For many, finding career success with ADHD seems like a distant impossible dream. For those who feel stuck in a 9 to 5 desk job, this might feel all the truer. Most all of us have things that drive us crazy about our current career. Particularly for those of us with ADHD, our brains might not click with most traditional career choices.
This leaves us with a problem. How can you find success in the workforce if you can’t even identify fully with your job? We spend so much time at work and in our career, shouldn’t we do something we can find success with?
While we might not all have an opportunity to pick the perfect career, we should nonetheless strive for a career that fits who we are. This leads any of us to wonder then, how do we really find a career that fits us? Better yet, how do we find career success with ADHD that adds value to our lives?
Finding career success with ADHD depends on understanding yourself as a person and then matching your skills with the job market. In this article, we discuss a few key strategies to set yourself up for career success in a job that fits you well.
Take a Skills and Personality Assessment
As the first step for finding career success with ADHD, you should find out both your skills and personality. A lot of success in work or in life depends on having the right tools to work with. You should look at your own skills and personality as the tools you have to work with for your career.
We all have a different personality. With that personality, we each work better in different environments and find the most success in environments that encourage our personality traits. If you happen to be social and outgoing and have leadership traits, you need a work environment that encourages those and not one where you sit in a cubicle all day.
Skills work similarly. If you have experience and skills with engaging people, leading, and casting vision, you’ll need more than sitting in front of a computer in your job. In that situation, your skills wouldn’t match your career path.
In order to find success or discover why your particular career might not be working, you need to take both a skills test and a personality assessment. You can take several different personality tests, some of which are free while others might cost money. For some ideas on which assessments to consider you can check out this article.
For career skills, you might look for local community resources for these types of tests. Many times local or state governments might provide a skills assessment that you can take. You can also find free online tests like this one.
Take these tests and then use the results to compare them with your job choices or current career. How do they line up? Do your personality and skills seem to match the job description? If not, you might want to look elsewhere for a better match.
Identify Your Passions
The next step for finding career success with ADHD involves identifying your passions. So many of us fail at our careers because we don’t have any passion for what we do. Boredom and ADHD go easily together and if someone with ADHD doesn’t have any passion for their job, they will quickly get restless and unsatisfied.
In order to excel at your work, you need to work at something that really inspires you. In an ideal world, we would all get paid to do what we love to do. Unfortunately, in the real world, very few of us can do only what we truly love. This doesn’t mean, though, that we can’t find jobs that incorporate some of our passions.
For instance, many people with ADHD tend toward creative pursuits. If this seems to fit you well, then you most likely won’t find much success in a limited repetitive job. Instead, you need to find a career that pushes boundaries and allows you to create. Whether that may be an architect or a reporter or an actor, you can find many opportunities that may incorporate your more creative passions.
To get started, you need to sit down and list out at least ten activities that you love doing. Next think of commonalities between those activities and what some of the underlying connections may be. These connections are more likely than not things that you really love and can find passion in. To find career success with ADHD, start looking for a job that intersects with what you love to do.
Have Support and Input from Friends and Family
Next, in order to find career success with ADHD you need to lean more on the people who know you best. Finding success in almost anything in life means having support from those around us. Having a support network can be just as vital in your career success as in anything else in life.
Career success happens when we meet our career goals. For people with ADHD, meeting long-term goals can present challenges when we get distracted and lose sight of the bigger objective. Friends and family who act as a support network, though, can help keep you focused and remind you of the success you want to find.
Overall a support system of some kind provides stability and valuable input that can turn discouragements into victories in most jobs. To find your own career success with ADHD, you should seek out that support network early in your career. Include both people from your profession and people outside of your profession. Each person can bring new insight and provide support in different ways.
When starting a new career, you should never isolate yourself from your support network. Instead, you need to invite friends and family into the process every step of the way. Invite input when considering a new position, follow up with friends and family when you face challenges in the workplace, and continue to go to them to discuss your future opportunities.
Your support network knows you best. They also know what you need to find success and grow your potential. Include them in your career efforts and really listen to what they have to stay. Doing so can put you miles ahead in your pursuit of career success.
Have Continued Accountability
Finally, finding career success with ADHD depends on having continued accountability. We just talked about having a support network. Such a network can provide some accountability, but what you need even more is accountability on a regular basis in the workplace.
The best way to achieve accountability and guidance where you work is through having a mentor. A mentor is a career professional in your same line of work who has found successful and who is willing and able to help show you how to do the same. They can provide guidance and help you navigate the frustrations that come with any career.
No matter how much you love your job, work can be challenging. Challenges can easily make us question our direction and whether we want to stick with a career or not. To find long term career success with ADHD, though, you need to fight through the difficulties and rise above. People with ADHD tend not to always handle adversity well. This makes having accountability in the workplace and having a mentor all the more important.
Ideally, with having accountability in the workplace, you should have someone you can meet with one-on-one once a week or a few times a month. In those times, you should have a chance to talk over difficulties in the workplace and what you should be doing to improve your career. This person should also have a chance to ask how well you stay on track and be able to hold you accountable to what you need to do regularly to improve your career. In the short term, having this accountability can feel tiresome but in the long run this can make the difference between finding success and burning out.
Start Finding Career Success with ADHD
Most of us probably feel disillusioned with our careers in some way. This makes finding true success difficult. While none of us might have the most ideal career, though, this doesn’t mean that we can’t find career success with ADHD.
For some of us finding career success might mean changing careers. If you have gone through all the strategies listed here and have decided a change of career is in order than you should possibly consider an ADHD friendly job option. For some with ADHD, it might even make sense to start your own business. If your skills and personality fit, entrepreneurship might just be right for you. Still for others, you might stick it out with your current career. You might just need some readjustments to get back on track headed towards career success.
Whoever you are, though, you need to know that finding career success with ADHD is possible through using the right tools and strategies. We hope that this article has provided you with those tools to help start you toward success. Use the strategies outlined here to start looking at your job and career in a new light.