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Work, Work, Work! An ADHDer’s Jagged Path to Success

Zoë working on a documentary at CBC Radio One, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Zoë working on a documentary about ADHD meds at CBC Radio One, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

One of the common threads amongst us ADHDers is that we tend to hold a number of different positions throughout our work lives. I admit that learning this was one of the most comforting things I found out after my diagnosis. I couldn’t understand why I was always changing jobs, why nothing “stuck.” At least, I knew I wasn’t alone.

You’re FIRED! …Make that, I QUIT!

I always felt like such a loser because I couldn’t make a go of anything. Instead of a career path, my work life was like a blender full of job titles with the button pushed on high speed. Dizzying, yes?

To thine own self, be true

It’s true that I’ve wanted to be a writer since the age of nine. I earned accolades for my writing throughout public school, but at some point, my adoptive parents made it clear that I would have to get a “real job.”  As I always loved debating, it became understood that I would, in fact, pursue a career in law. I was accepted to law school, and thank goodness, I didn’t go.

…but finding thine own self can take some time…

I do, however, count Law Clerk as one of the many jobs I’ve held over the years. Here’s the complete list of jobs I’ve held (yes, I know; I feel like a pathological liar whenever I recount even a small portion of this to someone I’ve just met. I can hardly believe one person could have done all this in one lifetime either, but it’s true).  My guideline for this list is that I’VE BEEN PAID FOR ALL THESE THINGS.

Career contest…who’s in?

Maybe we should have a contest to see who has held the most job titles in their lifetime. My total is 40. Can anyone top that?


Zoë's ADHD work life: a many-splendoured thing!

Adoption Disclosure Worker
Band Manager
Census Taker
Coffee Shop Attendant
Copy Editor
Drum Circle Facilitator
Executive Secretary
Farmhand (Rescue Farm)
Fitness Instructor
Freelance Writer
Gas Company Identification Card Laminator
Horse & Buggy Driver
Law Clerk
Legal Secretary
Milker (Dairy Cows)
Nude Model (Art Classes)
Online Marketer
Organic Farm Worker
Radio Documentary Producer
Reiki Practitioner
Retail Clerk
Resume Consultant
Stand-Up Comedian
Therapeutic Drumming Facilitator
Website Designer
Website Maintenance

What, that’s it?!

*phew!*  That’s it. I don’t think I’ve forgotten any, but if I think of more, I’ll let you know.

Once a writer, always a writer

I realize that to a head hunter, I look like Medusa. Luckily, the one consistent thread that runs through this entire vocational mess, is my pursuit of freelance writing and journalism since 1985. I’m a writer. It’s as simple as that. It is my passion, my love, the one thing that never gets boring. Today, I’m happy to say, it’s my “real job!”

Tell me about YOUR many-splendoured work history!

So, dear blog readers, feel free to write in with the tally of your own foray into the wild and wacky world of work.

(And those of you who have held a position for decades, climbed up the corporate ladder, or otherwise have been seemingly successful in the face of my jagged path, please don’t depress me by weighing in. Your tally of 1 won’t win the contest anyway. For the first time in your life, you’ll get the booby prize … and are you really ready for that?!)

*BONUS POINTS* for anyone who guesses, of the entire list of 40 jobs, which one was the most spectacular disaster on my list!

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Work, Work, Work! An ADHDer’s Jagged Path to Success

Zoë Kessler, BA, B.Ed.

Zoë Kessler is an award-winning author, journalist, and speaker specializing in women and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD / ADD).

A frequent contributor to ADDitude Magazine, Kessler has also created video, standup comedy, and guest blogs on ADHD and Marriage covering ADHD-related topics.

Zoë, an internationally recognized ADHD expert, has been interviewed on radio and featured in magazine articles, documentaries, and books on the topic of women and ADHD across North America.

Her newly-released memoir ADHD According to Zoë - The Real Deal on relationships, Finding Your Focus & Finding Your Keys (New Harbinger Publications, 2013) about life with ADHD is now available.

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APA Reference
Kessler, Z. (2013). Work, Work, Work! An ADHDer’s Jagged Path to Success. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 May 2013
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