believe how well everything worked out. Thank you thank you to you and your readers for giving me the reassurance and confidence that it’s okay to leave a job if something much better comes along (and to pay attention to red flags!) and that it’s a business decision for me as much as it is for them.

2. After just under a decade in my current position, I’m moving on to a dream of a job. A career-changing move that comes with a 60% pay increase, a stipend for professional development, and a positive work culture.

I can’t emphasize how hard this search was. I was ready for something new, but it had to be the right fit – I had spent too long working for crappy organizations. I was the finalist 6 different times over the last 18 months. I’ve had offers rescinded because I tried to negotiate a small bump in pay and last-minute decisions to not hire anyone. It took a lot out of me, zapped my creativity and self-esteem, and left my family in consistent limbo. Near the end, I was crying from stress after nearly every interview. (BTW – Zoom interviews are emotionally draining! Teams, cut your interviewees some slack and crack a nod or a smile every once in a while.)

However, I knew I was lucky during this search. I was fully employed during the pandemic, and not overwhelmed. I had suffered long-term unemployment during the last financial crisis and I was always grateful that during this search I could still provide for myself – something I’m well aware isn’t the case for far too many people right now.

I feel empowered with my next career steps, like I’m shedding a skin of past managers who weren’t leaders, coworkers who weren’t teammates, cultures that only supported the status quo. I will forever be thankful for your blog and book that helped me get out of my head, and keep my eyes on the horizon.

3. I’m so excited to get to send a Friday good news to you! I’ve been at the same non-profit organization for almost four years and it’s my first career job out of college. I started in my department as an assistant and worked my way up to having a good amount of responsibility in a moderately technical role. But while I always loved the org, I also always felt like my job wasn’t quite right for me and didn’t use the skills that I really wanted to grow in.

At the beginning of the year I started job searching which helped clarify what kind of roles I was looking for and what I wanted to pursue. My org had a department of one that was doing the work I wanted to do and while I was always very friendly and had a great relationship with the head, I never thought I could make that lateral move. Well, I was wrong! After getting an offer doing similar work at a different org, I put in my two weeks. A few days later, I heard from the head of the other department that she was finally hiring for a role as her number 2 and asked if I was interested! After more conversations and an official job offer, I decided to stay at my current org and make that lateral move. I’m so excited to stay at an org I love (that really went above and beyond to keep me!) and do what I want to do. I read so so so much askamanager in the span of my job searching and this new twist and really am so thankful for the resource!

4. It’s my turn and I can’t believe it! I left a job I’d held for more than a decade about 2 years ago. I was broken, and probably should have left it long before then, but I felt stuck. I picked up reading your blog just before that departure and I credit your help for helping me find a good position – great fit for my skills and exactly the field I wanted to get into. I kept reading, and your advice and your readers’ questions helped me recognize that the management structure was lacking in this new position. I gained perspective into what was appropriate and professional, and what actions my coworkers and management had that were unacceptable. I had the logical sense that I lacked in my previous position, and I found another position and am making a quick exit.

Your blog is the whole package – I used bits from all areas: interviewing, references, dealing with problem management and coworkers, negotiating (a GREAT offer!). I’m just so grateful to you for sharing your knowledge with the professional community. I truly believe without this information I would still feel meek and unheard and afraid to speak up. Thank you for giving me the courage and confidence in myself to recognize a bad fit and LEAVE!

5. I bookmarked this post of yours years ago, shortly after I got fired for Just Not Completing deliverables.

I’ve never read something that sounded so much like my own words. Frazzled. Disorganized. Anxious. Falling behind, my whole life.

I tried every coping mechanism the commenters suggested, from pomodoros to post-its. And I managed to keep my ducks mostly well-aligned for a couple years.

Last month, I felt myself slipping, completing Tuesdays work at 4am Thursday because.. well, I don’t know. I just couldn’t. So I followed another suggestion in the comments and talked to a doctor, and voila, I meet every diagnostic criteria for ADHD.

That post was a big part of helping me realize I’ve been doing the best I can with the brainmeats I have, and that I need to think differently about how I operate differently. I’ve spent my entire life treading water and not knowing why. And now, at almost 40, I make sense to myself.

So thanks! You and your readers have changed my life and that’s pretty neat.

