I've been having this issue for the last few years, I just can't stop getting fired. The reasons have been more or less the same over the years and recently I did a complete career change because I was convinced that I was just in the wrong job (I believe there's a good amount of truth to this), so I went into something that I thought I was naturally good at and that's turning into an even bigger disaster then the work I was doing before.

I only tend to last at a job for a few months.

Here is what has happened so far:

1st job - Fired because I was underqualified but the other reason being that I lacked focus (I was always tired at work, not because of a lack of sleep but just feeling down. Reason I was feeling down was because my personal life was going crap. But I'm generally low energy anyways), not being proactive and taking initiative, and almost making a huge mistake that was an instant fired on the spot thing, attention to detail.

2nd job - Fired because I really struggled to learn this job, and remember how to do stuff. I would always need to write the steps down and a lof of them but if a step in that process would change, I would be stuffed which leads me to the next reason, lack of problem solving skills, and terrible attention to detail, always making mistakes.

3rd Job - This was a weird one, so I did make mistakes and there were areas that I needed to improve which I was working on actively but then my manager decided to fire me and said to be more proactive I guess, which didn't make sense to me at the time because I was and I was implementing all their feedback, and they just wanted someone more experienced in general.

4th Job - This wasn't because of my performance finally, the company was just going downhill and they needed to cut costs but they also wanted to build the team where only super experienced people worked. (not sure why they hired me then), but they said my performance was great

5th Job where I'm now - This is a disaster so far, My attention to detail is horrible, I immediately forget when my employer tells me something, I keep making mistakes, I keep getting the task that I'm assigned to do wrong, and I don't see this going well.

I might have ADHD. I've been struggling with learning ever since I was a kid, attention to detail has never been my strong point, and I struggle with concentration a lot. My brain is constantly distracted and I don't know if I can fight it constantly.

I almost feel like the way my brain works, I just need a simple job that doesn't require much of the above. Which is not an ideal answer because then I'm stuck with shitty low paying dead end jobs.

A few years ago my attitude did change where I stopped caring about the work I was doing because I was in a dead end job and didn't see the point in putting in effort there, not sure if that matters but thought I'd mention it. When I did my first career change though, my attitude changed. I think because I saw the point to care, and I would put in a good effort as a result.

I'm lost as to what to do going forward, I'm thinking of experimenting with simpler jobs to see if it's an issue with the job, my personality, or something else. I'm pretty defeated right now and honestly don't care if I lose my job as I can't see it going positively.

Might be worth noting I am constantly bored with the jobs I do as well.

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  • It might help including the field of work and role, as this could attract responses from folks who have experience in those areas and could relate and provide specific advice to how they solved it for themselves in a similar context.
    – A.S
    Commented Jul 5 at 14:09
  • Are you in the US? Do you currently have insurance that would pay to see your ADHD specialist ? Commented Jul 5 at 18:01
  • Not in the US, but it will cost me around $2,000 for the assessment and there's no rebate. I'm hesitant to spend that money if nothing changes afterwards for me. I might have to bite the bullet eventually.
    – user148989
    Commented Jul 6 at 0:54
  • Not everyone finds a job they love, or finds it quickly. But you have to do some job well enough or you can't do the things you do love. Like eating.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 10 at 9:09

5 Answers 5


My brain is constantly distracted and I don't know if I can fight it constantly.

There is no job where this would not work against you. You need to stop trying different jobs, and start working on this problem.

Your first visit should be to a medical professional (your primary physician probably). Tell them what you told us and let them check you through. They will know how to proceed.

