Written By: Dr. Jaime G Raygoza
On a recent Finding the Unicorn in You podcast, career counselor Shell Mendelson shared her mission to guide neurodiverse individuals like those with ADHD to fulfilling careers. After an unexpected ADHD diagnosis herself, Mendelson found clarity in helping fellow "neuro-unicorns" unlock their potential.
From Vocational Rehab to Entrepreneur
With a background in vocational rehabilitation counseling, Mendelson assisted injured workers with career transitions. Though rewarding at first, the adversarial bureaucracy left Mendelson unfulfilled. She then launched a successful children's art franchise but missed using her counseling skills. Mendelson returned to career coaching after an ADHD diagnosis revealed her ideal path.
Designing for the Neurodiverse
Mendelson saw traditional career materials often didn't resonate with ADHD minds. She tweaked these resources to be more visual, graphic and engaging. Her new ADHD-friendly workbook allows neurodiverse clients to fully explore their strengths, preferences and purpose.
Uncovering the Inner Unicorn
According to Mendelson, ADHD individuals are often highly creative problem-solvers and idea generators. However, they struggle to identify the right career path. Mendelson's process enables clients to gain self-understanding, confidence and career direction to unleash their inner "unicorns."
Making Accommodations Accessible
An ADHD-friendly plan equips clients to advocate for necessary on-the-job accommodations. Mendelson aims to shift mindsets so neurodiverse individuals see themselves as "job developers" rather than "job beggars."
Shell's unicorn lesson is to stop trying to “fix” yourself. Instead, unleash your distinct gifts. Your brain is built for originality, not conformity. Its uniqueness makes you perfectly suited to find (or create) work no one else can do in just the way you do. You are a unicorn. Now let yourself fly.
Mendelson urges those with ADHD to embrace their neurodiversity as a creative strength. Her career counseling strives to reveal clients' inner unicorns and set them on a path to purpose.
Find the full episode of the Finding the Unicorn in You Podcast on Spotify, YouTube, and all major podcast platforms
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What insights on nurturing your inner unicorn do you gain from Mendelson's journey? Share in the comments!