We hear a lot about attention deficit disorder (better known as ADD) in kids. But for some people, it’s not until they reach adulthood that they even realize they struggle with ADD. Unfortunately, they spend years of either being laid off or quitting their jobs because they have trouble with organization, as well as focusing. And, even if they don’t get fired, they quit because they get bored with their work. We all know that job hopping is not a good thing. But, on the other hand, many adults with ADD haven’t found their niche or work that agrees with the challenges of their ADD.
As a mother, I know firsthand the heartache of ADD. I have a grown son who’s wrestled with this disorder all his life. He has trouble keeping a job and finding what he wants to do with his life, even at age 30. In fact, right now he’s looking for work (again!) Then, I realized that there are jobs that fit ADD people. Although ADD carries some basic handicaps, you can’t place all ADD adults in the same box. Here are a few suggestions, keeping in mind both the strengths, as well as the weaknesses of ADD.
*Jobs that require a lot of moving—Because most ADD people have trouble sitting still, jobs that keep a worker sitting at a desk from 9-5 probably aren’t for them. Rather than taking office jobs, people with ADD should be consider jobs that let you gravitate from one place to another. Several years ago when our church up north was searching for a new pastor, a likeable pastor/candidate came to preach, trying out for the job. Right up front he said he had ADD. But, I’d never heard such a dynamic sermon. Let me tell ‘ya—this guy was wired. He just didn’t stand in the pulpit, but jumped around all over the church, even up and down the pews. We loved him! However, he turned down the job as his wife didn’t want to move.
*Jobs related to sales—-When our ADD son was about 15, we had an old rattletrap of a car we needed to sell. I never will forget the time when some perspective buyers came to our door. His line of bull convinced them to buy our car. Then, it should be no surprise that he also tried selling used cars for a living for a season.
*Jobs requiring creativity—ADD people may have problems with organizational skills, but many of them don’t lack in the creative department. For example, theatrical careers might work well with ADD creativity. I find it interesting those celebrities such as Paris Hilton and the late Anna Nichole Smith admitted they had ADD. Reviewing old tapes of their performaces, it’s really no surprise as we see their creativity come alive. And, like most ADD performers, you can see how they thrived on attention and loved being up in front of people. Simply put, many ADD folks are energized by being with people—they are not introverts.
*Jobs requiring a curious mind—Our ADD son has always had a curious mind— he loves solving a good mystery. In fact, in high school he enjoyed being part of the Police Explorers program. Perhaps detective work may be just the right career for the ADD person who enjoys putting pieces of a puzzle together
*Jobs that help people—Because, generally, ADD folks are “people” folk,; they thrive on interacting with others. What’s more, because they’ve struggled with on-going issues, they could usually do well in fields such as counseling and ministerial jobs. In fact, they make great youth pastors.
These are only a few suggestions. I’m sure there are many other career paths for ADD people which are even yet to be explored. Adults with ADD just have to list their strengths and match them with jobs that need them.