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What is the Perfect Career For Me & My ADHD? Part 2


Nobody starts out good at anything. 

Remember learning to walk? Or to play piano?  Or flirting with the opposite sex? Practice, practice, practice.

Some folks learn faster than others and some folks are naturals. 

Some people are walking, playing the piano, or scoring with the opposite sex at an early age.  They have a knack. The gift.  My dentist says, “Dentistry is a manual skill.  And I have the magic hands.”  He does.

Whereas if you hired me to work on your teeth you’d need the lower half of your face replaced.  Sorry, that was an awful image.  Flush that from your mind.  Or, “Spit and rinse.”

But some people have the gift.  They are fast learners.  Others, just take longer.  But if I am really passionate about something, my experience is I will take the time.

For example, it’s a common belief amongst writers that, “You have to write 1 million words before you are a good writer.”  I’ve written at least 2 million and I’m starting to get close to good. 

Luckily I’m not in a hurry.  And the audiences have been wonderfully patient.  (In the early days when a skit didn’t get a laugh I would tell people, “This is a drama.”)


The second criteria kind of follows from the first point.  Which you may have forgotten by now, since we are on to a new paragraph.  Recap: the perfect ADHD job must be very interesting to you.  To YOU. And you are unique.

Which of course means, there is NO ONE PERFECT career for ADHD.  But I’ll go further and suggest there is no one single perfect job for you.

Because my experience has been that ADHD adults are interested in a lot of things.

That can be a plus.  And a huge challenge.  Why?  Let me save that for the next blog.  You’ve read enough.

In the meantime, consider this question, “What are some of the things that you really, really find interesting?”

Or “What activities were you passionate about, bought the equipment for, subscribed to the magazines, only did twice, and still have several boxes of the stuff stored away for some day?”

Be honest.  What do you have that could go from your closet to Craig’s List?  Scuba gear? Yogurt maker?  Loom?  Radio Controlled airplane?  Massage table?

Do you have closets full of stuff you are sure you’ll use again, eventually, once you have some spare time?  (Even though you haven’t had ANY spare time since before the millennium.  And you’ve moved 4 times since then.)

Go ahead.  Share.  I won’t judge.  And I’ll even admit that yes, I own a unicycle.  Which I swear, someday I am going to master…



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  1. sweet-sheba March 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I have always wanted to be a Pop Star!!! Love to sing! Have lots of old records in my closet, lol!
    But I have had too many jobs that always ended in them saying to me, “You’re not what our company is looking for right now.” Enough of those lines to last me a life time…
    Since I have faced my ADHD head on after I was diagnosed, I have known deep down, I have always had a passion for helping people! I love meeting new people, and don’t have a problem with starting up a conversation with the person standing next to me.
    Thank you for this great thought provoking Blog!

  2. sdwa March 18, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I have stuff I was interested in long enough to not only have bought the stuff but to have worked on it for a while before I got sick of it.The time window tends to be about two years. Then, if there isn’t reinforcement, the activity may fall by the wayside. The common thread in all of what I do is some element of wanting to make a difference- make the environment prettier or healthier, bring about an emotional release in someone else through art or writing, learn how to apply green building strategies, preserve important knowledge for the future, or whatever – that’s usually the driving force behind the many superficial manifestations of what I’m about. Weird, huh? Because when I look closely enough at what drives me, what’s beneath the superficial activity is the desire to make the world a better place. If I had to guess, I’d say most ADDers are like that. I think we’re that way because we know what it means to struggle, and we’re sensitive, and have empathy. So I think I could be interested in a lot of things, even very boring and tedious things, if I could connect them to the desire to help others and the belief that I could. But yeah, my resume looks like a patchwork quilt. And no one can see the unifying factor but me.