{ 54 comments… read them below }

  1. Zandra*

    #5: I was also diagnosed with ADHD at age 38. In my case, I was also in my second year of law school at the time! I’ve struggled all my life with not getting things done for no reason I could understand. A lot of times I just couldn’t, like you said. Being diagnosed gave me a framework to hang the thing on, and that helps. Still, even with medication and therapy, I struggle on many days.

    My advice is twofold: First, forgive yourself when you have a bad day (week, whatever) and can’t get things done. This is just how you’re wired, and being angry or frustrated with yourself is not going to help. Second, find ways that work FOR YOU that help you accomplish things. One way I do this is to leave things in plain sight if I know I need to interact with them soon. If something is right in front of me, I’m more likely to pick it up and do it than if I had to think of it, then dig into a file or drawer to find the thing. It looks like mild disorganization, but it’s calculated to set me up for success. Think about Future You whenever you can, and set yourself up for success by doing whatever you’ve found that helps.

    Good luck. It sounds like you’re well on your way.

    1. Jean (just Jean)*

      +1 on Zandra’s suggestion re self-kindness and finding ways that work FOR YOU.

    2. Rock Prof*

      I’m going through the diagnosis process at 39, and the idea of knowing that some things are just my brain and not a fundamental flaw feels like it could be potentially be a relieve that actually lowers anxiety. In academia, I’ve been able to build things up so I can jump around from thing to thing and still get things done, but I think the background anxiety of this past year (and climate change and aging parents) has really sent my coping mechanisms running for the hills.

      1. Koalafied*

        I was diagnosed in my early 30s and I actually shed a few tears of relief in my psychiatrist’s office when he confirmed it. ADHD is brutal on your self-esteem because so many people assume that if you aren’t getting things done it’s because you don’t care enough or try enough. I had internalized the idea that I was just lazy and had “no self-discipline,” like I should be able to just will myself to be more organized and focused and it was a moral failing that I “didn’t.” Now I understand that’s the wrong verb. I couldn’t. I didn’t have what I need to manage my brain functioning in a very specific different way. I was trying to dig a tunnel with a fork and angry at myself for not doing as well as the people with shovels.

        1. MCMonkeyBean*

          I still think sometimes about the fact that a few years ago a friend shared an article online that was something to the effect of “there’s no such thing as laziness” and I was like I dunno I feel like I can be pretty lazy.

          And then about a year later I was diagnosed with ADHD. So now I’m like, huh I guess good call article!

          1. ecnaseener*

            It really is mind-blowing, to find out that most people don’t have to fight their brains every step of the way!

    3. Boof*

      Yeah! I’m, hmm, I don’t HAVE ADD (I think) in the sense that I was evaluated in college after I managed to flop a few things, and well I’d say I’m “on the spectrum” where if 50th percentile was “normal” attention span, and 5th percentile is ADD, I’m at 25th percentile? So, not full blown; but I’m a doctor so I’m usually with a bunch of people who are probably more like 75th percentile and up for being able to sit down and memorize things. And I just can’t do that for long.

      Right now I’m struggling more, I think because of pregnancy and fatigue. Anyway, just cheering on LW: keep working on all the coping skills you can if you fall down get back up again.
      For me things that (usually) work; try to make sure I exercise and get enough sleep at night, even if it’s tempting to stay up late to get things done I might pay for it later. Marathon sessions only work if I can get a break soon after. Timing myself works well too, for a while I was having success with an app that I could tap on and off and count how much I was working – I found it usually helped keep me on track so I could have more free time instead of “time when work is hanging over me but I can’t make myself do it very quickly”.

      1. Jessica Ganschen*

        I just wanted to pipe up that for anyone who feels similarly, that they’re “not quite” ADHD/autistic/etc and/or people who aren’t interested in or able to get a formal assessment/diagnosis, go ahead and seek out ADHD/autistic/etc coping methods anyway! A lot of things can be really helpful even for people who are completely neurotypical. It doesn’t take anything away from diagnosed neurodivergent people if you use timers, change your font to Dyslexie, incentivize your tasks with apps, or whatever else you find. Plus, there’s something called the “curb cut effect”, where a service/item/feature intended for disabled people (curb cuts, for wheelchair users) is used by abled people (parents with strollers, cyclists, skaters), which normalizes it and makes it more likely for it to be used/made/incorporated in the future.

