More Work Opportunities

Finding work is a major problem for autistic people. While we have a great many strengths employers ought to find of great benefit, the fact of the matter is that our social differences are often too difficult for neurotypicals to overcome. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem except that most of the businesses are run by neurotypicals, so their deficits in dealing with social differences are a problem for us.

Fortunately a few businesses are recognizing there are benefits to hiring autistic employees. Of course, many of them, including Microsoft, are simply using the fact that autistics are particularly good at coding and computers in general. It would be nice if other opportunities would open up for those of us who are educated in areas other than computers, though.

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5 thoughts on “More Work Opportunities

  1. To say Autistics are good at computers is a bit of a broad statement or even a stereotype. Autistics are not necassarly good at let’s say computers because we are Autistic.

    I believe autistics are good in whatever it is that there special interest is because we specialize in our hobbies to the extreme. Microsoft companies probably just hire autistic people who have an interest in computers, and don’t base hiring on rather we are autistic or not. They probably just like that hire whoever is best for the job so if an autistic special interest is computers, of course it’s a great job for them.

    There are more and more opportunities opening up in the work field for autistic people. Most companies are not even legally allowed to not hire people because of a disability, a autism diagnoses etc. If they ever get caught doing it, it is a huge awakening from Labor Laws. Most companies if not all (if they are not independent and even independent companies have to follow through with labor laws) state in their hand books, etc that they do not base hiring based on race, religion, disability etc. Most jobs just hire whoever is best for the job. That’s a reality, not a discrimination.

    So my advice to people on the spectrum looking for jobs, look for a career that is like in one of your special interests. If it is gaming, become something along the lines of a game developer, tester etc…..Science? Get a science degree and then find a career to your liking, or so on.

    Many autistics have the capacity to become brilliant individuals. not all but a lot of us do if we concentrate on our strengths, and maybe sure learn how to manage our weaknesses. Some of our traits can lead to university degrees, great careers and even work in the arts. I don’t know if we need society so much to cater to us, I would hate to be hired by a favor or cause the company feels sorry for me because I am autistic. I wish society would drop the stigma that goes along with Autism. Acceptance once that happens we are free to be ourselves and the possibilities are endless. I want a company hire me for the simple reason I was the best in my interview, tests, training etc and did the process like everyone else but better. That is equality. Hiring me because you see autism as a disability is not equality. That is favortism. If that makes sense?

    I think there are more opportunities opening up for Autistics, like that it takes work on our part too. Like researching and finding a job that we can do, then proving why we would be great at it.

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    1. While it may be true that not all, and perhaps not even a majority of autistics are good at computers, the stereotype exists for a reason. That is, a majority of autistics may not be programmers, but a majority of programmers are on the spectrum. Silicon Valley has the highest rates of autism for a reason.

      Companies do in fact actively discriminate against people on the spectrum. I know this from experience. I was in fact literally told, “We have no intention of accommodating you” the day I was fired for being autistic. It’s been three years, and I’m still waiting for the EEOC to do something about it. The law is ineffectual, and the reality is that there is an 80% unemployment rate among autistics for a reason.

      I’m not asking for special treatment. Not remotely. I’m asking for equal treatment. Equal treatment does mean taking into consideration my behavioral differences. I means understanding that there is a difference between the fact that I am going to be one of your most productive workers and the fact that I will prefer to work over socialize, and when I force myself to socialize, I won’t be good at it. Neurotypicals do have to learn to be okay with that. And they do need to try to meet me halfway; right now, I’m forced to meet them 90% of the way–an impossible demand. The fact is, I won’t ever be best in the interview, because I’m not the social butterfly they want to hire. Look at my work, look at my resume/CV. That’s what matters, not whether I’m great socially (unless I’m being hired to be a salesman, in which case, social butterfly interviews are appropriate).

      I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me for being autistic. I want people to be excited I’m autistic. I want people to hire me precisely because I’m the best person for the job–and my being the best person probably has everything to do with the fact that I’m autistic. (And when I’m the worst person for the job, it’s also because I’m autistic–but I probably don’t want that job, anyway.)

      In my experience–and in the experience of pretty much everyone I know–nobody hires the best person for the job. They hire the best personality for them. They hire the friend of the friend. (Networking also isn’t a strong autistic trait.)

      I do agree with you that autistics tend to be great at our obsessions. We’re awesome experts precisely for that reason. Which should be reason enough to want to hire us.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I didn’t mean the stereotype isn’t wrong per say. More I dislike stereotypes of any kind. That I understand that I am sure many autistics are amazing at computers, it is because they specialize in that certain interest. Just that we are all different, but we can still be amazing at whatever our special interest is be it science, computers, writing etc. Science is something else a lot of people on the spectrum seem to really excel at, but that is another stereotype. I don’t know how to explain it! I basically agree with your post and that I understand why that stereotype exists I do, but it’s wrong in the sense that autistics can be great at anything as long as it mainly narrows in our special interest. If that makes sense? Just because we are not programmers or scientists, doesn’t mean we aren’t smart in say other subjects. We have the same chance if we have the obsessive compulsive trait. I guess is what I am saying because of that trait we have the capacity to become really good at something, and the ideas are endless. 🙂

        I am sorry to hear you got fired and that they didn’t do anything about it. I have seen similar things happen to other people in my past jobs and was utterly disgusted. Labor Laws would always call and give them a warning and normally the person had to be hired back. That was in Canada however and also maybe a different company entirely. It was an independent company though and the owner was really strict, repulsive and his expectations were ridiculous. He probably should have lost his store with how much he gets away with, but normally a warning was always put into place, and he was normally forced to follow through. He was even charged at times. I have seen other things though too like you where nothing was done.

