How Can I Find an ADHD-Friendly Career?

"I'm 34, and I don't have a career," one reader tells us. "People expect more from me because I graduated from college, but it's hard for me to learn most things and I have a bad memory. Are there jobs for me? I just don't feel smart enough to work."
The Experts | posted by Beth Main
People with ADHD can be highly successful. hemera/thinkstock

Many people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) have highly successful careers. Bill Gates, Ty Pennington, Walt Disney, Agatha Christie, John F. Kennedy, and many other famous people have all been said to have ADD/ADHD. Did you know that Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade? He did just fine professionally.

The secret to finding your dream job is focusing on your strengths. What do you do particularly well? What are your skills and talents? Hint: You're probably good at the things you enjoy. Make a list of 20 things you excel at. Then find occupations that draw on those skills and strengths. A career coach or counselor can help. Check with the career services center at the college you attended. Such centers are usually available to alumni and have resources for matching aptitudes with careers.

Still concerned about your attention-related challenges? Develop coping strategies for them. Bad memory? Write everything down. Struggle to learn new things? Try using a multimodal approach to learning: Listen to audiobooks, read, paraphrase out loud, take notes, and draw pictures. Use technology as much as you can.

Above all, don't listen to the voice inside your head that says, "You can't." Believe you can, and you will.

Beth Main is an ADD/ADHD Coach and the founder of

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