Asperger’s syndrome (a form of high functioning autism) may make it difficult to find a job or move up within the company that you already are working for. However, with a little acceptance and perseverance you can have a very successful career. This is especially true considering how intelligent and hardworking most of these folks are.
Choosing The Right Job For A Person With Aspergers
There are a lot of jobs and career paths that are a good fit for someone who has Asperger’s syndrome. Most of the time these jobs are more in the technical field of work. They include such fields as science, computer programming, lab technicians, website administration, map making, geology and engineering.
Developing Interview Skills Whenever You Have Asperger’s Syndrome
Since Asperger’s syndrome affects a person’s social development, it can be difficult to look someone in the eye or make appropriate conversation. It can also be very difficult for them to distinguish between sarcasm and to read nonverbal cues that others give off. As such, these people will oftentimes feel uncomfortable in social situations, which can make it extremely difficult to land a job.
There are many reasons why someone with Asperger’s syndrome will look really good on a resume, including:
- They are extremely intelligent, if not experts in multiple subjects.
- They are often at the top of their class or have earned more than one collegiate degree.
- They are very exact in details and have excellent memories.
Whenever it comes time for the interview though, there is one thing that will hold them back. They have a slight processing delay that affects the speed at which they are able to respond or answer questions. Sometimes they will not say the right things or they will say too much because they didn’t realize that the other person wasn’t looking for an in depth answer.
Before you go to an interview, you should review all of the possible questions that you may be asked and prepare yourself with an answer for each of them ahead of time. You may even want to have a practice interview with a friend or get some helpful feedback from another person.
Communicating Effectively While At Work
Once you land a job it is important to be able to communicate with your coworkers. While it may be difficult for you to interpret your coworker’s body language or nonverbal cues, you shouldn’t feel bad asking for clarification whenever there is something that you just don’t understand. You may find it easier to communicate in this fashion via emails or memos since you will not have to figure out any hidden messages through a worker’s tone of voice or facial expressions.
The Decision To Tell Coworkers About Your Asperger’s Syndrome
It is up to you to decide whether or not you wish to tell your employer or fellow employees that you have Asperger’s syndrome. Some people are able to come right out during a job interview and state that they have Asperger’s then explain how they might see the world a little differently but that it will not affect their job skills.
Other people choose to keep it a secret for fear that they might not be accepted equally. Regardless of what you choose to do, you should know that Asperger’s syndrome is a real medical condition that cannot be discriminated against according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Nevertheless, it is still up to you to decide who and when to tell.
Contributing To The Workplace
People who have Asperger’s syndrome can contribute great things to their jobs. While they may not be able to express themselves verbally as well as others can, there is still a lot of credit that can be given to their work. Just think about some of the most brilliant minds that have had Asperger’s syndrome (i.e. Albert Einstein, Bill Gates). These people’s perfectionism can be a great strength whenever it comes time to get a job done right and without many mistakes.
Establishing A Reputation For Leadership
While people who have Asperger’s syndrome may have great minds within their trade, oftentimes it is difficult for them to establish a reputation for being a leader. This is because there is so much value placed upon how a person relates to one another. Their lack of eye contact and self-expression may not allow them to appear as much of a leader.
They may even feel uncomfortable whenever they are given a team or group to oversee. This isn’t because they aren’t able to manage the job. It is simply because they feel awkward whenever they have to deal with their coworkers socially. However, with some practice, you can find ways in which to better express yourself and come across with more leadership skills.
Moving Up Within A Company
Those people who are noticed more are the ones that will be thought about more whenever it comes time for promotions. Unfortunately, the world isn’t fair and so the best worker for the job isn’t always the person that gets thought of. Since most people with Asperger’s syndrome don’t understand the need for small talk, it can still be helpful for them to practice “water cooler conversations” with their coworkers so that they might be seen and heard beyond their work.
Being Your Own Boss
Some people that have Asperger’s syndrome have discovered that the best way in which to be their own boss. This allows them not to have to worry about the misinterpretation of others or how people may react to them. Instead, they can start their own business and become quite successful by doing so.
Moving On When Jobs Don’t Work Out
Regardless of what job or career path you choose, it is important that you can move on if things don’t work out for you. Since most people with Asperger’s syndrome really need a routine, sometimes the ending of a job can be quite devastating, as life will then become unstructured. Nevertheless you have the right to equal treatment in the workplace. You cannot be discriminated against because of your differences.
While it may be difficult, there are ways in which you can work around any problems that may arise from your having Asperger’s syndrome. With continued hard work and maybe some help in practicing your social skills, you really can lead a very successful life.