With ADHD it’s just so NOT about the money

It’s not easy finding the right job if you are ADHD. For most people extrinsic motivations like money and fear help to stay on track but for ADHD people it’s all about finding intrinsic motivation, working because it’s compelling, interesting, and purposeful.

Evaluate your ADHD passions, skills and strengths by reading and the answering the questions below.

What makes a career a good fit? What separates those who are engaged and fulfilled, from those with set backs and regret? How can you make sure that you are in a job well-suited to you?

ADHD work guidelines

The starting point is to consider our neurology:

  • An under-stimulated mind seeks novelty, we like change and progress
  • Seldom do we wish to repeat a process, especially dull ones
  • People are often inherently more varied and stimulating than systems
  • Variety is the spice of ADHD life, a few projects/locations is often best
  • Money represents future reward, so does not motivate in ADHD
  • Alignment of interest and engagement with career is key
  • Entrepreneurship is the best and worst job for ADHD, no boss, no rules, no deadlines, perfect yet deadly
  • Process and administration are seldom captivating

Strengths

What do you do the best? Is it what you most like to do, if not what is? What are your work strengths? Where have you improved recently? Where do you wish you were stronger? Is that strength aligned with work needs? Which skills do you lack for excelling in your job?

Reward

What are you most proud of at work? What regrets do you have about your career? What are you not getting better at? What do you most dislike doing? Why? Are you recognised when you think you should be? If not, why not? In what way do you think your time could be better used to add value to your company or organisation? What sort of people do you work best/worst with? What kind of company culture brings out the best in you?

Wisdom

What was the most important lesson you learned from your parents about work? What lesson did your best boss teach you about yourself? What lesson would you pass to your children on how to manage their careers? What lessons have you learnt about being ADHD in work? If you could start again, what would you do differently?

Hope

What are your hopes for the future, in terms of your career? When were you happiest in work, Why? What would you love to do? Why can’t you do that yet? In ten years time would you like to be in same job/industry/career? Where else would you like to be working?

It’s all about context

With ADHD we are sensitive and picky about work. We are easily bored, hate routine, dislike politics and love original solutions. When we interview it is more important for us to see the office, meet our new colleagues, get a sense of admin and control. In the right jobs and careers people with ADHD are successful but in the wrong environment we collapse. Know yourself better, your strengths and weaknesses, what engages you and what doesn’t, what inspires and what irritates you. It certainly takes more effort to find a career that suits but it’s worth it.