Aspergers : a blessing and a curse at work

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2edgesword
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27 Apr 2021, 6:11 am

As a kid I always got the highest score in class and was envied by my classmates. They asked me what my secret was and I told them I had no secret. 25 years later I realised I had a secret indeed. Only it was such a secret that it was even kept hidden from me.

I got into a great Uni and graduated with honours. In interviews I was confident and sharp and I could get any job I wanted.

At work (a pharmacist in a pharmacy) I was hard working, smart and punctual. My brief encounter with patients allowed me to have a much longed-for human attraction that was fulfilling and also ephemeral that I didn't have to stress. Complex relationships perplex me, but I have always liked getting to know people, (the sweet beginnings)

And by the passing of years it was time for me to become a manager.

Then my world came crumbling down.

For some reason, I can't handle conflicts. I cringe when I have to give directions to other workers or handle their drama. As equals, I am cool and I report anything to the manager. But as a manager when I have to give directions, handle criticism and provide criticism, I am a failure.

No matter how delicate I try to approach others, they for some reason get offended. I cringe at conflicts and don't feel like managing.

I am getting older now, all my friends of my age took this step, but I am left behind. Not being a manager means I can't become a partner or make better money. I have been stuck at this step since 2014 and I am not getting any better. HR paperwork is useless, No matter what I read, real life is different.

I am not facing new demons, it's the same demon staring me in the face and pulling me down for the last 7 years and I am on the verge of a breakdown.

Your advice is much welcomed.



Jayo
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27 Apr 2021, 6:57 am

Ah, well let me tell you something my friend, there are an abundance of books available on better managerial skills - and these are mostly written by NTs, for NTs.

A LOT of people struggle with what you describe. You are right - it's not always easy. You feel the same emotional pain in confronting and engaging others that NTs feel.

Have you watched any Youtube videos? that might help too...

The important thing is when somebody's getting upset, be it sadness or angst or anger...just remain silent until they're finished, no interruptions. :)



2edgesword
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29 Apr 2021, 6:41 am

Thanks for your comment. I am thinking of taking HR courses. Hope they may help



Fenn
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29 Apr 2021, 3:00 pm

There is a book called
"The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength"
warning: it is written by an extrovert who is a business consultant.
The book talks about challenges that the authors clients have faced as introverted leaders.
I didn't find the book very accessible to me but there were some good ideas in it.
Setting boundaries is hard for me.
Tuning my empathy so it is neither too loud nor too soft is hard for me.
Conflict is hard for me.
My solution when I got kicked up to management was to find another job where I was not the manager.
This was partially a "involuntary career event".
At one point the boss thought I wanted his job - I didn't. He left and they gave it to me.
At one point I had two employees come up to me and tell me that they had decided to not work together for a while until they had sorted their feelings out. She was very pretty, and married and he was rather ordinary looking and unmarried. Eventually I figured out they had had some kind of affair and then broken up.
I really did NOT want to know.
(Unrelated to these two employees) I was later layed off.
For my next job I did not seek a leadership position.


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Fnord
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29 Apr 2021, 4:09 pm

Luckily, I am in a position where those who answer to me are mature enough to solve their personal problems on their own, needing only to know what their daily priorities should be, what issues may be coming up, and what their deadlines are.

My most recent employee issue involved correcting someone's hours on their timesheet.


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RVFlowers
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15 May 2021, 12:58 pm

Your opening post is so clear and so recognisable to me!

Yes you do have a secret - so do I - but it is a sword, not a flaw!

Please steer clear from the breakdown, you deserve so much better than this.
There's something people call 'the glass ceiling' and it is usually described as for women.
There's a saying, I read it in a typical HR magazine once, that states employees often (but not always) end up in a position which is above their comfort zone. Often, they stress, keep going, and burn out.

You seem to hold it as a given that moving up in your career is necessary. For what, may I ask?
The people who stayed down in 'the execution herd' are not all goofballs who couldn't reach higher. Some are the smart ones who didn't reach higher. They knew! At the end of the day, they're happy!
Don't aim higher - aim wider. Broaden your skills. Keep learning.

See the benefits of staying where you are. If you can make ends meet on your current wage, if you have a partner who appreciates you for the position you're in, don't fret about aiming higher. Yes it will bring you more money, but when coming home you'll be stressed, your partner will know. If things like whishes for children (don't know your age) or caring for your elderly come around, you'll have room to manage that.



Fenn
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16 May 2021, 6:35 pm

"The Peter Principle is a concept in management developed by Laurence J. Peter, which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their "level of incompetence": employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent, as skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle


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17 May 2021, 5:04 am

Ironically my responsibilities are greater now than when I had a project leader role in the past. The people I directed ended up hating me (and me hating them), but the projects were small. Now I work in a key pos. on projects with budgets up to $250M. I have to do teamwork of course, but I don't have to deal with office politics of any kind. Technical responsibility over employee responsibility is my rule.

Your job seems quite people-oriented, but perhaps you can find a career path where your duty to manage others is comparatively low on the day-to-day to-do list?


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RVFlowers
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17 May 2021, 8:15 am

Fenn wrote:
"The Peter Principle is a concept in management developed by Laurence J. Peter, which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their "level of incompetence": employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent, as skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle

Exactly that, thank you!



kraftiekortie
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17 May 2021, 1:06 pm

I'm just a clerk, and have always been a clerk. I never got promoted; and I'm ambivalent about getting promoted.

I probably don't have the skills like the above people have----but at least I'll be retiring with a decent pension in about 20 months.



Lady Strange
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21 May 2021, 6:46 pm

I run into this problem too, I seem to work best as a person under a really good leader. I don't know what on earth to do about being the one in charge, I think it would stress me out too much and I already have a real hard time managing stress on the job due to the autism at my lowly position.


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