What do Grammy award winner; artist Justin Timberlake, IKEA founder; Ingvar Kamprad, and Virgin Airlines founder; Richard Branson have in common? They refuse to be held down by their Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnoses – they are rock stars in their careers. While there is always a stigma around ADHD and people with ADHD sometimes experience discrimination, it should never be a barrier to professional success. Did you know that people with ADHD are 300% more likely to start their businesses? If you strive for a successful career in the world of work, this guide will be helpful.
Adding therapy to an ADHD treatment plan will help patients and families better cope with daily challenges- Click below to get professional help.
ADHD, a Condition Unknown to the Business World
Often negatively connoted, Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity is unknown to the general public and the corporate world. Worse, ADHD is sometimes denied. For a long time, scientists believed that this condition subsided after adolescence.
Recent research disproves that. The adult affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder exhibits specific behaviors that can be disabling in the business world. When the symptoms manifest, the ADHD worker may be confronted with a lack of confidence in his/her abilities.
The management of ADHD by a professional health expert helps regulate the negative symptoms and transform them into advantages.
Discover below what it means to be a professional with ADHD, the challenges, and the possible workarounds.
Dealing With ADHD in the Employment Sector
4.4% of Americans between 18 and 44 years of age live with ADHD. Despite that, many have built exciting careers and found a way to leverage their ADHD traits positively. These include challenges like impaired focus, impatience, and inattentiveness that can make it hard to find the best job in the first place.
Before starting your search for jobs for people with ADHD, take a moment to think about these questions:
- What kind of things make you feel happy?
- What traits strengthen your personality?
- What techniques have you used to cope with ADHD in your everyday life?
Understanding ADHD Before a Job Search
When you hear the term ADHD, you might visualize an individual who can’t stay attentive, has trouble controlling impulsive behaviors, or is overly active.
ADHD symptoms can differ between individuals, and American Psychological Association (APA) has defined it as three sub-types.
The characteristics of each of these categories are individually analyzed:
1. Predominantly Inattentive
Typically, this type of ADHD is characterized by a tendency to be inattentive. This feeling of being distracted is natural, but what distinguishes it from the rest? Inattentive ADHD patients rapidly become distracted and are unable to pay attention in multiple settings.
Job candidates with this type of ADHD should consider that they might not perform well in jobs that require high levels of attention, like Math teachers or computer technicians.
DSM-V (Diagnosing criteria) holds that the below symptoms of inattention must be present for a diagnosis to be made. The minimum number of symptoms must be six for children, while the minimum number of symptoms must be five for adolescents and adults.
- In schoolwork, at professional work, or in any other activity, he/she fails to be more attentive to details and makes mistakes.
- Sometimes has problems staying focused on tasks or play activities.
- He/she is not a good listener and often gets easily distracted.
- Sometimes loses focus, becomes sidetracked, and fails to execute instructions or tasks (e.g. falls behind on schoolwork, chores).
- Usually has trouble getting organized and he/she is very forgetful.
- Sometimes has difficulty doing work, such as schoolwork or homework, that requires sustained mental effort.
- Sometimes forgets essential things that will help in tasks and activities (e.g. school supplies, pencils, books, necessary tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, spectacles, and mobile phones).
2. Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive
People with this kind of ADHD fidget a lot. Hyperactivity and impulsivity are hallmarks of their behavior. They are restless and often interrupt others while conducting a conference. They find prolonged concentration to be a difficult feat.
This characteristic can be of great use for jobs requiring high physical activity levels and energy, such as chefs and athletes.
The below requirements must be present for a diagnosis of hyperactivity and impulsivity. For children, six symptoms must be present, whereas five or more must be present for adolescents and adults.
- Often squirms in seats or fidgets with hands or feet.
- He/she stands when it is expected that he/she remains seated.
- The adolescent or adult may find it difficult to restrain herself or himself from running or climbing.
- Often unable to relax while playing a sport or engaging in leisure activities.
- Often moves as though being driven by a motor.
- He/she is often excessively talkative.
- Answers before a question are completed.
- They have a hard time waiting their turn.
- Intrudes or interrupts others in conversations.
