Starting a New Job with ADHD

November 30, 2018 Noelle Matteson


Starting a new job with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be particularly difficult. If you have ADHD, remind yourself that this is a big change, which is both exciting and challenging for someone with ADHD. Below is a video with a few questions you might want to ask your employer before you get started at your new job with ADHD.

Should You Tell Your New Employer You Have ADHD?

It is up to you as to whether you disclose your ADHD at your new job. One reason I was reluctant to admit that I had ADHD at work was that I worried people would see this as an excuse. Others might genuinely fear that mentioning ADHD might lose them their job (though this is illegal), or they simply might wish to maintain their privacy.

Some might prefer to tell their employers that they work best under certain conditions, just as anybody does. You don’t need to reveal your diagnosis in this case. However, you might want to tell them you have ADHD early on for legal issues, so they cannot say they are ignorant of your condition if they do end up retaliating against you. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation. What is "reasonable" can be left open to interpretation ("How to Help ADHD Coworkers Succeed").1

Questions to Ask Before Starting Your New Job with ADHD

Please check out Russell Barkley’s lecture in the links below for his reference to ADHD and the Pomodoro Technique,2 and let me know if you have any steps that you follow when starting a new job. Thank you for reading, and have a great day.


  1. Barkley, Russell, “This Is How You Treat ADHD Based Off Science.” 2012 Burnett Lecture, posted by ADHD Videos in Sep. 2014.
  2. Sherman, Carl, “Is ADHD a Disability? Your Legal Rights at Work.” ADDitude, Dec. 2005.

APA Reference
Matteson, N. (2018, November 30). Starting a New Job with ADHD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Noelle Matteson

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January, 6 2021 at 6:01 am

At the start of a new job everything is new and sort of less exiting: high focus. Getting compliments from every corner.
After a short while, boredom starts to kick in.
Since I started to read a lot about AD(H)D I now understand this is the problem: can't handle boredom. In very boring jobs I started to daydream, and said some things that popped into my mind, like funny things that happened or 'brilliant' ideas. I thought THEY couldn't switch their thoughts like I can, and after a nod they continued on their task while I felt exited. Such a disappointment for me. After many, many good and less good jobs I finally figured it out by reading and watching YouTube videos. Wish I knew this 30 years ago.

Lizanne Corbit
December, 3 2018 at 3:10 pm

I love the video format of this post. I think this is so helpful! For a lot of people with ADHD these commonly wondered questions can cause a lot of worry and stress. Getting some clarity and guidance on these questions can seriously reduce some first day jitters. Thank you for sharing!

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