ADHD at Work

How Do I Explain All the Jobs I Had?

“I want to restart my career, but I’ve had a lot of jobs. How can I explain my spotty work history in an interview?” Expert career advice for people with attention deficit.

Job-hopping is not uncommon for those with ADHD. Your goal is to explain why you had so many jobs without making a potential employer worry that history will repeat itself. Take ownership for what happened and explain that you see your career differently these days. For example, you could say that you didn’t know which type of job played to your core strengths. If you can blame some of this on youth, that would help. Tell the interviewer that now that you are a little older and wiser, and have learned a lot of lessons from working all those jobs, you know better what you are looking for—which is why you have decided on a new career. Don’t trash former bosses or get negative about your past during the interview.

For yourself, you might also want to see if you can identify a recurring pattern in why those jobs didn’t work out, as well as which parts of them were a good fit for you. This can be helpful in identifying what workplace situation is most likely to work out well for you now. If untreated or under-treated ADHD played a part, talk with your doctor about getting more effective treatment.