Why Career Development is Essential for Adults with ADHD

Why Career Development Is Essential For Adults with ADHD

Career Development, also known as career planning, is the process of choosing a career, improving your professional skills, and advancing along a career path toward a particular career goal.

Although, many are lucky enough to know, at an early age, what they want to do and end up in satisfying careers without giving it much thought. It’s common to experience uncertainty when it comes to choosing a career.

Career development is essential for adults with ADHD because it helps alleviate uncertainty and provides a clearer sense of direction.

Many of us end up in the wrong career field because we don’t receive good advice. We’re told that we can’t succeed in a particular field because of ADHD. For instance, I’m sure you’ve heard things like “people with ADHD don’t like ‘desk jobs’ or ‘people with ADHD hate sitting in front of the computer looking at numbers.’ “ 

Additionally, many of us begin the career development process late. We aren’t exposed to career planning until right before college or in our early adulthood. Which leads us to rush into a college major or career field so we can find work.

Finally, many of us are busy and find it challenging to do rich “discovery” work to find our true future direction. Perhaps, we feel trapped in our current job, are overwhelmed by our personal responsibilities, or just aren’t sure how to change things.

Regardless of your particular situation, it’s not too late to begin your career development process because career development is a life long process.

Career Development is a Lifelong Process

Can I be REAL with you?  We’re on the job about 70 percent of our lives. In other words, since you’re going to spend much of your life working it’s important to do work YOU enjoy.  Career development is a lifelong process. It helps you stay aligned by answering life’s most important questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What am I meant to do with my life? 

Above all, to have a successful and fulfilling career you’ll need to discover it yourself, bit by bit, so that it fits you perfectly! When you are intentional about your career development you’re able to make career decisions that are aligned with who you are and what you desire. 

Why Is Career Development Essential for Adults with ADHD

There are thousands of occupations. And no, there isn’t a list of “ADHD friendly” jobs or careers to choose from. No two individuals have the exact same set of strengths and challenges. Which means it’s all about YOU! You are a unique, one-of-a-kind individual. There is no one else exactly like you. It’s important that you find a career that fits YOU. ADHD brains need to stay engaged and motivated. This means you MUST be interested in the work you do. 

Career development helps you narrow down all the career possibilities to ones that best match you. Career development can be fun and very inspiring. I recommend thinking of it like a fact-gathering mission to help you uncover what you are truly good at and interested in. 

People with ADHD will always make better career choices once they’re able to narrow down and articulate their interests and what makes them TICK!  This is the magic! When it comes to your goals and your future you have to trust this process. This is about YOU…not your mom or dad, not your professors, not your friends, but YOU!!!

How to Start Your Career Development

One of my favorite ways to start uncovering careers that interest you is to research career possibilities. When you begin your career development it’s better to expand your ideas about possible jobs before narrowing down. For example, begin to learn as much as you can about potential careers by reading articles, researching online, and talking to family, friends, and others in your network. 

You have plenty of time to decide on your career. Don’t rush into a career because someone said you should do this, or you should do that…or you should NOT do this or you should NOT do that. 

People with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder often don’t know what they like or don’t like until they SEE it or TRY it for themselves! No one else can tell you what you will or will not like. And with ADHD…motivation is KEY, which means you must like what you are doing. 

The first step is to keep an open mind and explore as many careers as possible.  Don’t prejudge any career until YOU investigate it yourself.

Get started by downloading our free guide to help you begin investigating careers in 5 easy steps.


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