Craft Your Personal Purpose and Define Your Career Path
The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are -Carl Jung
Don’t let your ADHD or other challenges keep you back from a life of purpose and a career you love. Start to define your own personal purpose with this guide and create, what you want from your life despite your struggles.
Why Define Your Purpose?
When you act without purpose, you risk being reactive instead of proactive. This means that instead of consciously making the decisions that lead to the life you want, you simply react to what falls into your lap.
You can create a proactive life – one where you consciously determine your likes, dislikes, goals, and plans to reach those goals – by learning about yourself, and applying your self-knowledge to your career decisions.
We are all a combination of our genetic traits, like innate skills and talents, and our personal history and experiences.
Personal history includes our expectations, what we are familiar with, and what seems realistic or unrealistic to us. For example, if you grew up around doctors, you might see it as realistic to become a doctor yourself; but if you had no family members or family friends who were doctors growing up, then becoming a doctor might seem out of reach.
This expectation has nothing to do with your innate potential.
These learned attitudes can hold us back from pursuing careers that are well-suited to our goals. That’s why it is so important to consciously analyze what you enjoy, and what you want out of a career – and then investigate which careers will allow you to best fulfill your purpose.
By defining your personal purpose and learning about yourself, you’ll give yourself goals to strive for and tools to engage with the challenges and curveballs of life head on!
When you live with purpose, you become passionate about living. You are in touch with your drives and passions, and have a purpose you’ve chosen to keep you focused and motivated. To start making the most of your life, the first step is to create this personal purpose.
A Good Place to Start: Investigate Your Inner Narrative
Below, I’ve listed some questions to help you identify your passions. Spend some time with these questions to get into the headspace of paying attention to your own joys and strengths, with a sharp eye out for why these things make you happy. These are only a few of the questions that can help you to see the patterns of what brings you joy, what stresses you out, and what you are really good at.
To get the most out of these questions, please answer them honestly.
What motivates me in life?
What have I wanted, but never gotten, in life?
What energizes me? How?
What brings me the most joy? Why?
What are my biggest interests?
What do I REALLY REALLY want in life?
Who do I enjoy being around? Why?
Now, how can you turn these loves and desires into a statement of purpose for the next several years of your life?
Is there a passion, skill, or craft that you want to devote your life to perfecting? Is there an area of study that you want to devote your life to advancing? Is building wealth your top priority? Or is there a type of challenge you’d like to devote your life to helping others overcome?
There are countless possible answers, but some could look like this:
My purpose in life is to help end world hunger.
My purpose in life is to help people look and feel their best.
My purpose in life is to empower others through education.
My purpose in life is to care for the sick.
My purpose in life is to become an artist whose work moves people.
My purpose in life is to change laws and policies to create a better world.
My purpose in life is to build as much wealth as possible for my family in future generations.
Consider which way of contributing might suit you best. For example, are you a people person, or do you prefer to work alone? Do you like to do hands-on work, or do you prefer to study and work out theories?
Consider these possible professions that correspond with the type of life purpose:
A person could help end world hunger by being a scientist, a politician, or a founder or employee of an organization devoted to hunger relief.
A person could help others to look and feel their best as a fitness trainer, a cosmetologist, a nutritionist, or a fashion designer.
A person could empower others through education as a school teacher, a founder or staff member of an adult or extracurricular education program, or a producer of educational media.
Note that even within each of these purposes, many different careers requiring different skills are necessary to fulfill them. Defining your personal purpose helps you choose your life goals, and possible career paths to reach them!
To read more about finding your passion career, purchase my book
Informational interviewing might just be the best way to get a job and yet it is underused by most job seekers. Whenever I work with a career development client and we get to the informational interviewing step, I am met with hesitance and resistance. I get it! Cold calling is a scary and dreaded way to talk to a potential employer, but it is so effective!
Really, the problem is that It is misunderstood and overlooked as a means to get a foot in the door for a job.
Think of an information interview meeting as a networking opportunity. This is a one-on-one meeting with a key person in a field that you have a high interest in.
It may be that you have preconceived ideas about a particular career. Information interviewing can give you a better sense of what it would be like to work in the field you’ve chosen. It is first-hand, realistic, information you can use to form your idea of your ideal career.
