A person with ADHD can operate in ways that can hurt their career and affect their relationships. Finding the right career for people with this particular neuro-disorder can be tough. However, you can actually turn the cards and make the most of it in your life. To do so, know where to begin And that’s exactly why we bring you the best jobs for ADHD based on their capabilities and strengths.
What is ADHD?
Many of you may not be aware of the presence of the disorder within you or a loved one. ADHD is Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder, which is caused by the interactions between genes and environmental factors. As suggested by the researchers of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), it can also occur due to non-genetic factors,
People with ADHD show three ongoing types of symptoms:
– Lack of attention or difficulty paying attention: People with the disorder may start something but most often would not finish it.
– Hyperactivity: They will move constantly at times when it isn’t required.
– Acting without thinking: The person may act on his/her impulse without thinking about the consequences. This can affect their relationship or get them into trouble in school.
Note that ADHD is not just a childhood disorder. It can continue to exist in adulthood as well. The person may not be overly active as he was as a child, but he might show other symptoms, including disorganization, inattention, and impulsiveness. Non-genetic factors that contribute to ADHD include smoking cigarettes, and the use of drugs and alcohol during pregnancy, and exposure to toxins at a young age.
If you have problems organizing tasks and activities, overlook or miss details, make frequent careless mistakes at school/college/ work, lack of concentration or focus, seem to not listen when spoken to directly, avoid tasks that need mental efforts, keep losing things, such as wallets, stationery etc., become forgetful in daily activities, and fail to follow through instructions at work, you may have developed the ADHD disorder.
Career Guidelines for People with ADHD
If a schizophrenia patient can achieve a noble prize, people with ADHD can actually find a stable and sustainable job. President Lincoln, Kennedy, Roosevelt, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Picasso, and Walt Disney, have ADHD. They just harnessed its power and used it in their favor.
So what kind of job will harness the power of an ADHD mind?
A mind of an ADHD person skips. It skips because it gets bored easily and starts looking elsewhere for entertainment and motive. If you have ADHD, you just need to control where it skips. You have a very special mind that demands new things to hold on to. To start harnessing your mind, you have to create two distinguishing lists:
– One of the things that you need to do today.
– Another for the long term goals- the things you want to do in life.
And while working on them, notice where your mind starts to wander. And when it does, try to give it productive options to hold on to. You just have to keep your focus on your day’s productivity and take one day at a time.
This should be a continuous process. Pick a career that you enjoy and that sparks your interest. Make a list again addressing what you are good at, what you like to do, and what will get you paid. The trick is to find a job where your ADHD traits become your strengths:
– Choose jobs that have original ideas and need creativity. Research shows that people with ADHD are often innovative.
– Since you lack organization, bookkeeping, documentation and filing abilities, you should consider hiring a person, in case you are planning to start a business.
– Select a fast-paced job or job that has constant change. When you get to face new tasks every day, you will feel more engaged in your career.
– If you like socializing (which most ADHD people do), then choose a career that involves building relationships and socializing.
Best Jobs for People with ADHD
Studies reveal that adults with ADHD have a liking towards working directly with children. Therefore, a career in teaching and childcare, such as the job of a governess is ideal for you. In these jobs, you have to be thoughtful, witty, creative, and probably on your feet most of the time. You will have to strengthen your reflexes and adapt to quick transitions from task to task. Plus, you must learn to observe and read students’ psychology and understand their strengths and challenges. On the downside, the career might put your patience to test, especially when dealing with stubborn kids.
Business or Self-Employed
Jane Massengill, a certified adult ADHD coach for over 30 years says, “Most of my adult ADHD clients are self-employed or independent contractors. The most important thing is that they have a job they are passionate about. Otherwise, they tend to get bored and lose their focus.” The reward of hard work, gumption, and investment is lifetime independence for ADHD people. However, you must put in efforts initially, even if you are starting out as an independent contractor or freelancer. You have to organize your system and maintain a solid schedule.
Journalists are always seeking truth, news, gossips, and latest happenings in so many different areas. A career in journalism is definitely exciting, creative, non-monotonous, on-the-go and of course, rewarding. With the right opportunity in your journalism career, you will be given a chance to cover a lot of topics and niche, interact with various people, and submit assignments on schedule. This is definitely a job for a person with lots of energy, who gets bored easily, has a short attention span, and has limited focus. The only challenge would be completing hard assignments, but you can.
Police Force or Military
These jobs require training and discipline but they also give a sense of purpose and a dynamic career front. Both the professions have tremendous competition but if you are able to crack the entrance, it will be a great career, and a satisfying one too. Police, military or firefighting career is packed with action, adventure, and variety. You will have to use your judgment and skills to accomplish tasks. On the other hand, you may have to go through boring tasks, such as filing papers, reporting to authority figures, and paperwork, which may seem challenging in the beginning. Try to keep your focus on variety and take different tasks.
This could be one of the best career options for people with mental disorders. People with ADHD are very creative and talented. They are not inferior to any normal human being. If you love cooking and identify it as one of your strengths, you can become a chef and earn a living out of feeding others. You can be a home chef, a baker, cook from home and supply, run a kiosk, work in a hotel or any place that pleases you. The career lets you try new things every day and keeps you on your toes. Cooking also acts as a relaxation therapy to many.
Media and Entertainment
Media and entertainment industry is anything but boring and monotonous. You just need loads and loads of talent, a certain percentage of luck, and continuous efforts to get into this field. Howie Mandel is one such celebrity who has ADHD. Songwriter and singer Joan Baez also suffer from the disorder. Challenges, however, may arise when you need to leave on time to concerts, events, trips, promotions, and other activities, which you surely can deal with.
You can be a hairstylist, a makeup artist, a manicurist, cosmetologist, or a product reviewer. You can start your own boutique, blog, vlog, podcast, or a social media profile. You will be constantly meeting new people, so boredom is seldom in this industry. Every day and every event, whether it is a wedding, a baby shower or a movie, will provide a different experience and provide a unique creative challenge that requires only short term focus, not more than an hour or two. It is an ideal working situation for hyperactive adults with ADHD. Plus, you will get ample social interactions from your pool of customers.
Since you tend to get bored easily, you can thrive on jobs that change constantly and give you mental stimulation. Working as a nurse, paramedic, or physician assistant will give you the required uniqueness and constant change in your task. You will be engaged with a new patient or practice every day. There will be less paperwork and more emergencies and field work, both important for ADHD patients to thrive in their careers.
Don’t be in a hurry. Pause..breathe…take the time to learn about different careers. And. if you need extra insight, consider working with a career counselor or a psychologist. Spare us just 1-2 mins, and drop us a word in the comments below.