The Best Type of Jobs for Adult ADHD - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

14,067 members3,662 posts

The Best Type of Jobs for Adult ADHD

I currently have ADHD (although I prefer the old term ADD as my problem is inattentiveness)

I currently have a desk job staring at a computer screen all day with just a 45 min break. I’m so bored and mentally and physically exhausted even though all I did was sit.

Any one else experience this? Anyone found a job that you ended up loving despite your ADHD? I currently work in the medical field (medical biller)

28 Replies

I am a college student so I also have long periods of sitting still attempting to focus. Are you able to take your break in chunks? I find that smaller more frequent breaks are more helpful than a single large break. If you could break your break up, take, for example, three 10-minute breaks and a 15-minute break, it might help. Also if you get up an move around when you do take a break. Rather than just doing something else on the computer, do something off the computer.

I also find that a trip to the bathroom when I really can't focus can help clear my mind. Just don't overuse this one.

Also, if you are allowed, sitting on one of those exercise ball chairs might help. If you aren't allowed to use that a chair that moves easily and quietly or a seat cushion that allows you to fidget in your seat can also work. Having a fidget toy to play with on your desk might help as well unless you are constantly typing.

I don't know much about what jobs are available in the medical field but I would look into something that would put you more out on the floor, moving around. Something with more critical thinking less 'do as you're told.' ADHDers are often bad at the whole "sit down, shut up, do as your told," ordeal. That's often why we struggle in school despite being plenty smart enough.

Anyway, I hope that helps!

Most schools will accomadate for your restlessness due to add.You need proof from a doctor at least. I returned to college and was an A student.Before that I got c's. They had a program to help us .I was able to tape every class, they also allowed someone to share their notes with me. I was allowed to get up and walk around if I needed to. They had tutors available if needed. i went to JFK University inPleasant hill or one of their campuses. Hope this helps, it has been about 13 years since I finished. I am sure they have updated their practices by know

I also work a desk job that allows for little physical activity. I recommend taking a 5 minute break to walk to the bathroom (between the regularly scheduled breaks) and stretch- move around a little while in there. The sitting and following rules is difficult but maybe you could daydream a little while you're doing your duty. Hope this helps somehow.

Same. I have a sitting job where I read all day. Not interesting reading either. I literally collapse in bed as soon as I get home from exhaustion. I also have issues with getting in trouble for talking and being distracting. I wish I had known about my ADHD when I was in college. I would have definitely gotten a different major.

I don't know if this will be helpful, but I have had two main roles in the same field. One role was very much crisis driven, conflict resolution, deadlines, dealing with aggressive clients etc. It was very high pressure and unpredictable.

The other was more of a desk job- processes, data, developing, planning, implementing etc. Really it was 'easier' and a lot less pressure.

However, I have ADHD and I feel like I was much more capable in the chaotic role.

I feel like the high pressure job was more my forte- I can perform well under pressure and can think quick in responding to a volatile situation, but on the other hand, make me sit down and compile a report for an hour and it takes all my ability to apply myself and get it done.

I wonder if this is typical for others who have ADHD -whether others find that a mundane job is often much harder to achieve in compared to a more 'challenging' high pressure role?

Maybe if you could look into a role that is a bit more responsive and frontline- like could you work in the emergency department of a hospital etc? I find that if I'm interested and stimulated by something my inattentiveness kind of disappears, but when I have to read boring details about some process I cant help but blank out and forget what I just read (3 times)..

Aviarie profile image
Aviarie in reply to Lani24

Pressure helps ability to Focus. I would create pressure to hyperfocus. A job like a lawyer working for others, an emergency room type job or ambulance helper

Ohhh i so can relate. I did a work history and found the same thing, I NEED stimulation or I feel like I am falling asleep. I struggle to focus, yet when i am under pressure I can be two different people. I so would love to learn more about jobs for us that work. I still remember being a team waitressing. When I was busy, I was amazing, when it slowed down, I would forget my one table. Who knew. I am at a cross road work wise so as I am just learning about this, i really want to choose wisely!

I have inattentive type as well, and I work in software development. The team I'm currently on is small, four friendly people. We play ping pong almost every day at lunch, and it has made a huge difference. Getting in some enjoyable exercise every day is really helpful for me. I also do a little yoga sometimes at breaks.

Aviarie profile image
Aviarie in reply to Nerplederp

Yes yoga good also TM mediation

I am a waiver service provider, being able to come up with activities and expressing creativity has been such a gift. I’ve worked in the office before and my light dim. I also was making huge mistakes so I left the job cause I was stressed out. But working with children and working on creativity is such a blessing.

I’m also ADD inattentive type and prefer to call it the old fashion way because people USUALLY don’t understand

Fo me, computers are great BUT only when I am doing things i enjoyed. It works because it is continually changing and I love to learn. One thing leads to another idea or fact.etc...

Yes I relate so much! I have had several desk jobs in medical office settings and the only part about them that I liked and did well with was working with the patients that came in. They loved me and loved visiting with me and my bosses liked that aspect. However even though I tried so hard my attention to detail was always lacking, I made silly mistakes and I would get soooo bored. I got fired a couple times. This was so frustrating and hard on my self esteem! I am a cosmetologist by trade and it’s hard for me to work on my feet all day so I was trying to make the desk job situation work out especially since I support myself. I finAlly decided to go back to my trade even if it was only part time. I love it and I’m great at it which helps boost my self esteem. The part of my brain that works creatively combined with my love of working with people and my free spirit allows me to thrive in this environment and surprisingly I can focus extremely well on what I’m doing. I still have to deal with some inattentive mishaps but not near as often and found a lot of my coworkers have similar situations so there is less judgement. I have found it’s important to find what you are passionate about and excel in and stay In your lane . I think a lot of us are very creative and hospitality minded. 🖤


I would not be able to stay on task. I have lost five jobs in the last seven months. I seem to work with employers who do not know how to deal with an individual with ADHD. I am intellegent but right now I have a hard time focusing and keeping on task. One step to the other is a mission and I seem to be in an environment that does not know how to work with me. I forget things(steps) too.

