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Featured Where will Autistic teens work?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Mr Allen, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Link.

    I know from painful experience how hard it is to get a job as an Autistic adult.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know?

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    That's a very encouraging article. The truth is that a significant number of employers have had autistic staff on their books ever since paid work was first thought of. They just didn't know. Even now there are tens of thousands of Autistic people working in the UK alone without their employer's knowledge - they may not even know themselves.
    You don't have to disclose autism to an employer and if you mask well enough they may never know. I've only had to tell one employer in over 30 years of full time employment.
    The article is hopeful though, because those youngsters are getting a chance to work without having to pretend and that lifts a great burden off one's shoulders. The chance to just "be me" in the workplace would be one I'd jump at, and I doubt I'm alone in that.
    Thanks for posting.
     
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  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Reminds us that there are employers out there willing to hire people on the spectrum. But in most cases it still means that we must seek them out rather than expect them to simply "find" us. And what kind of jobs they offer, which are probably narrower than what the job market in the aggregate offers.

    Prompted me to search "where autistic people find work". Or "where autistic British find work". Links do come up. At least it appears there are entities out there willing to assist autistic people in finding work, though I can't say whether this translates into employers who have a distinct policy of being proactive in seeking autistic workers.

    Still, it might prove more fruitful to pursue opportunities with these entities rather than to continue to struggle with the mainstream job market. One thing to consider. That obtaining a job where it is understood and agreed that you are autistic may prove to be more valuable than whatever the job in question actually is. At least from the perspective of a first-time paying job. That once you have it and can hold it for some time, it may lead to more gainful employment elsewhere. A "stepping stone", so to speak.
     
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  4. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    In the UK, disability specific jobs no longer exist, the likes of Remploy closed most of their Factories years ago, because they had disabled people working 40 hours a week for about 2 quid a day because they were all on benefits and therefore couldn't earn much without sanctions from the DWP.

    I did a similar job in a local Recycling Plant in 2002, stood it for 3 full days before I decided "Screw this, I quit!", I mean come on, just because we're disabled does NOT mean we shouldn't be paid a decent wage, nor does it mean we want to be stood up all day sorting mucky Coke cans in a Recycling Plant, what idiot decided THAT was a suitable job for the disabled?!
     
  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Look at it this way. You may have to make sacrifices just to get onto the radar of the job market. Where you don't have that "perfect job". But one that serves as a stepping stone to other paying jobs.

    I was paid terribly for the jobs I had as a college graduate, and I knew it at the time. But I hung in there because I knew it was a means to an end. But then most "entry level" jobs are just that. And that's part of the goal of any employer. To see how "hungry" you are to succeed under less-than-optimal circumstances.

    In essence, don't count on any entry-level job having a "decent wage". But you hold onto that job until it counts as real experience in a paying job market. In truth you must drop all the pretenses of entitlement as an entry-level worker, disabled or not. When it comes to private-sector employment, most everyone has to "pay their dues" in this regard. Even us college graduates.
     
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  6. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have over 20 years of experience in the voluntary sector, but according to some loon from an Agency, that doesn't count as REAL work experience apparently...

    Not my fault or problem that nobody in the REAL world will take me on.
     
  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    We've touched on this before. You need to establish a history of paid labor. Most of the market just doesn't view volunteer work to have parity with paid labor. Without pay, there is simply far less accountability to judge one's best possible performance on the job. It may not seem fair, but it is what it is.

    That's why you need to reconsider taking jobs you consider to be menial. They may be the one kind of job where a prospective employer is in fact, willing to take you on without a history of paid work.

    The market doesn't care whether it's your fault or not. They're just looking for the most qualified applicant without any sense of charity in the process. Where you're competing with others most likely to have experience reflecting paid labor. Though how you come across in an interview is certainly going to count.
     
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  8. Sid Delicious

    Sid Delicious Balloon animal safety control

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    I've been an employee and an employer, so have seen this from both sides of the fence. As a general rule, you get paid more or less depending on the rarity and value of the skills required to do the work. If the job requires no real skill (i.e. moving rubbish around) then the wage isn't going to be great as anyone can come in and do the work (likely a robot in future). The company doesn't need to offer more money to attract staff, so it will only ever be minimum wage. A company will offer the market rate for a job. If people are willing to work for the market rate, then there is absolutely no reason to offer extra money on top of that 'just because'.

    I spent 8 years from the age of 13 to the age of 21 doing a variety of low paying jobs either part or full time, sometimes more than one job, just to build up a CV and prove I had good work ethic. By the time I started getting interviews for 'proper' jobs, it was because my CV showed I would do pretty much ANY work and do it well without complaint. I was a low risk investment for any employer who took me on, as they knew I would apply that attitude to whatever they gave me to do. I never once thought 'this is beneath me'. A job was a job. The role didn't ask for any real knowledge or skill and therefore I didn't expect the employer to offer me a great wage.

