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How to Find the Best ADHD Job For You
No, I won't tell you to be a social worker or a registered nurse because people with ADHD are compassionate and understanding. I won't tell you to be police officers or take culinary arts because we are righteous and creative. These may be some of the characteristics of many people with ADHD, but trust me😉; these aren't enough to get the best job or be the best people in your work environment.
The first thing to do to find out which jobs are suited for you is to understand what ADHD is. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodivergent disorder that presents numerous symptoms, like impulsiveness, hyperactivity, forgetfulness, and low levels of focus. People with ADHD are known to be either in the inattentive type (daydreamer), hyperactive-impulsive type (constantly on the move), or a combination of both.
Adults with ADHD struggle with many things. The good news is that different resources raise awareness about these struggles. While it is manageable to know the definition and basic characteristics of ADHD, it is another thing to address all the challenges brought by this neurodivergent condition.
Once you can effectively address the symptoms that hinder you from being your best, it’ll be easier for you to determine the job that suits you most😘.
Understanding Your ADHD Brain
Before applying to any job, we often research the position, the skills needed to have a fulfilling career, or learn more about the workplace and its culture. But as we dig deep into potential workplace issues and understand all the tasks involved, we begin to assess if it is the right job for our knowledge and skills.
Getting satisfying careers for many people with ADHD can be challenging, especially if our impulsivity gets in the way. We might also have a high energy drive if the position sounds very interesting, but then we realize that the job title requires more sustained focus than we can provide.
Hence, understanding your own ADHD brain🧠 before anything else is essential to find a job that will work with your symptoms instead of against them. Here are the questions you can ask yourself before knowing more about the company's offers or shaking hands with the recruitment manager:
- What interests you best?
- What are the ADHD symptoms that may be your asset?
- What ADHD traits might get into your way of succeeding in your career?
- How long can you work and stay focused on a specific task?
- Do you prefer working on a team, or do you need to work independently?
There are lots of questions you might want to ask yourself about a specific profession. But for now, let us try to limit ourselves to these questions, and why ADHD people need to answer them first before committing to a full-time job👌.
What Interests an ADHD Brain?
You don’t need to have exact, set-in-stone answers for this question as an ADHD brain tends to have a wide range of interests. But, an overview will be helpful.
I tried many hobbies and engaged in multiple interests, but later on, I found it tedious and not challenging enough for my liking. I was able to do them just because they are what other people are into, or it is the "trend” at that time, but not because they genuinely interest me😅.
To go about this question, why not list everything that interests you and then eliminate those that you haven’t engaged in the past months? Afterward, you can arrange them in order of our involvement. Of course, this is just one way. You are free to choose however you want to answer this query.
But why is it important to know which activities interest us the most?
The creativity of an adult with ADHD typically depends on their willingness to do something. Many people with ADHD tend to be more motivated if they do what interests them. When they are inspired by the career path they take, they seem to be more adaptable to fast-paced environments. They are also more likely to enjoy their work and feel a sense of belongingness in the workplace if they feel that their skills are being used for something good.
However, when someone is uninterested in their assigned tasks, even daily routines will be hard to do, and challenges may seem never-ending🥺. Procrastination may even be an issue because we are unmotivated to do tasks timely and productively. So, before hitting that job search, know first what interests you.
Take our fun online quiz to visualize your ADHD traits and learn more about your brain!TAKE THE FREE TEST
What ADHD Symptom Can Be An Asset To You?
Try to list down all the strengths that you think you have as a person with ADHD. You see, many ADHD symptoms can be beneficial for us💪. ADHD symptoms such as impulsivity, hyperactivity, and multitasking, may appear to be liabilities at first, but they can actually benefit people with fast-paced careers.
Come to think of it, people who can make impulsive decisions tend to be quick thinkers and are also more likely to seize opportunities. They are also known for being risk-takers, which is suitable for people who want more adventures in their lives.
There are also people with ADHD who get excited with novelty. They are known to be very enthusiastic when encountering new things; this can be an advantage for people who want careers in research and development.
You might be surprised, but some people with ADHD can also be good at multitasking because their brains are wired to process lots of information simultaneously. Those who have mastered their novelty-seeking attitude are also not afraid of constant change and can quickly adapt to new environments🙌.
If you are also someone who can produce creative solutions to problems, then you can also use that to your advantage. Many people with ADHD are known for their out-of-the-box thinking, which can be helpful in many careers, such as advertising, marketing, and engineering. For a neurotypical person, one project may come with only one solution, but for an ADHD brain, there are numerous ways to solve each task.
Which ADHD Traits May Come as a Disadvantage?
Knowing the possible advantages is not enough - to find the best job for you, you also need to be mindful of the potential disadvantages. Which ADHD traits may be a disadvantage in fulfilling the company's goal as well as yours? These symptoms should be evaluated to turn them into opportunities to improve.
Being forgetful, for instance, can be a huge disadvantage as it means that we have to constantly remind ourselves of schedules or tasks. However, we can improve on this and be more organized by using different apps and gadgets 📅 to help us with our ADHD symptoms.
