My Journey So Far… Jessica Joury

By: Jessica Joury, Neurodiversity Coach, 3SC

12th April 2024

Jessica Joury, Neurodiversity Coach

Jessica Joury, Neurodiversity Coach

2023 wasn’t the best year for me. I faced some personal hardships, all of which were compounded by the fact I disliked my job. I was such a tiny cog in a stagnant machine, and it felt impossible for me to make any meaningful impact.
So, I decided to visit my sister abroad to get some much needed respite and sisterly support. She is a psychiatrist, and I always envied her for having such an interesting career that stimulated her. I thought to myself, “If I could have a do-over, I would’ve studied psychology and become a therapist!” Every decision I had made up until then was influenced by what I thought was the right thing to do.

 

Coaching

When I returned to London, I researched therapy degrees online, and felt disheartened by the amount of years and money I would need to invest. However, something did pop up around coaching. I had one of those ‘aha’ moments where everything just clicked. I remembered a friend years ago telling me I would make a good life coach. I remembered another friend telling me I would make a good career coach. And I always loved working with people. However, I batted these suggestions away at the time because coaching had negative connotations for me. All I could envision were fluffy, unqualified quacks telling people how they should live their lives…How wrong I was! Coaching is all about empowering the individual to take control of their lives. The coach is purely there to help them clarify their goals and ask powerful questions to guide them to where they want to be.

 

Cut to a few months later, I enrolled on a coaching course which changed my life in so many ways. I learnt all about belief systems and how they can limit us from achieving our potential. I learnt about the different roles we play in relationship dynamics, and how we can approach situations from a more adult perspective. I learnt about my values and what it is I actually want from life. During this time, I also received one-to-one coaching so I could experience the value of such a service. Needless to say, it worked like a charm on me, and ultimately bolstered my desire to pursue a coaching career.

 

ADHD Diagnosis

During the coaching course, the word ‘Neurodiversity’ kept popping up. My friends had always joked that I must have ADHD. I was always disorganised, distracted, bad at time management, error-prone and forgetful. These traits became much more apparent when I started my career. I kept thinking ‘Why won’t my brain work like everyone else’s?’ I told myself I was stupid and that I wouldn’t be able to thrive in any job. I eventually picked up strategies to cope with my shortfalls but couldn’t shake off the feeling of low self-worth.

 

So, I decided to get a diagnosis. I put this off for a long time because of the expense, but felt I needed validation that I wasn’t just stupid or careless. The psychiatrist diagnosed me as having the inattentive, rather than hyperactive side of ADHD. When he told me this, I felt instant relief and a sense of self-empathy. I speak to clients who have more challenges- and less support -than I do, who will often say, ‘All I want is a diagnosis so I can just know.’ It can take between 3-5 years to get an NHS diagnosis…The system is so broken.

 

Neurodiversity Coaching for People on Probation

A few months after my diagnosis, I saw a job pop up to be a Neurodiversity Coach at 3SC for people on probation. It was the first job description I had read that really excited me. While I haven’t started working with people on probation yet, I have delivered neurodiversity awareness training to probation practitioners who can now refer service users to us for neurodiversity screening and coaching. I am also coaching neurodiverse people who are unemployed, which brings a smile to my face every day. This job is stimulating, rewarding and my team are lovely. If you can take anything from this article, it’s that we all have the power to take control of our lives!