Ok so I've been working for the same place for over 5 years now. I feel like I've learnt a lot of different tasks but these are all the tasks which I have picked up because it is always done in the same way. There is a step by step way of doing it overall. I have written my own step by step notes, screenshots to help me just in case I do forget how to do a task if I haven't done it for a while. I really struggle with tasks which are not done in the same way, grey area tasks and also tasks where you have to read between the lines. I get on the job training but I can never pick up on how to do these tasks no mater how many times it has been explained to me by my line manager. All the tasks he taught me if there is no grey areas, reading between the lines, the task done in exactly the same way, I noticed I understand and pick these up on how to do these tasks very quickly as long as it's explained to me 100% precise and clear as possible with step by step notes written by myself while being taught.
A new person will be starting soon and he is a similar age to me. I am meant to train him in my tasks as well and my line manager said he'll train me and the new person to progress further. He is just a bit below me because he is new starting. I will still be doing roughly the same tasks I have always been doing for 5 years but he'll be first call to do one of the tasks which I won't have to do and I'll have extra time to do my own assisting tasks.
My worry is, because he doesn't have my problem, I feel like he'll progress way faster than I will and I feel like I'll be his assistant in no time at all. I really don't mind being assistant and doing assistant tasks at all it's just the worry and disappointment I feel in myself for have 5 years extra time than him and he's already learnt everything way faster than me and I kind of feel like everyone in the workplace will know and I won't know what they'll think about me because of this.
What actions can I do to reduce this anxiety? I really feel kind of lost and trapped job wise because of this situation, when I get taught new tasks, it's either I get it, or I don't get it. And I noticed with some tasks that I've been taught, if I don't understand it, I never can understand it no matter how hard I try to. I find that this applies especially with tasks that have no rules, step by step way of doing it, I can't take notes down because it's done differently every time and my brain just can't process it. I feel that this is a disadvantage to me to be able to progress further. Is there any way to help with this? I know it will be very difficult because that is how aspergers effects me in a big way. I was thinking if I end up not progressing, I will leave this job but it's so difficult to find another job I had to really try very hard to even have this job what I got now.
I suppose another idea would be to start from scratch if that happens and learn to start a completely different career path that have jobs that are done in exactly the same way every time. No grey area tasks at all to learn. But I fear doing this because of money and if it will even work out in the end. Plus with these social understanding difficulties, it really tires my brain out a lot (as it did when I first started my job that I am currently at) to learn every single thing, I'll have to write everything that's being said to me down because if I don't, when I listen to tasks being explained, I notice I am trying to process that part of the information and I find it difficult to remember the last part of information that was being said.
Or would there be any way to discuss this with my employer? Would there even be any work adjustments which can help? I don't know what can help solve this problem overall because grey areas/reading between the lines has always been a struggle for me and I know it will just stay that way, probably ways to reduce it but I don't think it'll be ever completely gone because of how some aspies brains are wired I guess?
I think that if you like and enjoy the job that you have at the moment, you should keep it. It sounds as if you've done well in the 5-years that you've been there and there's no reason to believe that you won't continue to learn new aspects of your job and continue to progress there into the future. Especially as you already know which parts of your current job you'd like to work on and improve.
Your line manager sounds understanding of your difficulties in certain tasks, he has supported you so far and isn't forcing you to do the one tasks which you find too much. It sounds as if he's also happy to go over any aspects of your original training, whilst training the new guy, to help you carry on doing your job well. It would be difficult to find such an understanding line manager or boss in another job!
I understand your anxiety about this new person starting and being worried that you'll be left behind or replaced, but it doesn't sound as if that's what your line manager is trying to do. It will be an anxious time, getting used to this new person, but it really does sound as if you're in a strong position at your job and are valued for your contributions.
Could you give it some time, see what things are like for a few months with this new person, before making any dramatic changes or decisions about your job? Once the initial stress of getting to know a new workmate is out of the way, things may not actually be as bad as you imagine right now. It might be worth mentioning your concerns to your line manager about being replaced or overtaken by the new person and see what he says? Does he know about your ASD?
I don't know you or your work, but it is very possible that you can do the "no grey area" tasks better or more efficiently than your neurotypical counterparts. That is a strength of people on the spectrum. Therefore, don't be surprised if the new guy takes a long time to catch onto them. Also, this change may give you an opportunity to assign the new guy the "grey area" tasks that you would prefer not to do. Try to look at this as an opportunity rather than a harbinger of doom.
Thank you Endymion, yes my line manager knows that I have aspergers. I am glad that is what you think hopefully it is true because I'm too shy about asking if that's what my line manager is thinking. I probably won't say that to my line manager about being worried I'll be falling behind because I'll find it really awkward to say that. I think I might follow the other advice that you have given me about giving me some time and see what happens in a few months.
Hopefully I'll be able to do more different tasks that are done in exactly the same way and see if I could expand my experience from there because if the new person knows how to do more of my tasks, I guess it may free my time up to do more different tasks and learn more things I guess. It's just my high anxiety levels as well which doesn't help at all because I am at that age now where I just feel like I need to progress and get somewhere but just really am struggling to.
Thank you DragonCat16 for the reassurance. I do notice that as well that I'm really good with tasks which haven't got grey areas in them. Probably because that is an advantage for people on the spectrum that we don't realize it as much I guess.
I have been training the new person the other day and although I did get quite anxious with this, I tried my best to hold it together and remain as confident as possible to help make myself clear. I went though the task carefully with him and tasks are very difficult to understand at first I guess.
I just hope I progress that's the main worry overall.
I've been working for the same place for over 4 years now.
I have almost the problem.
I see other people moving up a lot faster than me!
I am almost in the same place.
I do not see any career progression.