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Topic: ADHD Friendly Occupations and ADD Work Strategies

September 26, 2006 Meeting Notes for the Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group

Return to Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group Previous Notes Page

Facilitator: Pete Quily

Thanks to Gina for the notes from last night’s meeting.

Group warm up exercise

What’s one job you have done that you really like? Why.
What’s another job you really didn’t like and why?
Remember:  There are different types of ADD and personalities, so not all ADDers will prefer the same job or environment. A person with the hyperactive impulsive form of attention deficit disorder may want a fast paced job with a lot of multitasking but someone with the inattentive form of attention deficit disorder may not.

Eg: Person A likes working with people, person B likes working with information, person C likes working with things. Extroverts vs introverts, working in teams vs. working solo, etc.

Aspects of ADD friendly jobs:

  • Fast paced environment
  • Appropriate structure
  • Autonomy
  • Clearly defined expectations
  • Appropriate managerial style (nonauthoritarian)
  • Team approach
  • Allow input
  • Compatible with your value system
  • Some passion
  • Fosters/allows creativity
  • Open lines of communication
  • Employee input is sought and valued
  • Intermediate milestones for projects
  • Bitesize projects
  • Incorporate interests and hobbies (passion)
  • Atmosphere conducive to risk taking/originality
  • Employee appreciation
  • Job with an admin assistant (to do the boring stuff, i.e., paperwork)
  • Management engagement
  • ADD accommodations

Book recommendation: “Good to great” by Jim Collins
Quiz recommendation: “The passion test” by Jane Atwood
read the toxic job article

Characteristics of ADD Unfriendly Jobs:

  • Boring
  • Repetitive
  • Overly structured
  • Meaningless
  • Toxic environment
  • Longdrawn out tasks
  • Tyrannical boss or coworkers
  • Lack of breaks or rest periods
  • Incompetent boss/coworkers
  • Closeminded colleagues or boss
  • Mentally calcified boss or coworkers
  • Uptight work environment (too formal)
  • Unclear expectations

Examples of ADD Friendly Jobs

  •  Sales/marketing
  • Creative arts
  • Media
  • Entrepreneurial jobs
  • Writer
  • Inventor
  • Coach/therapist
  • Trades
  • Entertainment/performance (standup comedian)
  • Counselor
  • Hair stylists
  • Emergency type jobs (ER, paramedic etc)
  • Police officer
  • Athlete
  • Air traffic controller
  • Postsecondary instructor
  • Drivers
  • ‘Rock star’

How to identify your strengths (handouts and websites)

Try to find a job where you can utilize as many of your strengths as possible

Now discover your strengths by Marcus Buckingham

Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman

I could do anything if I only knew what it was by Barbara Sher

Healing ADD by Daniel Amen

The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling
by James Hillman

ADD and work books

Online Articles

151 Positive Characteristics of people with ADD

Top 10 Advantages of ADD in a High Tech Career

See a career counselor or go to your alma mater’s career center (the services may be free of charge for alumni)
Ask others “What are my skills and strengths?”
Note what others compliment you on
Get a coach (we know what we should do, they will help us do what we know)
Do a web search for ADD and work

Some ADD challenges at work:

  • Boredom
  • Distraction
  • Constraints
  • Missing information
  • Organization/time/space/energy
  • Too many details
  • Low energy
  • Forgetting things
  • Dealing with unyielding people
  • Physical constraints
  • Impulsivityin actions and words
  • Problems with followthrough
  • Taking on too much at once

We also got into small groups and brainstormed some ideas on how to deal with our own individual ADD challenges at work.



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