        Our society is FAR from perfect, in fact our society sucks. 😛 But I guess is what I am trying to say is more people do really struggle in life. We as citizens are losing, and the banks and big corporations get richer and richer. I have seen people not on the spectrum let’s go as far to say they were white and privileged. Hard working, went to University and got the highest marks. To come out and not be able to find a job in their field. The lack of jobs is appalling and as technology grows, it will probably get worse. I wouldn’t say that your autism may have to do with anything, don’t be so hard on yourself. Some people who don’t struggle lose jobs or dont get the job because they just weren’t the best fit. Me not being able to communicate as much as people would like me to is no different than anyone else who has flaws. Everyone has strenghs and weaknesses. The problem autism has this awful stigma still attached to it and we need to get rid of it through educating people, and acceptance. A lot of people suffer with self image, inner image and want to be someone else. Wish they were say better at something. It is just not pointed out because they are neurotypical.

        I guess is what I was trying to say is we all got it pretty rough. It is not just our community. A child may wish they were better at sports but has zero coordination and no matter how hard they try that kid will be singled out and bullied in gym class and won;t be able to join teams all their buddies play etc. It is common in society that we all want like a life we weren’t meant to live. We need to work harder at accepting ourselves and concentrating on our strengths. Society is such a mess and no one seems to be happy. We worship people on TV and are driven by materialistic things. That is just a couple things wrong with society though. I am not alone in my struggles or wishing I was better at something that I’m not. That is not owned by autistic people. Neurotypicals struggle too.

        I would like you said like to meet them in the middle, but the problem is yes neurotypicals are not meeting us half way. They are not even trying too, they have this rotten image of the autistic community and constantly degrade us. Parents of autistic children not all, but some are the most ignorant people I have ever met. Doing everything to fit their child into the neurptypical bubble no matter the cost, etc. Regardless how much suffering it causes. It’s disgusting.

        I am on your side, and I get what you mean. But society is slowly getting more educated and more opportubities are rising and will continue to for people like us. It is just a slow fight. Like anything in society. Haha. We still have racism, sexism in our countries. It hasn;t even disappeared yet, it has just made huge strides and is almost disappearing. Autism is still relatively a very new thing as a diagnoses. For years we were just called weird and shunned. Worse locked away. That isn’t happening anymore, they are still researching and finding new discoveries about the spectrum and so on. Hang in there it will come. But until then we must do what we gotta do to survive like anyone does in society.

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  2. Truth is, everybody struggles at certain things. It is not just autistics, even different cultures will socialize differently. If business catered to every human being and their struggles, well what if the person goes for a job but doesn’t speak any English or let’s say Spanish or French (USA and Canada’s second language) Should the business and everyone who uses that business cater to the individuals or that one individual that don’t know how to speak Ennglish? No because that would be too difficult. English is widely spoken in Canada and the states, and if you choose to locate here you are expected to learn it. Imagine if we all had to learn Chinese, Japanese, every different Middle Eastern language so we can cater to everyone fairly. I am not saying I disagree, but business and society holds certain standards to keep it easy and normal. Everyone in some way at some point in their life will struggle and may have to change to fit the mold. Autistic granted have to try a lot harder, but we are not alone in trying to fit in. If a company hires me to an extent I do have to learn their company policy so I can communicate clearly with them and customers etc. I am for making the work field sure a bit more friendly and easier for autistics to get into etc. But I gave up playing the victim in society along time ago, it is a battle you won’t win. Trust me. xD It sucks. It takes give and take I think on both sides. I don’t expect everyone to understand how I communicate and I am okay with that, because sometimes I don’t understand how they communicate. We want them to change, they want us to change it is a endless battle. My goal is we find a way to meet neurotypicals in the middle. And like that the more knowledge comes out about it etc, it will see a day where the stigma gets dropped and most companies have to hire you if you passed their interview process etc regardless of your diagnoses or who you are as a person. My personal approach to jobs is because I don’t let my autism define all of me, and because society still sucks, I just don;t bring up that I am autistic in interviews etc. I just go there and tell them a human being who is ready to work and tell them my good traits or strong suits. (Example I am a dependable person who always shows up on time, that right there if you have that is a great seller. Companies hate people who can’t show up to their job.) 😛

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    1. Again, for me it’s not at all about playing the victim. I would definitely tell everyone not to bring up being autistic in an interview. Talk about one’s strengths. And again, I would love to meet neurotypicals halfway, because that would mean them moving a great deal toward me instead of me moving 90% or more toward them, and then falling apart as a result. People may hate people who are late (I certainly do), but people also hate people who aren’t extremely social, who have a hard time looking people in the eye, and who work circles around everyone else.

      Liked by 1 person

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