A couple days ago, I posted on an online HR forum asking if Human Resources sounded like a good career path for me. I mentioned my diagnosis, age and issues with working in the past, and then asked the participants what it’s like to work in the field.
The responses varied from negative and discouraging to more positive job reviews and experiences. One person bitterly complained that the work is stressful, and you get blamed for everything (“Office scapegoat” was the term they used). Another gave a fairly expected response that it depends where you work and what your responsibilities are, some people are more tailored to specific HR jobs than others. Another commented actively discouraging me and anyone else who has ADHD from working in the field, as it requires constant multitasking, the ability to stay calm under pressure, discipline and good working memory. Admittedly, this comment made me feel a bit down, because those skills aren’t just important for human resource positions, but pretty much any job out there, and this has caused havoc on my self-esteem. Luckily, however, I also heard from someone also diagnosed with ADHD who works in HR and loves it! They have found tricks like One Note to help them keep track of things and have been employed for eight years.
Despite the varied responses, I am glad that I am asking people in HR to give honest feedback about their job satisfaction and stability. Ten years ago when I quit the aforementioned government job, I didn’t research graphic design or bother talk to people in the field. I met a lady at work, who was a designer and retiring soon, and it gave me the idea of eventually taking her job as a sort of lateral move out of the mailroom. Combine that with a quarter life crisis, and I jumped into a completely different field head first. Dumb, I know, but I just didn’t want to be stuck working in a mailroom my entire life. Plus, I did pick up some good stuff while in design and art school.
One advantage of studying Human Resources Management, however, is that it does enable you to take as many or few courses as you want, completely online, unlike graphic design or art school, which required full-time commitment and putting everything else on-hold. I’ve already completed one class, and am taking the summer to consider if I want to take more courses in the fall. However, despite the greater ease of access, it’s still not an easy decision to make. Classes still cost time and money, and will require focus and effort to complete.
What’s difficult too is the fact that sometimes you don’t really know how much you want or can do something until you’ve actually done it. Last night, I was hemming and hawing about it to my husband while getting ready for bed. I repeated the same frustration and insecurities, negative experiences and sometimes crippling job anxiety that I’ve complained about a thousand times. He said the same words of encouragement, but followed with: “You should make a decision”.
I know I should, but it’s so hard.