Jobs that suit inattentive type - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Jobs that suit inattentive type



New to this site and happy I found all of you. I suffer with the Inattentive type. I’m currently on Concerta and trying supplements such as flaxseed and tyrosine. Adderall and Vyvanse had to many side affects such as anxiety and aggression. I’m in my mid fifties now struggling with menopause as well. What a disastrous combination. I’ve had three jobs in the past two years that I’ve quit due to anxiety. Last job I told myself I had to succeed no matter what. I tried so hard to focus, study the material required and went the extra mile. Then it happened again. Being Snapped at in front of customers and colleagues and told you need to focus.....told youve been showed how to do this several times and you should known this by now . It was to much and I couldn’t make myself go back. I don’t blame them. It has to be be frustrating for people who don’t understand. I’m not lazy and I want to succeed as much as anyone. Believe this or not I had a very demanding job in my thirties as a medic for 15 years but the stress and anxiety took its toll. Now I’m trying to find a job that better suits my condition. I would love to hear from anyone who has had similar experiences and jobs ideas.

Thank you and bless you all.

34 Replies

Been there. I'm 59 and survived menopause and you have my sympathy. My last job, I heard those exact words: "you've been shown this a hundred times. What's so hard about it?" It's humiliating. Right now, I'm looking for a job. I want to do some Christmas shopping but I feel like I'm not good at anything. I too would like to know what jobs are best suited for inattentive types.

in reply to Gabesmom594

Thanks for your reply Gabesmom594. And understanding....Yes, my confidence is shot. There has to be answers though.

I have innatentive type, I do better under pressure/ crisis type roles. In more mundane roles I have to create my own pressure/ motivation to get things done and that’s when my struggles with disorganisation, procrastination and just being all round inconsistent stands out more. I don’t know if that helps.

Enjoying or finding thr type of work or job meaningful might also help you to concentrate/ focus more?

I learn and retain info better by writing things out. If I have to learn a new process I’ll smile and nod while someone is explaining it to me then I’d go write out the steps (even make a flow chart, and colours help me too), either that day at work or at home kind of secretly. Maybe working out some strategies that work best for you would be worthwhile?

The other thing to consider is that success isn’t black or white, yes or no, it takes practise, ups and downs..failures along the way...maybe you could reframe what you class as being successful and take some pressure off yourself? Eg. sticking at a new role until you have got the hang of it is success! Managing and overcoming your own frustrations with yourself is a success! Trying something new is also a success in itself, know what I mean?

in reply to Lani24

Thank you Lani for your advice and for sharing a bit about yourself. You’ve given me a new perspective.....I will certainly think about what you’ve said....

in reply to Lani24

Yup, diagramming does the trick for me. Doesn't matter what materials they already have, I won't get it until I basically author my own training documents.

in reply to Nerplederp

I was in Emergency medicine so forgive my ignorance. What is diagramming?

in reply to Bear64

Just making diagrams, plotting out complex ideas in a visual map. Like a flow chart, done in a way that suits your approach to learning. I work with software, and I found it very helpful to diagram the build and deploy process for software releases, for example.

in reply to Lani24

Hi Lani24, I have the inattentive type too. Its incredible how this affects people in different ways. You say that you work better when under pressure. Where’s I totally loose it when under pressure. Concentration, focus gets totally screwed up. Thought I’d also just mention the following as you spoke of diagramming. Just in the last couple of months I came across this fantastic software called milanote ( The software itself is very minimalistic but what it can do it brilliant. Say you are working on a project. Well, you can create columns which hold ‘notes’, ‘links’ , ‘images’, ‘youtube clips’ and other files. You can can create flow diagrams or kanban type lists. The awesome feature with this. Is when you drag out a ‘board’. This acts like a folder but upon double clicking on it. It creates a second layer (in depth). You can go as deep as needed as its unlimited.Each new layer, allows you to create more boards, columns etcetera. Its free until you reach the 100 block limit. Basically, each thing you add on to the canvas is ‘a block’. Once the limit is reached you then need to pay $US12 per/month I think it is (think its us). Should you decide to try it out then make sure to download their web clipper extension too.

All the best

So first off if the place you work is okay with berating employees in front of customers & colleagues, you’re right to quit! That’s their failure, not yours. Most people react poorly to negative reinforcement, especially people with ADHD and anxiety. Find a company with a supportive and positive culture. Most importantly, find something that is interesting enough to hold your attention. My son has ADHD & I’m amazed how focused and determined he can be with things he’s interested in. It exists! Find what works for you!

in reply to Mmagusin


Thanks for your response. Subconsciously I knew it would be a toxic environment for me. I’m glad to hear your son is doing well with his job.

