How YOU can get a job, even if you’re living with Aspergers
In Australia, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the most common developmental disorders, affecting 1 in 150 people. As the name implies, this disorder is on a spectrum, and is different for every individual who is living with it. Prior to 2013 and the introduction of the DSM-5, people who were classed as high-functioning on the spectrum, with an affected ability to effectively socialise and communicate were diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Nowadays, Asperger’s is no longer the term used, and in its place individuals are diagnosed with ASD.
People living with Aspergers, or living on the spectrum, experience difficulty with reading social cues and interactions, as well as show all-absorbing interest in specific topics, or what can also be called a fixation or special interest. Because living on the spectrum is different for every individual, it can be a long process when you have ASD and are wanting to find meaningful employment that won’t burn you out and will still keep you engaged.
If you’re wondering how to get a job with Asperger’s, or if you’re living on the spectrum, here’s some things to think about to get you started.
Consider Your Interests and Skills
There is no one-size fits all approach to employment, especially if you’re living with Autism. It’s important to be mindful of your own strengths and skills, as well as your interests, to help you find a role that will be a good fit for you. It can be easy to focus on your limitations, and be discouraged by the social interactions required when employed, but roles that require you to do tasks independently, behind the scenes, and make use of pedantic attention to detail following a set routine can lead to a fulfilling job.
Widen Your Horizons
Are you interested in building things? Perhaps you like computers and coding programs or software. Consider looking into careers in the metal or building industry, logistics, programming, or even the graphic design and animation field. Upskilling is a good way to get your foot in the door, and further job opportunities.
Some people living with ASD feel they need to ‘mask’ or display certain social traits or behaviours to achieve success. You can find employment which supports you and enables you to manage well physically and mentally. You don’t need to suppress what you enjoy to find work.
Finding a role with medium-to-low social interaction, if this is something you find difficulty with, as well as something that aligns with your personal interests can go a long way in ensuring that not only are you acquiring a job that is a good fit for you, but one that you’ll enjoy and thrive in.
Make Use of Your Support System
When you’re living on the spectrum, it can be difficult to navigate the social interaction that comes with job hunting. Friends and family can help in providing much needed insight for job interviews, for example. And if you’re on the spectrum and wanting to find meaningful employment, it’s also a good idea to consider getting comprehensive support from Disability Employment Services. With professional assistance in a range of job search tasks ranging from resume writing, local employment sourcing, and even finding the right training and upskilling programs for you, you’ll be paving the way to a fulfilling role, better wellbeing, and financial independence.