      2. sb51*

        Also, age and other things can affect it; it’s potentially worth revisiting. (For example, I’m diagnosed with both hypothyroidism and ADHD. If the thyroid isn’t medicated properly, the resulting brainfog can make usually-manageable ADHD symptoms into a spiral of suck.)

        And ADHD has a lot of different effects; I knew I had it but had not sought formal diagnosis until being promoted to management at work; I could handle academic demands, and technical STEM career demands, but the additional load of human interaction of management made some symptoms go from quirks to success-blockers.

    4. fantomina*

      YES re: organization looking like whatever sets you up for success. I’ve always beat myself up for having giant stacks of paper on my desk, but I recently realized that I remember which stack a given document is in, but if I file it away (and I’ve tried every filing system out there!) I forget it exists at all. It was revelatory!

      1. ecnaseener*

        Hugely important for ADHDers! If you keep doing things the “wrong” way, take a step back and see if maybe that’s actually what works best for your brain. And then harness that. Don’t swim against the current. Remove the obstacles.

      2. ADHSquirrelWhat*

        I had all the doors taken off all the cupboards in my kitchen so I’d actually put away dishes – I lack object permanence SO MUCH! If I can see it, I can do stuff with it .. but out of sight, it’s GONE!

        Nowadays, everything’s in clear bins or wire racks or whatever it takes so it’s visible, because that’s the only way I know what I have!

    5. Personal Best In Consecutive Days Lived*

      I have ADHD too my friend, diagnosed at 37. Now we have knowledge! We know what’s going on! I find this so empowering. All the best to you.

  2. Jean (just Jean)*

    LW#5: Welcome to the club! And don’t feel bad about your age when you figured things out. 40 is not “too old” or “too late” for anything except the most unusual of accomplishments (examples: graduating from medical school / completing a PhD / founding several companies and/or earning a million bucks before you’re 21.) I was well past 50 when I had my “golly gee willikers” moment. It’s never too late to learn new skills in self-management, staying organized, accepting one’s strengths and weaknesses, etc.

    1. wanda*

      It’s entirely possible to start and graduate from medical school or a PhD program after age 40.

      1. Boof*

        It certainly is, that being said tackling medical school at 40 takes some financial consideration if it’s really worth it (unless you’re just doing it because your dream in life is to be a doctor and you don’t really care about retiring etc)

        1. wittyrepartee*

          Not even the medical school that’s like… the bad part for the academically inclined. It’s having to do residency afterwards.

  3. Autumnheart*

    Diagnosed at 42 here.

    Keep in mind that the world has been in a very chaotic and stressful place for some time now. Stress can also take a big hit on your executive function, which is especially fun /s when you already have a built-in hit on your executive function! So try not to beat yourself up. Good on you for seeking a formal diagnosis. If you’re at a point where you need a bigger toolbox, then it’s time to call in the professionals, and that can be a tough step to take. I bet it feels good to have some real answers.

  4. eons*

    Welcome to the club #5! Female diagnosed at 28 here. Prepare to say these works frequently over the next months/years: “wait, THAT is caused by ADHD too??” It is such a relief to know that there is a reason for the struggling!

  5. Meg*

    Just this week got an ADHD diagnosis at 33! I hadn’t realized how much I was feeling bad about not being productive, and just internalizing that I was lazy. It came to a head more recently where I just cannot do the thing, and I don’t know why I can’t do the thing, and it’s not a hard thing, and I have to do it, and I know how to do it, and OH MY GOD WHY CAN’T I DO THE THING. And now to realized that it’s because my brain is wired differently? So much relief. I always did well in school, and I don’t identify with a lot of the stereotypical traits of ADHD. So it wasn’t really on my radar until my therapist clocked it from that description.

    Also, my dad got an unofficial ADHD diagnosis in his 60’s, and talked about how powerful that was for him to just contextualize WHY he had such a hard time in school as a kid.

    1. Zandra*

      Yes! I also sit and think about the thing I’m not doing and how I’m not doing it. It’s maddening.

    2. fantomina*

      “I hadn’t realized how much I was feeling bad about not being productive, and just internalizing that I was lazy.” <– yes, this.