3. Combined Presentation
ADHD with both symptoms of hyperactivity and inattentiveness is considered the most common form. A person with this type of ADHD may struggle with attention, be impulsive, and have excess energy. This can make deciding on a career option very challenging.
ADHD and IQ
A person’s intelligence quotient (IQ) influences their success at work and social gatherings. ADHD patients may have IQ levels that are similar, lower, or higher to ‘normal’ persons.
But studies done in 2010 indicate that those ADHD individuals with high IQ perform considerably lower cognitively on average than their peers with no ADHD.
The fact is that IQ issues may or may not occur in people with ADHD. However, an ADHD person who has a higher IQ may face greater difficulties fitting in the workplace.
On the other hand, people with ADHD symptoms and low IQ levels may have difficulties finding and retaining work.
When seeking jobs with ADHD symptoms and lower IQ than usual, you can opt for a job that requires hands-on skills like carpentry and tailoring instead of jobs requiring high cognitive abilities like computer programming.
ADHD and Gender Prevalence
While the prevalence of ADHD varies by gender among children, the number of adults with ADHD is similar for males and females. Today more adults are getting diagnosed with ADHD.
It is estimated that 8 to 9 million American adults have ADHD. One national survey states that only half of the patients with ADHD can secure a full-time job, a rate lower than their peers without ADHD. Lack of career planning could be a reason behind this.
A lot of professionals suffer from symptoms of ADHD, such as becoming restless at the workplace and finding it difficult to concentrate. However, they are never formally diagnosed with ADHD. In this case, seeking medical attention is crucial. Once a doctor diagnoses you, you should start a treatment plan that addresses your symptoms.
There is no cure for ADHD, but treatment can help people manage their symptoms and improve daily functioning- Click below to get the most suitable treatment.
Jobs for People With ADHD: Common Work Challenges
If you have ADHD, you are less likely to meet the employer’s expectations, including high focus, speed, attention to detail, and organizational abilities. These traits can significantly affect your performance as compared to your peers.
Here are some of the challenges a person with ADHD faces at their workplace:
1. Sleep Disorders: Low Work Quality
Production of melatonin (a natural sleep-inducing hormone) in an adult with ADHD is withdrawn about two hours earlier than in a ‘normal’ adult. This results in a shifted sleeping pattern that worsens ADHD, and the person cannot benefit from the quality or quantity of sleep that he requires to recuperate from his workday.
2. Inducing More Susceptibility and Hypersensitivity
This lack of rest can have visible consequences in the professional environment. The employee may see their productivity drop and accumulate errors. They may be accused of negligence by management, which sometimes goes as far as dismissal for professional misconduct. Absenteeism is also a frequent consequence of poor sleep.
3. Noise Pollution and Distraction: Agitation
In an office shared by several individuals, phones ring left and right, workers are called or yelled at by bosses, and colleagues gossip loudly. This noise pollution can cause agitation in professionals with ADHD and cause a further loss of focus.
Unlike a “normal person”, the active person with an Attention Deficit Disorder cannot always filter the noise around them and feel continually attacked. The sleep disorders from which he/she suffers will also reinforce this feeling.
4. Hyper- Expression of Emotions: Being Misunderstood by Colleagues
Adults with ADHD manifest an overflow of feelings that may be perceived as disturbing by the ‘normal’ workers.
Because he/she expresses more joy, stress, sorrow, or anger, the employee with ADHD may be described as “exuberant,” “depressed,” “burned out,” or “Unstable.” Colleagues may label you a nuisance.
If you find yourself in that work environment, you run the risk of being sidelined from teams and networks and, consequently, losing your self-confidence. This, in turn, leads to a feeling of loneliness and degradation of human relations within the office.
Other problems faced by ADHD adults in a professional world include:
- Time management difficulties
- Problems following Instructions
- Difficulties getting assigned tasks done on time
- Struggling with timely arrival to work
- Issues with listening when others are speaking
Building a Thriving Career Despite ADHD
According to the American Disability Act (ADA), ADHD is considered a disability. Employers have a moral and legal imperative to ensure that everyone with ADHD gets equal opportunities as their co-workers.
