Arrow, thanks for the post - I'm in the same boat as you, but am on month 6 of sick leave from work still trying to find a med combination that makes me generally functional, and stressing as much about what I will do when that happens as whether it will
So, like many people above I have done a variety of jobs generally over-tired (worst was night shift at a hotel!). But I think more relevant to the question you are asking (and to the one that I have been asking myself since the diagnosis in December) I have worked for the last 5 years as an environmental scientist specializing in remediation. I am a field person, which means that I have to drive a LOT for work (sites can be 10-12 hours away, or nearby, but there is no guarantee where), and I am either supervising a drill crew (heavy equipment, risk of hitting buried utilities, etc), or am working solo (which means that I am the only person there to make decisions, deal with problems, and ensure the work gets done on budget). It also requires a lot of overtime (65-80 hour weeks are the norm). I was great at my job, but basically am redundant now because I cannot be sure of getting to sites, and even on meds it is unlikely that I will be able to pull a 12 hour day on site doing physically exhausting work and then drive home 1-2 hours, not to mention compromised decision-making abilities, etc. At the same time, I am now really niched into this field.
Option b is to ask my company to "ground" me, which means office work (reporting, data entry, billing, etc.), which is understandably a bit of a concern both because it will be all the more difficult to stay awake (without the potentially disastrous consequences of being in charge of a site), and because having spent most of my career out of doors I really struggle emotionally with staring at a computer all day (I'm the sort of person who still doesn't have home internet or cable because I find them boring...). That, and reporting usually requires really long office hours as well because of tight client deadlines. More complicated is the process by which my industry works - basically, project managers choose from the field person roster and select who they would like on their projects. We are salary, but have to use vacation or banked hours if we don't get 40 hours of work per week. If I cannot do overtime I will be at the bottom of the roster and have trouble getting enough work to make my salary. Further, the company was entirely unsupportive in the year prior when I was insisting that it was dangerous for me to be driving (I went on sick leave after hitting another car on a major highway when I went into their lane while dozing... the next day they were insisting that I should drive to another site) so I have very little faith at this point in their being understanding as far as taking planned naps, scheduling, and so on.
Which leaves me thinking half-jokingly to myself "what do I want to be when I grow up (again)?". My boyfriend really likes self-directed options like small businesses (e.g. leading bike tours, produce delivery by bike, etc). Not things that will have me rolling in money perhaps, but which will provide an income and allow me to run my own schedule. I am hopeful that I can find something with telecommuting options, flexible hours, varied work, and preferably no deadlines (or at least really spaced out ones), but I have no idea what jobs might have these options, be open for someone with limited experience outside of remediation work, and actually be hiring. I have thought about things like communications, event planning and organization, or outreach (all of which I have some volunteer experience in). But generally I find that I have more questions than answers on this front so it will be interesting to see what answers others can give.
@DeathRabbit - I hear you... Two years ago, even with exhaustion but a heck of a lot better than more recently I was really awesome at my job, getting promotions and in charge of training new field staff. Now I'm useless at even the most basic parts, and where I find that really difficult is having the confidence to go to a totally new job and believe that I will perform really well while on probation. It is frustrating how much it erodes even the most basic thinking and turns familiar tasks into challenges.