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It's been a while since I've had a job to which these questions apply. But I work best when I'm given the overall goal and I'm left as to how to get there. Too many instructions makes me frustrated and panicky; after two steps, I pretty much get lost. Written instructions are great/best, while illustrations are bonuses that sometimes I don't even consult. Sometimes, though, a picture does paint a thousand words (not to sound contradictory).

I appreciate sincere thank yous, but not public ones. A little note or e-mail is perfect.

I like one-on-one meetings with a manager, unless it's bad news.
One-on-one conversations are navigable but I find group meetings where nobody wants to be there to be a huge waste of time. An e-mail with all the information talked about in the meeting is better for me. If people need to give their input, e-mailing back seems perfect to me. I know this goes against the grain of most companies that seem to need to have those ubiquitous meetings. I just don't think they're profitable.

The big questions: What motivates me to work? The answer for me is trust (that I can and will diligently do my work--I am actually a really, really hard worker), independence (this goes along with trust--I like being given something to do, then be left alone to do it), and being granted the privilege of using ear buds to listen to podcasts or music, which helps make work less mundane. Oh, and respect. That makes working more fun.
Thank you, Grenade, this is great feedback. Your workstyle sounds similar to mine. If I'm given the endgame or vision, I can figure out how to get there. If someone tries to micro-manage me, or if I feel I'm being watched, I go to pieces. So trust and respect are very important for me.
Yes, earphones for music/podcasts to help people zone in and focus is a great idea. I guess it depends what job you do and if you spend a lot of time in front of a screen/monitor.
Thank you for your awesome response. :)
Awesome reply!
You are so accurate in your judgement of systems. If I hear one more person say the phrase, "Out of the box" when choosing a system, I will have an NT meltdown.
Mindmaps are so useful. I use them a lot too.
My friend with AS hates thank yous. He just wants to get on with his job with no fuss.
And staring is too intense for some colleagues so they prefer to sit/stand next to their manager to reduce eye contact.
Thank you for your insights.
I can't paint like Rembrandt to save my life though :-D

I understand the comment about your friend who hates thank-yous! When I mentioned acknowledgement in my post, I should have qualified that with a definition of the type of acknowledgement. Vague compliments and social rituals will not cut it. We'll need considered and specific feedback. We'll accept the bad with the good, and with more grace than most, as the job is the important thing - not our ego.

I manage good eye contact in meetings, but I would much prefer to write responses. I need the processing time, and invariably blurt out nonsense spontaneously. These are all relatively easy fixes, but the holy grail is to have our colleagues genuinely understand our world - the problems it presents and the benefits and talents we can provide. This is much harder, as we cannot do this alone.
Do you like systems best?

I learn best when reading, writing and organizing the information. I take lots of notes. When learning I need time to organize my notes and study. During training at my current job I shadowed other Insurance Agents for about a month, and was expected to sit, watch, and take notes. I watched one guy look at Nike shoes for a week, another one read the news for a week, and another one search for house decorations for a week. This was pretty much a waste of time. A couple hours watching, and then a couple hours working on my notes, and studying would have been exceedingly more useful. I would have leaned more in a few days of study, than watching others for a month.

I write procedures. This has lead towards my compliance (following the laws, following the rules, and covering everything) score being 100%.

Procedures and checklists improve accuracy and productivity.

I find that having one monitor for the procedure and one monitor for the actual work helps a great deal with productivity. Using two monitors in general help a great deal.

Do you like pictures and visuals?

Text is always the best way to communicate instructions, and requests. Training should always include text.

Charts with alternating colors for each line are helpful. A well made diagram can explain things. A picture accompanied by text describing a concept using an analogy is sometimes fun.

Do you like thank yous?

I do not interview well. Usually I am hired on in a group. I am happy to have a job (this could be hard depending on the job or manager). I am happy to work with adults (I was a stay-at-home father for ~6-years). I am thrilled to get paid so that I can save for a larger house, and save for my retirement. I think that I am thanked every day by being here. I sometimes get miffed when people complain about a job (mostly when they put a specific job down) and want to tell them that they should be happy that they have a job and/or that sounds like a nice job to me.

Polite and formal communication tends to set us at ease. Knowing the social rules is comforting.

