• Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Why can't I get a job as a disabled 42 year old Aspie in the UK?

Mr Allen

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member

I applied for 3 jobs last week and I know for a fact I've been rejected for at least 2 of them, like I applied online to Morrison's Supermarket, I knew fully well I'd get rejected the second I declared my disability, but I did it anyway, next day I got an email "We do not feel your experience and skills match what we are looking for", Pardon? I can't help the fact 95% of my retail experience is in Charity shops, but that should be neither here nor there, it's a shop, it has customers which I served, what more do they want?!

I now feel as though I've literally wasted the last 20 odd years doing voluntary work when it's apparently not relevant to working in a "proper" retail establishment.
I can't help the fact 95% of my retail experience is in Charity shops, but that should be neither here nor there, it's a shop, it has customers which I served, what more do they want?!

Unfortunately I suspect you're dealing with a perception in the marketplace held by many if not most potential employers. That with a paid job there is a reasonable expectation- and perception of an employer to contractually obtain a specific expectation of work within the confines of law as well.

In essence, with a volunteer job there are limited expectations if any at all. Especially if all your work history reflects volunteer work. That your job responsibilities, potential liabilities and even work hours are all limited in comparison to varying degrees. Where in theory you can make any number of mistakes and not necessarily be dismissed.

In other words, under such circumstances many potential employers see you as one big question mark. Not so much a matter of what you have done, but rather than the circumstances for which you volunteered don't "paint an adequate picture" for them to properly judge you as a potential employee.

Consideration of your disabilities may be mutually exclusive of them determining whether or not you can do the job. That it's having a CV of exclusively volunteer jobs that is holding you back. Not a question of whether your disabilities interfere in the process. I think you've already proved they aren't much of a problem in comparison in terms of most retail responsibilities.

Much like establishing a line of credit. That you have to have it, to get it. Illogical, but there it is. In that respect, perhaps the best thing you can do is to just keep trying. That eventually someone will give you a break where others have not. That's how I finally got a credit record. Go figure.
Last edited:
Rich, have you tried a job service? They do not get paid unless they get you a job and will work hard to get you one. I am assuming that they have job services over there like they do here. Good luck.
Your attitude really doesn't help. For one thing you have a terrible profile picture. The way you t
I sure can hear the frustration in your words. I wish I could make your circumstances better. I can tell you that you are not alone. Mr Allen you know how this forum works. You have to take each comment as constructive and gain some insight. We all do this. I know it may not mean anything coming from a old man American half the world away but you have got to preserver and hang in there. Best of luck with future pursued enterprises.
Why are you telling them that you have asd? Legally you do not have to do so.

And are you using disability services that assist disabled people to find work?
A few years back, I tried to obtain employment in the UK and didn't have any luck, either. Nobody wants a 40-something ex teacher who has loads of experience in teaching abroad and not much else. My brother, who has more obvious disabilities - Tourettes and learning difficulties - has had more luck than me.

He found his most recent job, by walking in and asking. The employer knew him, because he had worked there over the Christmas period, he was also lucky because a vacancy had become available. So that might be worth trying - many establishments hire extra staff over the Christmas period, and may take on staff on a permanent basis later when a vacancy comes up. It's a case of getting your proverbial foot in the door.
Last edited:
Your attitude really doesn't help. For one thing you have a terrible profile picture. The way you t

Your comment has been reported as offensive, do not worry, I am 95% sure the Mods won't do anything.
Rich, you have not “wasted” your last 20 years doing volunteer work. Volunteering IS “work” too. I have volunteered for many years. It DID help me get back into the work force. Even if it did not, I would still keep working as a volunteer. It’s good to get an appreciative volunteer job that you actually enjoy doing in a subject area you like.

-Have you applied for bagger/ cart retrieval jobs at grocery stores?

-Do you have a job coach through your disability services agency? A certified social services job coach HAS to get jobs for disabled people. I want to get my certification in the next couple years so that I can help people just like you. I already spent 1 year helping felons get jobs.( It’s even harder for felony convicted criminals to get jobs then those who live with disabilities.)

-Try a staffing agency as one other poster advised. They only get paid when they get you employment. They can help you ace those difficult job interviews, and help with resume building.
Last edited:
Rich - can you contact places where you have volunteered in the past to see if they have any job openings or ask them to keep your CV on file in case a paying position opens up? If they know you, and know you did a good job as a volunteer, then they are more likely to offer you a job.

Here in the US, the state Medicaid offices offer job placement services for disabled workers and will even provide a job coach to work at the job with the disabled employee for several weeks to make sure the employee knows how to perform the job. Does the UK offer any similar services for disabled people?
Attitude and how well you present yourself at the interview are also crucial. What facial expressions, and words you choose matter. The interview is not only about what’s on your CV. Which is why a job coach could help you greatly. Here in the states, we need “TASC certification” when becoming employment specialists for the disabled. At least in my region.

Have you tried factory work? Assembly lines always need people to pack, package, create, produce. You do not have to interact with people (yay) too much. It’s great for people with autism, but some jobs are impossible for those with sensory issues.
The attitude needs a transformation. It's hideous. If you want to live like that, then that's on you. Other people want to live.
what more do they want?!

Passion in what you do.
Excited to provide the best possible customer experience ever.
Willing to go above and beyond (within reason)
Ability to follow procedure and carry out practical tasks just isn’t enough any more, they want much more for their eight pound odd an hour.

They want to see you buzzing about the opportunity to make that customer experience a fantastic visit to store.

The competition to part you with your cash is fierce within retail. That customer has to return to your store, it’s your job to make sure they do.
It doesn't have to be the best experience ever, it just has to be such that the punter wants into your shop.
As I was saying, you need to be a 'doer'. You're not.

There are several threads where Rich has posted repeatedly about being turned down for job offers. You should probably check those out first.

Some people really need to be cut a break here every now and then instead of repeatedly being vilified. Is there a problem with someone else on the internet? Come across something you don't like? Ignore it, it is an option. @Mr Allen keep doing what you're doing, and best of luck to you.
Last edited:
Sorry that you've been struggling with job hunting. I was too until very recently and it does get you down after a while (I was searching and applying to a whole range of jobs for almost a year before I got a hit).

I recommend not mentioning ASD or any disability unless you have to. I have a walking stick to help with some balance issues I have and I left it outside with my sister every time I went for an interview, because no matter what the law says, employers will find a way to not take on anyone who might be even mildly disabled (through excuses like 'not enough experience' or 'other people with more experience applied').

I also recommend something like Remploy, which is a service that provides support for disabled people trying to find employment, including interview practice and attending interviews with you. I was with them for a while and they did help, but ultimately, there just weren't many jobs around at the time, so I decided to carry on doing stuff by myself.

Finally, if you've largely been working in charity shops, I recommend moving into mainstream retail, like any highstreet shop, and volunteering there as not only are you more likely to be offered a paid job by those, you're also getting experience outside of 'traditional' volunteer areas, which looks better for employers. These are more difficult to find vacancies for volunteers in, but it's worth it if you can.

Then, very much lastly, pay no attention to people who are negative towards you over this. You can only do so much and it sounds like you've done a lot. It's a difficult process and even for the most qualified people, they still deal with a lot of rejections. Just do what you can.

@Quart I'm looking at you. Please stop posting useless comments and having a bad attitude.

New Threads

Top Bottom