JOBSEARCH 101 FOR PEOPLE WITH AUTISM
One of the inevitable challenges of adulthood is finding a job that you will be able to keep for as long as you could. Once you reach that certain age in your life where you start making decisions for your future, that’s when you begin transforming into a more mature individual. Whether you successfully obtained a college degree or not, feeling the pressure of landing a job will be unavoidable especially when your family’s finances are already stretched at the maximum. You will realize that as a grown up, it just doesn’t seem right to stay in the house and contribute nothing when you can do so much more, like helping your family manage your finances through your own job’s salary. Suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder isn’t enough of an excuse to not start taking more adult roles in the family, especially if your disorder lies above the spectrum and you don’t have very serious challenges that hinder you to manage your everyday needs and respond to social interactions appropriately. However, as a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder, it is normal to have a lot of questions regarding the what and the how of finding a specific job that will accept applicants with a disorder like you. The following tips may prove to be a life-changer if you take these pointers to heart to successfully land a job much suitable for you.
1. The very first and most obvious thing to do when looking for a job opportunity is to discover within yourself what it really is that you are most passionate about. Out from this, you can easily make a list of jobs that are best suited for your interest or passion. A good-paying job is ideal, but what’s more important is that you always enjoy what you’re doing to the point where you rarely get tired of performing it on a daily basis. Once you set your eyes on these specific job positions, you must be able to learn the employment process being set for each of these jobs, and of course, prepare for necessary documents and specific requirements for these recruitment opportunities. Like any other job candidate, you also need to prepare yourself for random job interviews and try to anticipate certain questions that potential employers might give to you.
2. Be sure to make up your mind on the matter of disclosing your autistic disorder in your job applications. While the decision to do so remains a personal choice, there are certain advantages and disadvantages of making such disclosure to your prospect employers. If you choose to disclose, you might need to prepare appropriate explanation that would still highlight your strengths as an individual and a future employee. You must also anticipate harsh questions and then plan on appropriate responses when you get caught in awkward and mostly offensive situations. In order to get better insights, consulting another autistic individual who has good experience with job interviews is a good idea.
3. Think of the ways to put yourself in a more advantageous position than the rest of your candidates. Job interviews are often harsh, especially to those who aren’t prepared for the competition that develops among interviewees. As much as possible, sell yourself with your educational background (if you come from a prominent school or university) and any skill-based training that you’ve completed. Do not leave out any positives and be sure to make yourself appear as a strong person if your interviewer happens to know of your condition, by briefly explaining how you manage to live with it and emerge as a better person from your disorder. You may even get a better shot at your job search if you have certain capabilities that are characteristic of your autism disorder, such as good attention to detail and strong focus on routinely tasks.
4. If you have already worked before but stopped for a much-needed break, chances are your skill set will become outdated or less valued in the present status quo of the industry you are in. In order to make a successful comeback, it may be necessary to improve your competitive edge by taking any related job that is offered to you, even when they are low-paying or voluntary in nature. These jobs will provide you with more training and skill set to add to your arsenal, which will eventually pay off for the next job opportunity you choose to apply.
5. Build as much confidence in yourself as you can. Self-affirmations on certain strengths, talents, and abilities will help a lot in giving yourself a boost of self-esteem. Work on your weaknesses like engaging in conversations and accepting criticisms, and turn them into more strengths that you can use in your prospect job interviews in the future. While a good support system from family and friends is a great factor in acing a job interview, your own level of confidence can play a huge part in the result of your job employment.
6. Make sure to exhaust all the job listings that are made available from all sources. May it be on newspapers or the internet, never settle for a couple of job offerings and just give up when you fail to pass in any of them. You should know that most job listings on the front pages are offered to everybody hence the competition is very strong. What you can do is to narrow down your research to more specific criteria, like jobs being offered for people with disorder like autism. When you become more thorough with your job search, you may surprise yourself with the number of opportunities that will be presented to you.
As helpful as it is, all of the abovementioned pointers are generated from a summary of statistical data and personal accounts concerning job search experiences of individuals with autism. We recognize the fact that all individuals, even those with autism disorder, are different in a way and the same goes for our needs and preferences. If you have more concerns regarding this topic or the content of this page, we recommend that you seek professional help or see further links for more support.