An informational interview is less formal than a real interview. It allows you the opportunity to show off your personality, your skills, interests, and aptitude in a semi-relaxed atmosphere. Because of this, you will likely come across as more authentic to the interviewer. An informational interview gives a prospective employer better insight into who you are, and how you might be a good fit for the organization in the near future. This is a win-win situation for everyone.
“Foot in the door”
At the typical interview that follows an application, you might feel that you’re in an interview mill—the interviewer bored with all the candidates and simply saying, “Next. Next,” after each interview. This may leave you feeling less than confident in your ability to outperform the next person. With an information interview, you aren’t going to be competing for a time slot, and chances are the interviewer has 15-20 minutes they can carve out of their busy day to talk shop. Many people enjoy this opportunity to talk about themselves, and about how they got to where they are, as well as to help young job-seekers find a springboard from which to launch their careers.
Because informational interviews are less formal—and stressful—the conversations usually flow easier. Remember, you aren’t there to ask for a job. You’re only there to learn. You want information that will help guide you in the direction of the career best suited for YOU. This means you are the one in control of the questions and the outcome of the interview. This is a great time to let your guard down a little, let your true personality shine, as well as briefly showcase how your skills benefit the company. You can also take the opportunity to ask more strategic questions—questions that help you, but perhaps would not be appropriate at a real interview. You can ask about benefits, salary, and even the social climate of the organization without portraying yourself in a negative light.
Gain insight, and Practice Interviewing
This is the opportunity for you to come in prepared to ask the right questions. People enjoy telling their story and you can get a real sense of what the company or career might be like, and so determine whether your chosen career is truly a good fit for you.
Additionally, if some parts of the interview process intimidate you, this is an excellent way to come up with a game-plan and practice. Remember practice ONLY makes for improvement.
If you feel a connection with the person you meet with, you may well have lucked into a mentoring relationship opportunity. Your interviewer might really be impressed with the initiative you show by requesting an informational interview, and may be willing to offer further advice and support. And this goes both ways. Because of the rapport you build in this interview, you yourself might ask for further guidance via follow ups which we’ll talk about later in this chapter.
How to conduct yourself at the interview
You should regard each interview as a business appointment and conduct yourself in a professional manner.
Write a THANK YOU NOTE to the people you have interviewed. Report back to them if you have followed up on any suggestions.
The last thing to remember is that informational interviews are extremely effective. How effective? According to Dr. Randall Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the web, “While one out of every 200 resumes (some studies put the number as high as 1,500 resumes) results in a job offer, one out of every 12 informational interviews results in a job offer.”
Informational Interviews are so effective that despite that the stated aim is NOT to get a job, many Informational Interviews still end up with a job offer.
So, go ahead and pick up that phone, you may just land a job!
To read more about interviewing, resumes and finding your passion career, purchase my book
If you are an ADHD Fidgeter, check this article out!
Something about having a fidget toy in my hand while concentrating on important documents at work really helps me stay focused! – Michelle
Ever wondered why paying attention to what the teacher said was such a task back in school? Did you experience aimless thinking, fidgeting with stationeries, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, physical aggression and difficulty concentrating? Were you the usual quintessential characteristics of a troublemaking kid? Did you simultaneously love staying organized and could remember details as if etched in your brain?
Wait! Do these symptoms still describe you as an adult?! These are characteristic symptoms of a mental disorder called ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
According to the reports of The A.D.D. Resource Center, there has been a 42 percent growth in the number of ADHD patients in the past eight years. It is very common disorder affecting over 11% of the U.S population according to NCES and is on the rise. The symptoms can often be classified as characteristics of any one without the disorder and can be a little difficult to diagnose without a professional trained in identifying the severity of symptoms. It has spread its roots further into our society as we become more educated about the condition. As a result, the number of adults facing this disorder is and will keep on increasing.
Apart from the treatments and therapies available, there’s another interesting, handy, pocket-friendly and easy to find option to help you with ADHD, which is fidget toys! Today various kinds of fidget toys can be easily found online and at nearby stores as well. These toys have been designed and created to help adults focus and concentrate better at work and can also be a great deal of help to keep stress at bay.
So, here is a list of ten amazing fidget toys for adults!