  • The thing is that, I already have and got told the ovbious that I have issues with concentration and they suspect adhd and to go to one of those adhd clinics, though it's quite expensive and I guess I doubted that it was going to fix my issue. Even those it's definitely affecting my performance, not doubty, I also feel like there's a deeper issue at play here as well. Another doctor told me "it's because you don't like the job, there's no medication that's going to help, you need to find a job that you like" which wasn't helpful considering I should be able to perform at a job.
    – user148989
    Commented Jul 5 at 8:18
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    Anybody physically and mentally at a normal level can perform satisfactory at a normal job. Nobody likes flipping burgers or delivering mail or doing other peoples taxes. And yet they all function. If you find you cannot function at that level, you need to find a different doctor. I don't know where you live or why a specialized ADHD clinic would be expensive, I guess that is between you and your healthcare provider.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Jul 5 at 10:42
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    Your doctor referred you to an ADHD clinic, but you did not attend???  What did you have to lose?  Even if they couldn't help you (which seems unlikely), they might have provided an official diagnosis, which might then help with your employment situation; and/or they might have referred you somewhere else that could.
    – gidds
    Commented Jul 5 at 10:43
  • @gidds I'm guessing the OP lives in the US where getting medical attention is prohibitively expensive unless you are currently in a job. Commented Jul 5 at 18:00
  • So I spoke with the specialist about my concentration issues, how i keep getting fired etc, and he just said he believes I have a concentration problem not a memory problem. The way he judged my memory was by asking me to remember 3 items and he would ask them to me again later to see if I would remember but that wasn't really difficult and suggested an adhd clinic.
    – user148989
    Commented Jul 6 at 0:55

I am not going to give you a 15 paragraph answer. IMHO that wouldn't be helpful in your case.

Two things pop-out (scream out).

  1. Are you in a field that you truly have interest and love? If not, consider pivoting. It is very hard to be successful in an area that you don't care about. So much more can be written on this subject, but "not being proactive", "not caring", etc. are clear enough. There is little room for nuance in asking you this question. You don't have to find your dream (or close enough) career on the first try. There is no reason to take jobs that you just don't like.

  2. Please consider finding either a mental health doctor (MD) or if you are in the care of one, perhaps a second opinion? I am not a Doctor, just a random internet person that has owned a business for 40+ years. You are describing yourself as someone that seems depressed. Whether or not clinically is not something that I am qualified to say.

Good luck, please consider getting checked out.

  • 1.) nope, I've worked many different jobs and I haven't really enjoyed many of them. The only one that I "enjoyed" was a dead end job where me and work colleagues would mess around and just laugh a lot, but that's not a proper job in a career sense. 2.) I'll try this instead of a regular doctor. I did get referred to a specialist, as I referred to the comment above. Maybe I'll have to give it another go. Thank you.
    – user148989
    Commented Jul 5 at 8:21
  • @user148989 As I said, good luck. Everyone deserves to enjoy what they do. That isn't a BS platitude. Doctors are people too with their own assumptions. You must be your own advocate.
    – DogBoy37
    Commented Jul 5 at 14:44
  • Thank you. I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually but it's going to be a brutal road until then. Clearly I'm doing something wrong, even if it's my attitude.
    – user148989
    Commented Jul 6 at 0:57

Top answer has great advice, seek medical assistance and go from there. I want to add one additional thing to consider in response to this part of your question:

I immediately forget when my employer tells me something, I keep making mistakes, I keep getting the task that I'm assigned to do wrong, and I don't see this going well.

I had personally noted that unless I understood something, I had a hard time remembering it. Remembering where bits go from something dismantled turned into a "i need to figure out where these go", exercise. I even tried the visualize the Cathedral techniques for memory, just did not work for me.

Turns out I was a zero-visualizer, Aphantasia. I have learned that fully understanding the task works, just trying to remember a sequence of random things that you do not understand does not go well.

  • Ah right. I mentioned medical assistance above in the comments. One thing worth mentioning is that I've seen a psychologist and hasn't been of much help. Seems like their focus has been more on changing my perspective than fixing the problem.
    – user148989
    Commented Jul 5 at 8:23
  • I am not a professional but I have one family member with ADHD. Their perspective does affect how they perform - or more importantly - concentrate. Imagine you love sci-fi movies and dislike romance movies (for whatever reason, just boring or some philosophical stance). Now I ask you to spend 8 hours a day watching different movies in these two genres and perform some task related to them. My experience seeing ADHD in action, is that said person would be much more productive in the sci-fi genre. Interest and perspective make require adjustment to fix (or help) the issue.
    – Chris
    Commented Jul 8 at 17:00

I just need a simple job that doesn't require much of the above. Which is not an ideal answer because then I'm stuck with shitty low paying dead end jobs.

