I am looking for a bit of advice really. My predicament revolves around being autistic and having a job. Around 9 months ago, I lost my job as a civil servant with the DWP. They unfairly dismissed me because I did have reasonable adjustments but they kept taking them off me etc. which lead to my mental health declining and I began underperforming â€“ this to me meant maybe a call centre environment was the wrong place for me to work as I dont do too well with telephones.
I've been in and out of jobs for the last 9 months, my most recent one ended because they just didn't care about me and took advantage of me. The part I am really struggling with is the pressure from my family to get another job to where they keep suggesting I go for jobs in call centres because they hire in large volumes and I will more than likely get it because I am articulate and intelligent thanks to my aspergers.
I try to tell them that these are jobs I will likely fail or get fired from because I don't operate the way they would want a typical call centre worker to operate, my family sometimes seems to be of the belief that Autism and aspergers isn't necessarily a disability and that through confronting the issues we face we can just get over them. in addition to this my mum is of the opinion that I'm only autistic because of the things I have been through in my life because I was only diagnosed two years ago where as I know I was born autistic. I understand they just want me to have a job and live independently with my partner like I did this time last year but I cannot work in a call centre!
Im trying to keep everyone happy which is what I always seem to do so I don't disappoint anyone but from past experience this puts me in a tricky position! Its not me being closed minded in terms of working, I want to, but I also want to be comfortable and able to work somewhere to start with!
I'm just not sure how to help them understand without disappointing them or making them think I'm trying to make excuses to not do things etc. does anyone have any advice?
I wish I could tell you what to do. I understand what you're dealing with as I've grown up with a like minded family.
Im so sorry you're going through that. This may not be very helpful but all I can say is to ignore every patronising and short sighted comment. Don't let them affect your self worth or confidence because if it does you'll end up going for jobs that aren't right for you to please them. That will just make things worse.
I would suggest speaking to a few employment agencies. You might be surprised at what call centre experience can get you (without going to another call centre). I'm doing the same. Finding a fitting job for people like us is damn hard but so doable. Hang in there.
thanks! I just wish there was more suitable jobs for people like us where we are seen as a valuable part of a work force rather than an issue
I think it's starting to change. Even if it's slow.
More and more big organisations are promoting that they're equal opportunity employers. I believe that includes autism.
I was on the fence about disclosing my ASD on job applications but my councillor talked me into it.
Of course it all depends on who is reading you're application and their knowledge of autism but it also depends on how you word it I think.
For example...if yours is a social disability, the fact that you have call centre experience shows that you are capable of challenging yourself and taking a step out of your comfort zone. Or something like that.
Turn what you think is a negative and show how it's actually a positive. Employers love that kind of thing.
It's also good practice for yourself.
Yeah, I relate and I can only second what Abigail said, don't listen to them (your family) and get a good employment agency that will work with you and help you find something that works for you. This is not always easy but it's a damn site easier than clawing your way out of a burn out, which I am doing at the minute. Like Abigail said, it might not be easy but it is doable, just be patient with yourself, don't accept a job that's not good for you and don't listen to your family, it won't help you and will damage your sense of self worth. I'm holding out for what works for me and I'm not going to be pushed into something that I know is simply going to burn me out without any benefit to me apart from me fitting and passing for a nt!!!! I won't do that anymore. Hang in there and hold your ground.
Ignore them and look for a job that's right for you. Obviously that's better for you but in the long run it'll also be better for them as you'll have a job you can sustain. From my experience I imagine they only want what's best for you but that doesn't mean that they know what's best for you so as I said ignore them and do what you want. In the end it'll pay off for everyone.
"NAS35206"]I imagine they only want what's best for you but that doesn't mean that they know what's best for you[/quote] ~ well said, brilliant advice. I am learning to do what's best for me and their voices still creep in but I'm ignoring them because my family and friends most definitely do not know what's best for me.
Yeah it's something I learnt quite a long time ago but I didn't really know I was doing it! Like I am just very stubborn and I learnt that actually that's not such a bad thing particularly when you feel you know what would make you happy and in the end my parents were glad I didn't listen to them...mostly...they admit quietly (they also can't stand being wrong)!
It's funny, I was thinking about that today, about how people don't like to be wrong and sometimes I'm just talking but people think I'm trying to prove them wrong or something or like I know more than them and it's not like that at all. My dad in particular is like this. However, now I'm aware of it I can be more careful to try and monitor what I say. I don't spend much time with NT's so it's not too much trouble and if it creates more harmonious relationships then I'll do it. And yeah, I can relate to the stubbornness and it has definitely worked more in my favour.
I feel a similar lack of understanding from my family. My mum has said to me more than once that autism isn't a disability. That can feel dismissive like my problems aren't real but I think it's because she wants to focus on the strengths of people with autism and wants more people to be aware of them. I try to remind myself that she loves me and wants to help me, even if she doesn't understand, not that it helps when I'm in those conversations explaining why I've not just fixed the problems in my life.
I keep family and work separate. I talk much more openly about autism at work even if I have to hide it with my family. Do what you need to do to find work which is right for you and don't give your family too many details about how you are doing that.
Abigail's advice is great and it may help to talk to someone not emotionally involved to remind you that its okay to find work hard and its okay to expect adjustments. It sounds like you have a good handle on what your strengths and weaknesses are and that will help you to find a job. Best of luck.
If it helps Lee, I have just signed up for Universal Credit and they are so helpful with me, in fact, they've asked me to speak to politicians on the 1st December about how they are helping people like me with autism. I've only been twice but they have told me they even have a special disability department and that they aren't going to try and force me into just any old job and that in fact they will work with me to identify my strengths and what type of work will be most suitable to me. I am in the slow process of setting up my own business but in the meantime, I would like to do some part time work so although I'm a qualified and experienced social worker and mental health practitioner, I'm going to take them up on their offer to find work that is most suitable to me, because I do need help, other wise I will just go for what I know I can already do, even if it doesn't suit me. I could go back to social work, earn and save a good amount of money but be back exhausted again in 6 months and I've been in this burnout now since 2011 and I extend it by taking work that isn't suitable to me. I don't know at this stage what kind of work will be best for me but I am learning how much time I need to myself to cope with life in general so I want to make sure the work will energise me and not drain me because no work is worth that, no matter how much they pay. I'm busy creating a life and lifestyle that supports me and I'm not willing to compromise that and the Universal Credit people have assured me that they're not going to compromise that either. I'm lucky that my work coach worked with autistic people for 7 years so she has a good understanding of autism. But either way, you've got rights and it's your right to have employment that suits you. Like Liri said, it will be helpful if you can find someone to talk to about this and get some support as we can be a bit blinded by our anxieties and rigid thinking. I'm really grateful for the help I'm getting and I've come on leaps and bounds with their support. When I was on ESA I never saw anybody so I wasn't getting any help but now I am.