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ADHD Adults

What do I want to be when I grow up?

That question has always been difficult for me to answer and still is… At the age of 40, I don’t know what I want to do. Someone recently asked me what my passion was and I was just stuck. Is this common for someone with ADD? I wish I could figure out what my purpose in life is but it’s been such a struggle and extremely frustrating especially because my kids look up to me.

I’m grateful for my job but I’m miserable at having to be stuck in an office environment everyday.

I often think about my fear of success…. Could that be blocking my vision or am I truly at a loss for what I would love to do at this point in life?
Could be both but does anyone have any advice?

Thanks in advance


Meant to say, fear of success and failure…

Posted by SHJ125 on Jul 28, 2014 at 9:02pm

I am 72 and retired.  I love to paint and have always belonged to painting groups; good for socialization also.  I had much success in my job, but suffered with my add symptoms.  I think the most important goal is to figure out how to like yourself most of the time, find hobbies, exercise and have a good support group.

Good Luck

Posted by Bette on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:37pm

I am about to embark on a new career, at age 64.
My conclusion about a good ADD career is to—
Avoid a job where the outcomes can be counted and judged precisely.
Avoid being micro-managed.
Avoid silly deadlines.

Go for a job where the outcome is a bit vague but makes people happy.
I have enjoyed and done well with
- exploration geology
- retail in a busy place, as long as the customer is happy ...
- running training courses, (and it isn’t boring as every attendee is different even if the course content is the same as last week’s one.)
- clerical jobs where I am servng customers and solving problems.

** computer programming is deadly as the program has to be EXACT to work.  and nerds apply silly deadlines.

Posted by Bob from Cootamundra on Jul 29, 2014 at 1:37am

At 53, I am going back to school to become a teacher after working as a staff assistant for 7 years.  I still haven’t completely committed.  I haven’t paid the initial payment yet.  But I will…pretty soon. 

Maybe you need to define success differently.  You are employed and providing for your family.  You have kids who look up to you.  For an ADHD person, just those two things are an accomplishment.  Maybe working is a means to enjoy life outside work. 

I’ve thought about becoming a teacher at least four other times.  There’s a half dozen other things that interest me too.  Committing to any of them has been the hard part.  Education has become more important to me as my kids have gone through the school system.  Now I’m almost mentally ready to jump in.  I am committing the next 7 years of my life and that’s a hard thing for someone who has no concept of time.  The program will take two years and I figure I’ll pay back my loans in 5 years.

So I can’t really answer your question. Does ADHD block your vision…definitely possible.  I’d say keep doing your job as well as you can. Pay attention to the things (big or small) that really make you happy.  Give yourself time to let those happy things percolate in your brain.  Can you find a related job?  I’d add education to Bob’s list.  It’s different every day, but the politics stinks.

Posted by whizinc on Jul 29, 2014 at 6:10am

Im a teaching assistant in my local primary school which has been a God send.  The kids are amazing but as quoted by whizinc “policy stinks”.  I am currently unser a disciplinary where the new head has every Intention of burying me.  The Main problem is that this women only wants staff who need a Job.  I am 55 years of age and luckily have built up other forms of income.  She is also 10 years younger than me and seems to think that we all HAVE to Brown noseher and bow down.  Back to my disciplinary, this woman has been hasstling and bullying me since she started back in january and has bypassed lots of the policies of the school regarding procedures etc.  She did On one occasion have an almighty fit and l thought she was going to Hit me across my face.  She does not know yet about my ADHD friend and luckily for me l have a very good friend who is better than a solicitor/ barrister.  She was hoping to get rid of me before the Summer holidays but failed. At the next meeting l and my friend Will show the bully side of this women and also the way she is trying to railroad me.  Once l am Hopefully cleared of this nonsense l will be going down the road of burying her or certainly landing her with a disciplnary.  She started all this unpleasantness but Hopefully l will end it.  End of rant!!!!! I have worked in finance all my life so when l started in the school 4 years ago it turned out to be the therapy l needed.  Love the kids- always the adults who are the problem.

Posted by fudgee on Jul 29, 2014 at 10:28am


It’s essential to find something you enjoy to feel good about yourself and accomplished. Since you aren’t sure where your passions lie, start by making a list of what you are good at and what people compliment you on. Then study that list to see if there’s a common thread or if something in particular stands out to you.

Also, a career aptitude test could help you uncover what jobs would work best for you, given your individual strengths and weaknesses. There is usually an employment office where you can take this test, but I bet you could find one online too.

More strategies for choosing the right job for ADHDers can be found in these articles as well:

You are on the right track to success by looking for what fits you best!

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jul 29, 2014 at 1:32pm

I suggest that you read Richard Bolles’ book, What Color Is Your Parachute.

It is a fabulous book for those who are thinking of career changes.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Aug 01, 2014 at 10:57pm

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