Career Ponderings for Teens with ADHD

teens with adhd

Something that I see often working with teens with ADHD trying to find their feet is a feeling of being ‘stuck’. What do I mean by this?

By Claire Pech, from

I mean that some students have not enjoyed their time at school. As a result, they can assume that if uni/TAFE/tertiary study is an extension of school, then maybe they won’t be very good at it. Or if the school has been a real hassle. Especially with time management and not getting assignments in on time, then there can be a perception. “What am I going to do anyway? What is next for me? I don’t seem to be very good at any of ‘this'”.

Remember that at school only certain traits are being used and tested.

Often students are only trying out a certain skill set. And quite often that skill set can be limited. I.e. learning by rote, memorising quantities of information, or relaying that information in written format). Very often the very things that a student with ADHD may be very good at may be the very skills that are not being assessed.

For example – bringing in spontaneous and creative ideas to a problem. Being great in crowds and with people, great in performances, bringing a high energy and positive mood to a group. An ability to learn and perform by doing. Verbalising (not necessarily writing) out great ideas. Being able to grow a thriving business and so on… a huge variety of skills that are very often overlooked in a busy curriculum. As a result, the perception can be that they are not valued. All students should be given a chance to discover what they are good at. For everyone, this can take time. For someone with ADHD this can take a bit longer and at times can need a different approach or a more patient attitude.

The key to any career fulfilment and enjoyment – for everyone – regardless of brain makeup is to find out what you are good at. Once anyone figures this out – work becomes extremely enjoyable.

This is when we use the phrase ‘to thrive’.

The difficult part of this can be knowing where to start. Which is why I always advise anyone with ADHD, to go and speak to their school Careers Advisor and let them know about your brain specialities.

The other part is to remember that the road ahead, in terms of careers, is non-linear and messy. Very, very few students know where they are going and certainly, many derail, take a detour and get lost along the way. I know I did, and most of my friends and colleagues did too. These detours can be where all the magic happens.

Keeping all of this in mind can be crucial to launching yourself out of school and into the world of further studies and work.

For more information on teens with ADHD, please read some of my articles below. I can be contacted here for any more information or to make a booking so we can put a plan in place for you.

claire pech, teens with adhd