      I was diagnosed in high school, but as having "mild" and it was determined I wasn't a good candidate for meds, so I never felt like I could claim the label of having ADD? I'm still trying to unlearn the idea that I'm just lazy, and to uncouple my self-worth from my productivity.

    3. I take tea*

      Yes Meg to this! The way the thoughts squirrel around and around is horrible. I don’t know if I have it or not, but I’ve had a lot of help from ADHD coping methods that have been suggested here. This is a most wonderfully supportive forum. Thank you all.

    4. Koalafied*

      One of the most insidious things about ADHD is intelligence can get you pretty far in complete absence of any capacity for skilled executive functioning. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to study if you easily understand all the material you encounter well enough that you don’t need to study, or learn new skills so easily that you can get decently good marks without ever practicing on your own time.

      Adults who were “gifted” children are most likely to get an adult ADHD diagnosis, because at some point we finally encountered something we both couldn’t immediately master (and didn’t have the option of quitting, which is what we did any time in the past that we weren’t immediately good at something new).

      1. Kimberly*

        So much me. I was diagnosed at age 33. I’ve been naturally good at school and have a bachelors, masters and JD. I didn’t even believe it myself that I could have ADHD. Yet I felt lazy all the time, unproductive, and disorganized as all hell. And I didn’t even bother doing things I’m not naturally good at, which is why I’m a lawyer and not a doctor. I mourned for the loss of the life I could have had if I had known. And I’m sad I gave up things I liked because of getting so easily frustrated. My whole life has been chasing something interesting for all of two weeks then forgetting about it. It’s really sad to feel that you have no talent. I’d like to say that meds are helping me pursue those things now, but it’s hard to just start believing your self worth isn’t tied to those things. It’s hard to believe in yourself when you felt like a failure your entire life.

    5. MommaCat*

      I just got diagnosed a few weeks ago (at 35) and started on low-dose medication this week! We’re working on what the best dosage will be, but even with this low dose I’m seeing a difference—but not where I expected. I don’t have a magical motivation to do all the things, but my hair-trigger sense of overwhelm has calmed way the heck down.
      This was actually my second assessment, my high grades in college threw off the first doctor (College classes generally fascinated me, and I managed to choose a major without all that much “busywork” style homework). Five years later, a lost job, and three close family members diagnosed with ADHD… I tried again. And it stuck this time.
      Wow, I really went on a tangent on that, lol. It’s like I’m ADHD, or something. In any case, congratulations, OP#5, and everyone else in the comment section who got the diagnosis they needed! And those people commenting they might have it? Get assessed if you can. Even if they say “no,” it doesn’t mean you’re lazy, maybe it means there’s something else wrong, or maybe you just need more information. You got this!

      1. Autumnheart*

        Medication is definitely not good habits in pill form, which I found out for myself. I ultimately decided to stop medication after a year, because I had to increase the dose twice in order for it to be effective, and didn’t feel like the small boost in productivity was worth the hassle and expense of the medication. That’s just me though. Other people I know have found medication to be a huge help. I find that the biggest bang for my buck comes from doing my best to stick to a routine, plus external assistants like Alexa. And caffeine.

        1. Anonymous for this*

          I have tried Adderall, and it was pretty effective. And then I tried microdosing with LSD, and it’s … really effective. And it has no side effects.

    6. wittyrepartee*

      Yeah, and the thing is- the hard times we have in formal schooling don’t have anything to do with being intelligent. You can be intelligent when sitting on the floor and doodling while listening to a lecture, or while learning things hands on. It’s just different and not a system we’re set up for.

  6. 30 Years in the Biz*

    Congratulations to everyone; so happy for you! OP#2: This particularly resonated with me: “…I’m shedding a skin of past managers who weren’t leaders, coworkers who weren’t teammates, cultures that only supported the status quo.” I love this picture – leaving the bad stuff behind and moving forward. Not feeling hurt or wounded by past work experiences, but letting them go. It’s rarely personal. People and businesses can be selfish and are doing what’s best for them. I’m hopeful everyone in a difficult career position will consult the unparalleled advice within Ask a Manager and go on to thrive like you have.