Additionally, this act requires businesses to create necessary accommodations for the needs of individuals with ADHD—for example, headphones, flexible work schedules, or a separate office away from the noise.
So, despite the possible challenges for you in the career world, don’t despair. Be brave and confident in the pursuit of your career. You can leverage your restlessness, impulsiveness, and constant desire to learn into an asset for your business or job.
Finding a career option that complements your unique qualifications is the key to maximizing your potential. To find and keep the best job as a person living with ADHD, we recommend the following solutions:
List of 15 Best Jobs for People With ADHD in 2021
There are many ways people with ADHD can thrive in the workplace by leveraging their traits. For example, you may be eager to accomplish your goals and stay focused, or it could be that your spirit motivates others.
ADHD is an enduring condition, but it can be managed with professional assistance. Once you realize the importance of managing your symptoms, the sky’s the limit.
Let’s focus on our main topic: the best job options available for ADHD individuals in 2021.
1. Health Care Professional
If you have high energy levels and you prefer a fast-paced job, consider working in medical settings.
Healthcare jobs for people with ADHD are fast-paced, and nothing is monotonous. As a doctor or nurse, you handle new patients every day. As a professional with ADHD, this may be beneficial for your engagement and interest.
You can become a vet, nurse, or medical doctor. According to a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association (2016), 3% of medical students had disabilities, and 34% had ADHD.
You can be hyperactive with high energy and still excel in the healthcare setting. All you need is a high IQ. So, if you are a person with a good IQ who can manage your ADHD symptoms, nothing should hold you back from becoming a trailblazing surgeon.
If you have cutting-edge social skills and high energy, and an ability to work well as part of a team, you may fit perfectly into the marketing world.
Today, it is much easier to work in an online marketing platform because of technology. Marketing jobs for people with ADHD may be perfect career choices for ADHD people—it’s a chance to transform hyperactivity into winning advertisements, effective plans, successful networking, and impressed clients.
The enthusiasm that comes with ADHD can make you a great teacher. If you dream of becoming a teacher, then go for it freely, since this is a job that needs your high energy.
In your classroom, you may tell a funny story out of context at times or fidget freely—don’t let that bring you down. These things may make you one of your students’ favorite teachers.
4. Construction trades
You can be a boat mechanic, an electrician, a builder, or a constructor if you are good with your hands. Some of these jobs for people with ADHD require excessive focus and concentration. These jobs are not suitable for the predominately inattentive form of ADHD.
5. Online Graphic Designer
If the idea of pursuing a graphic designer career intrigues you, don’t let the fear of your inattentiveness be a barrier to achieving your goal.
People with ADHD can reach high levels of creative thought, according to an article in Scientific American on “The Creative Gifts of ADHD.“
With the current demand for creative designers, you can become a freelance graphic designer or an online designer and work at your own pace.
By planning little breaks during work and staying away from distractions, you may find it easy to overcome your inattentiveness.
ADHD symptoms tend to evolve and attenuate with age, but may still require treatment- Click the banner below to get your ADHD symptoms evaluated and treated.
Photography is an art form where you can choose what you want to shoot, how you want to make money, and when you want to shoot it. You never need to work on a particular schedule.
Photography doesn’t necessarily need long-term attention, so if you’re easily distracted and quickly get bored with the same thing, there is no need to worry. You won’t get distracted. Aside from this, it is simply a matter of learning the skills to take photos and choosing photography as a career.
7. Software Developer
Technology is changing the world in ways no one could have imagined. Everybody needs a website. If you know how to code, you are one of the most wanted professionals on the planet.
Most professionals with ADHD thrive in the computer programming world. However, if you feel distracted most of the time while completing this task, you might have difficulties delivering on your objectives. Find an employer that offers proper accommodations.
8. A Chef
Chefs work for longer hours and have to do so many things at any given moment. You may find that your ADHD traits, such as a high focus on things that interest you, make you a rock star in the kitchen. If you have a passion for cooking, consider exploring it professionally. A chef’s life revolves around routine and predictability—this will be good for you.
9. An Artist
A great artist needs creative skills and a hyperactive nature. They need to think outside the box constantly. These are qualities that come naturally to you as a person with ADHD. Artistic jobs for people with ADHD could be in fashion design, painting, or acting.
