♪♫♬ What Do I Do For Work Work Work Work Work Work?


Doughnuts. YouTube Videos. Cubicles and 8 hour days. This is a brief list of my Kryptonites. (Kryptoni? Kyrptonotes? Kryptocurrency?) They make me weak is the point I’m getting at.

I’m in my third big boy job that involves sitting at a computer for 8 hours per day. Never have I ever been a fan of cubicles. In an effort to force focus on tests, I was put in a cardboard desk cubicle in first grade. My tests were eventually completed but not without covering the cubicle in masterpieces of what I considered to capture the essence of contemporary athletics. (I drew baseballs.)

Despite my creativity, I’ve wound up in a bit of a rut. I followed the “ideal” path of my peers and my parents of going to college and getting a degree so I can get a job that pays for my college. Trouble is, I blindly followed this path and didn’t take time to listen and find out what I actually wanted to do with my time. So now I’m Brain and a 9-5er that cannot for the life of him focus on his work.

My motivation for my job is an Easter egg that must be hidden on Mars. (Or it’s between the couch cushions and I haven’t thought to look there.) All of my positions involving a computer screen and a stationary desk have come a lack of focus, interest, and fulfillment. Jobs I have done well in involve moving around and regularly interacting with people: wedding DJ, emcee for sports teams, Resident Advisor in college.

I’m starting to doubt my compatibility with desk jobs. I know there are strategies that have helped fellow Brains succeed in these environments but I think I may be a fish flopping on a keyboard attempting to keep up with e-mails. (Side thought, if monkeys can compose Shakespeare, what sort of fiction would a school of fish produce?)

So what I’m getting at is, what the heck do I do? I have rent and student loans to pay will be off of my parents’ insurance this year. A salaried position solves the money problem but not the fulfilled and productivity problem. And a few jobs that would feel fulfilling wouldn’t pay nearly as much as what I make now, nor would provide health insurance.

I’m accepting any advice or life stories regarding what you do for work. Peace Brains.



This video is a great place to start if you haven’t already seen it:

I too followed the “correct” path of going to college to get a better paying job to pay for my college. Two universities, $30,000 of debt, and one Bachelors of Music later I found myself working retail for Payless Shoes, the most dysfunctional shoe store chain in the USA.

I eventually got tired of reporting sales figures every hour and being forced to tell half-truths to customers, so I tried fast food. The fast pace was great but the pay was awful. Then I talked to a friend in the electrical trade.

I’ve now been an apprentice electrician for 3 years. The culture isn’t the best (mainly super conservatives who are openly hostile to anything remotely resembling liberalism, no respect for women or minorities, limited understanding of mental disorders) but you can still find good people. Pay is decent. I’m non-union and I make $19/hr in the Northern VA area. I have benefits, though the health insurance sucks when it comes to paying for meds with a high deductible. My company is nice enough to cover the cost of the required schooling and textbooks.

I like what I do well enough. It keeps me engaged and focused and it pays the bills. I still have bad days and I still want to eventually quit and work in a music studio. But this is way better than an office job in my opinion.

You just have to be willing to go through more schooling (groan, I know) and put up with the occasional asshole. Oh, and you can’t be afraid of heights or getting dirty. Or using a port-a-John. And you have to buy (and keep track of) your own tools.

If you do consider the skilled trades, electrician is the way to go. We tend to make more and if we do die on the job, it’s usually quick and painless*.




If you already have the desk job, see if there’s an adjacent position/ something else in the room that focuses on problem solving. It’s a lot easier to stare at the computer all day if there’s a something that can be taken apart, analized and then put back together.

Similarly, something in the office that makes you the touch person for something. If you do well with people-facing work, coordinating groups/people/events/etc may work out. If where you are is big enough to have an HR department, go and ask about positions where you do have to get up and go to another office/desk/meeting/whatever every few hours or so.

One of the things I’ve always wound up doing in “regular” jobs (aka, administrative assistant positions) was basically being the fill in person; the one who went between departments, picked up all the little odd job bits that no one else had time for/wanted to do, as well as basically optimizing whatever department I was in.

Basically, find a way to get the job your in to be more like what you need it to be. Most places are actually pretty willing to let you take on additional tasks or do things like swap for a standing desk or similar.

Alternately, see if you can get yourself an apprenticeship for something more hands on like plumbing, electric or honestly anything in the building contractor field. Those pay decently well and are pretty solidly in need.



I work as a maintenance electronics tech. I don’t think I could ever sit at a desk 8 hrs a day. Everything is different from minute to minute so I’m perfect for my job :grin:

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Way back when I really enjoyed my call centre work! I know this sounds crazy givrn the bad press it gets, and maybe it is 50 times worse than it was 20 years ago, but it had challenge, variety, deadlines, no way of ending the day with a backlog, and the worst aspect back then was something I could now see as an advantage, now that I know I have adhd: being told to get my talk time down.

I worked in customer service and spent too long solving other aspects of our customers’ problems, such as advising them on how to deal with reporting and replacing the other stuff that was lost along with what we were replacing. To be fair, our whole office was ‘too nice’ on this (company policy had changed after training us to go the extra mile) and eventually they closed us down and diverted our work to India :roll_eyes: (this is @ the company, not the people in India who got the work).

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I did time in a call center selling internet services. They threatened to fire me a couple of times because I would spend time working through the customers issues and questions. I averaged 40 mins a call on any call that lasted more than 60 seconds. And I would set call backs for customers that wanted time to think or talk to a partner or check the competition. After 2 weeks I had a conversion rate of 60 percent. And I felt good about it because they where the 60 percent that the product was right for. I got called into the boses office and he wanted me to push to close more of the calls because he felt that with more pressure I could sell even more. I was already smashing my targets I didn’t feel it was right got up and quit didn’t even finish the day. (Impluse control issue I needed the job and the money)

Now I still help people but sales was not for me. Now I fix things and get to tinker with tech toys and I really like my job.

If you don’t enjoy your job make the change before you get too far down the path and are stuck. If you know that this is just a stepping stone to a position that you think will suit you and you recon you can stand it for long enough find a way to tough it out. Every one needs to do their time at entry level that doesn’t matter what job you do. But if you look down the career path and something you will enjoy isn’t at the end make the move sooner rather than later.




Oh, that sounds like me! Luckily I wasn’t selling anything, just giving away free money :rofl:



“School plays”.



Desk job. Kryptonite. Redundant.

I’m in your boat. Sorry man, I know how you feel. We all do, to some degree. I am still trying to figure out how to make more money at a workplace than will add up to be the total cost of attending the workplace to make the money. I have a ridiculously high educational level (not typical among ADHD-ers, I succeeded drastically at school-imposed tasks, probably because the time structure was created imposed and enforced by someone else) yet cannot pay my own way for anything. If I ever earn a profit off of life, I promise I will become a Patreon supporter of How To ADHD, but presently I claim to be unable to afford to do so, because I can’t work in a way that makes money, because I have ADHD. (Heh. Come to think of it, that’s kind of a bad profit-making model for the How To ADHD people, no? They should have started a website of How To Retire After You Have Already Made Your Third Billion … that would have been a better group to give donations on Patreon!)



Knocked that out of the park.

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