How hard is it for as aspie to find a job

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Ai_Ling
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09 Jun 2011, 10:00 pm

So I just graduated from college and I'm pretty new to job searching. Due to the bad economy, its hard for pretty much everyone to find a job. My concern is that I don't interview very well and I tend to choke on my words easily. Its hard enough to walk in and put on an act. Im thinking, the stronger social skills = more likely to get hired. Which isnt fair, because a persons social skills really doesnt correlate to how well they'll perform on the job unless your in a job that requires good PR skills. I notice that a lot of entry level positions require customer service which I know from past volunteer experience, I suck at. Im good at being attentive to the persons needs and doing what they ask but Im not good in the delivery of this. I'll do the task with an expressionless look on my face not a warm welcoming attitude.

But Ive known of aspies who done jobs that required customer service. I know an aspie who worked at the library front desk at my school though it was fairly low pressure compared to other jobs that required customer service. I know an aspie who worked at Vons, I didnt know what his position was tho. Im guessing it required at least a low level of customer service.

Right now Im waiting to hear back from the Vocational Rehabilitation Center to see if I can classify as priority 1 in getting job services. If I do, I'll get all the employment services I need. But if Im not 1st priority, then I'll have to be on a waiting list due to budget cuts. As for now, Im on my own and Ive been applying like crazy since I dont have anything else to do.

How did other aspies get employed?



johnsmcjohn
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09 Jun 2011, 10:55 pm

I have failed at every job interview I've ever had with 2 notable exceptions: The first was for a job where I'd be selling things business to business. The second was a job running social media for a small startup. Both times I spoke with the interviewer about something I am very passionate about. Once the conversation turned to a subject I know and love, it was very easy to relate and banter back and forth with the interviewer. My advice would be to think about what you're passionate about and look for people who share your interests. That'll be the easiest way to find work.



Sweetleaf
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09 Jun 2011, 11:22 pm

If I end up having to find a job before Im done with college or if I decide to drop out...it will be quite hard for me to find a job. For one I come off as weird so sometimes I get the feeling they have already decided not to hire me before the interview is over......then on top of that I have to either get a medical marijuana card or find places that don't drug test.



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09 Jun 2011, 11:53 pm

social skills help maintain your position at a job; an interview can be prepared for.


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NowWhat
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10 Jun 2011, 8:21 am

Infoseeker wrote:
social skills help maintain your position at a job; an interview can be prepared for.


Getting the job is easy, keeping it is hard. Just start applying like crazy. When I graduated I planned on getting one job offer for every 10 applied for. I ended up with 2 offers for temp jobs before graduating, and landed a permanent position 6 months later. I've had a lot of jobs, quit many, been fired a couple times, never been unemployed for more than 4 days. Someone will want to hire you, and if they later change their mind....someone else will want to hire you.



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10 Jun 2011, 9:51 am

I agree: start applying for all jobs like crazy. Also, make sure you get a decent haircut and 2 - 3 interview outfits. First impressions are important for NT's, and even if you come off as weird or awkward during an interview, at least you can look the part.

The more interviews you go to, the more comfortable and natural you'll feel being interviewed. If you go to enough interviews, eventually you'll begin to answer their questions very naturally, since you'll know practically every question that is commonly asked. For this reason it's also helpful to practice your answers to common interview questions, which you can get from how-to-interview books commonly available everywhere.

Also, if you're the cheating type (and I am), find out first what qualifies a person for being 1st priority for job assistance. Then just tell them whatever they need to hear from you in order to qualify, so long as you can hide the lie. In this manner I almost always qualify for anything I want to apply for. A little pre-application research pays off big-time.



Meow1971
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10 Jun 2011, 11:25 am

I have been buying into the concept recently of demonstrating value by producing things and showing them publicly... that helps when it comes to interviewing awkwardness as it show you can give them results even if you are a bit awkward. Think of it is as similar to an artists portfolio.

Not sure what types of jobs your are looking at but there is usually some way of showing passion & results even if it seems a bit off the wall.



Sweetleaf
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10 Jun 2011, 9:41 pm

Infoseeker wrote:
social skills help maintain your position at a job; an interview can be prepared for.


well even so coming of as socially weird does not help with getting employment...even if you do prepare for the interview that might not help. I can prepare all I want but my eye-contact will still be non-existant or extremly forced(to the point where its obvious I'm uncomfortable)



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10 Jun 2011, 9:51 pm

Infoseeker wrote:
social skills help maintain your position at a job; an interview can be prepared for.

Yes!

See if you can have some friends "interview" you, with the goal in mind to develop your interviewing skills. Make sure that they agree to not tell you what you are doing wrong, but that they advise you as to what you might do better.

Instead of: "You kept looking at the floor and mumbling."
They say: "Look at a spot on the wall just above my head and speak each word clearly."

Instead of: "You seemed angry."
They say: "You could smile more."

See the difference?

Take your "interviews" with different people, or with the same group while taking turns being "interviewed".



Hmm ... I think I just hit upon a new business I could start ... :wink:


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swbluto
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10 Jun 2011, 10:55 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
For one I come off as weird so sometimes I get the feeling they have already decided not to hire me before the interview is over...


Lol, yep, this is my problem. I get the distinct feeling the interviewer at McDonald's had that "This interview was a joke" thought when I stated my hours of availability were long enough for one of the several night positions that were open, and she brushed it off like "that doesn't matter." as she semi-hurriedly exited the interview and I'm thinking this was because I came off as weird. And other jobs weren't available as far as I could tell since the local employment scene for people my age is kind of in the toilet.

