Ever shopped for biscuits when your favourite brand isn’t available? The different packaging for alternative brands look alike, and it’s difficult to differentiate them. You spend a minute reading the packagin labels, looking for characteristics you desire in biscuits.

Getting a desirable job, is the same thing. It’s a matter of selling the right skills to the right employer. In this article we’ll look at choosing the right job, building a project which shows your competence for that job, and practising for the actual interview. Putting these steps into action is not a guarantee of a dream job, but it will make the job hunt a lot easier.

Finding a job which fits you

Getting a job which is a good fit for you means knowing yourself well. You’ve heard ‘you’re  unique’ and ‘you’re special’ a hundred times. To a certain extent, it’s true. Here’s a real life example;
Workers with Asperger syndrome or autism are being hired by SAP (a global software company) and more recently, Microsoft. Tech companies prize these individuals because  of

  • attention to detail,
  • less empty self expression (less talk, more doing), and
  • intense interest with repetitive behaviour.

Getting a job which is a good fit for who you are as a person makes perfect sense. Enough with the – ‘We can do this if we try harder’ crap. By all means try hard, once you know the job fits your abilities and capabilities.

Getting a desirable job – a guide for job seekers with autism

Build something

The first part easy, and it also displays your knowledge and comfort with the required skills for a job. Creating a self initiated project means shorter interviews. That’s a good thing. Really.
Interviewers conduct longer sessions when they’re looking for a reason to trust a candidate. Nobody wants to be guilty of hiring a dud. So they prolong the interview, hoping to find a reason to like you. Creating that project cuts that process by showing your competence. If you badly want the interviewer to like you, buy them coffee after the interview.

 

Practice before the interview

The goal of a practice session is to get yourself comfortable with talking about, well, you. Here’s are the ‘ingredients’ you need for practice sessions:

  • A camera – to record your practice interview,
  • A very patient friend – to practice with,
  • A list of common questions – to prepare your answers for the actual interviewer.

You should try to be honest without downplaying your weaknesses too much. Everybody has weaknesses. Reframe them in a positive manner, say things like – “I’ve been told I take my work too seriously”.

Preparing for an interview will increase the probability of getting a job, and enjoying the work if you’re selected for it. People with autism have successfully began careers with Microsoft and SAP. Just remember that an interview is not just about you, but what you can do for your employer. When you establish a two-way relationship, you’re assured your time at work will be fruitful.