Your support is appreciated

Hi Bear,

Welcome to the group,

I have the inattentive type also, Adderall just made my temper explosive, so that was nixed immediately.... I am on Struttera works great for me. Everyone is different. I don’t know if it’s possible for you but I use sticky notes to keep track of the things I need to do. The ones that need to be done daily I keep reusing them. For the new tasks I just throw away after it’s done...

Don’t know if that helps ...

Good Luck

in reply to Nick1913

Thanks Nick

I did better on Adderall but I became aggressive and angry. I didn’t see it at first but then I put it together.....I will try the sticky notes. Thanks for your advice.

I'm really lucky to have found a job which suits my inattentiveness in that I get to switch between doing different types of work (purchasing, accounts, I.T.). Much of the time I get to hyperfocus which is when I feel at my best. Variety is definitely a plus as well as having colleagues who are understanding and let me do things my way.

Thanks Rick, Glad you’ve found your fit.

How about being a lunch lady at school

I know that it can be hard, but at my current job i bit the bullet. After struggling for several months and having a supervisor basically tell me "I have 0 confidence in your ability so shape-up or just leave"

First of all i was able to transfer to a diffrent department, thank god, and i went and talked to HR. I told them I have a problem staying focused, I know i am capable, and I want to be a productive employee, I need to try some diffrent strategies to show what i can do. I've been lucky. And they worked with my trainer to help me understand the important parts of the job.

Making an actual checklist of priorities has helped, and my trainer has given me extension rather then just expected me to know it after one go through. But the biggest help is she has curbed her criticism. I react so much better to her patience.. I am so lucky that she has been this considerate.

Emotions for me play a huge role in my ability to learn. Not feeling like my environment is hostile has made a world of difference.

You are so brave to have done that and I'm encouraged to hear there are employers who will be considerate. I agree that my emotions are a hindrance. I can feel the total shut down when I'm upset. I can learn nothing or say nothing. Just total panic. I hoped I've learned from this experience and can change at least this stumbling block. Thanks for sharing.

If you haven't visited the youtube channel "Howtoadhd" i would highly recommend looking at her "job acomidations" episode. It's what gave me some ideas. I went in not just saying i need help, but i have these ideas to help me work up to a level you will approve of. I know i am not reaching my potential, i can be a much better employee for you if we find my better way of working.

It's a little bit of a blur because i was nurvous as hell...

But they actually thanked me, and we've been working together. Not everything is a success, but the tone that has been set has made a world of difference and i have shown improvement.

Wow! I will certainly look at those videos. Anything to advance and learn. Again, thanks!

I understand your dilema. Not just any job will do for us. I am semi-retired now. These people who give you problems are no better than you. You are a unique person with a lot of talent to share, you bring unique ideas and qualities that those people problably won't appreciate. That is OK. When people put you down and are unkind it is probably due to their feelings of not being good enough. Its hard but be proud of being different. Love yourself just the way you are. As they say, God doesn't make junk!So you are perfect, even though you want to change the way you do things, that's good.Everyone is that way.

I have found that the jobs that suited me kept me busy, thinking and doing. I worked as a registered nurse for over 30+ years. I found that working in Labor and Delivery in hospitals. The other job that worked for me was being on a SART team or sexual assault nurse examiner. I was on call or I was going out on a call to do my thing. I got in on the ground floor, it was a brand new field, so my mistakes were like the other nurses. Nothing is black and white so ideas were encouraged. Mistakes were learning experiences. I was lucky, I did not know I had ADD until my early 50s. I just seemed to know what worked for me. It was trial and error.

A job that keeps you busy and mentally active, if you sit around you run into trouble, your mind wanders you get lazy if it last too long. On down times find a project to do for your company.A job that makes you think, no paperwork.boring.

I recommend this book a lot "THE FOUR AGREEMENTS'' Don Miguel Ruiz, Also, ''The Power of Now'' Eckhart Tolle. Be kind to yourself and don't judge how other people do things, be yourself and own it.

Also go to Dr Amens site online BrainMd. He is one of the experts and is in the for front of ADD/ADHD. You will get good advice, he has an excellent assortment of vitamins and minerals, and other supplements. From there you can go as far as you want.

