Before beginning my career at mm/c I was just another college graduate flipping bottles behind a bar to make a little money until I could find a “real job.” While I do not miss the weird hours and petty complaints of customers, I do miss late night conversations with my regulars. One of my favorite frequent customers came every Wednesday night and would ask about my interviews that week.
One night, after discussing how I fumbled over my words and at one point just did not say anything back to the intimidating person on the other side of the table during my interview that day, the man frankly asked if I had ADD. I stopped for a moment then answered, “Is it that obvious?” While I was diagnosed with ADD years ago, I often did not share my learning disability with others in fear that people would either look at me like I was stupid, spacey or just making up that I have ADD as an excuse for my constant mistakes.
It turns out this kind man also shared my struggle and bluntly told me that my ADD was causing me to lack confidence in interviews. How had I never thought of this before? Previous to meeting this stranger, I had always let my learning disability bring me down and never thought that I could do the things that people with successful careers would do. That night he told me to look up a celebrity who had ADD and each week following would give me the name of another successful person with the disability to research. The night before interviewing at mm/c the man on the other side of the bar knew this interview was special and offered me his biggest inspiration, Sir Richard Branson. He wrote the name on a cocktail napkin, winked and said, “This is the one.”
Sir Richard Branson taught me that although I may constantly forget things, go through a book of post-it notes a week of reminders and take a little bit longer to finish assignments than others, I have a unique perspective on life. I learned to use my “out-of-the box” thinking to my creative advantage and walked into my interview with confidence that day and spoiler alert!…scored the position!
Below are a few of my favorite motivational quotes by Sir Richard that remind me that I can do anything that people without learning disabilities can, and maybe even do it better!
Symptom 1: Impulsive decisions
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…are sometimes the best decisions!
Symptom 2: Struggles with following rules
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Wish I could have told this to my fifth grade teacher who frequently made me stay in for recess for not following the rules…
And my final job-scoring advice from Sir. Richard (in list-form of course):
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I may never see the “Wednesday night regular” again, but I will always remember to turn my weaknesses into strengths due to his list of “celebrity inspirations” and for that I am forever grateful.
Posted by Christina