A common scapegoat for the bored, forgetful, and disorganized, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are referenced so frequently (and often flippantly) that a diagnosis can seem more colloquial than medical. But for roughly 4% of adults, it’s a serious neurological condition. And the poor concentration, restlessness, and impulsivity that accompanies it can easily derail a career.
“People are struggling with this,” says David Ballard, Ph.D., assistant executive director of the American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence. “Research suggests that people with ADHD are often underutilized, underemployed, and in jobs that are below their actual capabilities. Often, how they’re functioning may not reflect how smart and capable they actually are.”
Certain accommodations, like organizational systems that manage workflow and desk spaces designed to minimize distractions, can help some employees with ADHD function effectively, Ballard says. But like every other group of people, this is a diverse bunch — there’s no job, industry, or task that will resonate with all of them.
There are some jobs, however, that attract more ADHD employees than others. If you (or your kid) has been diagnosed, here’s a mini-career guide to the big ones.