Starting a new job can be exciting. A fresh start! However for those of us with ADHD, the shininess may wear off quickly and we may fall behind fast if the job is not the best fit for our unique ADHD brain. It is hard to get motivated in a job when you feel so overwhelmed that you can’t keep your head above water. It is hard to stay in a job where you are so unhappy. Frequent job hopping, anyone? Guilty. You’re not alone. That can be common for people with ADHD. Keeping a job when you have ADHD can be challenging, especially if it wasn’t the best fit from the start. But how do you know if a job will be a good fit for your ADHD? There are several strategies for ADHD in the workplace that individuals with ADHD can use to increase their chances of success at work. Here are some steps that may help:
Strategies for Finding the Best Jobs for People With ADHD
1. Identify and Use Your ADHD Strengths
You must discover your strengths in order to know what type of job you could excel in. When you do something well, incorporate that into a job and get paid for it! The key to finding fulfillment in your job is using these talents on a regular basis. By focusing on what you do well, you set yourself up for success in a job. Once I discovered my strengths, I was able to better understand why I did some aspects of a job well, and also why I struggled with some aspects of a job. For example, one of my strengths is social intelligence. I love connecting with people, getting to know them on a deeper level, and making them happy. I would go above and beyond for my clients. I remember the small details that bring smiles to people. Many times, my boss would not care that a customer really enjoyed working with me. My boss even once said, “That is expected.” The boss was only concerned about tasks not being completed in this role. It is obvious to me now looking back that my strengths were definitely not being celebrated or put to good use at some of those past jobs.
2. Identify Your Weaknesses and Avoid Them
You’ve always measured yourself by neurotypical standards. The truth is that we are not like most other people in the office, and that’s ok. Stop beating yourself up! We can instead focus on being more of our amazing, authentic, ADHD selves. What tasks in a job do you really struggle with? What is really challenging for you to focus on? List them. Try to find roles that don’t require these things. One of my biggest weaknesses from my past career was struggling on long projects. I started projects strong but struggled finishing them when they lasted for a long time. Turns out that shorter projects work best for my brain! I do best with an exciting new idea that I can knock out while it’s fresh.
3. Identify Your ADHD Passions
We must be engaged with the work to have connection or meaning and get fulfillment from a job. Those of us with ADHD may struggle hard core with focusing, especially if it is something we are not interested in! Looking back to my past, I was selling a product in which I didn’t fully understand how it worked, and I had no interest in whatsoever. No wonder I got fired! I had no fire within me to do the job, let alone do it well. Are you passionate about your current job?
4. Consider Your Work Environment
Think about the type of work environment that would be best suited to your needs. What has worked well for you in the past? What work conditions were terrible? Make a list of work conditions that you love and work conditions that you hate. Star your top 10 in each category! Some individuals with ADHD may thrive in a fast-paced environment with frequent changes, while others may prefer a more structured environment. You’ve got to do what works best for your ADHD brain. In a past job, my desk was located by the office printer. Hello distraction zone! It was an ADHD nightmare. It is important to identify and clarify the work conditions that work best for your ADHD so you can articulate them during an interview or when you are learning more about a job opportunity.
5. Seek Guidance for Your ADHD
Consider working with a Certified ADHD Coach, career coach or mentor who can help you identify your strengths and find jobs that are a good fit for your ADHD brain. It is worth the time investment to have a solid plan for your career. For quick help, get ADHD Coach Ryan’s groundbreaking text message based course, How To Find Work That WORKS for Your ADHD, delivered straight to your phone. This course will clarify work conditions that align your strengths with your passions, unlocking your true potential. This will allow you to start doing work that matters to you, so that you can live the happier life you deserve. Go from hopeless to happy at work in 10 days!
ADHD Job Search with Clarity
Overall, finding work that works with the ADHD brain can take time and effort. However, it is worth it! It is all about finding the right type of job that is best for your brain. Clarify what is best for you before looking for jobs. By focusing on your strengths, passions, work environment, and seeking guidance when needed, you can find a career that allows you to thrive with your ADHD brain. Look for jobs that match your skills and interests, and consider positions that allow you to use your strengths!
Your future is bright. I believe in you!