The real reason why Aspies are often unemployable.

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StuckWithin
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24 May 2012, 8:56 pm

I think that there is a lot in Western workplace (especially office-type) culture that conspires against people on the spectrum. The god-like status of "the team" is one example: if you aren't able to read subtle cues and politics, and react accordingly, the chances are overwhelming that you'll miss out on what's going on, and being oblivious to this "group vibe", you'll become the odd guy out, without even trying. Once that happens...good luck. Notice that this has nothing to do with your competence, and everything to do with your likeability.

Another problem is this modern, cutthroat attitude about what business is and what the economy is. Is it solely about beating everyone else in the game? Or should it be about everyone having the chance to earn a dignified living according to his or her skills and how responsibly they perform their jobs? More and more, it's gone the way of the dog-eat-dog, survive-or-die philosophy. I can't see that making things any better for people on the spectrum who lack the innate ability to get ahead by exploiting the the politics of a workplace.

Another thing that our society could be doing better would be to focus on apprenticeship in all careers. Get new entrants working under an experienced "master". The one-on-one model would definitely work better for people on the spectrum, because the person doing the job coaching would inevitably witness first-hand the strengths of the one being coached, and build a long-term relationship with that person. The way things are now is too unstable, and too uncaring. And many good people end up on the sidelines.

Then again, our society is experiencing a crisis of caring on so many levels. Just look at the value system that screwed up the economy, and ponder that for a bit. You'll see what I mean.



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20 Sep 2012, 4:28 pm

Jkid wrote:
It’s a truism that most people with Asperger’s syndrome are unable to find any employment. They can go to college all they want, they can have all the hard skills they want. But it’s a very high chance that they will never enjoy any employment. Not even McDonalds would hire them, and even then it is not recommended for anyone with that type of autism to work in the service industry. It’s a good chance they will be stuck with SSI (Supplemental Security Insurance) for a long time.

Throughout my 23 years of living on this earth I’m fully aware of this issue of not only unemployment but the real reason why people are unemployed. Some factors of unemployment are in their control, some factors of unemployment are out of their control, and some of those factors are from society itself. More specifically with people with Asperger’s syndrome it’s both things that our out of their control that they are born with, innate functions and society are the problem.

The first real reason why people with Asperger’s are unemployable because they at one way or another socially disabled. They can be socially disabled because of past experience dealing with people. They might be bullied and mistreated routinely while they were children. This experience will still affect them throughout adulthood without support to unlearn behaviors gained from childhood.
However the real reason why people with Asperger’s are unemployed because their difficulty of creating and/or maintaining relationships. When people go to college, they expect to get a degree and head off to a job thinking that they will be hired. But the sad truth and the reality of the situation is that it’s not the case: You need really need social connections in order to get a job and in order to get social connections you need to be more social with people. Especially with the recent glut of college grads finding out that they’re unemployable.

People with asperger’s usually have difficulty with aspects of social connection because of various reasons. They have difficulty or have no interest in small talk unless it’s something related to their interest. They may be more interested in college life than the social part of college life. In addition, they have interest more narrow than general people who have general mainstream interests that people with asperger’s have little interest or find them unappealing. Because people with Asperger’s can’t relate they often have difficulty having making friends or social connections.
Other reasons that are related are the lack of soft skills and prejudice and stereotypes of people with a people with asperger’s.

People who deny the existence of autism disorders will simply tell them to just “Get friends” or “Get a job”, thinking that it’s easy just like picking a pencil. But really it isn’t. It takes time. Sadly people with Asperger’s need real help in getting a job other than kneejerk relations or stock advice that worked for other people.


Yes, apparently my cousin's husband disagrees with how networking helps people get jobs, increases the chances of getting hired, when i told him the phrase "it's not what you know but who you know" he said to me, "if it was more of who you know instead of what you know, then colleges would cease to exist"

i wonder where he was getting at



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20 Sep 2012, 10:15 pm

Even if you know people, you still need skills to be hired.



Adam82
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21 Sep 2012, 3:26 am

I have a Masters education, but struggle to get a job. I can't hold them down very long at all. My parents are always nagging me to get a job, and they're now threatening to throw me out.



