Jobs for people with ADHD: Success in Marketing

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

In today’s fast-paced and dynamic world, careers in marketing require individuals to think on their feet, juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, and adapt to ever-changing trends. These are often traits that come naturally to a person with ADHD (speaking from experience). And while there are other elements in ADHD that can make any job a challenge, there is some support to suggest that having ADHD in a marketing role may actually mean more success.

In this article, we will explore how individuals with ADHD can thrive in marketing careers by leaning in on their distinctive strengths. We’ll also look at some recent research from GoAmplify that supports this idea.

Marketing as a job for a person with ADHD

GoAmplify recently released their research and discovered that a high percentage of marketers have ADHD.

In fact, their survey found that 38% of respondents had ADHD; compared to only 3-4% of the general population.

The press release goes on to quote several voices in the space:

Amy Elliott, head of copy at Lightbulb Media explains why Marketing may attract those with ADHD, “The dopamine hits. Flexibility, creativity, adaptability, fast paced nature etc. The industry is filled with neurodivergence, it helps you relate and understand one another.”

The study also found that a whopping 77% of those in the marketing industry display four or more ADHD symptoms, demonstrating the link between similar qualities from neuro-typical colleagues or highlighting those without a formal diagnosis. 

Saffron Sumner, PR & marketing freelancer, was asked whether the marketing industry attracts those with ADHD and why. 

She explained “100%. I don’t think those with ADHD (or symptom heavy) purposefully choose marketing. I believe the nature of the industry, the characteristics and qualities of individuals it requires and the creative chaos attract them.”

The study highlights the importance of recognizing the positive attributes of ADHD and addressing the stigma surrounding the disorder. It is crucial for organizations to create a supportive work environment for individuals with ADHD and other neurodiverse conditions.”

Things that make ADHD & marketing work

ADHD Hyperfocus

One of the key characteristics of ADHD is hyperfocus, the ability to concentrate intensely on a specific task or area of interest. When individuals with ADHD find a project or idea that genuinely captivates them, they can dive deep into it, generating innovative and creative solutions. Their ability to think outside the box and approach problems from unconventional angles can help develop groundbreaking marketing strategies that capture audience attention.

People with ADHD are often very creative and even artistic. Being able to take those talents and lean really hard into something you love can make marketing a great choice. This is something to always consider when you’re looking at finding jobs with adhd.

Multi-tasking & love for fast pace

The fast-paced nature of the marketing industry can be overwhelming for some but people with ADHD often thrive in such environments. In fact, this likely also plays a part in why we are often entrepreneurs as well.

We excel in multitasking, effortlessly shifting between different projects and responsibilities. Our quick thinking and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously can be a valuable asset in meeting tight deadlines and managing diverse marketing campaigns. The adaptability and propensity for high-energy work can contribute to maintaining momentum and driving projects forward.

For those of us that struggle with the task paralysis that can come with ADHD, keeping that momentum can have the added benefit of allowing us to stay on track easily and not get as lost in, “ugggh… don’t make me start that task.”

People with ADHD aren’t afraid of Out-of-the-Box Thinking

ADHD individuals often possess a unique perspective and the ability to think outside the confines of traditional marketing strategies. We’re often likely to see connections, patterns, and opportunities that others might overlook. This fresh and unconventional thinking can be an incredible advantage in the marketing industry, where creativity and innovation are highly valued. By leveraging your ability to think differently, you can bring fresh ideas to the table and help companies stand out from the competition.

Problem-Solving Skills and Resilience

Living with ADHD fosters strong problem-solving skills and resilience. We’re often adept at finding creative solutions to challenges that arise unexpectedly. Furthermore, our ability to bounce back from setbacks and remain persistent in the face of adversity can lead to remarkable achievements and breakthrough moments.

Growing up, my parents always said if I had something in my head, I was going to make it happen. This has balanced a bit more realistically in adulthood but it’s a level of resilience that I feel I’ve seen more commonly in my peers with ADHD. It may come as part of the impulsivity often associated with ADHD but add in a splash of hyperfocus, some impulsivity and a drive to solve the hard things and you’ll be accomplishing big things.

Effective Communication and Persuasion

While ADHD may present challenges in terms of attention and focus, individuals with this condition often possess exceptional interpersonal skills. They are naturally inclined toward active listening, empathy, and engaging communication. I use the word naturally here a bit loosely — as often what happens is that we’ve built these skills as part of our resilience and in our efforts to fit in to the rest of the traditional environment.

The outcomes of this, however, are skills that make us more effective in building relationships, understanding consumer needs, and persuading target audiences. This ability to connect with and see people on an emotional level can contribute to the success of marketing campaigns and foster brand loyalty.

Marketing requires project management… marketing with ADHD even more so

When you have ADHD and you’re in the marketing space, you’re not likely to consider yourself a project manager — and that makes sense, you’re a marketer. Marketing, however, requires all the things that project management does. You need to be able to prioritize, understand the purpose and strategy behind your work, and get things done on a timeline when there can be many tasks associated with it.

Read More: Navigating ADHD as a Project Manager

GoAmplify’s respondents with ADHD also reported that there were 2 main characteristics that directly impacted their ability to concentrate and is a testament to how important it is to implement processes that help maintain organization:

  • 89% of those diagnosed with ADHD agreed with the following statement: When you’re working, do you often find you either hyper-focused on a task or can’t concentrate at all (task paralysis)?
  • 96% of those diagnosed with ADHD agreed with this following statement: Do you find yourself getting distracted whilst completing a task and end up doing several other tasks?

Interestingly enough, these characteristics are also the same thing that help us be great in the field of marketing. The trick then becomes setting ourselves up with the right processes and in a way that allows us to manage the work.

This is why we exist here at Leantime. Having ADHD myself and loving marketing, we’ve prioritized creating a tool that is easy enough to track your ideas, organize and track your time spent on work, and is aesthetically clean and easy to use. Project management without having to be a project manager.

Ultimately, organizational skills or not, ADHD should never be seen as a barrier to being successful in a marketing career. In fact, it can be beneficial and embraced as an opportunity of strengths. By embracing the differences in how our brains work and creating a safe space to navigate the challenges, we can build a world where organizations have a competitive edge and a more human approach to doing business.

Do you have ADHD? Are you in marketing? We’d love to hear more about your experiences. Feel free to reach out to us on Discord or on LinkedIn.

Gloria Folaron is the CEO and founder of Leantime. A Nurse first, she describes herself as an original non-project manager. Being diagnosed with ADHD later in life, she has hands on experience in navigating the world of project and product management and staying organized with ADHD.

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