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  • Sayanti Bhattacharya MD

Looking for a career/job when you have ADHD:

There is a lot to consider when finding a career that’s a good fit for any person. When you have ADHD, some factors are even more pertinent and additional ones come into play. While you may not be able to find a job that meets all of your needs, you may be able to avoid one that is clearly not a good fit for you.

 

Find an area you have a natural interest in

If and when possible, finding a career that builds upon your natural interests will set you up for success. This is especially relevant for people with ADHD. ADHD brains can jump-start into action when there is genuine interest. Other incentives or consequences (like a promotion, a raise, losing a job, or other penalties) do not seem to trigger ADHD brains into action in the same way they do for others.

 

Well-defined job expectations

Knowing what is expected of you on a day-to-day basis is useful in addition to a clearly defined role.

 

Having clear and short deadlines

A job with clear and short deadlines helps you to stay on task. Long-term projects with flexible timelines and little supervision may be harder to navigate.

 

Constructive feedback easily available  

Ongoing feedback, easy access to supervisors and peers, and scheduled frequent check-in meetings are useful.  

 

Flexibility may be tricky

Though flexible work hours are highly sought after, it may not be the best fit for you. You need structure to function well. Jobs that expect you to show up at a certain time every day create a much-needed structure for your day. This helps you be productive and proactive.

 

Remote work may not be for you

Despite all of the comforts and advantages of remote work, your motivation and focus may suffer when working remotely. Being physically present at work provides a necessary stimulation that prompts your brain to be more alert and attentive.  

 

Being able to move

A job that allows you to walk around, meet people, and go to different locations is stimulating for your brain. Avoid jobs where you have to sit in front of a computer screen for long stretches of time daily. If that is unavoidable, give yourself frequent breaks to physically move around

 

Travel might be good for you

Because of all the stimulation it provides for your brain, you may thrive in a job that requires travel.

 

Novelty

Novelty is a great stimulator for ADHD brains. A job that allows you to do different things, handle new projects, explore new ideas, and work with different people may be a good fit for you.

 

Though these factors may be relevant for anyone considering a job, their impact on a person with ADHD is much bigger. Being mindful of these factors can make a drastic difference in work performance and in career growth for someone with ADHD.

 

Live mindfully and well.

 

Dr. Sayanti Bhattacharya MD, MS

 

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