With our restless minds and constant need for new challenges, those of us with ADHD are unlikely to settle into one speciality and make it our sole endeavour. We’re more likely to have many different jobs and try our hand at a range of occupations. If we do stay in one career, it’s one that is changeable, in which we can wear “many hats”. Neuro-typicals may look down on this tendency—even use the phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none”. But there is nothing wrong with being this way, in fact it’s an asset if we know how to approach it.
Long before the high school guidance counsellor, we were told to pick something and specialize at it but it’s not necessarily the only way to find success in life. Being a Jack of All Trades is not such a bad thing. Many people whom I’ve met through my ADHD life-coaching practice, have found that even a Jack of All Trades can be a master of some unique and important skills.
These are the best reasons you will want to take pride in your “Jack of All Trades” tendencies.
We Are Adaptable
As an ADHD Jack of All Trades, we love to take on a wide range of work situations, preferably at a moment’s notice. Our amazing out-of-the box thinking and natural resourcefulness have given us an expansive knowledge base. We are just as comfortable doing manual labor as we are problem solving with a demanding client. Oh, we won’t be a superstar at everything we attempt to do, but we can do things well enough (or will know to whom to delegate) that we are often highly successful. We know how to use the knowledge and skills we’ve developed in our varied career, to get the job done.
We are Game
When opportunity arises, we’re the first ones to dive in where others fear to tread. When problems arise that require a different approach than what’s considered normal, that’s where we excel, making us the go-to employee—or friend, or family member—that’s ideally suited for the job. Essentially, adaptability is useful, and we have a drive to be useful.
We Learn How to Learn
An ADHD Jack of All Trades has a myriad of interests. Our thirst for knowledge about this and that gives us the best skill you can learn: knowing how to learn. If we have been bitten by a bug of curiosity, we will learn how to do it, make it, grow it, or build it, bringing to the new endeavour everything we’ve ever learned while forging new skills. We develop a sense for the best ways to learn for us, so that we can be good enough at whatever we choose.
We Fit Leadership Roles
As ADHDers we often make good leaders because we’ve done every job from the bottom of the ladder up. People who know all the aspects of a business have an edge on someone who has only done one job. Our passion and enthusiasm can be a motivating force in a leadership situation. Author and leadership adviser Tim Ferriss explains: In a world of dogmatic specialists, it’s the generalist who ends up running the show.
You Have Choices
If we ever hit a wall at our current job, we can jump ship and swim to the shores of variety island. As an ADHD Jack of All Trades we get the pick of work as long as we’re competent enough. While we’re working one job, we’re practising other skills and tapping the excitement of doing something new, minimizing boredom and avoiding ruts. Along the way we will inevitably encounter a field of expertise we hadn’t noticed before and delve into learning about that.