It is proven to better hand-eye coordination
Helps one think faster
It is clinically proven to sharpen reflexes
Renders instant stress relief
It is a discreet, handy and compact fidget toy
It also boosts memory
Enhances focus and creativity
It comes in a portable and handy design
It is tiny and fits in the pocket
Apt for silent fidgeting as all adults may like as well as heavy-duty fidgeting
With the material used for manufacturing, it is a durable fidget toy
It is compact and handy; the diameter is only around one inch
An amazing tool for improving the dexterity of your fingers
Provides a relaxing sensory stimulation
It also reduces pain
It is a great option for providing relief from anxiety
Also keeps stress at bay
It’s a combination of various stress-relieving fidgeting tools on different faces
Apt for rotation, pressing buttons and discing up and down
You can simultaneously work and fidget without other employees or co-workers noticing
Multi fidgeting functions contained in a single package!
Has detachable and reconfigurable parts
Looks and works just like a regular pen
7. Infinite Bubble Wrap:
It is one of the best known stress and anxiety relievers
Pocket-friendly and satisfying to vent frustration
Reusable and doesn’t create wastage
Multi-purpose usage as it also acts as a keychain!
One of the best stress ball toys
Compact and easily portable
Serves as both stress- reliever and keychain
Amazing substitute for stress balls
Fits best for quiet fidgeting at workplace
For soft and comfortable fidgeting experience
Available in various vibrant colour options
Compact and fits around the top of your finger!
It has a sleek therapeutic design, works well for wellness of hand and mind
Fragments are attached with joints; they can all move and twist individually
Easy relieving tangling movement
It strengthens, restores and rehabilitates the finger and hand joints
These were just a few topping the list. There are a lot of other good fidgeting toys for adults available today such as tiny shift lever, begleri beads, magnetic modular pen, tiny sand garden to make patterns, moon drop desk fidget and some not-so-conventional options such as kinetic sand and slime. So, explore and choose the fidget toy that best busts the bubbles of stress hovering around you.
Now, fidget away under that conference table!
Michelle Raz specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD, Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog and learn about my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.
Your strength in the workplace and dispelling the myths along your path
When you have ADHD you’ve probably been told to look for a job that will accommodate your ADHD weaknesses.
Over and over, people tell you to become a firefighter, a hairdresser, or join the military. “You’ll do great because these jobs will let you move around a lot. You won’t have to sit still! They’re better for someone who has ADHD.”
There’s nothing at all wrong with these jobs.
But are they REALLY right for YOU?
Many people have found careers they love that are different than those said to be “right” for someone with ADHD. You’re one of a kind. Having ADHD is only one facet to consider when choosing a career. You don’t belong in a box!
One thing I have found with people with ADHD is that they are consistently inconsistent and break the mold in all areas of their life! The unpredictable nature can lead to incredible surprises in their life and careers. Given the right resources and support, people are breaking many myths out there about the perfect job for someone with ADHD.
1. The Myth Of Business Ownership
An example I hear a lot is “All people with ADHD are creative and should own a business.”
Not true! BUT it is entirely possible.
While many ADHDers are great idea generators, they often lack the organizational skills needed to sustain a successful business. Without the structures and systems in place to help run the day to day tasks, you may find it overwhelming to get the business actually started.
I don’t discourage you from turning your big idea into a successful business. You may be creative and a risk taker. Those qualities make you perfect to start a business but be aware you may need help instead of trying to do it alone.
Create the structure in which both you and your business can succeed. Choose your business model wisely and set up the business using all the resources available to you.
A good business coach who helps clients with ADHD can assist you to create systems, processes, tools, and structures that will work WITH your strengths and ADHD qualities, and keep you moving toward your goals.
2. The Myth of Detailed Work
“A job that has a lot of detailed work would not be a good fit for someone with ADHD”
Yes, You Can Do Detailed Work!……that interests you.
Do you ever get so lost in doing something you love that time flies? You don’t hear people who are calling your name, and you even forget to eat.
If you already know you can concentrate for long periods of time on something you find interesting, your ability to hyperfocus can help you excel. So if you love crunching numbers, and you don’t give up until you find the right answer, you might be an excellent mathematician or accountant.
Or your ability to focus and solve technical problems may make the fields of computer science or networking consultant a great fit for you.
