Finding a Compatible Career
Adult ADHD doesn't have to come between you and your preferred profession or vocation.
Reality Checks and Balances
The most important thing to remember if you have adult ADHD is that you can find a career in any field you set your mind on. But it is important for you to do a reality check before deciding to embark on a specific professional track.
For instance, many ADHD adults are notoriously bad at bookkeeping and accounting because they find it excruciatingly boring. If you're among them, you probably won't want to embark on a career that involves adding lots of numbers.
The trick is to figure out if you're the type of person that thrives in a creative, fast-paced, and somewhat unpredictable environment like a news room or film set, or if you'd be happier in a quiet, structured, and predictable setting like a library or a research facility.
Find a Career Counselor
If you're not sure where to start your search, you might consider hiring a career counselor or coach. A psychologist can administer a neuropsychological evaluation that yields insights into your cognitive strengths and weaknesses. This test can help you better understand what type of mind you have. A career coach can give you a battery of fun tests that identify your key interests, likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses.
Don't get frustrated if it takes several weeks or months to land your ideal career. It's better to take your time and be sure rather than plunge into yet another job that's wrong for you and end up unhappy and unfulfilled.
Being excited about a prospective job is contagious to prospective employers. Even if you don't have the strongest resume, your enthusiasm and excitement alone could land you the job if you go into the interview with an upbeat, can-do attitude.
It may also pay to practice your interview techniques. If, like many ADHD adults, you have low self-esteem, practice telling prospective employers about your strengths as they apply to the job at hand. Tell them what and how you would make valuable contributions, and be sure to tell them how much you love the work.
Avoid Black or White Thinking
If a career has certain components that frighten you, or that you fear may be difficult because of your ADHD symptoms, don't let this stop you. You can always find ways to handle the less-than-exciting, boring, or mundane parts of a job.
The tips and strategies outlined in this book will help you get to meetings on time, develop systemized and organized files, and stay calm and collected in the face of deadlines.
Striking Out on Your Own
If you're an ADHD adult who's had problems dealing with authority figures, interpreting office politics, or knowing when to keep your mouth shut, having your own business may seem like the perfect solution. In fact, the creativity, inventiveness, and hyperfocus that are typical of ADHD adults make them ideal entrepreneurs — and quite a few are also self-made millionaires.
Pros and Cons of Being an Entrepreneur
Being your own boss can eliminate some of the struggles and hassles of working for someone else. It also means you won't have to endure office politics, deal with an unrealistic boss, and spend hours doing things you dislike for the sake of making a living.
However, being a successful entrepreneur requires a number of skills that many ADHD adults find difficult, such as focusing, paying attention, working well with others, being able to delegate, reading nonverbal cues, staying motivated through good times and bad, and, of course, being savvy about finance, budgeting, and accounting.
Before making the leap, you might want to talk to other ADHD adults who have started their own businesses.