The Chronic Job Hopper
By: Dave Wilkowske An autobiographical psychohistorical memoir
Kirkus Book Review


My Ongoing Battle with Attention Deficit Disorder 1969-2005

Author: Wilkowske, David R.

Review Date: MARCH 02, 2007
Publisher:iUniverse Editor's Choice (254 pp.)
Price (paperback): $19.95
Publication Date: October 30, 3006
ISBN (paperback): 0-595-37342-9
Category: AUTHORS
Classification: NONFICTION

The intriguing history of one man’s lifelong quest to find the right job—and himself.

Though it would be natural to dismiss a gainfully employed adult’s lament that “I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up,” Wilkowske’s claim near the end of this employment-centered memoir seems quite sincere. Having so far held 63 jobs since age nine, this 46-year-old* first-time author chronicles his brutally disjointed past, offering the sheer number of jobs he’s worked as evidence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Despite being diagnosed with the condition in 2004, Wilkowske believes he’s suffered from it his entire life.

Considering the organizational and cognitive challenges ADHD sufferers face, this volume’s very existence is a marvel. Wilkowske recounts with impressive detail and soft-spoken humor the trauma and humiliation he faced in jobs as varied and ill-fitting (for him) as those of pea-reaper driver, landscaper, telemarketer, janitor, computer programmer, substitute teacher and truck-driver. With “a résumé that looks more like a holiday shopping list than a real vita,” Wilkowske writes, “I’ve managed to land, lose, or ditch more than fifty-eight jobs in thirty-seven years, with no career security or pension to show for it.” But he’s not in the market for sympathy; he’s seeking to educate job-hoppers and -holders alike in recognizing the symptoms of ADHD—social immaturity, sleeping disorders, inability to focus, preferring a “chaos theory of time management” to structure, short-term memory dysfunction, etc.—and learning how to manage them. The book also reveals an insider’s view of the economic hurdles faced by many middle-class Americans as they weathered the late-20th-century technology boom and subsequent decline.

Inspirational and informative. A must-read for those seeking, but rarely finding, contentment at work or at home.

* The new job count as of June 2013 is 76; an increase of 13 more jobs since 2006 and Dave is now 54 years old.