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The following article is the first in a series on finding a fulfilling career. It is the overview of the Career Search process:

"The best way to change a life of frustration into a life of mastery is by developing talents and strengths not just shoring up weaknesses." Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D

Finding a Career That Suits You: Play to Your Strengths
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Robin Roman Wright, Career Coach at the Hallowell Center, dispels several misconceptions about finding a fulfilling career. Through her coaching she provides a proven approach for helping people with ADD identify career skills and determine occupations that would be satisfying and rewarding. In the article, she outlines some common misconceptions about finding fulfilling work. She also mentions the 7 steps in a proven methodology for finding work you enjoy and can be successful at.

Here Are Three Misconceptions Regarding Finding Meaningful Work

  • I have ADD, my limitations and "disability" will prevent me from finding meaningful work.
    • REALITY: Yes, you may have limitations, but everybody does whether or not they have ADD. The trick is self-awareness and recognizing how to avoid or compensate for those limitations.
  • I have ADD, I don’t have any relevant gifts, talents or skills.
    • REALITY: Yes, you may be unaware of your gifts and talents, but there are tried and true methods to figuring out the gifts that you have to offer the world of work.
  • I can find the most suitable jobs from the "Want Ads" or online job banks.
    • REALITY: Yes, a small percentage of job hunters find work through newspaper ads and online job banks, but most find work through other approaches such as networking.

Robin Roman Wright provides a 7-Step process for finding a fulfilling career. She outlines that process below. Before you embark on your career search consider taking the following 7 steps:

1. Understand yourself – the more you know about yourself, the better when it comes to picking a career or selecting a particular job opportunity.

  • Take self-assessments in order to understand such things as: your interpersonal style, your career interests, the environment that motivates you and your values.
  • Find out about "your kind of mind." Some people with ADD will find it helpful to obtain a neuropsychological consult and/or a neuropsychological evaluation, both available at the Hallowell Center.
  • Identify your strengths. We all have strengths. We have exhibited these functional skills in the course of our lives, the things we have accomplished, challenges we have overcome or problems that we have solved. These are called these transferable skills. Find out what yours are.

2. Select the fields of knowledge that most interest you (ie: you are enthralled by them, you can’t get enough information about these things)

3. Once you have identified your eight top transferable skills and the fields of knowledge that most interest you, you are ready to begin identifying where within the world of work having this knowledge and these transferable skills are valued. (In other words, someone is willing to pay you.)

4. The next step involves identifying job targets. You need to narrow down to three the number of occupations that interest you and where you have the skills, talents and abilities to contribute and make your mark. Again, coaching can help you winnow down the number of options and select the few job targets that are the most promising.

5. Now you are ready for the Job Search and Networking.

  • Remember as you proceed on with the job search, as Dr. Hallowell says, finding the right boss is key. You will have the most success in a future job where you get to know the person who you will be working for before you take the job.
  • The Job Search process can be long, tedious and discouraging. Develop a supportive group of people around you.

6. When you land that job, enjoy. You have accomplished much.

7. Continue to learn and grow. Remember that we live in the twenty-first century, in the fast moving "job-free" world.1 Keep learning and growing and keep those networks strong. You may find you are in this current organization for quite a long time or you may find that you move to a next job quickly.

Finding a rewarding career, is a journey. A mentor of mine calls it a "Quest." With a clear goal, a tried and true process, self-knowledge, guidance and steady steps taken towards the goal, you too can find a career that suits you and successfully land a job.

Get started on a successful career path today! Two options for getting in action now:

1. Contact the Hallowell Center at (978) 287-0810 and ask for a 15-minute complementary career coaching inquiry with Robin Roman Wright

2. Contact the Hallowell Center and ask for an initial appointment

1 William Bridges, "Where Have All the Jobs Gone?" 1998

Hallowell Center Sudbury • 144 North Road, Suite 2450 • Sudbury, MA 01776 • ph 978-287-0810

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