Stories about work life, entrepreneurship, and neurodivergence
Neurodivergent people often feel like square pegs people try to push into round holes. We are unique, a little (or a lot) different from the typical majority. When we’re younger, we often perceive being different as a negative thing. Many of us want badly to fit in, or at least not stand out in a “bad” way.
Many of us go against the grain, play by our own rules, and have trouble following rules created by others if they don’t make sense to us or seem arbitrary. Many of us don’t play politics well, if at all , myself most definitely included (big time).
This can make navigating office politics and the social expectations of our workplaces particularly challenging. It can also make working for someone else difficult, especially if they don’t understand us, or we don’t understand them.
As a result, a lot of neurodivergent people turn to self-employment in order to be their own boss, meet their own needs, and hopefully thrive as entrepreneurs. Being neurodivergent can bring many qualities that benefit us, such as creativity, innovation, and a willingness to take risks (more on that later).
Starting our own business can also highlight some of our biggest challenges, such as executive functioning, which can include difficulties with time management, organization, and planning.
The articles below offer advice for finding a job or career path that’s right for you, for mitigating and managing the struggles one might encounter on this journey, and highlighting some of the many strengths of neurodivergent employees and entrepreneurs.
As a neurodivergent who loves spotting patterns, this reminded me that I’ve published quite a number of related stories.
The first one was about how my ADHD has made me a successful entrepreneur, and has allowed me to successfully run two very different businesses at the same time:
Over the summer, I got more specific and outlined particular qualities and traits of neurodiverse people which can make us a great fit for entrepreneurship:
I then took what I’ve learned from those experiences, and from my research on ADHD and entrepreneurship, to offer advice for my fellow neurodivergents.
This article outlines practical tips for those who want to succeed in their writing, and in other personal and professional endeavours:
I spent a significant portion of my life wanting to be “like everybody else”. I just wanted to fit in and be accepted. It’s only been over the past few years, since I’ve identified and embraced my neurodivergence, that I’ve changed my mind.
I don’t want to be like everybody else. I don’t want to be typical. “Normal” is boring, and my unique brain has plenty of assets to contribute.
Without “weirdos” like us, there would be a lot less laughter in the world. There would be fewer inventions, less innovation, and less variety. Wear your quirks with pride, show off your peculiarities, embrace your exceptionalities, and many others will follow suit.
© Jillian Enright, Neurodiversity MB
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Yang, S., & Jung, C. (2021). A Study on the Effect of Employment Relationship Characteristics on Job Satisfaction: Focusing on the Moderating Effect of Job Autonomy. Journal of the Korea Industrial Information Systems Research, 26(2), 57–72. https://doi.org/10.9723/JKSIIS.2021.26.2.057
White, H. A. & Shah, P. (2006). Uninhibited imaginations: Creativity in adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Personality and Individual Differences, 40(6), 1121–1131. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2005.11.007
Yu, W., Wiklund, J., & Pérez-Luño, A. (2021). ADHD Symptoms, Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO), and Firm Performance. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 45(1), 92–117. https://doi.org/10.1177/1042258719892987