Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Asperger's Job Hunt Is Kind of Scary

The good news is the library temp agency has my resume and is actively working to find me an entry-level library position!

The bad news is that I'm in the grace period of my student loans, so I'm going to need to find something quick.

It's a scary time for a lot of people in my age group - nobody's retiring and we're all horribly in debt due to our college educations, so we're all struggling to get by and a large number of us are still living at home, myself included. My parents are totally cool with me staying at home until I can move out (and even have told me it's okay if I ever have to move back in), which is great, but at the same time I'd love to start taking over my own bills so they don't have to pay them. The problem, as usual, is getting a job.

I often worry that potential employers see this blog and decide not to hire me on account of my disability, which is actually illegal if I find out about it. I fear that misunderstandings about the autism spectrum will make people see this blog and decide that I can't operate in the real world the way they'd like me to, so they actively decide that my resume isn't worth keeping around. On the other hand, my resume states that I have a Master's degree and am fully qualified and points out that I honed my social skills as a tour guide. In an interview, I can do what's called "passing," wherein people who meet me and get to know me at face value think I'm neurotypical. I've become good at pretending I'm not disabled, and I hate living in a world where I have to pretend to not be disabled just so people will think I'm normal enough to hire.

The truth is that jobs where I have to do a lot of social interaction are stressful for me and make me really tired, whereas jobs where I can do more solitary work and interact with my co-workers on my own terms (or whenever they pop into my office for a quick chat) are much more suited to how my brain works. I'm extraordinarily productive when I'm working - every archival job I've ever taken on (volunteer or not) has commented on how quickly and efficiently I get things done (and get them done well). I've discovered that in the right workplace, I, as well as many other people on the autism spectrum, will positively flourish as long as we're given the opportunity to play to our strengths.

I just wish someone would see that and take a chance on me instead of dismissing me. I know it's likely due to lack of experience (i.e. I've been archiving as a volunteer only since 2009 or so), but there's always that nagging voice in the back of my head saying that people are aware of my disability.

Keeping my fingers crossed that something works out.

(I do take commissions, so in the interim between jobs, if you'd like me to draw something for you, check out my portfolio and prices here!)


  1. I was on the search for a job for a very long time and it took me hooking up with a company that was going to place me in a job. They found me the company I always wanted to work for and I could not be happier with the results. They really went out of their way to get me back to work.

    Mariano Flanders @ Andiamo! Group

    1. I've tried temp agencies in the past, but they haven't successfully helped me out yet. I did one specifically in my field and tried contacting one that was autism-specific only to be rejected by them outright because I didn't live directly IN NYC, but in the suburbs in New Jersey. Hopefully something works out for me soon because I'm running low on funds...