What is the Best Career for You?

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Adults with ADHD often ask what job would be the best for them. It would be easy to answer if everyone living with ADHD were alike. There might even be a standardized answer, like a 'firefighter!" However, because each person is unique and experiences ADHD differently, there isn't an easy answer.

Though, there is a way to discover great career options for you! It involves you becoming a detective and doing some investigative work.


1)     Do you have a burning desire?

If this is you, you might have always known what you wanted to do when you were growing up: Becoming a dentist or a vet, or have your own business, etc. Even though you experience the usual challenges of ADHD, your drive to reach the goal, helps you to develop skill and find solutions to these problems. If you have a burning desire, your career choice has already been decided.

2)     Which careers are ruled out?

Sometimes certain careers are ruled out when there is a requirement you don't meet. For example, the need for 20/20 vision, and you have worn glasses since you were 8 years old.

Other times, you have to rule yourself out of a career option. This happened to me when I was 15 years old. Growing up, I loved 'playing offices' and I decided to become a secretary. I took typing classes at school and even though I loved them, my marks were very low. My (undiagnosed) dyslexia meant many spelling errors, which looked like typing mistakes.

I had rule out the idea of being a secretary, because it was clear I didn't have the skills. If this is you, don't feel bad. It just means your career path will be different than what you originally thought!

3)     What are your strengths?

Part of finding a good career is to getting to know yourself really well.

What skills do you have? What are your strengths? If you aren’t sure, now is the perfect time to discover them! You can take online quizzes that help you identify your strengths. You can also notice which things are easy for you to do. I know a financial adviser with ADHD, he was always good with numbers and presumed it was the same for everyone. When he realized what he found was easy, but was hard for others, he decided to go into finance. He has made a successful career around one of his strengths.

4)     What are your hobbies?

How you spend your time can give you a clue towards a good career, but it can also be misleading. For example, if you like to hand make bookmarks in your spare time, it doesn’t mean that you can earn a living making bookmarks. Still, bookmarks might be part of your border passion, which is reading. In which case,you might look into careers that involve a lot of reading, such as: publishing or researching or facilitating others to read. What clues can your hobbies give you?


5)     Do you have a strong preference?

Do you have a strong preference either for or against something? If so, that will help guide you in your career making decisions. For example, if you hate structure and working in an office, 9-5 would feel like a prison sentence, having a less structured work environment is best for you. When you have ADHD, it's important not to dismiss these strong preferences. If you try to force yourself to do something that goes against who you are, a string of unwanted things happen: your ADHD becomes worse, you become very unhappy and your performance suffers, and you might even be fired. Pay attention to those strong preferences!

6)     The non-negotiable skills.

In order to succeed in any career, you need some key skills. Being organized and a good a time manager are vital. You also need to be able to wake up with your alarm clock and dress in the appropriate clothes. When you are living with ADHD, these skills might not come naturally. Nevertheless, it is possible to learn them. You can start to develop those skills now as you are deciding which career path is best for you.

Good luck!

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