Living with ADHD and looking for work? The best jobs for people with ADHD are those that make you feel confident, engaged, and purposeful – but this can look different for different people.
Whether you’re looking for a career change or trying to find your first job, it’s important to take the time to consider what’s a good fit for you. Here are 10 questions you should ask yourself to do just that.
1. What are you good at doing?
Start by making a list of your skills. You should include both technical skills – such as computer coding or operating heavy equipment – and soft skills – like time management, creative thinking, or teamwork.
It can help to ask someone you’re close to what they think your skills are. Getting an outside perspective often helps you think more objectively about your strengths.
2. What are you passionate about?
Now write down a list of things that interest you, whether they’re related to work or not. For example, do you like helping others or working on something creative? Do you enjoy meeting new people and having new experiences?
Being passionate about your job isn’t necessary, but it can help with staying motivated and focused.
3. What do you struggle with?
It’s important to take a realistic look at your weaknesses so that you can figure out what jobs to avoid or ways you can grow new skills. Understanding the areas that you struggle with and developing ways to cope is actually a great strength.
For a lot of people living with ADHD, focus and time management can be an issue. You probably won’t be able to find a job that doesn’t require both of these skills, so it’s important to consider ways that you can improve in these areas. There may be apps, training courses, or new habits that can help.
4. What environments are right for you?
Think back to the times when you felt most productive and fulfilled at work or school. What was the environment like?
Many people with ADHD excel in fast-paced environments that have a sense of urgency – think emergency services, schools, and restaurants. Other people need structure and routine to feel in control. Figuring out what environments are right for you can help you narrow down the job search.
5. What people do you work best with?
Almost every job requires some level of interaction and communication with others. It’s worth thinking about the ways different people make you feel and influence the quality of your work.
For example, you might thrive where others share your values and have similar energy levels. On the other hand, you might work best with calm, organized personality types who help you feel balanced.
6. What company culture would suit you best?
Company culture is the values, attitudes, and behaviors that an organization has. When you work somewhere that aligns with your own values and attitudes, it can make you feel more connected and fulfilled.
For example, would you prefer working for a large organization or a small local business? Do you excel in high-pressure environments or a slower-paced, more laid-back atmosphere? Before applying to work with a particular organization, do some research so you know what to expect.
7. What’s your ideal lifestyle?
Think about what lifestyle you want to lead in your day-to-day life and how different jobs might conflict with or complement that lifestyle.
For example, if you’re a morning person, being a bouncer with night shifts might not work for you. If you’re a very social person, working as a baker might not be the right fit.
Also, consider how far you’re willing to travel for work as your daily commute can have a major effect on your lifestyle.
8. What qualifications do you have?
Your current qualifications and training might narrow down the types of jobs you can apply for. You might need to undergo some training to help make you more employable for certain roles.
If you have your heart set on a particular job, check out what training you might need to do before being qualified. You should factor in how long that will take, and whether you will need to be earning money while you study.
9. Where do you want to be in 10 years?
It’s important to take a step back and consider if a particular job will help you move towards your career and life goals.
Before applying for a particular job, consider if there’s room for promotion and growth and if the salary is enough to support your lifestyle and financial goals.
10. Do you need help finding work?
Searching for work can be tough, especially if you’re not sure what jobs will be a good fit for your personality and skill set.
You don’t have to do the search on your own. Talking with an employment consultant can help you discover career pathways that are right for you.
If you’re living with ADHD, you might also be eligible for support through Disability Employment Services. Enquire at Centrelink or register directly with a Disability Employment Services provider today to get started.