Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD), may sound like medical conditions that would be liabilities in the workplace. David Neeleman, the founder and chairman of the Board of Directors of Jet Blue (JBLU), who also has been diagnosed with ADD, begs to differ. ‘Your brain just thinks differently,’ Neeleman has said. ‘And you can come up with things.’ (Like, say, an idea for a new kind of airline.)
In reality ADD and ADHD may not be as much of a deficit as a proclivity towards certain types of careers. Negative traits typically include impulsivity, fidgeting and distraction, but the positives are enthusiasm for projects, energy and creative problem solving. (Neeleman has said he thinks Bill Clinton may have ADD, too.)
The following are insights into 9 additional careers where the best way to be successful is to not sit still:
Wall Street Trader
Traders make decisions about the market in real time while they ‘watch two or three screens, talk on the phone and still stay aware of any conversations happening nearby that they might need to participate in,’ says former Wall Street trader David Neubert. Therefore it’s imperative for them not to concentrate too much on any one thing for too long.
The point of improvisational comedy is to adjust to the whims of the other actors and the audience instantaneously. ‘If I decide I'm queen of Arabia and my partner says that we're pumping gas in Houston, the first line wins,’ comedy veteran Lauren Schnipper says. ‘You have to think on your feet and change your mind at the last second depending on your scene partner.’
Natalie Walsh from the New York City bar The Scratcher says that bartending involves keeping track of ‘a whole lot of things at once and keeping the thread going.’ Attention needs to be split between the customers at the bar and the wait staff, and ‘you don’t need a long memory for it.’