    Now that I'm an employer, the main thing I care about is work ethic. I can teach specific knowledge and skills to a new employee if need be (or direct them to some sort of free training to do autonomously). But they have to have work ethic and show they are going to put in effort and be a good investment of my time and money. I specifically look for evidence they have worked in crappy low paid jobs at some point, as I know from experience that if you can stick at something like that in order to get on the ladder then you are far more likely to stick at something better later on. It's an excellent test. Far better than qualifications or titles in most cases.

    "just because we're disabled does NOT mean we shouldn't be paid a decent wage, nor does it mean we want to be stood up all day sorting mucky Coke cans in a Recycling Plant, what idiot decided THAT was a suitable job for the disabled?"

    No one wants to be stood up all day at a recyling plant! Being disabled doesn't give you a higher status than a non-disabled person or allow you to bypass the system. Other non-disabled people have to take jobs like that either temporarily or to make ends meet. 99% of people I know have done some sort of crappy job at some time in their lives because they had to. Read what you wrote again with 'disabled' changed to 'low skilled' (i.e. the average non-disabled person who does this work):

    "just because we're low-skilled does NOT mean we shouldn't be paid a decent wage, nor does it mean we want to be stood up all day sorting mucky Coke cans in a Recycling Plant, what idiot decided THAT was a suitable job for the low-skilled?"

    Do you see how entitled and spoilt that makes you sound? And can you maybe understand why an employer looking for candidates for a higher paying job would refuse to hire someone with that sort of attitude?
     
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  9. Starfire

    Starfire Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It’s not your fault no, but it is your problem. Agencies do count extended periods of voluntary work as experience providing you are looking for a job doing the same thing.

    The agencies I worked for years at a time tend to require full time workers. The main problem you have as regards agency work, is that you are so limited in the hours you will work and your availability. For all the paperwork involved and what they’ll get back, unfortunately for you it’s just not worth all the hassle for them, hence you are struggling to get a start.
     
  10. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    There is that practical aspect from the employer's perspective he has to consider. That if you absolutely cannot work more than so many hours, it means there have to be alternate employees to draw upon.
    Making it impractical to consider that employee in the first place. Especially if they are to be the only employee hired. Where those smaller businesses are most likely to pass on much of anyone with such limitations and requirements.

    In this respect, from their perspective that is your fault- not theirs. Though unfortunately there isn't much you can do about such limits under your present laws regarding Employee Support Allowance.
     
  11. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yeah, and what's worse is that if I work 1 second over the 16 hour limit, the Tories would take great delight in sanctioning me.

    But this isn't the Politics section so I'll stop there.
     
  12. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, for sure that's the real rub here. You absolutely cannot exceed those amounts of work hours. We get that. Not to mention an unsure financial future for your entire country in the coming months. No way to really predict things improving or declining.
     
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  13. Sid Delicious

    Sid Delicious Balloon animal safety control

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    An alternative route might be to build up a portfolio and rely on that to get jobs rather than competing purely on qualifications and past employment. Especially if you are looking for technical jobs that require less social interaction (i.e. book keeper rather than cashier). A lot of those fields will accept candidates based on portfolio work rather than caring so much about specific qualifications or past roles. And volunteering services for local companies won't affect your benefits as far as I'm aware, as you aren't earning anything. I know when we hire contractors for graphic design or programming, we only ask to see portfolios so we know the sort of work they can do. We really couldn't care less whether that work was done as a full time employee, volunteer, contractor or whatever. Usually the contract work is for 6-12 months for specific projects, but some run longer than that. Once you've done one or two contracts you'd be more employable for full time work (although contracts tend to pay more anyway, so usually it's not worth taking a permanent role).

    Trades are similar. I have family members who work as electricians, plumbers, etc, and no one cares whether they've had permanent roles in the past. Clients just want to know they have the skills to fix whatever it is that needs fixing. Your main problem is that you lack any useful skillset. Once you've built up some skills that employers need, there are other ways to prove it than just past experience.

    Edit: Alternatively, it costs £12 to register a new company with HMRC and you can advertise and/or get a company website for free online. Maybe look at starting your own business while you have benefits coming in. Most people have to take on big loans in order to cover mortgage, bills, etc while they build a company so you're already in a better place than people like me. You wouldn't have to declare anything for tax purposes until you start earning profit, so if it doesn't work out then it shouldn't matter. But at worst, at least you'll understand things from an employer's POV and will have a better appreciation of what will make you more employable to other companies in future. Just an idea.
     