As an artist, you cannot stick to one pattern. You have to endure a lot of strain as you must develop a lot of new ideas. You can leverage the internet to promote your art, earn an income and inspire others.
10. Small Business Owner
The advantages to entrepreneurship include tailoring your business model as you like, controlling your working hours, and choosing the right employees you need to run the business.
There are many opportunities for you if you want to start your own business. App development, Affiliate marketing, drop shipping, and blogging are some of the options available to you.
11. Fitness Trainer
As a fitness trainer, you need to be energetic and highly active all the time. Your energy should motivate others. If you are hyper-fit and lively, you could be a great fitness trainer.
Particularly in light of the current times, you can choose an online training for this job type. Fitness training is a chance to turn around hyperactivity into fuel for your and your client’s fitness and health.
If you love sports and can play such games as Baseball and Tennis, there is a chance that you could be a successful athlete despite ADHD. Many people who have ADHD are drawn to sports and games as a way to manage their symptoms.
A person with ADHD may use their hyperactivity to supercharge their performance as an athlete. Even sports activities can boost neurotransmitters in the brain, which may help reduce short-term symptoms.
Build rest breaks into activities when working. Click below to get professional tips to manage ADHD by clicking the button below.
The benefits of being an athlete include excellent health and fitness. Further, collaborating with your teammates and participating in team events will increase your self-esteem and confidence.
13. Sales Representative
Sales jobs for people with ADHD typically require good communication skills and mastery of the art of persuasion.
A sales representative’s job is to sell the company’s products. He/she undertakes either one-on-one customer interactions or makes cold calls to promote new businesses.
People with hyperactive tendencies such as ADHD may make better salespersons because they act fast and are full of ideas. Another plus is that this job helps you improve your communication skills since it exposes you to a wide range of people. People with all IQ levels may find this job enticing.
14. Stage Manager
Stage managers often need to work quickly and efficiently to complete their tasks and oversee stage activities. A person with ADHD may find this to be a fulfilling career owing to its fast-paced nature.
Because stage managers don’t always have to work with the same people or on the same schedule as shows constantly open and close, they don’t need to stick around with one routine for a long time.
This is also a flexible profession that doesn’t enslave you to one management style for a long time. It only demands a good foundation of management skills, not necessarily a high intellectual functioning.
15. A YouTuber or Social media Influencer
There is an increasing number of YouTube influencers and social media influencers. Social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and others) are platforms with a broad reach, empowering young individuals to earn an income as influencers.
Being an influencer requires constant energy and getting other people’s attention. The advantage is that you can work on your schedule.
It doesn’t matter what your skill is, whether it is acting or singing, all you need is confidence to bring it to light through social media.
Tips for Managing Your ADHD at Work
Staying motivated at the workplace can be just as challenging as finding a job as a person with ADHD. Low motivation due to any cause can lead to poor performance, eventually resulting in employment termination.
Motivating yourself at work is critical, but it becomes even more crucial for a person with ADHD. An ADHD person may quickly feel uninterested and unmotivated at work.
You can enjoy a successful and fulfilling career despite having ADHD challenges. It starts with finding the right jobs, then taking steps to keep your energy levels up, to stay focused, and to deliver on your objectives.
Here are some tips that will help you:
1. ADHD Coaching:
In the case of an adult diagnosed late in life, getting to know the condition and finding out about this difference in functioning can be beneficial.
2. Long- Term Professional Counseling
The adult who has ADHD needs to be understood, to put into words what he/she feels, to perceive a form of moral help. Contact with a psychological counselor specializing in ADHD will allow you to master ways to succeed and thrive in the workplace.
3. Improving Time Management Skills
Keeping a diary and using specific applications such as a timer will allow adults with ADHD to measure the time they have left to complete projects.
4. Activity Planning
Make an easy schedule by breaking down large tasks into smaller deliverables. Create room in your plan for things you have postponed.
5. Surviving Deadline After Another
Plan the tasks so that they are all carried out within the set deadlines so you can benefit from “quick wins,” a feeling of short victory that propels your determination and ambition.