Steven who loved the sciences and mathematical problem solving tasks had a hard time focusing in high school with classes he found boring. He had earned poor grades limiting his college choices. So, he decided to enter a community college to learn better study skills before transferring to a four year college. He loaded up his classes with science and math. He needed help with his organizational skills and follow through on the subjects he did not enjoy. The results were nearly straight As. He is now pursuing a medical degree in orthopedics. This requires intense schooling, high concentration levels and precise skills in a fast pace environment. I have full confidence he found his niche!
The ability to hyperfocus on something that interests and stimulates you are strengths that can pay off huge and will provide clues to a rewarding job for you.
3. The Myth of Conquering your Weaknesses to get Hired
Advice given to many ADHDers, “Identify your weaknesses, then work to improve them.”
Ignore that advice!
Instead, develop your strengths and find ways to work around your weaknesses with support and systems in place. Not only will you feel happier, you’ll achieve more by focusing on your strengths.
Albert Einstein displayed many traits of having ADHD. He was forgetful and disorganized. Yet, his ability to focus, to look at problems differently, and to ask creative questions made him one of the most famous scientists in history.
But can you imagine if he’d chosen to focus on his weaknesses instead of his strengths? I’m not sure anyone would be as excited about Einstein the amazing organizer!
So, if you love science but don’t have organizational skills because of your ADHD, you could still be a science super achiever with a good mindset and the right resources in place to support you.
4. The Myth that People with ADHD Don’t Get things Done
Technology can be your best friend!
When a system is in place and a good routine is established, ADHD people can achieve monumental tasks!
People with ADHD often tell me their main goals for self improvement are time management, organization and accountability. Technology has been a tool that many of my clients rely on for day to day tasks. Once they have found a system that works for them, their productivity soars.
An example of what I call a “Champion Todoist” is Joe who worked in the construction field. He was in a supervisory role that required him to answer calls, emails and follow up with paperwork daily. The pace was fast and the information felt like a super highway of “to do lists”. Everyday seemed like he was going to combat to put out fires and delegate commands without getting his to do list completed. Although he felt his ADHD helped him mutl-task, he came home exhausted and feeling defeated. He had a fear that he would lose his job. Through our discussions it was clear that his routine had become reacting to the day rather than responding to it.
He created goals and a system he could follow and put it into actionable steps:
1. Find a time to focus without disruption
2. Find systems for organizing emails
3. Develop a method to respond to demands
4. Prioritize important items
5. Track daily success
Once he was able to step back and brainstorm ideas to help him establish a routine, he could embrace his demands. He felt empowered and in charge of his workflow. His worries subsided and he was able to focus on building his leadership skills. He implemented new ideas with better routines for the entire company that increased overall productivity.
He became a “Champion Todoist”.
5. A Credible Myth: ADHD Can be a Powerful Gift
While ADHD brings a lot of weaknesses, it also brings intense emotions and highly focused areas of interests that I call “The Power of ADHD”.
Simone Biles is the most decorated US gymnast in history. She also has ADHD, and has spoken openly about her diagnosis. As she says, it just means her brain works a little differently. Biles refuses to let ADHD limit her achievements. She engaged her super natural ability to hyperfocus on something and go beyond the norm.
Famous musicians Adam Levine and Justin Timberlake are other people who have gone beyond stereotypes of a person with ADHD. They have learned to harness the out of the box creativity that’s a characteristic of some people with ADHD, and use it to fuel success as a dancer, singer, and songwriter.
When you learn to view your ADHD as a powerful tool, you’ll open up many career possibilities you didn’t know were possible.
So….Ditch Those Myths that are Limiting Beliefs and act on the ones that serve your journey to success.
Everyone has some type of challenge in their life that can hold them back from success. I challenge you to look at your limiting belief from a different perspective: What has this challenge brought into your life that can be used as an asset for developing a career that is meant JUST FOR YOU?
Do NOT skip past careers that you would love, because you believe your ADHD means you can’t do them.
It’s time to ditch limiting beliefs and go for what you want!
Explore The Possibilities
I encourage you to take time and explore what interests you. The websites: O*NET Online and My Next Move have good information on jobs and their future.You can investigate many different job descriptions, skills needed, educational requirements and pay.