At work I am more excited about an awards ceremony, and getting an award, than a trip to the Bahamas that comes with it. My wife is extremely excited about the trip to the Bahamas, and I am enjoying her being so happy, and telling her friends. It feels good to be appreciated. It feels like I accomplished something in the workplace.

Do you value one to one meetings with your manager or do you find these stressful?

Depends on the manager and whether or not they are competent. A competent manager that lets you work without micromanaging is a godsend. At the same time I am thankful when I am reminded to punch back in after lunch, or something like that.
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I like systems so long as I can create and rearrange them according to my liking. I recently moved to a position were several procedures/systems needed either updating or a complete replacement, and being able to do that myself was great. I will listen to other input if I make an effort; however, my goal is to understand the system -how it works and what it's supposed to do -better than anyone else. In other words, I try to have such an in-depth understanding of it that I don't need to ask anyone for help.

I love to do this as well. Efficiency is an ethical standard for me. Wasting time should not be in a procedure. A procedure should have the actual procedure in it.
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I do like systems, and I'm a better systems analyst than empathist -- but perhaps as an extension of my faith and being a female, I nonetheless like to use systems to help other people. I get to do both as a direct support worker.

I'm not the typical "visual thinker" stereotype of autism. I'm actually more of a word thinker. I do have some visual tendencies, like synesthesia when hearing music, and excitement when seeing pleasant looking members of the opposite sex -- but I also have lots of visual deficits, like being unable to navigate well around cities without the aid of GPS. I scored a mere 98 on Perceptual Reasoning on the WAIS, but 132 on the verbal comprehension portion! I graduated with a degree in English. Everyone acknowledges writing is my greatest gift.

Thank-yous are nice, but I am best boosted when I get good performance evaluation marks. I was big on getting good grades in school, so objective criteria measuring success is preferable to just mere thank-yous.

One-on-one meetings can be helpful when communication is direct and respectful. They are only stressful if boss and I aren't on same page and can't come to agreement.
I have always had problems following written navigation directions. Back before GPS I dreaded having to find a destination based on verbal or written directions--even when those directions would pass the dummy test for the majority of NT associates. I was unaware of my ASD back then and just assumed that I failed to understand the directions or was just dense. This not only applied to following driving directions but to navigating my way through large buildings. When I had to attend a meeting in a conference room for the first time I dreaded having to take a bathroom break for fear I would not be able to find my way back to the conference room. However, once I acquired a visual image of the layout and/or landmarks in hallways in a building or on a street, I never got lost again. I was also able to find and use shortcuts with precision. It felt like my brain created its own navigation system based on connecting dots of visual information.
I point this out because what might have been a disability in the eyes of an NT turned out to be a highly valuable asset. As a Technical Writer it enabled me to write detailed and foolproof maintenance instructions of very complex technology used by the Military. And BTW, these instructions had to be geared to a 7th grade reading level.

From that base, I built a career writing Operational Test procedures for SW applications comprising over a million lines of code and multiple interrelated features. Prior to introducing my "anybody can run this test" methodology, only skilled SW Engineers could write and run these tests. This tied up resources needed for research and development. Best of all: my thank you's came in the form of bonuses and pay raises.
So I would advise anyone who is struggling with these standard Aspie disabilities to ignore the hassle they get from NT associates. Instead, look for ways to turn that perceived disability into an asset. There are a lot of opportunities to do so. You just have to look for them.
MFW its monday and I'm working and my boss comes to my station and tells me there's a check waiting for me when I clock out.

My body is ready.
I'm NT but my dad had AS and I'm an advocate for ASD colleagues at work.
Right now, I'm working on a project to develop the behaviour of managers so they can encourage and support their teams to show their talents and be very productive. We want people to enjoy coming to work and be very innovative.
I'm lucky because my employer is very supportive of people with ASD and I have an opportunity to work with our Autism Lead Manager to develop some ideas to help people with AS / ASC / ADHD to feel comfortable, focused, happy and productive.
I know appraisals or face to face meetings with a manager can be really stressful! Also, team meetings and noisy workplaces can bring on overload.

Please can you help me by suggesting some things that motivate you or help you to enjoy your job?
Do you like systems best?
Do you like pictures and visuals?
Do you like thank yous?
Do you value one to one meetings with your manager or do you find these stressful?

