Do you find getting work harder than keeping it?

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StuckWithin
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23 May 2012, 11:35 am

Temple Grandin has said many times, "sell your work, not yourself." I think that is great advice.

A prospective employer might learn of your work if you took part in apprenticeship: they would see it first hand. Unfortunately, apprenticeship is rare in North America, and people have to often "sell themselves" to HR reps and other people who can make or break your application, either on a bureaucratic technicality, or most sinful of all in my view, on a personal whim.

I think there's something really wrong with the way that you have to compete and outsmart other applicants to get noticed. What does that say about character? As a society, just which values are being esteemed when you imply that you have to outsmart other applicants, or have some inside track to "beat" them and get an interview? I don't know about you guys here, but some days I think that things have never been as challenging in the past couple of decades as they are now. And yeah, we're in a bad recession, which doesn't help.

Depending on your professional background, the application and hiring process may differ. Still, it bugs me to know that an Aspergian can be a consistent, responsible professional - but may never get a chance to show that because he or she won't be considered "a good fit". It's beyond immoral in my opinion - it's illogical and stupid.

Now that I've ranted - I'd appreciate some feedback.



CyclopsSummers
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23 May 2012, 12:07 pm

I also disagree with the culture of competition that exists in the job market. Why, just this afternoon I had a talk with my jobcoach, in which we discussed an upcoming job interview, and she emphasised that I must sell myself to the recruiter who will conduct the interview, and kind of embellish my resume, while not making any mention at all of my weak points.

Now, I quite disagree with this, because it is my opinion that every human being has both merits and flaws, and I would find it more honest if I could tell a potential employer about my weak points as well, simply so that they'll know exactly what kind of person they'd be hiring. There is no one who doesn't have weaknesses, so hiding them seems to me like hypocrisy, I'm sorry to say.

That being said, I have in fact made use of the method of presenting myself as a more ideal candidate than I actually am at two previous job interviews, and it landed me two little jobs. One of those jobs, I was unable to hold onto, mostly because I was frequently assigned to a superior who disliked me, and also because I didn't receive enough feedback on my work to see how well I was doing.

To come to the question you pose in the thread title, however, I would say, no, I don't find it harder to get work than to keep hanging onto it; in fact, I find both equally hard. I try my very best to sell myself in job interviews, and then whn I do have the job I'm constantly stressing about whether or not this may be my last month or week, because of all kinds of factors on the workfloor, and also my own innate fear of failure and poor self-confidence.

A few months ago, WP member Fnord was rationalising the culture of selling oneself in job interviews, arguing that it's not the same as 'lying' or 'hypocrisy', and he made quite a convincing argument. However, if push comes to shove, I'd prefer a world in which work doesn't imply having to serve a company's need for profit, or being a cog in the machine of consumption. I find my current position in the job market quite disheartening.


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Solvejg
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23 May 2012, 1:02 pm

I find it harder to keep work.

Outwardly I am what most employers want. An educated (not over because I tweek my resume and only add what is applicable for each perspective employer so i dont seem overqualified or underqualified) and I am Pretty and fake presenting myself well in interviews.

I however lose lots of jobs really fast due to other employees and being a dobber. I can have meltdowns over certain things like a colleage making fun of gay employees (i put in a complaint about it) but apperantly it doesn't make me a team player.

The only jobs I can do well are super repetitive jobs where i have full details of everytask and i don't have to socialise in the workplace.


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Timeconsumer
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23 May 2012, 1:06 pm

I absoutely have much more of a problem getting the job than keeping them. I really struggle getting past the interview process, i have a real problem with honesty and i've always seemed to be too truthful for my own good.

I often find myself doing jobs that i don't really want to do but because i have this thing about me that means that when im being paid for something i put 100% into what im doing whether or not i've an interest, that means i never have a problem keeping the job. I'm 100% committed to doing my job regardless of my feelings.

The problem i get is that in the interview process i can't stop myself from showing how actually uninterested in the job i am. It's so hard to get over in the interview that no im not interested in the job but yes i'll still put 100% in.