So, what to do? I started a lawn-mowing business, aggressively marketed it and now business is booming. Best of all, the work itself seem pretty "aspie" or "weird person" friendly and I get to enjoy the outdoors. Of course, 'enjoyment' of the outdoors depends on if it's raining. :lol:



anewman
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10 Jun 2011, 11:43 pm

Never managed to get a job after graduating my Undergrad degree and masters.



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10 Jun 2011, 11:49 pm

In the 30 or so years snce I graduated, the longest that I've been completely unemployed has been 3-1/2 weeks.

Even when I was homeless, I was still able to find temporary and part-time work.


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11 Jun 2011, 12:07 am

I've worked before, my main jobs;

Job #1 - Supermarket
I sent my CV, as I was still young and still in college they expected me to be anxious during interview.

Job #2 - IT support.
I was head-hunted, the manager who interviewed me had a PhD in religious studies, was a former priest and was a Freemason, I had just left college after studying religion and philosophy as well as having had BTW training...it wasn't even an interview, it was an hour long discussion about religion and Freemasonry. I got the job without even trying.

Job #3 - Collections.
Sent my CV, no interview as such, it was all literacy and numeracy testing.

Right now I've been unemployed for 3 years and 4 months - this is unlikely to change any time soon.
Before unemployment I had no gaps in my employment at all, I've even worked two jobs at a time on a few occasions as I hate not to be doing something constructive with my time so I do voluntary type roles too. In all the time I've been unemployed I've only had a maximum of five interviews - I've had two work trials, one I was asked to leave after the 'trainer' bullied me into a meltdown (which has been a huge blow to my confidence), one was in recruitment/training with the job centre but I was forced to leave by them as they didn't want to pay for CRC to allow me to handle clients personal information. :roll:

My main issue is that I've been unemployed for too long - although society cannot be pro-unemployment it's now gone too far the other way where there's so strong an opinion that unemployed people are lazy and work-shy, it means all of us who are unemployed due to economics or disability are stuck, no one will even look at you when you're unemployed and government is making it far worse.

There are AS-specific issues that prevent me from finding work, I can't use a telephone which is a huge problem as employers don't contact via email, the fact I don't have a telephone number on my CV is enough of a reason to throw it in the trash - no one seems to be able to tell me how to get around this problem. During interviews I can't shake hands, make eye-contact, I cannot look friendly, I stim like crazy, I sit rearranging things, I can't answer questions involving imagination, I can't make small-talk or chat so there's no social connection with the interviewer...and this is very important. Being AS, health problems and poverty meant I didn't get to go any further with my education, so I'm restricted to either call centre or admin work (both involve telephones) or retail work (which only offer between 16-20 hours - I need 35+ hours) - there just aren't any jobs available, unless I can get back into education or re-train (which I can't as being unemployed means I can't afford to do this, let alone any other factors like the AS) I'm stuck!

You know what's really frustrating?
Two jobs I've worked have been in recruitment, training other people how to get jobs - the theory I have down to an art form, honestly my answers to competency based questions are multi-layered; knowledge of company, selling myself, perfect answers with a little humour, tone of voice, and appropriate buzz-words...in reality of an interview situation however that goes out the window as anxiety takes over. I could get almost anyone else a job, but I'm stuck sitting here unable to work because no one wants someone who is unemployed!

Having just graduated you stand a MUCH better chance than anyone else - trust me!
Having AS gives you distinct advantages in the work place, as far as I'm concerned the main problem for many of us comes when we get stuck in unemployment, we get stagnant and our social skills drop, anxiety increases, and so on - right now having left education employers are begging for you, the older you are and the longer out of education your options start going down. Apply to a lot of places, and if you can get hold of this book; Job Interviews: Top answers to tough questions by John Lees and Matthew DeLuca - or if you can get to a library, anything by John Lees, his word is law when it comes to recruitment, this book in particular goes through various interview questions and also discusses how to tailor yourself/your CV/your cover letter etc. to an employer to give you the best chance.


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Sweetleaf
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11 Jun 2011, 2:49 am

swbluto wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:
For one I come off as weird so sometimes I get the feeling they have already decided not to hire me before the interview is over...


Lol, yep, this is my problem. I get the distinct feeling the interviewer at McDonald's had that "This interview was a joke" thought when I stated my hours of availability were long enough for one of the several night positions that were open, and she brushed it off like "that doesn't matter." as she semi-hurriedly exited the interview and I'm thinking this was because I came off as weird. And other jobs weren't available as far as I could tell since the local employment scene for people my age is kind of in the toilet.

So, what to do? I started a lawn-mowing business, aggressively marketed it and now business is booming. Best of all, the work itself seem pretty "aspie" or "weird person" friendly and I get to enjoy the outdoors. Of course, 'enjoyment' of the outdoors depends on if it's raining. :lol:


I Well if I could withstand long term exposure to loud noise, that would be a good idea. But yeah sometimes its certainly possible to start your own thing I guess.



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11 Jun 2011, 3:14 am

Sweetleaf wrote:
If I end up having to find a job before Im done with college or if I decide to drop out...it will be quite hard for me to find a job. For one I come off as weird so sometimes I get the feeling they have already decided not to hire me before the interview is over......then on top of that I have to either get a medical marijuana card or find places that don't drug test.


You won't get drug tested. I've never been drug tested and I don't know anyone who has been. Most of the people I work with smoke marijuana.

Even in the highly unlikely scenario that they want to drug test you you can refuse.