Things like being emotional or sensitive to criticism can be improved upon as well. One way to work on this is by attending therapy sessions or seeking professional help to understand our emotions better and learn how to manage them in different situations. When you know most about your ADHD traits, you'll likely have an idea on how to manage them well and prevent them from making your work harder.
How Long Can You Focus on Your Tasks?
There's no hiding that some people diagnosed with adult ADHD tend to be easily distracted and cannot focus well on tasks because of their inattentivity or hyperactivity. And whether we admit it or not, there may be consequences when our focus isn't intact😭. Suppose we can do tasks and get easily swayed by different things easily. In that case, we might need to consider taking on careers that don't require much focus, like being a consultant or a business owner with flexible working hours.
Also, there are moments when tasks require us to hyper-focus. When we utilize our extreme focus on doing things that we are interested in, it can significantly help our career. For example, computer technicians love doing their work and often require extreme focus to do their job well. The same goes for surgeons, chefs, and many other occupations.
Consider If You’re An Introvert Or Extrovert
When we like to do things on our own and solve problems by ourselves, we should consider taking a career that satisfies those things.
Are you an introvert? Why not consider being the boss of our own business, with minimal interactions with other people. Sometimes, we may be misunderstood because of our introverted tendencies. Other people may see it as being rude when we don't want to talk much or be in a large group.
Likewise, suppose you’re an extrovert who enjoys keeping company with others. In that case, jobs with frequent human interactions, like being a social worker, assistant professor👨⚖️, or even a police officer, can be great for you. These types of careers may impose a certain degree of challenges for us to have professional success, but they may be worthwhile to try.
Honestly, some people's problem-solving skills are affected by their working environment. So when you try to seek jobs you think are suitable for you, try picturing out in your mind if you'll need to work alone or be better at taking on challenges with your peers.
Choosing Mental Health Over the Best ADHD Jobs
This message is for those who thought they had the best jobs even though they have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder AND those still struggling to find the best workplace.
ADHD jobs may still be elusive to you, or you once felt the excitement during the first months of your career. Whichever your case, here's a special message for everyone:
Hello, my name is Alice 🙋♀️. I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when I was 29 years old. Before my ADHD diagnosis, I didn't understand what I wanted to do with my life, especially with my career. There are lots of obstacles and problems that I need to conquer on my own. I wanted to be everything I could think of, but I never really knew which path I should take specifically.
Even though now I am officially a part of the adult ADHD community, there are still times that ADHD challenges overwhelm me. Sometimes, I feel like I am not good at anything because of my mistakes and failures. There are also times that my problem-solving skills aren't that great, making it hard for me to find the right career.
But I realized that, even though having ADHD can sometimes be challenging, it doesn't mean we should give up on ourselves😘. We should continue finding the best workplace or career for us. I believe there are still beautiful places with fulfilling jobs for people with ADHD. Though there may still be bumps on the road, we can still try our best to stay focused and give it our 100%. We don't have to prove anything. ADHD does not define us.
And when we feel that our current workplace gives us more stress than a sense of fulfillment, it is okay to seek change. Maybe we need a better working environment that can help us feel more relaxed and at ease, so we can focus on our tasks more. It is not wrong to want a career that can make us happy because at the end of the day, we should always put our mental health at the top of our priority. Cheer up, brave warrior. We can do this🙌!
The Best Jobs for People with ADHD
If you are still wondering what jobs are specifically designed for adults with ADHD, my obvious answer is the job where you can have fun while working❤️ . Having the best career depends on your preference, skills, and goals in life. It is essential to find a job we are passionate about to stay motivated and focused on achieving our goals.
I cannot tell you to work in healthcare jobs or be a special education teacher just because we understand what patients and students feel. I can't tell you to pursue being a dental assistant or dentist because you have good eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity. But, if you are interested in these career paths and enjoy these subjects, then go for it😘!
The best ADHD job is where you feel valued most. Having an ADHD diagnosis should not be a hindrance in finding a job or career that you love. Finding a fantastic workplace that can make you feel happy and content is still possible. Don't give up on your dreams and persist until you find the best one for you!
How to Find the Best ADHD job for you: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).
Is it difficult for people with ADHD to find a great job?
To say that it is difficult for people with ADHD to find a job is not quite right. After all, anyone may have difficulty finding a job. However, due to the symptoms of this neurodivergent condition, it may be challenging for you to find a job that you can enjoy and sustain.
How do ADHD symptoms affect our chosen careers?
ADHD symptoms can either be an advantage or disadvantage depending on how you manage them and what your career is. Come to think of it, being forgetful can be a huge disadvantage but there are ways around it, such as using tools, like alarms and calendars. Likewise, being impulsive can be an advantage if your career requires being a risk taker.
What’s the best job for people with ADHD?
There’s no definite answer to this question. The best job is, of course, one that values you and where you have fun working. Don’t be afraid to “experiment” on jobs, but before that, be sure to manage your ADHD symptoms well with the help of a mental health professional.