  7. M2*

    #1 lots of jobs overseas especially if you are in humanitarian or development work pay more overseas than they do at HQ or European/ US offices. In addition to your salary one usually gets a housing allowance, per diem, and hardship and a R&R allowance included depending on duty station. I also had better global health insurance overseas. It is not great if you are told the organization can match your salary but lots of times the manager won’t know your exact salary with these benefits anyway. It is your regional director and regional HR person. Sometimes when people at HQ find out they get upset but living in Iraq during IS is a lot different than living in DC. One example of many.

    I wouldn’t have looked at it as a red flag necessarily having worked in these areas for decades. There are a few exceptions like the UN or if you work as a foreign service officer of course. This is why so many people stay overseas due to all these extra benefits that add up.

    1. London Lass*

      Since she has experience overseas, I would assume OP is well aware of all this. But I did wonder whether there were some genuine crossed wires in this case. Without knowing how OP’s package was structured, perhaps the hiring manager felt she was being fair by matching base salary excluding hardship allowance and other perks. Doesn’t sound as though she handled the communication particularly well though, whatever was behind it. And considering OP was then offered a better job with excellent benefits, it does seem the offer from her current employer may have been below market rates at home anyway.

      1. Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers*

        Agreed. If I was told I’d be getting my current salary, I wouldn’t expect it to include a location-specific bonus that no longer applied.

    2. Lee*

      Came to say same thing. My paycheck had little to do with my salary. The 35% dislocation allowance and 35% hazard pay really boosted the take home pay. I recall a recruiter practically falling out of his chair when asking me what I made at last job.

      1. OP1*

        OP here. My base salary included any “hardship” bump. It wasn’t like I was negotiating with someone who wasn’t aware of the fact that I was making a lot overseas. She was in the same company! I assumed when she said she’d pay me the same, she’d talked to HR about my salary before making that offer.

  8. Tracey*

    I am so happy for all of this news but LW #5 I am especially thrilled for you that you now know you’re just wired a little differently! I hope it helps you navigate moving forward!

  9. Cora*

    I think the ADHD story is so interesting. I’m in my 20s but also think I have at least mild ADHD. I went and read the linked old post, and while it’s definitely not as bad for me, there were relatable parts.

    Naturally disorganized, learned how to work around that, need multiple projects at work (referenced in another adhd-ish post here)

    I get that I’m definitely not in as bad a state as some of the other posters, but both therapists & family members have said that getting a proper ADHD diagnosis isn’t worth it, that I can work around it.

    I did go to a psychiatrist once who immediately prescribed Ritalin. I was put off by that (may just have been a bad doctor) and didn’t really want to go on ADHD medication (I’m on anxiety meds that work well) for work when I didn’t use it for college or grad school.

    I’ve seen multiple posters here referring to needing an ADHD diagnosis to get accommodations at work, so that may make it worth it even if I don’t want to take medication. What does “having an ADHD diagnosis to get accommodations at work” mean – a doctors note? Something more official?

    1. bronzecat*

      Work may ask for you to fill out whatever their FMLA paperwork is for intermittent leave so you can attend doctor’s appointments are whatever, or they may need you to complete whatever ADA paperwork they have to be willing to pony up cash for things like noise-blocking headphones or allow you a door that shuts, or flex your schedule, or record meetings, or have meeting minutes sent to you via email or whatever accommodation it is you are requesting. Not all employers require this, but those that do, ask that a medical professional with insight into your situation talk about what accommodations you need and why.

      1. bronzecat*

        also note that being on medication is not a requirement to be granted accommodations

    2. AnonHere*

      I will just say that giving Ritalin a try isn’t a bad thing. It doesn’t last more than a day, if that, in your system, and you know right away if it makes a difference.

      That said, you may well be able to manage fine without meds at this point, but keep it in mind as you go through different life phases. Managing full time work after we had our second child is what did me in and led me to seek diagnosis.

      1. ampersand*

        Yep, I got diagnosed after having my kid. It almost broke me—I went from slightly scattered pre-pregnancy to a non-functioning mess afterwards. Not even immediately afterwards; it was over a year after my daughter was born that I just couldn’t function normally anymore. Knowing I have ADHD does explain a lot in retrospect (like why I absolutely cannot bring myself to do/finish certain things—it’s not lack of willpower!). I’m so much better with a diagnosis and basic understanding of what’s going on with me and what my limitations are. Instead of feeling bad about myself, I can point to ADHD as the cause. The shift in perspective is helpful for not beating myself up.