I've been a service engineer for 13years and driving all day all over Scotland fault finding repairing and maintaining various electro mechanical fluid systems has been great outside and use the multiple thoughts for fault finding every day different.

Also can't recommend the great outdoors greenage therapy and dog or cat

I know exactly what you mean and have experienced most of what you're saying throughout my lifetime. Unfortunately for me, if I don't sit for hours at a time I can't stay focused on the work/tasks at hand. My diagnosis was more ADD than ADHD because to much external stimulation is troublesome for me. I don't relish desk jobs but being in the financial industry and working behind the scenes, rather than in front of others, is best for me. Unfortunately, the roles I've had didn't play to my strengths and cost me my jobs. I would love to stay in the industry but think it might not play to my strengths.

Honestly there is no “perfect” job for someone like us. I am a college student and have worked several different summer jobs. Everything from sandwhich maker to factory worker to desk job. Every job was different and provided me a different experience.

The most important factor when looking for the best job is finding something that you find interesting.

Each of the different jobs I had I found fascinating and different. Each provided me a new experience. However, I only worked each job for 3 months.

The best thing to do is find something of interest to you.

Aviarie profile image
Aviarie in reply to Mille_5

Exactly I was not launched made a DDS for prestige and being listened to but have to retrain as an x-ray technologist as soon as my inherited home is sold and have income passive to cover schooling cost. My crappy brother psychiatrist did see me as an Aspie and both brother's blocked me,! Didn't even know Aspies are blind to empathy clueless.

For me I feel like I won the lottery, I’m a firefighter (18 years) and have been very fortunate. It provides me opportunities to move around during the day, I have stressful and non stressful emergencies, it can be regimented, there can be clear expectations, I have the ability to be creative and solve problems, I tinker and fix things. It does have it tough days but it’s usually a variety. I find myself staring to stress about what I want to do next when I retire which seems to be sneaking up on me. While I feel I have been successful at work/ career my home life is where my adhd has had the biggest and most negative effects which has been challenging to recognize and manage.

SocialEngager profile image
SocialEngager in reply to Its18

100% agree. My home life and significant other/relationships are my biggest challenge to manage.

ZimmyZimmy profile image
ZimmyZimmy in reply to Its18

I found my perfect job too! Mail carrier at USPS! (I’m 45) Always active, never boring, work alone…and I can be a spazz. Urgency helps me focus on addresses. On the flip side, I live alone with pets in a house. Home is so out of control I can’t get going to manage it. Distracted galore, then paralysis.

Anyway, thanks for fighting fires! Stay safe!

Continue to network, do your research, have an outlet of close friends to get ideas/suggestions. Know your strengths and key in on those vs your weaknesses.

Reflect on what has worked well for you and what do you need to improve? I’m considered a “Social Engager” hence the username, from one of those Myers-Brigs Assessements.

I did quite a few personality assessments when I was in a rut of 1+ year unemployement. I pursued one of my favorite hobbies as a part-time job coaching volleyball last Fall and recently secured a full time job and changed industries with the power of hearing about the opportunity from a close relative - we are now associates at the same company!

I thrive in a hands-on, flexible work environment with a mix of work from home and field-based positions. Communication, Connecting and having a supportive manager, mentor and a team is VITAL to my success and riding the wave. Get to know your colleagues and build relationships, have a go-to work buddy, a mentor (not your manager/boss) and colleagues/team is crucial to my success, helps me get through frustrating situations and overcome hurdles.

I hope this helps!


I know exactly how you feel. It may be possible you may need to move around throughout the day time. Its possible that you may feel better if you take a short 5 minute break to help you feel more focused and not feel so tired. I also have a desk job and it can suck when you don’t have short breaks throughout the day.

I was in the medical/mental health field and I needed to take a break from it by doing something different. After 3-6 months i realized how much i missed being in the field. After 2 years doing customer service, I decided to go back into the field. I’m excited to go back into the field but ill be doing something different. I hope this feedback helps.

Education! I have been an educator for 13 years. 9 years as a teacher and 4 as a school counselor. There’s never a boring day when you have students hah. AND I feel like my students and I had good relationships because I was someone who always got in trouble for “talking” or being off task so my class is always fun and interactive because that’s how I learned best.

Hi there! I am a previous graduated medical office assistant from 2006, I am trying to graduate from an addiction course to support people with addictions. But, and that's a huge but, I am really struggling the older I get. I have another illness that is being treated, and so my ADHD cannot be treated right now. So, with that being said, anything creative is really helping me feel like I have a purpose and job that I have created myself and my own business with my art. I started a photography business and photography throughout my whole life has really been an outlet for myself as well as painting and driving funnily enough. It took me over a year to get my license once I had the means to actually go for my license, but driving forces all my senses to calm down and forces to focus, so that really helps relax me. I really can understand what you're going through especially with the medical background and you can message me anytime.

I am a mail carrier for USPS! After losing 2 jobs for “doesn’t listen to instructions” and “inability to manage time & focus,” I have found the perfect match for my skills and mental crazy. I struggle on occasion, but it’s an awesome job for my brain. I get exercise, I’m outside, I work alone, and I “play it like a video game!” Haha.

Anyway… just putting it out there!!!

I teach applied improv! To me it's a double win because I am doing what I love and helping myself focus better, utilize mindfulness, self confidence, and more while working. It's not a magic fix but it can help and I get to play! :)

You may also like...