Blessings, Dianna

in reply to StoneJeweler

Thanks Dianna. I’ve read both books several years ago. I’ve gotten wonderful advice here.....Thanks so much.

Hello Bear64, I am a male in my late 40’s. I too, suffer from the inattentive type. So sorry to hear your battling with the other issue too! I was only diagnosed about 6 months ago and have only been able to go on strattera. This has helped with only focus, concentration and calmed down the barrage of thoughts but done nothing towards the get up and go etcetera. Regarding the job side of things I cannot help sorry. Do you know anything about computer coding or have an interest in computers? If so, take a look at The Founders name is Adda. She founded the site with the vision of helping women get into tech but the curriculum is helping both female and male. They help whether its a ‘Remote job’, Freelance work or whether you want to work for a company. They help you all the way. So, this is what i’m focusing on. Working on my confidence by learning HTML, gradually then CSS before doing this course (have no experience in any of this). They teach you all of this though in a step by step structure with community support and online help from classmates and of course the instructors themselves. Wishing you the best of luck

Hello, Betterlife

I know nothing of computers as I was in healthcare . I’m looking at the Skillcrush web site looks interesting...It’s something to consider. I will do more research. In th mean time. Tell me more. How far have you gotten and has the course held your attention?


in reply to Bear64

Hey Bear64, good to hear from you. Okay, well just so you are aware, some of the women that have gone through the course (and now working in this area) apparently knew nothing either. What line of healthcare were you in? I was a care giver for 10 years. Yes the skillcrush site is very interesting. They also have a free 10 day boot camp online course you can do. Its an introductory overview. Regarding your question on doing the course. I haven’t actually started it yet. Due to my self esteem and confidence being shot, I am first learning what I can from free courses. Once I feel happy i’ll then be joining. So, if I were to answer your question on whether these ‘free courses’ are holding my attention. I would say yes. The main challenges would be in creating consistency. The other area is the slow processing speed. Brain feels like its constantly in first gear (with 4 wheel drive enabled!!) so this is my main frustration.

Best wishes

in reply to Better_Life


I was a paramedic for quite awhile but the physicality and anxiety became to much and I Ieft the profession. “Slow processing” that’s exactly how I would describe my brain. So never feel alone. ADD will destroy your confidence and peace of mind if you let it. I’ve been down that rabbit hole to many times. Thankfully, we have each other here on this site to support and encourage each other. :)

in reply to Bear64


Good on you. I certainly admire people who can do that line of work! My goodness, I use to be in the Red Cross Emergency Relief Team and after each first aid training thinking, oh my, what am I DOING here!! Was even worse in the field. Yes, its a rabbit hole would certainly like to get out of. To right, regarding your last comment 😁

Hello Bear64-

I identify with you so much.

I have had a couple different careers. I keep my RN license, but for self employment only these days.

I had a couple of rental properties that I have sold recently. I prefer self paced, physical work. So much of the work of rentals was ok. Except the deadbeats burned me out. So I did AirBnb with my rentals, and that went well. EXCEPT- I had to have a 'property manager' who made replied to inquiries and booked the reservations. I am not on email/phone, etc often. This realtor replied within an hour! So it was worth the percentage I paid him to do the bookings.

I have also done commercial cleaning and some private duty work.

I loved working in restaurants when I was younger, and I would go back to being a server again. I love the pace of being busy, moving, talking to people, and counting tips at the end of the shift!

BUT- the place (manager or owner) must understand- I am NOT a food runner, and I can not carry heavy trays. It may seem a strange idea. But it suited my brain well.

I really feel the sting of being 'put down' for the adhd traits that I also wish I did NOT have. Tardiness. Overtalking. 8 things going at once( or 20, or whatever). etc. I am so sensitive to criticism. I hope you are trying anything that seems interesting.

I would explore pet sitting and dog walking if I needed more income now. Seems like there is a big need for that in some areas.

I am OK that I am probably not going to a big wage earner in this lifetime.

I keep my expenses as low as possible, then I have less financial anxiety. That helps me a lot.

Good luck! Your creative brain will generate some ideas....try them.

I was diagnosed with combination type ADHD leaning more to the inattentive side less than a year ago. I have had many varied jobs over the last 25 years from working in general labour, retail, food services, admin, design, and project coordination. I've come up with a few conclusions if what works/doesn't work for me which may be helpful.

