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ADHD Work Stories: The Jobs You Love and Loathe

Finding great jobs for individuals with ADHD takes time, practice, and a few false starts. Don’t give up! Here, ADDitude readers share their work stories about jobs they love — and some they loathe.

3 Comments: ADHD Work Stories: The Jobs You Love and Loathe

  1. I agree with Deekay in that I was hopping for guidance.
    I loved data entry it makes my hyper focus very happy.
    I avoided customer service roles for years because I thought I was bad at it and the best jobs I have ever had were as a call centre person and in a Business Service role.It turned out Empathy works really well in those roles.

  2. I was hoping something in this article would give me an “Ah ha!” moment. I was just diagnosed with ADHD, combined type, moderate to severe at age 52 and I am female. I knew I had it because it runs in my family and I have always had “weird” things I did to stay on top of stuff in my life, like refusing to use checks because I could never get my checking account to balance and having all the clocks run fast in my house, etc. I got fired from my last job for the first time in my life, due to impulsivity, and then I realized my ADHD was getting worse as I aged. This website helped me understand that the fluctuating estrogen in my body likely exacerbated my ADHD to the point I could not manage it myself. So I need to get another job and I have some anxiety about that because of my last experience, but I also can acknowledge, that job was not the best fit for me. I have had jobs that were a good match for my ADHD, like I was a wildland firefighter during my 20’s and early 30’s and that was an amazing job for my condition. I was just fed up with the blatant sexism and toxic politics of the job and quit at age 32. I had a job a few years ago that was another amazing match for my skills set. I was a nonprofit manager at a job corp, where most days I was so busy, I rarely had time to eat or use the restroom. But, the population we were serving was young adults `8-25, who came from some of the roughest and most disadvantaged backgrounds and they had a lot of trauma. The constant fights, screaming profanity events, threats against my personal safety and gang threat had taken a toll on mental well being. I am an empath and even the kids who were less triggered, just hearing their heartbreaking stories from foster care and what not, was a heavy toll on me because I felt their pain and it was everywhere.

    So, I need a fast paced job, putting out fires, so to speak, with lots of variation, requiring problem solving, juggling responsibilities and high stakes. The fear of failure raises my adrenaline, which in turn helps my brain function. Unfortunately, a lot of those types of jobs are male dominated and I don’t want to go back to the sexism. And I don’t unmanageable stress or emotional stress. So what job is that? It’s the million dollar question in my life. The only job that even sounded appealing to me was the receiving manager at Whole Foods. It would combine my passion as a foodie and my ideals about sustainable food with being on my feet and quick thinking. But I don’t want a job where I have to work weekends because my husband works long hours M-F and if I worked weekends, I hardly ever see him. So that eliminates a lot of those kinds of jobs. Sigh.

  3. Working in a hardware wholesaler completing orders, stock taking, and cleaning floors icky, army stores order taker deathly, insurance health claims reviewer better, group insurance sales rep good, consultant better, and president of a small Consulting company, best. The first two positions taught me order, the next one taught me prioritizing through listing. The last 4 gave me the freedom to be inventive with solutions and with my time.

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