In my early 20’s I took a two year hiatus from college because I was confused and unclear about my career direction. Plus, I was not inspired with what I had learned up to that point. In those days, college was cheap and I could afford to switch majors and add an extra year. Not so today! My fall-back position was to use the clerical skills my high school counselor insisted I develop because I was, well, a girl, and one who did not excel in math or science. My initial goal was to attend a prestigious university that required more than my counselor thought I could handle…well I digress – more on this in another post. So, I became the best typist and shorthand taker I could and had all the skills necessary to become a first rate secretary. Here’s the kicker – I’m ADD, so a job that required me to sit behind a desk in a cubicle eight hours a day was bound to have enormous repercussions. I did not know I was at the time and, in fact, was only diagnosed a few years ago. Finally there was an explanation for the many challenges in my work life until I found my calling. Throughout my 20’s I must’ve had 20 secretarial jobs and got fired from at least 13 or more of them. When I look back at this, I can now laugh. But at the time it was a source of shame and destroyed my self-confidence until I entered graduate school. How is it someone as smart as me could not even make photocopies correctly? I had amazing skills, but I had no organizational ability and I despised the work. The good news is I could work one throughout college and graduate school and make additional cash through temp agencies. This was the first way I was able to leverage my ADD.
September 07, 2011