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21 Sep 2012, 4:18 pm

thewhitrbbit wrote:
Even if you know people, you still need skills to be hired.


even to get hired for an entry-level, minimum-wage job such as McDonalds and Grocery Stores?

Here is a copy of me and my cousin's husband discussion, we talked about this on Facebook:

Cousin's Husband: "Its more of what you know not who you know. Knowing people may get you a second look but if you don't know what you're doing then you wont last. Education is key to the work force.

Me: "well i read an accurate percentage that 70 percent of people have gotten jobs through networking."

Cousins Husband: "How many of that 70% are able to keep those jobs for more than 6 months?
If it was "who you know not what you know" then colleges would cease to exist."

What do you think about what he said? I can definetley understand that it is more of what you know instead of who you know in order to get hired for a professional career job such as Engineering, Architect, Doctor, FBI Agent, but just bagging groceries, being a crew-member at McDonalds?
Stocking Merchandise, gathering shopping-carts, being a ticket-taker, usher, bussing tables, cleaning dishes? thats ridiculous



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21 Sep 2012, 4:26 pm

NAIRU gives employers the whip hand. Without a deliberately-created Reserve Army of Labour, people with the problems ASD people have would have a far better chance.



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21 Sep 2012, 4:32 pm

CaptainTrips222 wrote:
beechnut wrote:
I am inclined to believe that the real death knell for the employment chances of those of us with AS was when the big crackdown on sexual harassment started.


I'll share something horrifying that happened to me. When I was 23, I worked at a restaurant for nine months before getting terminated for sexual harassment. When I came in to work, both GM and my immediate supervisor sat me down, in a booth that was in the sight of everyone there, and proceeded to explain that I was "leering" at some of the girls there, and this was sexual harassment. I knew it was just to get back at me for standing up to my supervisor when she berated me in an inappropriate way. It really humbled her, or so I thought, but she was determined to have the last laugh. Anyway, they sat me down and insisted this was sexual harassment. I didn't know WHO the hell was accusing me, and they wouldn't say. They didn't even give an example. Worst of all, they said they already counseled me for sexual harassment in the past, which absolutely they did NOT, but when I asked for documentation, they wouldn't show me "for legal reasons" Heck, if my sig is on it, they legally HAVE to show me. When I got home, I called and threatened to sue and call the Better Business Bureau. I was humiliated and enraged. The GM just told me it's a right to work state.* I called back the next day, and I guess my threat really sunk in, and we agreed that if he told my next employer that I quit voluntarily, and with a two week notice, I'd drop this whole thing. The sh*t bag agreed, even stammeringly telling me that was the deal to begin with. So I had my reference and moved on.

The End.

*Right-to-work laws give employers carte blanche as to how they hire and terminate their staff. There aren't unions for workers here in Arizona, and you can be let go for any reason, at any time.


Then they're shocked when people pick up a gun and shoot people at former workplaces. They're really playing with fire. Back in the favoured Gilded Age days, there was something called Propaganda of the Deed that sometimes ended up putting the likes of President McKinley six feet under. They want to go back to those times. They should be careful of what they wish for.



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21 Sep 2012, 4:36 pm

xenon13 wrote:
NAIRU gives employers the whip hand. Without a deliberately-created Reserve Army of Labour, people with the problems ASD people have would have a far better chance.


and employers are reluctant to train inexperienced people because training costs them money



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24 Sep 2012, 12:49 am

why is it easier to get hired during the holidays than it is during the regular, normal, non-holiday times of year? as in, experience and qualifications are not as important, do not matter as much during the holidays as they do during the regular, normal, non-holiday times of year



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24 Sep 2012, 9:17 am

WantToHaveALife wrote:
why is it easier to get hired during the holidays than it is during the regular, normal, non-holiday times of year? as in, experience and qualifications are not as important, do not matter as much during the holidays as they do during the regular, normal, non-holiday times of year


During the holidays stores usually need extra help. Stores are more motivated to hire, and because your a temp employee it's not that expensive to bring you on and it's easy to get rid of you if your not a good employee.



