There is something very satisfying in being able to do well at work, and I think I have stumbled upon a way to do this. When I am locked into a job for the whole school year, I start feeling trapped and unhappy, but short and long term substitute teaching is a joy, and I get to coach teachers on the side, which is my training. I have been an educator for over 10 years now.
When getting back into a work environment after a year off due to COVID, or perhaps other hardships, it’s important to be gradual about it. In the book Cognitive Therapy of Schizophrenia, by David G. Kingdon and Douglas Turkington, they talk about how people sometimes try to do too much too quickly, and it just leads to disappointment and the inability to fulfil one’s objectives due to being overwhelmed. I think this applies to all people really: if we try to bite off more than we can chew and we are not patient with ourselves, we can start to drown.
If you’re highly intelligent and still struggling with executive functioning, try to figure out what kind of work you can do. When I look at professional workspaces for people with struggles I see that a lot of people work as consultants. This could be a good gig, because people with mental health issues are often very sensitive to the energy of an organization and the atmosphere of organizational structures. See if you can get training that will help you to excel professionally, but make sure it’s something that you can see yourself actually doing when you’re done. A lot of the time people get trained only to realize that they really don’t have a passion for what they were trained to do. Or they get a PhD and realize that they’re too specialized and practically unemployable. Look before you invest so much time and try not to spend too much money as you get trained, especially if you don’t have a job lined up.
Remember, finally, that every situation is unique and that I’m not a mental health professional, but remember that people are there for you who are trained. They’re just a phone call away.