  3. billd April 1, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Anyone ever watch those TV shows of the past where a fellow or lady moves around, being a different professional in each place they land for a while? Maybe a doctor this week, an attorney next week, a detective, and so on? In a way, I relate. I’ve found I can do almost anything I want – or set my mind to do. I’ve owned and run businesses – took one and in under a year raised the gross sales by over 50% and in roughly 4 years had almost doubled the gross sales and turned it into a business recognized through much of the U.S. – and in Japan and Canada as well.
    I can do any home repair bar none. Wood floors – yup, plumbing, electrical, windows, doors, roofs, landscaping and hardscaping, antique restoration, auto body, engine building, transmissions, charging systems. I farmed for 7 years – successfully while others were selling out. I have a letter the bank sent me when I sold out and moved back down to central Iowa – they congratulated me for being among their only customers who showed a growth in net worth and consistent cash flow, always paying back all loans on time or early. I now restore classic car parts – I restore alternators and generators, starters, heater/AC blower motors, wiper motors, etc. to their original glory – and have people sending me boxes of these items from around the country to be restored. I now work in IT – network security administration. But I’m bored – I am great at it – among the best, and well recognized in this state as the person most likely to resolve malware or security issues. Our agency has been 100% virus and malware free for over 3 years now – the only agency that can make that claim. But I’d much rather be doing something else. I greatly miss CARS. I want to be in a shop restoring and fixing old cars, the classics.
    My dream job – and this is NO JOKE – to work for Jay Leno. I’d take a pay cut to work on his collection – taking care of them and restoring his collection. It would be hard to pry me out of there even for sleep or “breaks”.
    When I was about 14, I started to collect and restore antique gas engines – those stationary engines that weight 400 pounds and put out 1.5 or 2 horse power, big open flywheels. The hit and miss engines used on farms 100 years ago. I have a couple rare ones – Chapman, made in Ontario. But I’ve not touched those engines in about 10 years now. I’ve thought of selling some, and may still do that, but my VERY FIRST I’ll never sell, and the Chapman engines, nope, I’ll have those two until I die – but that hobby has waned – I used to be VERY intense in it – I attended shows and swap meets every single year for over 20 years, never ever missed a summer show here for all that time. Then I got into the cars – bought one to restore, then another, and I had to put up another shop building to house the cars and parts – but let’s make that a 2 level building as I enjoy wood working, too! So now I’m split – cars and wood working. I made my wife wall to wall, floor to ceiling shelving for her fabric – she’s an avid quilter with 5 sewing machines, one of them an embroidery machine and a long arm quilting machine. I’m making raised panel doors for her shelving now – well, I started over a year ago and have 4 doors done, only 16 to go. I started to repaint my 1982 Eagle in February – 2013. It’s still stripped to the primer and bare metal, still prepping it for paint. Interior is still gutted. I started the hardwood floors in our house last November – figured I’d be done by February. I got the living room, hall and 1 of the 3 bedrooms pretty well done.
    I’m beginning to conclude that my progress would be better if I liked my job. And I believe if I was doing what I STARTED to do when I was 14 – automotive work – and could do the sort of work I loved and enjoyed, everything else would be easier. I’ve found that about myself – when I’m bored or not really liking work any more, the rest suffers too. So if anyone knows Mr. Leno – I’d like to talk to him about maybe doing some work for him. He could send me things to begin with.
    Man, I just wanna either retire and turn my fun and hobbies into my main work and income, or make some sort of change. I’ve been here 10 years this summer and that’s an absolute RECORD for me – I farmed for 7 years, right after that I worked another job for a bit over 6 years. I think the politics here are killing me, too and ADHD just does NOT fit this environment at all.
    Sorry, I appreciate comedians – and people find me funny and all, but my social anxiety would preclude any success. I leave the experts to do comedy and acting.
    Let’s see – a 27 foot by 43 foot garage with a loft over the addition, full of stuff – engines, parts, car parts, a 1936 Farmall tractor that was a gift from my first wife. Shelves of small engine and lawn mower parts from my first shop I ran when I was 16 – still have all that stuff, another shop that’s 2 stories, 15 foot ceilings, the shop is 30- feet by 36 feet, full of parts and 3 cars, a car waiting outside to restore for someone else………. time for another building I guess.

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