People with ADHD are typified by their inability to concentrate for long periods of time. In school, children with ADHD would often struggle to sit still and pay attention. As adults, they may be frequent day dreamers, have a hard time staying organized or be chronic procrastinators. People with ADHD get bored easily and have an incredibly difficult time doing things that do not hold their interest, even if those things must be done.
This can cause major problems for people entering the workforce, especially desk jobs and customer service positions where work is repetitive or heavily scripted. However, the same traits that make people with ADHD a poor fit for some jobs can actually be major advantages in other careers.
People with ADHD tend to be highly energetic, ambitious, interested in tackling problems and able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Success in the workplace means choosing one of the best jobs for people with ADHD and taking advantage of strengths while finding ways to work around weaknesses.
Best Jobs for People with ADHD
When you have ADHD, the best job for you will be one that you're excited about and interested in. This means that jobs that appeal to other people with ADHD may not work for you, and there's no single "best" job for every job-seeker in the world. However, in general, the fields below help to play to the strengths of the ADHD brain and can provide rewarding career opportunities.
1.) Marketing and Sales Sales jobs are usually fast-paced and require a lot of interpersonal communication. Because every sale requires a personalized approach, no two interactions will be exactly the same. This level of on-the-fly decision-making and reading people can be a perfect fit for extroverts with ADHD. The creative aspects of marketing are also a good fit for people who are good at innovative big-picture thinking and coming up with fresh ideas.
2.) Journalist Journalism provides an outlet for creativity as well as a way to stay active and seek out new challenges. From talking to sources to pounding the pavement in search of a scoop, journalism provides fresh experiences every day that will keep the job interesting. Many journalists are also able to follow a freelancer's schedule, setting their own hours and being their own boss; this can be a big draw for people with ADHD.
3.) Business Owner/Entrepreneur People with ADHD often struggle to work for others due to external deadlines, boring "busywork" and corporate rules. For this reason, they may have better luck pursuing self-employment. Entrepreneurship requires creative thinking, risk-taking and ambition, all qualities people with ADHD often have in spades. Just be aware that owning a business can also come with a lot of menial tasks and paperwork. Having a more detail-oriented partner or finding a creative work-around for this problem can make owning a business easier.
4.) Teacher or Child Care Provider Many people with ADHD work well with children thanks to the high energy levels and enthusiasm of young people. Although teaching does require organization, it's also a creative profession that offers fresh material and new challenges every day. Teachers and child educators usually focus on a particular task or subject for a short amount of time, preventing boredom. Teachers with ADHD may also be especially understanding of their students who struggle with the same issues, putting them in a good position to be the "fun" teacher.
5.) Chef Cooking is fast-paced and built around short bursts of activity and instant gratification. Not only is it creative, but it's a creative act that yields almost instantaneous results. This can be very rewarding for people with ADHD. Working as a chef provides the perfect balance of creativity and organized structure that some people with ADHD crave for success.
6.) Entertainment Working as an actor, musician, comedian or other performer can be high-stress, but it's also immensely rewarding and filled with challenges that people with ADHD may delight in tackling. Live performers thrive on the attention of a crowd, and people with ADHD are often gregarious thrill-seekers who work best under pressure. It's little wonder then that so many people with ADHD find themselves in the entertainment industry.
These are some of the best jobs for people with ADHD, but they're far from the only options. Whatever career path you choose, be sure to pursue something that plays to your strengths and that helps you to feel challenged and fulfilled. A good first step may be to make a list of your skills, talents and interests, then search for work that fits with what you enjoy. You may also want to make a list of your known challenges or short-comings in terms of job skills so that you know what to work on and what situations to avoid.