“ADD/ADHD-Friendly” Jobs and Careers – Part 1

If you have perused this site before, you will notice that there are plenty of reasons to be glad you, your child, or both of you have ADD/ADHD.  Even though society tends to focus on the negative aspects, it’s important to not overlook the positives.

Just like those with other special skills or needs, certain jobs have a better “fit” than others.  Nothing could be more true for the ADD/ADHD person.  If you are feeling that your job isn’t “you,” there may be a reason and it could be linked to your ADD/ADHD.  And if your child is beginning to think about future employment or college majors, his/her ADD must be considered, too.  Having ADD/ADHD does not mean you cannot succeed – it merely means that you are dealing with a host of variables that effects everything from your interests to your frustration level to your motivation.  It turns out that there are about 30 job areas that seem to be well matched with people who have ADD/ADHD.  In this article, we’ll look first at what makes a job “ADD-friendly” and how to go about figuring where you fit best.

If you are considering a career change, or if you are a “first-timer” with regards to a career, it might be well worth your time to seek the help of a career counselor.  This is a person who can administer testing to assess your interests and your aptitudes.  But as well, you need to make sure your counselor has a thorough understanding of your particular brand of ADD/ADHD so that this is taken into consideration  .

Research has shown that those of us with ADD/ADHD need jobs that have pressure, autonomy, and variety.  Pressure comes in the form of the excitement from a job that causes your adrenaline to flow.  Being autonomous does not mean you have to be in charge, but you probably prefer to work at your own pace and to be responsible for your work without someone breathing down your neck.  Do we need to even review what variety means?  A job without variety is never going to work for the ADDer!  So what exactly is a ADD/ADHD-friendly job anyway?

An ADD-friendly job usually requires that a person with ADD must pay attention to detail for short amounts of time – exactly how much time varies from person to person.  Particularly if your are extremely stimulated by what you are doing, you are apt to be able to sustain attention longer.

An ADD-friendly job can include that of the role of supervisor if you can pay attention to everyone else’s details as well as your own.  Depending on how much frustration you may feel at having to manage all details, you might be better suited to leave the managing to someone else!

An ADD-friendly job offers a frequently changing environment along with multiple responsibilities.  This cuts down on the boredom factor tremendously.  In addition, most ADDers prefer to work independently and take a lot of ownership in what they do.  When all of these things are present, the opportunity for success and happiness is well within reach!

If you are evaluating a career or trying to determine if it’s time for a job change, ask yourself the following questions.

– What are the duties of this particular job/career?

– How must autonomy will you have?

– How much detail work is required?  Will it be boring to you or can you see yourself becoming stimulated by these tasks?

– Is the job active or passive?  In other words, does it offer a lot of change in terms of what you do with your time or will you be doing the same thing all day long?

– Is there going to be enough stimulation such that you feel energized and excited about your work?

Your career or job doesn’t have to fit all of these criteria, but you sure want to have as many of them as you can.  We all have to mold ourselves to a certain extent for our jobs, but don’t forget that the job in turn must offer you a pretty good fit, too!  In next week’s article, we’ll begin to take a look at 30 job categories that are ADD/ADHD-friendly!