Teens with ADHD

4 Secrets to Following Your Passion: Advice for Teens with ADHD

My son likes so many different things. How can I help him pick a career when he has so many interests he doesn’t know where to start?

A theatrical stage manager with ADHD works with actors and explains why he loves his job in the arts.
A theatrical stage manager with ADHD works with actors and explains why he loves his job in the arts.

Parents need to be more clear, consistent, and involved with kids with ADHD than they would with other kids. That being said, every action a parent takes needs to produce greater independence — not greater reliance.

The first step toward choosing a career is to teach your child to Google “U.S. Department of Labor and the [Name of the Career]” to find the best stats on a career’s present and future trajectory. This data will show whether a profession is growing, stagnant, or declining.

Step Two: Encourage your child to take the Myers-Briggs or Keirsey-Bates tests to determine whether they are essentially introverted or extroverted — an important thing to know when looking at career options.

Finally, help kids come up with practical solutions for making money by following their passion. Teach them to do what they love, but find something practical to pair it with. For example, if your child has an interest in museums, suggest working in the business end, like accounting.

The main goal is for teens to learn to live intentionally, and to think before they act. Teach them mindfulness — to stop and think, “What am I doing? What do I mean to be doing?”

If needed, find your child a mentor, coach, or therapist who really understands ADHD. Working with a professional, kids can start to set some very targeted, specific goals, that help to move toward the larger goal while overcoming obstacles standing in the way.



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  1. As a career coach who specializes in working with teens and adults with ADHD, I would like to add a tip or 2 related to following your passion to create a sustainable career direction.

    1. Identifying the best direction requires a deeper dive to understand all the elements we need to consider that will impact our day to day enjoyment of the work we do. Your teen needs to learn techniques to do this such as those offered via What Color Is Your Parachute.

    2. Complete this process first before deciding to enroll in college, take on- line classes, take a gap year volunteering or many other options available. This is key.

    If your teen only completes these 2 things, he or she will be years ahead of most in creating work he/she loves, including choosing a major. The choices to decide on a direction will be far.clearer.

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