Career paths for people with ADD

As a general rule of thumb, should people with ADD go on their own? I am trying hard at my third thing in three years and I am finding that I still make a lot of mistakes. It gets to a point where I space out and lose time. I try focusing and buckling down, but things still go bad.

3 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    I think ADD probably works like Aspergers since both are organizational problems and not IQ problems. And I have found with Aspergers that it’s best to look at one’s personality type (take a Myers Briggs test to find out) and choose a career path that is a good match for your personality type.

    Then, use mentoring, schedules, and medication to overcome the mental deficits you have from the brain disorder. Also, don’t forget that even neurotypical people hit tons of roadblocks in their career. So that’s normal.


  2. blazingsuth
    blazingsuth says:

    This is an interesting question for adults with ADD. My fiance has adult ADD and ran into the same issue. The trick for him was to find a career that interested him enough to make ADD work FOR him, rather than against him. ADD doesn’t just cause you to space out and lose focus, it can also create a hyper-focus that neuro-typical people deeply envy.

    He went through at least 3 drastic career changes and several smaller ones before finding a career that interested him enough to create that hyper-focus. I imagine that he will probably make career changes again in the future, but don’t expect it to hurt his career now that he’s found his bearings.

    Penelope’s suggestion to find your personality type is a good one; so is any other form of personal exploration that will allow you find out what professional ares you hyper-focus on. Then it’s a matter of allowing yourself to hyper-focus on your career, don’t get in the way of that ability when it starts working for you professionally!

  3. Carla Aston
    Carla Aston says:

    I’m an adult with ADD. I didn’t realize it until I was sitting in the child psychologist’s office with my daughter, trying to figure out what was wrong with her! Both my kids have pretty severe ADD and my daughter has OCD as well. They are now young adults and are finding their career paths.

    Blazingsuth is right. That ability to hyper focus is the one true gift of ADD. Really pure thoughts and incredible creativity can occur in those moments/hours. And it feels so good to lose yourself in that. I’m 54 and I own my own business as an interior designer. I’ve just naturally used my ability to hyper focus to help me get my work done, albeit at night when all interruptions are sleeping!

    Really, I’m still a work in progress even now, but my ADD has given me intense drive, intense passion, and limitless creativity. All because of those incredibly precious moments of hyperfocus when I totally lose myself in my passion and I’m smarter and more alive than ever. It’s like a drug.

    Anyone with ADD should really try to make money at something they would be doing no matter what. Find what you love that you can easily lose yourself in. Your passion and ability to hyper focus will give you an incredible tenacity to strive to find the best solutions, do the best work.

    Project work is good, because every project is different and ADD types don’t like repetition. Creative endeavors are best because if you are creating something new for each project, you won’t be bored. Boredom makes ADD people nuts and totally dysfunctional!

    Just don’t give up trying to find your passion. One of my kids’ doctors always said, “The best and the brightest have ADD.” Find what you love and lose yourself in it.

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