ADHD Friendly Jobs And Work Strategies

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Topic: ADHD at work. ADHD strengths and challenges, ADHD friendly and ADHD hostile jobs, ADHD challenges at work, and identifying your strengths. See the other Adult ADHD Issues.

Facilitator: Pete Quily

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

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


Group warm up exercise

What’s one job you have done that you really like? Why did you like it?
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.

We ADDers are not clones.

Many people ask me, what’s the best job for an ADHD adult?

I point them to my list of careers of ADHD adults I’ve coached since 2003.

202 different ones so far and that list needs updating:) You might be surprised by the first one on the list. There is no right job for all ADDers, there is the right job for you.


Aspects of ADD friendly jobs:

ADHD accommodations, the employer is willing to offer them

Allow input

Appropriate managerial style (nonauthoritarian)

Appropriate structure

Atmosphere conducive to risk taking/originality


Bitesize projects

Clearly defined expectations

Compatible with your value system

Employee appreciation

Employee input is sought and valued

Fast paced environment

Fosters/allows creativity

Incorporate interests and hobbies (passion)

Intermediate milestones for projects

Job with an admin assistant (to do the boring stuff, i.e., paperwork)

Management engagement

Open lines of communication

Some passion

Team approach


ADHD Specific Books:

ADHD Secrets of Success: Coaching Yourself to Fulfillment in the Business World.

ADD in the Workplace: Choices, Changes, and Challenges

ADD on the Job

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity Updated 2015

What Does Everybody Else Know That I Don’t?: Social Skills Help for Adults with ADD


Other Books

Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham

Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment  by Martin Seligman

I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It by Barbara Sher

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

Read the toxic job article


Characteristics of ADD Unfriendly Jobs:


Close minded colleagues or boss

Incompetent boss/coworkers

Lack of breaks or rest periods

Long drawn out tasks


Mentally calcified boss or coworkers

Overly structured


Toxic work environment

Tyrannical boss or coworkers

Unclear expectations

Uptight work environment (too formal)


Examples of ADD Friendly Jobs

Air traffic controller




Creative arts


Emergency type jobs (ER, paramedic etc)

Entertainment/performance (standup comedian)

Entrepreneurial jobs

Hair stylists



Police officer

Postsecondary instructor

‘Rock star’





How to identify your strengths (handouts and websites)

Ask others “What are my skills and strengths?” “What do you think my competitive edge is?”

Do a web search for ADHD and work

Get an ADHD coach (we know what we should do, they will help us do what we know)

Note what others compliment you on

See a career counselor or go to your alma mater’s career center (the services may be free of charge for alumni)

Self reflection

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


Online Articles

151 Positive Characteristics of people with ADD

Top 10 Advantages of ADD in a High Tech Career

Posts on the strengths of ADHD

Positives of ADHD that ADHD adults often ignore


Some ADD challenges at work:


Constantly being late and getting fired for it


Dealing with unyielding people


Forgetting things

Impulsivity in actions and words

Low energy

Missing information


Physical constraints

Problems with follow through

Taking on too much at once

Too many details


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

Related Adult ADHD Issues Posts

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