help me find my job-genres
April 28, 2012 10:12 PM   Subscribe

I have excellent spatial intelligence and ADHD. What jobs would be great for me besides surveying?

Surveying sounds like a lot of fun (and I enjoy maths) in and of itself, but I worry that the day-to-day would be going around to a bunch of suburban developments - and that doesn't sound like fun. I want to feel useful. I have helped run an all-volunteer non-profit for several years, but that plus my B.A. mostly seems to qualify me for jobs where I sit in an office. I wouldn't last long in a full-time office environment.

Grad school is a "maybe later" thing.

I like people (not a must) and I like variety; I've been known to say that if I could have a different job for each day of the week, I'd love it.
posted by lover to Work & Money (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
ADHD doesn't really hinder you from concentrating on things. That a common myth regarding the disorder. It's an impediment when you are forced to concentrate on subjects that you don't find interesting. I am not, however, discounting other problems that can coexist with disorders ADHD such as impulsiveness, rashness, anger, OCD, drug abuse. What I am saying is that if you have good spatial intelligence, a rare skill indeed, you can do pretty much anything you want provided it INTERESTS you. So if you wanna be a civic engineer or architect, those things are right up your alley. Sure, you might officially work in an office but in reality most architects end up traveling a lot to plan and design their projects.
posted by RapcityinBlue at 10:16 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I know the ADHD myths and neurodiversity and mostly see "ADHD" as a shortcut for describing a fair bit about my personality.

Bonus points for jobs that don't spend much time in front of computers, too.
posted by lover at 10:20 PM on April 28, 2012

How about rural surveying.
That is the fun kind of surveying.
It involves shooting a laser at a tree.
And having a fun sort of wilderness tromping around every day.
posted by St. Sorryass at 12:48 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

A lot of other field tech-type jobs in environmental consulting, etc. might be a good match for you. The field work has to be conducted at the actual site, so it can take you to a lot of different locations. In addition to basic surveying, you could look into geophysical surveying/ground penetrating radar (looking for buried things, like underground tanks or utility lines, usually at a different site every day), or being a field tech for a consulting firm (collecting and describing soil, groundwater, and other environmental samples, or collecting asbestos or lead-based paint or other building material samples). There are positions in both areas that involve very little desk time.

The drawback is that these are generally entry-level positions and moving up the ladder will be hard without spending more time in the office.
posted by pie ninja at 4:45 AM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

The drawback is that these are generally entry-level positions and moving up the ladder will be hard without spending more time in the office.

This. I was going to make much the same suggestion as pie ninja, and with much the same warning. Even in surveying (which I think you'll find far less boring than you are imagining), someone needs to spend days in the office doing CAD stuff, or down at the title office poring through old plat maps.

And even though you wouldn't be in an office, both land surveying and other kinds of field tech positions involve endless repeated detail work. I don't know how ADHD works, but you would need to be able to follow precise instructions and spend your day doing prescribed tasks in the exact, correct way, and documenting every step with careful notes and photos (and those field notes might become evidence in a court case, the basis of complex engineering calculations, etc, so those details really matter).
posted by Forktine at 6:17 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Interior design, space planning, event installations, display artist--if you have any artistic abilities or even just good taste.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:29 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Theatre tech? Concentrate on carpentry and rigging, as electrics can sometime require you to sit in front of a lighting board for hours (although the flipside of that is climbing ladders and hanging out on catwalks for hours at a time).
posted by smirkette at 9:02 AM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Landscape architect/design? I believe a good sense of size and space, and an ability to see negative space and use it to your advantage.
posted by karlos at 1:32 PM on April 29, 2012

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