Fire up your imagination!
No More Holding Back
Become a success story of someone with ADHD who stopped holding themselves back from a career they loved and just went for it. Learn to use ADHD as a strength instead of feeling ashamed of the diagnosis. See where you go next in your career journey. It will change your life.
It’s exciting when you find a way to break through the barriers you thought limited you from achieving your dream career!
Explore your possibilities and continue to break the mold!
Michelle Raz, M.Ed, is an ADHD Specialist, Board Certified Coach, Career Services Specialist, Author of Happiness + Passion + Purpose, Blogger, Webinar host and owner of Raz Coaching. She is dedicated to helping people work with their unique challenges, find their true passion in life, a career they will love and helping them connect the dots to get there.
Published for Attention Magazine June 2019 @chadd.org
I have been told that I am bossy and controlling! Boy did I want to just quit pushing for my goals and hide out after hearing that a few times. Thankfully, I didn’t or I would not be coaching clients today! Instead, I have embraced my leadership qualities and help people chart their personal course to their success.
Negative feedback often leaves your self-esteem wounded; it makes you feel like your inadequacies have been put on the spotlight. When this happens, you naturally get defensive either by beating yourself down mentally, or you resort to attacking the source of the negative criticism.
Feedback from others is one fundamental way of finding out your capabilities and what you are missing.
To succeed in what you do, you cannot only rely on doing and improving on what comes easily to you (that is, your strengths); you will also need to need to acknowledge your weaknesses and learn how to manage your weaknesses to uncover the hidden strengths within them. The ability to do this can help you to realize your potential and boost your confidence enabling you to operate at a higher level necessary for unearthing the strengths from the weaknesses.
What Are Hidden Strengths?
Hidden strengths refer to those talents, skills, and abilities that are not seen at first as perceived weaknesses mask them. They remain hidden because they are generally unrealized, underdeveloped, and underutilized.
What was once a weaknesses is now a strength!
The process of discovering your hidden strengths often begin with adjusting your self-perception, as the belief you have about your strengths and weaknesses most times “puts you in a box,” limiting your belief system. A shift in self-perception is necessary to create a boost in your confidence about your ability to improve on those weaknesses you have to unleash your hidden strengths.
Here are 3 weaknesses shifted to show the hidden strengths:
Perfectionism: Being a perfectionist does not necessarily make you a weak person; it only means that you move through or do your work differently than others. The perfectionist’s ability to focus on small details is an asset to you, as you can spot little critical information other people may have missed. A perfectionist is always the one to identify anything that seems off as well as connect the dots on issues.
The strength of perfectionists is evident in their “insistence” at being thorough about work and other life processes. A perfectionist is never satisfied until every detail about a project or event has been sorted out and every eventuality prepared for adequately – This in itself is a demonstration of an invaluable strength.
Sensitivity: Sensitive people often make exceptional team members as they tend to take into account the feelings of other people. They do not talk down to other team members; instead, they promote the contribution of opinions and views by every team member. A sensitive person can even go as far as taking the blame for the group when things go wrong. This supportive strength of sensitive individuals is crucial for maintaining harmony in the workplace when appropriately harnessed.
Domineering: Dominant people display self-confidence that often comes off as arrogant or bossy; their style of communication is direct and blunt, and they tend always to take the lead in situations. They monopolize discussions and are often quick to reach decisions without seeking the inputs of others.
Nevertheless, as cynical as the stance of dominant individuals may seem, they possess some substantial strengths. Domineering people often make good leaders, especially in crises situations, as they are excellent at handling stressful situations. They are never afraid to take risks; instead, they stay enthusiastic, even in the face of new challenges. The determination trait which dominant people have is expressed in their level of energy and ability to encourage other team members to stay focused on performing their tasks and responsibilities until the set goal is achieved.
No doubt, negative feedback, whether from others or you through the perceptions you have about yourself can leave you feeling deflated and unmotivated, but what you do with that information is crucial to how far you can go and how much you can achieve.
Adjust your self-perception about your capabilities and inadequacies.
Develop a realistic approach to doing those things you believe you can do with optimism.
Go ahead unleash your hidden strengths and soar.
Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD, PTSD, Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog and learn about my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.