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Nervous about Workforce Re-entry

I'll be starting my new job in less than a week. My work history is very checkered, with lots of long gaps and jobs that seem to spiral down in terms of skill, and far "beneath" my qualifications. However, I've found that working requires a totally different skill set than studying, so I've gotten more realistic about what I might possibly, hopefully be able to handle without burning out as I usually do. I am nervous about all of the challenges that I know I will face. But this is the first time I will be working while knowing I have ASD. That self-awareness and even self-assurance should help.

I am reading books that will help prepare me. I actually got every book I found having to do with ASD and the workplace, but I have found that a few of them were geared towards social workers or vocational rehab workers trying to help someone with ASD get and keep a job - those really weren't helpful. The ones that are helpful are:

  • Asperger's on the Job (by an Aspie)
  • Asperger's Syndrome Workplace Survival Guide (by an NT with advice for Aspies)
  • The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job: Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment (by professionals)
  • "Do No Harm" Applies to Nurses Too (by a nurse, for nurses - but imho it can be useful for workplace bullying in general...so hoping it won't be this severe, but it has been pretty bad in the past!)
Last, but not least, "The Social Skills Guidebook", but that one is thicker and will take longer to digest. I think I need to just work my way through that after I read the above books.

I'm on the first one right now....and it is validating and preparatory to read about the issues I am well familiar with from past employment experiences....but with good advice, and I have hope that I will handle things better this time, and will prevent some negative patterns from taking hold. It also offers advice to employers - honestly, seeing what is being asked of employers (and the unlikelihood of that being done, or even possible in many workplaces) motivates me even more to try to get my own act together as much as I can.

I'm beginning to realize what a negative impression I leave, what a negative image I create for myself, and I want to turn that around. I don't mean it to be negative, and never even understood it as such, until I've been able to step outside of myself and look at myself - a very recent development.

I want to focus on feeling happy and confident no matter what - I may fall short of that, who knows, but I want that to be my goal - to choose to always try to feel that way, no matter what internal maneuvering it takes. I also want to share less, since what I am naturally motivated to share does me no favors.

I am nervous about clothes. I've gained a bunch of weight, so I will need to buy some new work clothes. I'll need to wear pants for this job, which never look or feel good on me.

I may blog more random thoughts about the job just to unload.


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