First if all, anything monotonous is a no. If I get bored my mind wanders and l make careless mistakes plus it feels like my brain will implode from all of the thoughts that cross my mind while on autopilot. Manual physical labour even when tedious is great for a while but unless it's something you are truly interested in or have a passion for boredom sets in and it's about as torturous as doing chores all day....every day. Admin type work is definitely not my strongsuit as assertiveness and common sense are two qualities I do not excel in. Basically anything that is not mentally challenging makes every day feel like one long, sad week. Anything sedentary (ex- desk jobs) I find it very, very hard to stay seated which leads to several mini breaks throughout the day to stay focused.

Things that I found do work for me are anything STEM or creative/visual/ artistic (challenging is best), creative problem solving, various activities throughout the day to break things up, a self-imposed schedule and flex hours, flexibility to work from home on occasion, if working with a team the opportunity to delegate tasks which may not match my strengths.

Also, I do love working with people but it needs to be a controlled professional environment where people generally communicate in a respectful manner or my hyper-sensitive / rejection sensitive dysphoria kicks in and I feel like the world is ending (like when customers take a bad day out on your face because it's there, or surly cooks swear at you because that's how they talk to everyone).

My career is a work in progress right now but I am constantly trying to come up with a back-up plan where I can make 3 figures working 2 days a week because I I would much rather spend my time and energy on the things that matter most to me, my family, the arts, the outdoors and learning as much about everything as I possibly can 😊

Hope this helps a bit

Your last paragraph describes me to a T! Especially he constant need to learn new stuff! Google and I are buddies :D

Cosmology? Astrophysics? Computer science? Engineering? Chemistry? Research?

We are inattentive because there have more important things to think about than being a cog making some capitalist rich.

I am 31, and have only been medicated for a few months (Vyvanse). I have always been inattentive, but not *too* bad until recently. I am currently a stay-at-home mom, but I too struggled with jobs because I only found myself excelling under a hard to find (and mostly unrealistic) circumstances. I needed steady work to keep my mind occupied, but not so busy that I got flustered, or so slow that I got bored and lost focus. Too mundane and focus was out the window, but too complicated and here I go getting flustered again. And the work needed to feel important enough to not feel like just another "cog" as cjnolet put it, but not a life or death kind of thing because HELLO ANXIETY! Unicorn job, right? My best job was as an operator with a local answering service that handled primarily medical calls for doctors' offices and our local hospital system. The bulk of the calls came either from patients of the doctors' offices calling after hours, weekends, during lunch, etc, and from nurses in the hospitals needing a doctor for patients in hospital, either their regular doctor or specialists requested. There was a steady call flow, and only really busy (with calls on hold) during "check-in" and "check-out" (generally a two hour window in the morning and afternoon when offices are opening and calling to retrieve messages or closing and changing their phone lines over to the service). It fell right in the middle of easy and complicated, because while each doctor (several hundred) had specific instructions as to how they were to be reached that changed depending on the time of day, those instructions would automatically populate on the screen when a call came in on that doctor's line, just a matter of being sure to read clearly the instructions before dispatching the call. And it felt like an important job, connecting patients with their doctors, or connecting nurses with specialists needed for sick and injured patients in the hospital, but it wasn't life or death because actual life or death calls are dealt with differently (either with 911 or with on call docs already in the building at the hospital). I loved that job more than any other.

in reply to MomNotFocused

Omg, it's so funny reading this, this is me to a T.


I cant do jobs that are either boring, I love talking to people so sales was good for me, especially face to face. I have to do something that I am actually interested in, my worst job ever was electric and gas sales. I would cry on the way there and on the way home. I couldn't remember all the different packages on offer, I couldn't remember how to use the computerised hand held, I just couldnt stand it, it made it even worse when I realised that it was actually just a scam. Yet I excel in sales where I am talking about things what interest me. It also helped keep me active and helped me burn my energy being on my feet all day.

Hi Bear64

Im also new to this site and recently diagnosed in March 2020.

Im so sorry to hear you were treated the way you were by your employer.

I too can relate in a sense as im currently working in the medical field as you explained you were previously.

I too am trying to find a better suited job/environment where i can thrive. Its one of my main concerns at the moment.

What i can suggest to you is to try and think of your strengths, what do you enjoy? Do you enjoy repetition? Do you enjoy a social occupation? Make a mind map including all the things you want from a job and what you dont want and go from there. Thats what im doing at the moment.

I wish you all the luck, i definitely can relate to you at the moment. Always here if you need a chat.

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