There are many jobs or careers known to be well suited to individuals with ADHD. But there is more involved than the 'what works for ADHD will work for me' approach. The key to finding your ideal career and path to meaningful life's work is paying attention to your strengths, best-suited work-environments, and the passion that fuels your contributions.
Always begin from a place of strengths
There are several traits that come naturally with having ADHD which can be channeled as incredible strengths in the workplace. Examples include creative, innovative, out of the box thinking, competitive, problem solving, perseverant, empathy, to name a few. Knowing and applying your particular strengths, especially those 'gifted' to you with ADHD, can give you a competitive advantage to contribute and experience higher levels of success in the workplace. The key is spotting those opportunities for a great fit as they arise and navigating your way towards them as you progress in your career. What do you know about your strengths? How do they benefit you at work?
Ideal Work Environments
Another important aspect of ADHD and work is identifying an ideal environment. The more you understand about yourself, how you like to interact with your world, the better. Many factors come into play with work and the environment. One way to figure this out for yourself is to reflect on what has been helpful in the present and the past. Another is to explore different careers and their respective environments to see which appeal to you. The environment you work in can make or break your career success. If your current work environment is not working well for you, a starting point is to consider how you can tweak your current environment to be more beneficial. Over time, you may find you need to shift into a job with an environment that is a better match.
Passion and Contribution
Psychologist Sigmund Freud was asked to expound on what he felt were the most important constituents of life. His answer? “Liebe und Arbeit.” Love and work. This is hardly a surprise: For most of human history, the meaning of work and the meaning of life intersected at survival. Work was life and our means to put food on the table, clothes on our backs, a roof over our heads, which continues to be an important contribution to ourselves and our loved ones. With ADHD, a plus is our ability to contribute and make a difference in an area of work that aligns with the things we love. When you can make that connection, the engagement, and energy for work increases. What fuels your passion and love for your work?
Strengths, environment, and passion combined provide more insight into your 'sweet spot' for work. In summary, having the opportunity to use our strengths to contribute in significant ways matters. Making career choices that fit in with our ideal environment matters. Being able to connect our life's work and contributions to areas of passion matters. All contribute to our happiness. The happier we are the more meaningful become our day to day life and work experiences.
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Are you looking for new career options? Here is a free resource to use your creativity to explore ideas for a next job or career from Career Coach Shell Mendelson, MS.
Self-Reflection is often put on the back burner in critical times of crisis or stress. What if you could have a tool for both self-reflection and career direction - information vital to making shifts or taking inspired action toward a better outcome. Click here to get your copy of the Smile File. You will have at your disposal a useful, FUN and uplifting diversion, the possibility of a new path, and a greater understanding of YOU.
Shell is partnering with our Center to offer a six-week workshop around career discovery. What Color is Your Parachute with ADHD, based on the work of Richard Bolles. Check out our program to see if it would help you in your own career journey.
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