    3. Kimberly*

      The meds actually got rid of my anxiety, so you might find you don’t actually have anxiety if the ADHD is well managed. I haven’t asked my work for accommodations, but I envision it could be asking for noise canceling headphones, dedicated WFH days, a private office if you’re a cube worker, etc.

      1. Laika*

        Yes! ADHD medication helped enormously with my anxiety. Actually, in a particularly dark period of my life, I went to my doctor (who originally diagnosed me with ADHD/prescribes my meds) and confessed I was having intrusive thoughts of self-harm. She suggested upping my medication for a short time. Her reasoning was, “maybe your stressed-out brain is creating a shortcut from ‘I don’t want to be in this situation’ to ‘if I was dead/super injured I wouldn’t have to be in this situation'”, which obviously is a very impractical “solution” but brains are kinda stupid sometimes. It worked quite well and after a couple of months and me taking some needed steps to address the thing stressing me out, I could drop back down to my “regular” dosage and carry on as usual.

    4. ADHSquirrelWhat*

      “you can work around it” to me is saying “don’t admit you’re different, go be normal”.

      But .. WHY should you have to put twice as much effort into “normal” if you’re NOT? What’s WRONG with official diagnosis?

      and – why should it matter how you did in college or grad school vs. a job? I was great in school – it fit the way I think and hyperfocus and I could coast through lots of it. A day job? yeah, right …. I’m a mess! It’s a completely different environment and skillset.

      I don’t want to sound like I’m telling you what to do – I just think the argument of “well it worked before and I don’t want a label” is an argument that’s about ableism, not about what’s actually best for YOU.

  10. AndersonDarling*

    My husband was diagnosed last year at the age of 45. It seemed like there wasn’t a job that he fit into. And every day I worried that he would come home and tell be walked off the job or was fired again. He was diagnosed, he started medications, and today is his 6 month anniversary at a job he loves. This is whole new life.
    All love to OP #5, this is the beginning of an adventure into your life.
    (And love to OP’s #1, #2, #3, and #4. There is plenty of happy feelings to share!)

  11. AnonHere*

    Well-met, #5! I was diagnosed at age 37, and a few years later, I have a radically different job utilizing a completely different skill set that aligns much better with my ADHD traits.

    Change is possible, and I wish you the absolute best as you figure out your next steps.

  12. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    OP #1 – you said you feel guilty.

    DON’T FEEL GUILTY over wanting to advance yourself (or, to get better off financially).

    I often see that in here “oh, I was working at a non-profit and I left for a 50 percent raise, health insurance, and the paychecks won’t bounce at the new employer, but I feel so, so, badly because I’m leaving a great bunch of people.”

    Yeah, they don’t mind starving. But you had a problem with it. Which, all I can say is GOOD FOR YOU.

    I left my first job over money and left some great people behind, but I was thinking of a future where I didn’t have to decide which bill I was going to pay this month and which one to ignore; having a house and not a mobile home,
    and a car where the tires didn’t leak , And sending my daughter to college, and having our family enjoy things — a trip to Disney, a night out for dinner, etc. NONE of which would have happened if I hadn’t told management at employer 1 that I was through “negotiating” (with people doing so in bad faith) and ACTING for myself.

    And it is so nice to be retired but able to continue to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. The Roth IRA/401k/brokerage accounts would have been zero if I had stayed in Job 1.

    And congratulations – for your new position AND the decision to take it.

  13. Polly Sprocket*

    Congratulations LW #5!! I was diagnosed at 29 and it has been so life-changing. Before my diagnosis, I had only ever worked low-wage jobs, barely scraping by, and jumped from job to job as I got bored quickly or got fired. I felt so behind and like such a failure, and I really didn’t think I would ever get out of the hole I was in. 3 years later, I finally have my first “career-track” job and am making a real livable salary for the first time in my life. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t gotten my diagnosis and started on meds.

    Best of luck!! I’m truly so happy for you – it’s such a weight off to learn this about yourself. And I’m confident there are brighter days ahead!

Comments are closed.