6. Positive Self- Image/ Valuing Your Achievements
Recording your successes in a “victory book” allows you to reread your achievements afterward and to appreciate your real qualities, even in times of doubt. Also, try positive self-mirroring such as hanging your diplomas on the wall to remember your qualifications daily.
7. Exercise During the Break
Physical activity is a great way to regulate yourself for everyone and even more so for a person with ADHD.
8. Quality Sleep
Avoid using a tablet, pc, or smartphone in the evening. The blue light from screens less than one meter from the face inhibits melatonin’s natural production and delays physical and mental relaxation, promoting sleep. Avoid screens 30 minutes before going to sleep.
Common treatments for adult ADHD include stimulants, non-stimulants, antidepressants, and cognitive- Click below to get the most suitable treatment option for yourself.
Success Stories: How ADHD- Affected Individuals Thrived in the Workplace
1. ADHD Made Mary Jo Martin a Better Physician
Mary Jo Martin is an excellent example of a person who excels in their career, despite having ADHD. We hear from her how she overcomes her learning difficulties while she’s an Assistant Professor of Pathology.
When she was in medical school, she was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. Despite her challenges, she succeeded as a physician. Since then, her constant battle against those disabilities has helped her break down the stigma associated with learning difficulties.
According to her, ADHD people can focus on many things at work to be competent multitaskers. Therefore, ADHD can assist many other people in building a fulfilling career.
2. Josh Conrad Runs a Highly Sought- After Marketing Agency Despite His ADHD Diagnosis
At the age of 3, Josh Conard was diagnosed with ADHD. This arose from his difficulty with reading and completing his assignments. According to him, the challenges were not because he did not want to learn but because he had difficulties focusing on tasks.
Today he is a successful marketer, and he tells the whole story about how he managed ADHD in school and grew up to run a successful marketing agency. The author provides complete instructions based on his achievements: communication, creativity, awareness, and perseverance.
Josh says that instead of attacking all issues at once, he dealt with one small problem at a time. He gives some advice: “Never give up, nobody on this planet is perfect. Take responsibility for the things that set you back”.
3. Beth Nielsen, a Song Writer With ADHD
The Grammy-nominated Nashville singer and songwriter Beth Nielsen said she had ADHD many years of her life without being diagnosed. At the age of 56, she was diagnosed with ADHD.
Beth has written several hit songs for many famous artists. While telling her story, she highlighted institutional and emotional sensitivity as a significant part of ADHD. She included the subject matter and depth of how these two things influence her songwriting.
She learned that the ideal treatment for ADHD is meditation. She also advises on improving time management skills for ADHD professionals. She considers herself lucky because her condition made her more confident. She stands as an inspiration to those who lack confidence but are gifted with creativity.
4. Anya Wasko Becomes a Special Needs Teacher
Anya’s story is inspiring. She struggled with dyslexia and ADHD since she was a child and was first diagnosed during her elementary years.
It was her parents, particularly her mother, who played a significant role in Anya’s success. Her mother had experienced similar issues herself and was determined to help her overcome them.
The exceptional parents helped her develop the confidence and focus she needed from her childhood to young adulthood years. It was vital for her to understand the importance of family support and a timely diagnosis to live everyday life with ADHD.
Today Anya is a special education teacher focusing on supporting the young generation in their lives.
5. Michelle Carter, a Top Shot Putter With ADHD
Michelle is an outstanding shot putter who has been an Olympian twice and US champion seven times. Her life story is inspirational, given that she suffered from both ADHD and dyslexia at a young age.
Michelle owns her struggles and openly discusses them. She inspires others to believe that anyone can achieve whatever they wish to regardless of the challenges life presents with. People should work harder, and eventually, the rewards will be well worth the effort.
Michelle’s report echoes the findings of Anya’s story about how to manage ADHD symptoms with the help of parents and teachers.
Discover the treatment options available for ADHD, and why it is important to have an ADHD treatment plan in place- Click below to get help.
With the right skills and information, people with ADHD have higher chances of success at the workplace. Traits such as hyperactivity and hyper-focus can be leveraged for higher productivity through creativity, multitasking, and problem-solving.
Use our guide to find the right job and excel in it. So, schedule your appointment today!