WantToHaveALife
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24 Sep 2012, 2:22 pm

thewhitrbbit wrote:
WantToHaveALife wrote:
why is it easier to get hired during the holidays than it is during the regular, normal, non-holiday times of year? as in, experience and qualifications are not as important, do not matter as much during the holidays as they do during the regular, normal, non-holiday times of year


During the holidays stores usually need extra help. Stores are more motivated to hire, and because your a temp employee it's not that expensive to bring you on and it's easy to get rid of you if your not a good employee.


yeah, i guess thats the cold harsh truth about retail



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06 Mar 2016, 5:12 pm

League_Girl wrote:
You need references to get a job and that is my road block there. They always ask for references or recommendation letters or a cover letter. I have difficulty in those areas so those are my road blocks. I know other people can struggle with this too such as social anxiety or other conditions that will cause someone to lack friends. Plus normal people fake their reference by paying someone to pretend they know them or have their relatives pretend they are just a friend, not related.


I don't understand why work wants small talk. I never had that problem. I just went to work and did my job and don't bosses want people to be serious and just do their job than talking to others? However if you work as cashier or teacher or whatever, you end up talking to parents about their children and as a cashier you will end up talking to customers and doing the small talk. Same as if you work in retail, you are to ask customers if they need help finding anything. I think I can do that because it be all scripts but I bet it be exhausting.


Even telling me to just get a job or get friends isn't helpful for me either.

I also have a mild form of autism called AS and I work just Part time for FEDEX as a driver. I've been with this company now for nearly twenty years. I tried to look for another job just to support my income. But no second jobs ever hired me. Not even McDonalds. I couldn't answer that kind of question maybe it's just the environment is the only thing that prevented me from getting what I want to have in life. I know. Life really " STINKS ".



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07 Mar 2016, 6:41 pm

I work at Steak and Shake presently as a Dishwasher. I have AS(which manifests as mild anxiety), but I also have ADHD,Obesity(not really a disorder but it's still bad), and Grand Mal Seizures. Due to the combined effect of all this work is really terrifying if i have even ONE Grand Mal seizure or screw something up it's all too possible that i could get fired just due to ''employee liability'' issues. I seriously hope it doesn't come to that but the potential is there.



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07 Mar 2016, 6:59 pm

League_Girl wrote:
You need references to get a job and that is my road block there. They always ask for references or recommendation letters or a cover letter. I have difficulty in those areas so those are my road blocks. I know other people can struggle with this too such as social anxiety or other conditions that will cause someone to lack friends. Plus normal people fake their reference by paying someone to pretend they know them or have their relatives pretend they are just a friend, not related.


I don't understand why work wants small talk. I never had that problem. I just went to work and did my job and don't bosses want people to be serious and just do their job than talking to others? However if you work as cashier or teacher or whatever, you end up talking to parents about their children and as a cashier you will end up talking to customers and doing the small talk. Same as if you work in retail, you are to ask customers if they need help finding anything. I think I can do that because it be all scripts but I bet it be exhausting.


Even telling me to just get a job or get friends isn't helpful for me either.


That is one of my concerns with when I start trying to work, I literally have no real references I can put down for a job. But they have some help for people on SSI to try and get back into working...whilst still remaining on the SSI until you can fully transition or I think in some cases you can get some SSI support while working part time somewhat indefinitely. Even so lack of experience for a few years never looks good on an application.


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07 Mar 2016, 7:09 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:

That is one of my concerns with when I start trying to work, I literally have no real references I can put down for a job. But they have some help for people on SSI to try and get back into working...whilst still remaining on the SSI until you can fully transition or I think in some cases you can get some SSI support while working part time somewhat indefinitely. Even so lack of experience for a few years never looks good on an application.


I don't have any references or work history which looks really bad since I'm 40.



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10 Mar 2016, 7:21 pm

my partner can get almost any job he wants because he has incredible relational skills and he's great at conversing with elders and superiors in a way thats respectful but also friendly.
but. he has been unemployed for almost a year now, and he left all of his jobs willingly. he could be rehired at any of them by the drop of a hat. some past employers even still call him asking if he'd like any shifts.

so i don't think its all just about people skills...other things can get in the way even despite being a social genius.


whereas i hold 2 jobs and do under the table commission work despite being a social freak. i've just found jobs and people i can somewhat relate to.