Hiring1There are good and bad career choices for those with ADHD. I say bollocks!

When we make statements like this we are assuming that everyone with ADHD is the same.

Of course we aren’t. We are unique individuals, just like every other human. We have some interesting character traits and our brains go walk about a bit more frequently than non-ADHD brains.

At Living ADDventure® we have ADHD clients who are doctors, lawyers, carpenters, artists, plumbers, writers, film makers, engineers, photographers, teachers, IT experts and, and, and yes, even accountants.

School Leaving Panic

Parents get worried when their ADHD teens have no idea what they want to do when they leave school. There are several reasons for this.

  1. The parents have mollycoddled their ADHD children because they have not wanted them to risk failure by trying out different options.
  2. ADDers are usually 2 to 3 years behind their peer group emotionally even though they are intellectually very bright. They are not ready for the pressures of the outside world.
  3. Academically they have struggled because the teaching methods have not been conducive to helping ADDers learn effectively. They have been forced to take subjects that will not allow them to study further in a desired field.
  4. The hyperactive ADDers are interested in everything ... until they get bored or it becomes too challenging. They need to learn to evaluate the opportunities in line with their goals and rein in their impulsivity.

We must not make assumptions and generalisations. Maths and reading are probably the 2 most common “disabilities” ADDers are assumed to have.

Not every ADHD person struggles with maths. Some find maths easy and others grow to love maths if they are fortunate enough to have a great teacher who helps them to “get it” as I wrote about recently. bookshop

Reading is another of those impairments which can be paradoxical. There are ADDers for whom reading is a nightmare. They have never finished a book. I read about 10 books a week if I can and my passion is writing. My computer is my lifesaver as I can’t read my own handwriting because my hand can’t keep up with my brain and my fine motor skills are poor.

You often hear people say that those with ADHD are incredibly creative implying they should be following a career in the arts. What is creativity? It is not limited to painting and drawing or music. Every single day we are each required to be creative and to use our brain to solve problems, make a classroom lesson more interesting, come up with a new invention, design a website, a piece of furniture or argue a case in court.

It is assumed that Accounting is a bad career choice because it requires concentration and attention to detail. Yes, accounting does require concentration and attention to detail but we also know that when an ADDer is interested in something they can hyper focus for hours and produce outstanding work.

Forensic accountancy can be an excellent career choice. Delving into the minds of white collar criminals, following convoluted paper trails will ensure the ADHD Accountant is never bored.

Stop focusing on the negative

So why do we focus so much on which careers are not suitable for ADDers? When we do this we are re-inforcing the negative aspects of having ADHD. This is as bad as insisting our children follow the same careers as we did, or to get a proper job where they will earn a regular salary.

It is far better to help them explore as many options as possible. Let them work out the pros and cons of each. Every job has the boring bits and the exciting tasks. We have to bite the bullet and do the boring bits too. Learning to make decisions based on carefully assessed options is a vital skill for anyone. Yes, they will fail, they will make a few wrong choices but that is how they will grow.

Career Assessment Tests

Over the years I have done various aptitude tests after lurching from 1 career to the next. The problem was that my ADHD was undiagnosed and unmanaged. Because I was (and still am) interested in everything and I am bright, my choices were limitless.

It was only after being diagnosed and doing the Living ADDventure® ADHD Coaching Programme that I was able to look at opportunities with a critical eye and question whether the opportunity was in line with my Core Principles and goals. It has made it much easier for me to say no and walk away.

Aptitude Tests have their place but be aware that they also have their limitations.

The Entrepreneur Option
team

ADDers are frequently not team players. Going into a corporate environment can be difficult so they may choose to become entrepreneurs.

The problem with this is that even when you are your own Boss you are still answerable to your customers, your suppliers and your bank manager. You need to learn to play the business game or you need to employ staff who can do the tasks you don’t like doing.

Spending a few years learning the ropes in an established business is often necessary before striking out on your own.

Conclusion

  • Don't generalise.
  • Explore all opportunities and weigh up the options
  • Accept that there may be some tasks that you are not suited to. Ask if it is possible to have help in those areas.
  • Be passionate and have a great attitude.
  • Nothing is impossible.

Share To Care