5 Ways ADHD Might Be Affecting Your Career

People with ADHD are known for being intelligent, creative, and extremely outgoing. ADHD can also be associated with specific traits and struggles that can negatively affect your career and professional relationships. Before you lose another job or get passed up for another promotion, here are five ways that ADHD might be affecting your career so you can get the appropriate help you need.

1. You are Late for Everything

Time management can be a constant struggle for people with ADHD. This issue is usually more complex than just failing to watch the clock.

Do you find yourself inadvertently double-booking appointments because you failed to check your calendar?

Do you forget to consider drive time between appointments or underestimate how long tasks will take?

Mismanaged schedules are a struggle for most people with ADHD and can send the message that you are not taking your job seriously. Worse yet, you may come across as being disrespectful to your coworkers or clients.

2. Daydreaming in Meetings

Important work meetings can be so much harder for a person living with ADHD. While that person is physically or virtually in the meeting, their mind might be someplace else. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when it comes to working meetings and if you think ADHD might be affecting your career:

Do you find yourself daydreaming or working on other tasks during important work meetings?

Do you find yourself asking others for key details you missed after meetings or failing to come through on key action items discussed at meetings?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, ADHD might be a factor.

3. Disorganization

Putting things away does not rank on the top 10 list of things people with ADHD like to do. Some people with ADHD are extremely organized, but many are described as cluttered.

Do you lose important documents or items like your phone or keys on a regular basis? Your employer, coworkers, or clients may perceive your disorganized world as a sign of being unreliable. If your home or office is in constant disarray, you might be suffering from ADHD.

4. Social Interactions

People with ADHD are usually outgoing, terrific public speakers and can be the life of the party. Adult hyperactivity can manifest as intruding into conversations, interrupting during conversations, or passive listening.

Do you find yourself frequently distracting others from their work with side conversations? Do you sometimes misjudge how those around you will interpret your joke or story and walk away feeling slightly embarrassed? Do you spend more time socializing than others and have a hard time getting back on task?

Being the life of the party at work may be a sign of ADHD and the reason you are passed up for a leadership position.

5. Living Outside the Box

Having ADHD and being able to think outside the box can be a tremendous gift, but can also make following inefficient policies or protocols difficult. This last trait can be subtle, but the most problematic.

You intend to help and may have even solved a problem, but sharing the solution starts with pointing out problems or flaws with the current process. If you do this too often, your employer may feel insulted and label you as insubordinate. If you have trouble getting today’s work done because you are devoting too much time to your own ideas, you may be struggling with ADHD.

It’s Okay to be You

Just recognizing you have ADHD may change how you interact with others in and outside of the workplace. If a diagnosis of ADHD is made, you may qualify for workplace accommodations. You may choose to consider treatment options if you find certain aspects of ADHD are holding you back.

It is important to embrace the positive aspects of ADHD and be honest with yourself about what careers are best suited for you and your personality. Don’t be afraid to seek other opportunities if keeping your current job requires you to change everything about yourself to be successful.

Is ADHD affecting your career? Here’s how to get help

The first step is to undergo a formal ADHD assessment by a doctorate-level psychologist. Doctors, schools, and employers will all require proof of diagnosis before offering medications, services, or accommodations. Our online assessment platform allows patients to be evaluated by doctorate-level psychologists from the comfort of home with instant access and no referrals. If you are wondering if you have ADHD, we can help.


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