Even past the interview i probably do still come across as uninterested in my job and very irreverent, just the actual quality of my work always shines through so i don't get too many problems. It's always just getting my foot in the door with anything really, i just give off such a bad first impression and my bad attitude gives me a " f**k it, it's their problem" type attitude (without being horrible about it). Get past that though and im extremely competent and loyal, i just don't like showing it to the undeserving.

As an example of how my employees come to view me, i've been the "trusted " one in every job i've done, my first job i was locking up within weeks of starting, ive been trusted with thousands of pounds to pay into the bank for peoples wages, my last job they tried to get me to accept a trainee managment job (which partially lead to me to quit), with bosses of the whole place that know no ones name going out of their way to talk to me, operations managers saying that it's rare to have someone of my intelligence working for them and my main boss saying ( in not quite a complimentry tone, although we got on well and i could probably have considered him a friend if i was little less serious about using the word ) that i never miss a trick (because im basically the type of person that can see all the consequences from things that happen). In general i'm just the type of person that if you don't like me you respect the fact that im good at my job.



chiastic_slide
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23 May 2012, 1:21 pm

I am usually able to put on a good act in job interviews as long if they are very short and I have prepared and rehearsed what I am going to say and the interviewers don’t ask questions I am not prepared for. I force myself to make eye contact. On occasion, particularly in sales type jobs I have been ripped to shreds and left almost in tears but I guess this is not uncommon for anyone.

I have found it very tough in the past to get a good job appropriate to my education level, again not uncommon for anyone these days. I went from one menial job to another struggling to find motivation or fit in socially with other workers and would often get fed up and walk out in the middle of a shift. At one point I had around 20 jobs within 2 or 3 years and doctored my CV accordingly. I was extremely bored with basic data entry, lacked persuasive abilities and motivation to sell or maximise sell anything over the phone. I found it difficult to lie to callers and pretend that I believed in the company and corporations I worked for in customer service roles. I got annoyed with managers and team leaders who tried to get me to modulate my voice or be more chatty on the phone. I became bored and disheartened and ended up having to work in a job where all I did all day was take addresses and postcodes from callers. The only other job I managed to hold down for any length of time at this time was in a petrol station, again not much is expected of you other than taking payments and cleaning and you are mostly able to work in solitude.

In the last few years I finally found work that I was good at and enjoyed doing in the health service as a medical secretary. The systems and processes are complex enough to keep me engaged, I am fascinated with medical terminology especially neurology and psychiatry, I enjoy working with letters and making sure grammar is correct. I am the only male in an office of older female secretaries who attribute my oddness and lack of social interest to not having anything in common with them rather than anything else. I seem to be on more of the same wavelength with the patients, most of them have epilepsy and some have psychiatric conditions, it encourages me to have empathy and having a calming monotone voice is helpful in this job.



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23 May 2012, 2:33 pm

I find both hard but I'd say I find getting a job to be harder than keeping a job. The only two jobs I ever had in my life were pretty much handed to me and I didn't have to fill out an application or do an interview. I lasted 2 weeks in one and 5 weeks in the other before I quit.

I'm not going to lie in a job application or interview and I have pretty much nothing to put on a job application.



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23 May 2012, 2:47 pm

I am now on Disability due to my other health problems, but when I was able to work I found it both hard to get, and hard to keep jobs. Part of it was due to my Asperger's, and part of it was due to some of my other health problems. It is hard to get to work on time when you are exhausted all the time due to sleep apnea, and also spend too much time in the bathroom due to IBS. They also don't like you spending too much time in the bathroom at work, or falling asleep on the job. When I first started working, I didn't have the sleep apnea, but the IBS has been a lifelong problem. Once the sleep apnea added to my problems, holding a job became much harder than it already had been. If you are also somewhat different, then that really makes it almost impossible to get and keep jobs. :(

At least now that I am on Disability, I don't have to deal with the attitudes of NTs in the work place.


