Good evening, everyone! I am going to cut right to this topic: work life. I will be honest with you, working as an adult on the spectrum is anything but easy. I have lost count of how many jobs I have. It is almost the same scenario, either I said something totally stupid and inappropriate or was not fast enough to perform the work in a timely manner. There have also been times where I have had to quit jobs for personal reasons.
I guess my best advice that I can give you all, my readers, is to keep trying. No matter how many times you get knocked down, you have to get back up. Eventually, you will find the right job for you in the right field. Right now I am currently a behavioral technician doing Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy (ABA) witch children on the spectrum. This type of therapy focuses on changing behaviors and is all about reinforcers and getting the best outcome possible. I love my job, and I am pretty sure it is the right field for me. I feel like being an adult on the spectrum has given me a whole new perspective on the job and helps me to understand what these children are going through.
Now, how did I get where I am? First off, I went to college. If you are capable of going to college, do it. It was where I grew up most as a person and made the best friends I have ever had in my life. But, before you go, make sure you know what you want to do. College is expensive, too expensive! So don't do what I did and switch your major several times and take over a decade and wind up with a degree you don't even want in the first place and has almost nothing to do with your current career. Regardless, I am proud of myself. I have a degree and that, right there, sets me higher on the job market. College is necessary to get anywhere in life. It is almost impossible to have a career without it.
The next piece of advice I can offer you is to create a CV or a resume. Make sure it pertains to your field. Even if you have never had a job before in your life, the CV/resume can list your job related skills, your experience working in the field (even if it wasn't gained via employment), volunteer experience, education, any certifications you have, etc. Mine, for example, is for care giving/babysitting/special needs care. It lists all of my certificates in CPR/First Aide, Blood born pathogens, recipient rights, my education, all of my volunteering and experiences. It also has a bit of my personal hobbies and skills to give my perspective employers an idea of who I am as a person.
If you already have a CV/resume created, be sure to keep it current and updated. I recently opened the one I had created back in Sep of last year and found it did not have my most recent place of employment or my new phone number. You want to make yourself as marketable and desirable as possible. You also want to walk into an interview as prepared and professional as possible and it would not look good to go in with no resume or one that is out of date. If you are horrid and ghastly at spelling and punctuation, have someone check it over so it is all prim and polished.
It is also a good idea to have two separate email addresses. One for business and another for personal emails. You can hook both accounts to your smart phone. This way, you have easy to access to your email 24/7. This way all of your emails are also sorted and well organized so you may easily find them. Your email addresses need to be simple and give away as little information as possible. It needs to sound professional and adult. It should not be “firstname.lastname@example.org”. My first professional email was my first and middle name and my birth year at gmail.com. It was simple and concise.
Next, remember that appearance is everything. So dress your best for the interview. I tend to wear black leggings or slacks, flats and a nice top. I do not wear jeans to an interview. It just looks unprofessional. There is an appropriate attire for every situation. You wouldn't wear flannel jammie pants and fuzzy bunny slippers to an interview, to church, or the theater. Nor would you wear stilettos and a mini skirt to play basketball. If you are really unsure of what to wear, ask a friend or a parent even to help you. A second opinion is always good, even if it is not one you like. Same goes with your makeup, ladies, make it look tasteful. Blush and lipstick maybe some eye shadow and mascara. Make yourself look like you without trying too hard. Keep your hair neat and tidy. Men, make sure you shave or trim, keep your facial hair groomed.
Try to get to your interview on time. Early is even better! If, by chance, you are late, make sure you have the number of the place you have applied. This way, you could call ahead and give notice. It is just polite to not leave your potential employer waiting for you to arrive. Punctuality, professionalism, and politeness are key!
With these tips and suggestions I guarantee you will find a job. It may not be the job you want but it will be a job. And that, my friends, is the first step in a successful career. Remember, and I have a hard time with this too, that it may not be the job that you want but we all have to start somewhere in life and work our way to the top in order to be a success. Good luck and happy job searching!
|Autism in My Eyes||