Six Tips for Job Seekers on the Autism Spectrum
Similar to adults needing help in making important decisions about their future, young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) do as well. During their transition from teen years to adulthood, deciding their career path is often their most important decision to make. It becomes important to create an achievable plan that can secure your child’s future.
We have come across several working aged adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are currently facing employment challenges. Many of them are either unemployed or are earning below their education level. A few reasons may be due to intimidating workplace, unfriendly colleagues, an inability to communicate their ideas, etc.
In order to address this issue, we have come up with a few tips for job seekers on the autism spectrum.
Create a plan of action: Analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself, what is it that you really want to do? Remember, there is no such thing as a big or small job. Be confident about your goals and create a plan of action for it. Discuss with your parents or guardian and be equipped with their inputs to go ahead and start an individualized job search. Be an active part of online autism support forms like Facebook groups, where you can meet other adults with ASD who are willing to help you out.
Gain work experience and the money follows: Take part in various community services, take up an internship as your teacher’s assistant, enroll for training courses of your interest, write a blog or start something on your own! If you’re willing to learn, there are many opportunities awaiting you. Concentrate on what’s important and keep moving forward.
The sky is the limit: Explore various online job websites dedicated to helping young adults with ASD, like - The Spectrum Careers. But, do not limit your search only to job portals. You can consider creating a profile on LinkedIn to get in touch with professionals or become an active participant on Facebook groups.
Do not simply read the job description - understand it: Once you find a job that you’ve been wanting to take up, take some time out to create a resume that matches the job description instead of sending out a generic one. Take help from a parent or a professional if required. Every job description comprises generic statements like “able to cope with stress” or “should be a good team player,” etc. Do not rule yourself out by reading such statements as they can be interpreted and managed in different ways.
List your achievements: As we’ve mentioned above, enrolling into internships or becoming a part of community programs helps you get an understanding of how a workplace functions. Visualize various attributes you have demonstrated during your previous internships and choose a few words that best describe your personality at work. For example, trustworthy, quick learner, calm, cheerful, clever, ambitious, etc.
Know your interviewer: Ask one to three questions during the interview. Understand your job role completely and what the job expects from you. Ask questions related to the company and then talk about how your work can benefit the job position. Avoid questions related to Human resources (pay, pay raise, etc.). After the interview ends, request for a feedback on how the interview went, so you can improve.
If you’re currently looking for a job, we wish you all the very best! We hope this article answered some of your questions.
For more information regarding sensory therapy, cognitive skills, behavior therapy, developmental disorders, and early intervention, please contact Stepping Stones Center. We emphasize acquiring new and appropriate behaviors, while also working on helping the child achieve developmentally age-appropriate milestones through evidence-based practices.