Diagnosed With ADHD? Jobs That May Be A Good Fit
By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated August 27, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn
If you have ADHD and have been trying to get a job, you know exactly how hard it can be. Each description for a job includes things like good with time management, great organizational skills, ability to multitask and meet deadlines. While these things may seem easy enough for a lot of people, when you struggle with ADHD these things can be incredibly difficult to do. But don't lose heart. If you have ADHD, jobs are still available and there's something that can be a good fit for you.
You may need to be more intentional about the type of work that you look for when you are diagnosed with ADHD, but there are some that can be a great opportunity for you.
Your ADHD Can Be An Asset
Mental health speaker Mike Veny suffers from mental health challenges like depression, OCD, and anxiety. However, he's built a career on his mental illness. He travels the country speaking at all different kinds of events and promotes his mental challenges as an asset instead of a liability.
If you have ADHD, your brain thinks differently than other people. In certain jobs, this is actually an asset that makes you more qualified for certain jobs than other people. Don't think for a second that because you have ADHD you are a liability at work. While there may be some jobs that aren't a great fit for you, there are others that you will truly be able to excel in.
Jobs That Can Be a Good Fit for ADHD
In order to teach, you will have to obtain a college degree, which can be hard for people with ADHD that struggle with studying. But there are plenty of tips and treatments that can help you get through it and teaching can be a great job for those that struggle with ADHD.
You won't be stuck sitting at a boring desk job doing the same thing day in and day out. When teaching, your need to be able to switch from one topic to the next often quickly in order to keep up with the kids. You can use plenty of creativity every day. Your own experiences with ADHD can also help you to handle other learning disabilities that your students may have.
Early Childhood Education
Working at a daycare can be a great fit for people that struggle with ADHD. Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers keep you busy jumping from one activity to the next.
Young children don't have long attention spans which makes it great for those that struggle with ADHD. You can have multiple activities going on at once as the kids are at play.
Being a chef at a restaurant allows you to use your own form of creativity in the food. And, with constant new orders coming in you're always on to a new task. If you have a love of food and cooking, this can be a great fit for you.
Cosmetology allows you to be constantly on the move which can help if you suffer from hyperactivity. You're on your feet for most of the day and you generally don't have one client for more than 30 minutes. This allows you to keep things fresh and moving throughout your day. You don't have to stay focused on any one task for a long time because what you're doing is always changing.
Business Owner or Entrepreneur
Some people with ADHD find that they do much better when they're working for themselves. If you have something that you're passionate about or a side hustle that you're successful at, consider turning into your full-time occupation.
When you are your own boss you often work more hours but you're in control of when you work those hours and what you spend your time doing. And because you're spending your time doing something that you truly like and are passionate about, it can help you to focus your attention on it more than if you're doing a job that bores you.
Being a first responder, like a police officer, firefighter, or EMT is a very difficult job. There are a lot of stressful situations that you're going to encounter, and you will be forced to make split-second decisions. This can be very stressful for some people but your ADHD symptoms can actually make this a great fit for you. Your brain will be able to kick in and see things clearly that other people might miss because of the way that you think. And, you're constantly on to a new activity and the job will keep you moving.
Tips to Help You Succeed At Work With ADHD
Every job comes with challenges and tasks that might not be your favorite to do. When you have ADHD there are going to be some tasks that will be more challenging for you than they might be for some other people. But there are things that you can do in order to help make it easier on yourself.
Your brain might want to jump to a million different tasks at once, but it's best if you can stay focused on one task at a time. Studies have been done that show that it's more time-consuming for you to switch from one task to another and more likely that you'll make mistakes. So, it's better to just do one at a time. If you are struggling to stay on task, set a timer and work on one task until the timer goes off and then switch tasks to something else. This might help you to stay on task better until your timer goes off. Your brain knows that you're only going to have to do it for a short amount of time before you get to switch to do something new.
Break Big Tasks Down
Taking on a big job can be incredibly overwhelming. This can make it difficult for you to decide where you need to start. But it can be incredibly helpful if you take each of the big tasks that you have to do and break it down into small steps. Then you can accomplish a small step quickly and check it off your list and be able to shift your focus to something else.
Utilize Your Calendar
To help yourself stay organized it's important to keep on top of deadlines that you have. Make sure that you put everything down on a calendar so you're able to prioritize your tasks better. You can set reminders for yourself on the calendar, so you know what you have coming on which date.
Allow Yourself to Fidget
If you struggle with hyperactivity and you have a hard time staying still don't try to fight it. Look for an appropriate way that you can fidget during long meetings to be able to keep your attention on the task at hand. This could include rolling a pen through your fingers doodling on a piece of paper or taking notes throughout the meeting to help keep yourself focused. If something is jumping into your mind and distracting you, simply write it down so you can come back to it later and stay focused on the task at hand.
Find a Quiet Place to Work
If you have control of where you're working, try to find a quiet place where there will be fewer distractions. However, if you're working in the middle of a cubicle jungle, you may need to find white noise that you can use such as soft music or noise canceling headphones in order to block out the background noise and stay focused on your work.
Have a Job That You Really want?
Just because you've been diagnosed with ADHD doesn't mean that you're not able to go after the dream job that you have your heart set on. While the jobs that are included in this list may be easier for those with ADHD to be able to succeed at, it does not by any means mean that these are the only jobs that you have to choose from.
There are many forms of treatment for ADHD that can help you take control of your symptoms and be able to improve your performance at work. if you have a job that you have dreamed of doing, do not let your ADHD diagnosis get in the way of that.
Take the time to talk with a therapist and your doctor about what options and strategies you can use in order to overcome your symptoms of ADHD. Your doctor or psychiatrist may be able to prescribe medication for you. This can help to lessen the effects and symptoms of ADHD. a psychologist or therapist can help you learn tips and strategies on how to improve your performance even with your diagnosis.
Some of these strategies are to learn better time management skills, tips on staying organized, and self-care that will help you to minimize your symptoms. Recent studies have found that things like elimination diets and getting more sleep are able to reduce the symptoms that you experience as well.
If you work hard, you will be able to find a combination of treatments that will work best for you to help you reduce your symptoms as much as possible. So don't let ADHD get in the way of going after your dream job.
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