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23 May 2012, 4:00 pm

I have always found getting a job was harder than keeping one. All these roadblocks they create for me and it doesn't help when I have anxiety and AS and possible executive function problems. Life be a lot easier if they didn't require references, cover letters, recommendation letters, experience required, and of course judging you.



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23 May 2012, 6:05 pm

Thanks for all your replies so far.

I often think that as a society we'd do much better if things were organized according to a collaborative model, rather than a competitive one. Let people find their best fit. Give them a chance. There is such a love of the adversarial process in the West, but I think that its benefits are vastly overstated - and, unfortunately, many who "don't make the cut" - especially if through not fault of their own - don't get the chance to prosper. How is that a good thing?

All we need to do is to look at the values of those who have run the economy into the ground these last few years. It speaks volumes.

As far as advocacy is concerned, I'm glad there are people like Temple Grandin and John Robison speaking out about the things that autistic people face as part of life. But I still think that most people don't get it. It'll be a long time and take a lot more advocacy before the message sinks in that people on the spectrum have unique skills that are better nurtured rather than passed by.



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23 May 2012, 6:16 pm

Yes, the process of going in to fill out applications and going for the interview is what gets me, mainly the interviews. I get so anxious, I sit there shaking and stumbling over words. My mind goes blank because I get so nervous. I'm not going to lie, having a diploma/degree helps with tremendously with getting a job but yeah, the interview process is really hard, it's almost an art itself.



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01 Jun 2012, 8:01 am

I have trouble getting jobs because I get so annoyed with the [email protected] S%^t interview questions. :x I'l like to be able to answer, "Why do you want to work for us?" by saying, "Because you're hiring for something I can do well and I need some income." I have been at my current job for over 14 years and I'm totally burned out and hate every second I'm here but I don't think I'll be able to get another one.



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01 Jun 2012, 8:10 am

Mindsigh wrote:
I'l like to be able to answer, "Why do you want to work for us?" by saying, "Because you're hiring for something I can do well and I need some income."


If I was doing a job interview and they asked me that anything else besides "because I need money" would be a lie.



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01 Jun 2012, 1:44 pm

The Job Market in America sucks it's so hard to find a job so yeah.



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01 Jun 2012, 2:08 pm

Both, for me. It used to be really easy to get a job, I'm fairly attractive, fit and was younger then! :roll: It was never easy to keep a job because after the "honeymoon" phase was over there would come a day when I realize that I never really got to know anyone. For me it's like my first day on the job every day.... I really, really wish I could get over this and build some kind of relationship with my colleagues.

As part of a kitchen crew, I'm supposed to be a team player. Unfortunately, everyone will teach me the dishes (which I learn very quickly) but fail to teach me things like how to leave the station after my shift is over, how much back stock to prep up, what things are more important for the night people to have or should I just worry about my shift.... oh goodness, yeah, it can go on forever.

Anyway, yeah, so I'm glad I am in a seasonal job (and most of them have been).

If only I could maintain some interest long enough to make some money from it...... 8)

Damn ADHD.... :(



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01 Jun 2012, 11:58 pm

kirayng wrote:
It was never easy to keep a job because after the "honeymoon" phase was over there would come a day when I realize that I never really got to know anyone. For me it's like my first day on the job every day.... I really, really wish I could get over this and build some kind of relationship with my colleagues.


Isn't it just?! I am always baffled to see when new colleagues came in at a previous job of mine, and a couple weeks later they'd get along with the other colleagues like a house on fire, while I was still a 'no-go area' social-wise. Like, I start working somewhere, and it takes me a while to adjust, and if I'm lucky, MAYYYBE I get along fine with one, two, or three colleagues I can relate to and have great conversation with, but most of them will just view me as the freak EVEN when I put a bit of effort in trying to talk to them.

Then, new people come in, and I can talk to them on grounds of them being the newbies and me being a bit experienced (enabling me to provide advice), couple weeks pass, and it's like I'm the newb and they've been around for years- at least on the social plane.


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