Thank you for your help and expert advice.
Back when I used to work in Charity shops, I used to "Zone in" on serving customers and ignoring the annoying 60 year old who was stood beside me on the till while I was serving.

This was until one day I finally cracked and told him in no uncertain terms what he could do with his low opinion of me.
i like the part of my job that i get to set up aisles at the craft store i work at and make it look like the picture corporate sends us
Well that's fantastic, really glad to hear that! Finally some social progress!

I'm aspie, I manage development teams and have struggled through 20 years of office environments. Happy to try to answer any such questions

Please can you help me by suggesting some things that motivate you or help you to enjoy your job?

I can only speak for aspergers, not adhd or anything.

For aspies, a special project that captures their attention. If you give them ownership of something, like a spec, or an application. If you can find the right fit for the right aspie then they will make it their personal mission to work with it.

Do you like systems best?

What does that mean?

Do you like pictures and visuals?

Yes. I work now as an enterprise architect and take in a lot of disconnected data and make a diagram out of it. The more complex the better.

Give me an impossible problem, leave me alone for 2 weeks and I will come up with several solutions.

Do you like thank yous?

Well, not really, it's neither here nor there. I expect people to recognize brilliant work when I do it (they don't always :) ) but then if I know something is rubbish and I haven't really tried, I expect them to say as much. And if they tell fibs in either situation I just assume they are idiots and don't know what they are talking about.

Do you value one to one meetings with your manager or do you find these stressful?

I find them annoying. I have to put a mask on and go through the motions, I'd rather he left me to it.

I've also managed aspies and there is a fine line. If you DO leave them to it, there is a risk they will go down a rabbit hole and veer wildly off track. So figure out the correct oversight for the resource.

Oversight that has worked for aspie developers has been:
  • For them to upload progress to sharepoint and me to passively watch.
  • For them to just work from home and code and me to reverse engineer their code and carefully suggest improvements, or ask questions that leads them to make improvements
  • For them to completely own something end to end and me to just sign off on the release.
  • For me to keep drowning them in complexity, we get bored easily.
I know appraisals or face to face meetings with a manager can be really stressful! Also, team meetings and noisy workplaces can bring on overload.

Ah, don't write that down! This sounds really patronizing, like you're saying to a child "I know you are scared but I need to you be brave, can you do that? Can you be my brave little soldier?" :)

Instead, just make large crowded meetings optional. I often find an excuse to miss "all hands" because it's a pointless waste of my time and I don't like feeling like I am a sheep. Also they follow the same tired agenda each year. So simply make them optional. No special treatment, just that people need only attend events they are interested in or deem useful.

As for appraisals, yes they are irritating, but also part of life, it's difficult to get round this so I just suck it up and hope that it only happens annually.

Also, try to get the managers to see the benefits.

It's not about making provisions for the disabled, it's about tapping in to a skill set. I know some ADHDs and they have endless energy! They are unstoppable! They work really well in operations, especially long shifts and firefighting. Same for aspies, there was an article a long time back where Goldman Sachs was targeting aspies because they could see patterns that no one else spotted.

So as well as some obvious provisions, like flexibility, working from home, a google type atmosphere, make sure the managers view it as a skill set, not a special provision.
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If I could get a job, I would be very motivated to do a full day's work for a full day's pay.

I'll spare you my long winded rant about how difficult that area of my life has been so far.
I think in pictures.
If the brief at the start of the shift doesn’t create an image of what the finished task will look like in my mind, and my boundaries.
I can’t work out how to achieve it.
I won’t know what is expected of me.

Unless it’s problem solving in itself.
The brief is a task requiring a solution.
(The expectation is that I provide a solution)

I’m not too concerned with appraisals and praise.
I know you’re going to get my best effort.
If it wasn’t good enough, your brief was crap, or I’ve burnt out, or both.

Don’t tack “my door is always open” at the end of a brief and not follow through.
If you say it, mean it.
Or don’t bother saying it at all.

In a huge team meeting, I will have spent its entirety trying to quash stims and calm anxieties, and will have only picked up a vague idea of what was covered (if I scribble notes)
Much, much smaller groups work for me.

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