It doesn't sound like you have so far exhausted the determination regarding medical reasons affecting your job performance.

But if you do, and medication/treatments can't help, your medical professionals can direct you to where you can find assistance in getting and keeping a job you are capable of performing.

Maybe it won't be the job you want. But it might be the job you can perform. Perhaps it will be something like "4th job".

  • I definitely haven't. That's why I was going to work at some dead end job again where not much is required to find out if it's an attitude problem, a job issue, or something else. Because if I get fired for example working as a bartender and I've done that before for years without getting fired then somethings off.
    – user148989
    Commented Jul 6 at 1:00

First off, it's worth pointing out that despite describing your skills as poor, your question was well-written, concise, relevant details. You're not a lost cause.

Now, I suggest that you start with some self-analysis. The 'Flower Exercise' from 'What color is your parachute' is a holistic way of looking at your skills and interests to highlight for yourself what you are good and are interested it. You can look it up, but basically seven categories. Feel free to create your own or modify/skip these:
ABOUT-THE-JOB: 1. geography & hours 2. working conditions aka type of company 3. seniority 4. people - coworkers, clients

ABOUT-YOU: 5. SoftSkills / Traits 6. HardSkills / Abilities 7. Knowledge / Training 8. Your social network - people who will vouch for you.

I enjoyed taking the Meyers-Briggs personality type to better understand myself. Maybe you would find it useful.

Now some man to man advice.

Pick your poison. Commencement speeches about following your dreams are crap. Work is work. Identify what you're willing like to do but that some other people won't or cannot do. Or at least what you'll tolerate for money.

Can you be pleasant with unpleasant or patient with frustrating people? Are you willing to work in bad conditions - hot, dangerous, smelly? Are you dependable, creative, good at organizing, caring, mechanically minded, technically minded, don't mind repetitive jobs, don't mind unstructured jobs, can solve problems, don't mind solitude, don't mind late night shifts, can work with animals, do you persevere amidst failure, do you handle emergencies well, do you handle stress well, do people tend to stop to listen when you talk, are you good at following instructions, do you prefer to follow procedures or understand processes, willing to commute or move to another city? Easy to talk with or introspective?

Or start at the other end - look online at job openings. All of them, everywhere, not just your location. Write down job titles / descriptions that look interesting / feasible and which you could hold with a little luck and some self-improvement - don't settle for only what you can do right now, but include what you could grow into in three months. What self-improvements can you make to be the person they would hire? Now get the skills and apply for that job and other companies with similar job openings.

Also, look over your history and see where you failed. Was it the wrong job, bad luck or something you could do differently in a similar situation.

I have a job that I like - usually. I am well paid, well-respected and consider most of my co-workers to be friends. I say this because I want to emphasize at times in my work history, I have felt like a failure. I have been fired because I couldn't get along with the guys on the factory floor. I have quit without notice after months of getting another guy's workload dumped on me. And I have burned a bridge with a company because I could not stop myself from being too blunt about the reasons why I was leaving. Not fine moments, but bad moments do not define us. They better teach us, though.

Be selective about your next job, if you can. Find one that you think suits you well. Then realize that it too will suck sometimes - stick with it. Maybe sandbag the next one - take one that looks a bit easy to get momentum and develop good work habits.

Don't brag, but when you start a new job, try to briefly explain what you did and why to your boss a little more than usual, to develop rapport and trust. Be generous in giving credit to your co-workers for their help and try to be sociable from the start. Speak less than you want to in meetings - think through what you're about to say first. Try to develop a reputation as a guy doesn't always talk in a meeting but who is worth listening to when he does. You have a long career ahead of you. The effort that you put in now to be a better person, a better employee, will pay you back plenty over the coming years.

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    Thanks for that I'll take it into consideration.
    – user148989
    Commented Jul 7 at 2:35

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