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  14. OlLiE

    OlLiE Well-Known Member

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    i would assume that younger people on the spectrum have it considerably easier these days

    there was no vocabulary for the spectrum, no awareness, expectation of understanding

    anti-discrimination laws, the change of culture towards 'minorities' and the disabled etc
    are all new elements

    in the past you just had to get on with it, there were no excuses, no one was interested in justifications or explanations, you either produce or you get fired

    ps in the past feeling 'entitled' to things only earned you the contempt of the people around you, you just had to make it work even if it meant working in an environment that wasn't adapted to your needs, i never expected work to be 'entertaining' or expected my environment to adjust to me
     
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  15. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard

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    I think the job opportunities for people on the spectrum are only going to increase as time goes by. Anyway, I think entry-level jobs will always be crappy regardless of neurodiversity.

    As a teen I delivered advertising papers, delivered free postcards for bars, had a job babysitting, bringing the kids to school and answering the phone in our family medical practice.

    As an adolescent I worked as a dishwasher, as a receptionist and triagist for a medical center, as a group leader for afterschool daycare, as a volunteer for a Boy Scouts group, I went door-to-door selling post cards for charities. I worked as a waitress for a big catering service.

    As a young adult I worked as a receptionist, triagist and doctors assistant in a medical center. I worked as a call center agent. I worked as a medical research assistant. I had a job updating and organizing patient files. I had a job manually migrating patient files to new hospital software. I had a job teaching the use of said software to hospital staff. I had a job at a different hospital working IT helpdesk for migration to another new type of hospital software. I also worked as an editor for a magazine and as an editor and occasional translator for various publishing houses. I worked as a private remedial teacher for a bit as well. And I had a job cleaning a pub.

    Now, after all of that, I am a doctor, but I kept myself from homelessness and kept the debt collectors at bay with the worst of jobs. I used to come home from my dishwashing job (which paid less than minimum wage) at 3AM, stinking of mayonnaise and chlorine. Then at 6 AM my alarm would ring again so I could get to my job at the medical practice, where I worked until 5PM and then it was back to dishwashing at 6. It was super hard, and I hated it, but it granted me independence at the time.
     
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  16. Starfire

    Starfire Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Great suggestion! This is in fact exactly what I did after doing crappy very low paid jobs during the day, and putting myself through night school to learn a craft. I also went from employee to employer for a good few years after starting a small limited company from nothing with nothing. It was hard work with low pay for a long time, but got me off disability and got me a good life in the end so it was well worth the risk, or I’d likely still be on benefits now.
     
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  17. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Even in the unlikely event I ever get a job, I would still be on benefits because I can't physically work enough hours to as much as break even on a week's expenses such as rent, food and bills if I came out of the benefit system.

    Plus like I said to @Judge this afternoon, if I work anything over the 16 hour upper limit, or earn more than £125 a week, the government would take great delight in sanctioning the pants off me.
     
  18. oregano

    oregano Jefferson Republic, future resident

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    The main problem I have faced in the American job market is that the vast majority of jobs require social skills that aspies tend to lack. Once upon a time, people like me could not only work in a factory, but actually "move up the ladder" into, say, a line foreman type of job where any social skills needed would have been learned long ago.

    Today, most American employers don't really care about the job per se as much as "being a team player" and "fitting in to the corporate culture" which means that playing office politics and meekly accepting one's predetermined place in the office social hierarchy is far more important than actually doing any work. Also, a new hire is expected to find her (women are far more likely to be employed than men) place in the hierarchy quickly.

    That brings me to the fact that it is increasingly difficult for men to find work in the office-oriented American workplace. Men are less likely to be educated and less likely to be hired. The labor-intensive work men are good at is a thing of the past, America is a country where the work world largely consists of endless, meaningless paper shuffling. I was just reading this morning about how the supposedly booming economy has largely benefited women with advanced college degrees.

    Even my mom has noted that in her day, meaning 1960s and 70s, there was a place in society for men like me, she remembers the freeways being built and thousands of men doing skilled labor to build them, and the demolition of the West End neighborhood in downtown Sacramento and the city's first real skyscrapers going up and how that too required large numbers of men with specific labor skills.

    Today, any labor left is so monotonous that few will do it except Latinos who are here illegally and thus can be paid virtually nothing with no recourse. Other men simply are not hired. Millions of men sit at home in front of a computer screen all day, and some get sucked into the dark side of the internet and such stuff as extremist political movements that offer easy answers. In such a world autistics are simply persona non grata, once we become adults we either rely on family or die unnoticed on the streets.
     
  19. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron Professional Weirdo

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    If said autistic teen lives in the United States, then it's very easy.
     
  20. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    How so?