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Why is finding work so difficult?

autism-and-autotune

A musical mind with recent revelations
This is going to be a vent, of course.

Even for me lately to find part-time work is extremely difficult. I used to work in the retail, and jobs of all sorts were abundant; for almost five years I worked at the same company. Three years ago I left said position due to pandemic stress. Fast-forward to now; the current day, when I know that I have autism and have had the good fortune to live with my fiancee while we both learn more about one another.

Why is retail the obnoxious hypocrite of 'be flexible for us but we cannot be flexible in any way?' If the position says 'part-time' and I list my availability as 'part-time', then please give me the job. Especially because it's a branch of the same company which I worked for so long. Perhaps my autism is obvious in interviews? My resume has work gaps, because of burnout and change of life and location, etc. I seriously don't understand. Even a part-time job of stocking shelves (organization with little chance of running a register--my bane!) has 'qualifications for which I am unsuitable.' Seriously? Is it really that much of an issue that I'm available only mornings? I really honestly don't get it.

When I worked for the same company a few years ago, I was expected to be on call all the time because they never gave me enough hours for part-time; I seriously remember one week that I was scheduled for just one eight-hour shift during one week. I was stressed because we needed to pay bills, and I felt a ton of pressure. But now that I want and need a job...I just know that I cannot in any way work an eight-hour job. Being away from my home for too long causes me to enter shut-down.

End rant, I suppose. Are others in the same situation? I have applied for SSI/SSDI but that's a huge can of worms on which I'll elaborate later.
 
Perhaps a different profession would be more suitable. If you are physically fit and prefer less social interaction then warehousing work can be a good fit. I did warehousing for a few different retail outlets, furniture, white goods, etc, and it paid fairly well because it's work that not a lot of people want to do.

These days you need to have certificates to work in a ware house, that shocked me. A 3 month full time course to be a gormless grunt shifting furniture, the world has gone mad. I did that course just a couple of years ago because the employment agency/government paid for it, and it was rubbish. A lot of it was wrong and some of it was dangerous, I had no hesitation in pointing this out in class. It was the same with their forklift classes, some of the advice they gave was dangerous.
 
Perhaps a different profession would be more suitable. If you are physically fit and prefer less social interaction then warehousing work can be a good fit. I did warehousing for a few different retail outlets, furniture, white goods, etc, and it paid fairly well because it's work that not a lot of people want to do.

These days you need to have certificates to work in a ware house, that shocked me. A 3 month full time course to be a gormless grunt shifting furniture, the world has gone mad. I did that course just a couple of years ago because the employment agency/government paid for it, and it was rubbish. A lot of it was wrong and some of it was dangerous, I had no hesitation in pointing this out in class. It was the same with their forklift classes, some of the advice they gave was dangerous.
I’m surprised that training is required just to be a warehouse worker !

It seems that warehouse workers require certificates whereas firearms officers only receive on-the-job mentoring. Isn’t that nuts?

@autism-and-autotune I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling to find a job. Do you disclose your diagnosis before/during interviews? I wish you the best of luck.
 
I’m surprised that training is required just to be a warehouse worker !

It seems that warehouse workers require certificates whereas firearms officers only receive on-the-job mentoring. Isn’t that nuts?

@autism-and-autotune I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling to find a job. Do you disclose your diagnosis before/during interviews? I wish you the best of luck.
That's odd! I had no idea about those.

I never disclose my autism in the interview--I've been advised by folks on the spectrum to never do this as it'll pretty much ensure that you won't be hired. Maybe it's a case-by-case basis, but... *shrugs*
 
The whole employment thing just strikes me as really strange right now. But I admit I'm out of touch, I've been self-employed for years now.

During the last recession, companies didn't want to hire staff, which is understandable, but they were facing pressure to employ people because unemployment was up, so they pretended to be hiring. They listed jobs with qualifications that were not physically possible, for example, requiring 5 years of experience with something that had only been in development for 2. Listed jobs that didn't exist. Held interviews, then came up with excuses not to hire people.

Fast forward to the pandemic aftermath and most companies, sectors and industries are apparently desperate for staff, but yet I still hear stories like yours OP, of how people can't even get a job in retail. Then we get to figures being massaged and terms being changed, like the BBC no longer uses the term "unemployment is up" they have switched to "employment is down."

These days you need to have certificates to work in a ware house, that shocked me. A 3 month full time course to be a gormless grunt shifting furniture, the world has gone mad. I did that course just a couple of years ago because the employment agency/government paid for it, and it was rubbish. A lot of it was wrong and some of it was dangerous, I had no hesitation in pointing this out in class. It was the same with their forklift classes, some of the advice they gave was dangerous.
There's a reason for this, it's what I like to call the "accreditation scam." Dodgy companies approach other companies, or the government, offering them training and certificates, for a fee of course. But the "training" involves Powerpoint presentations and self-described experts. Pay them £500 per person to go on a made up course and get a made up certificate at the end. The same thing happens with Autism, pay £500 to go on a 1 day course, watch a presentation from an "expert" and now everyone is an expert on Autism in the workplace!
 
This is going to be a vent, of course.

Even for me lately to find part-time work is extremely difficult. I used to work in the retail, and jobs of all sorts were abundant; for almost five years I worked at the same company. Three years ago I left said position due to pandemic stress. Fast-forward to now; the current day, when I know that I have autism and have had the good fortune to live with my fiancee while we both learn more about one another.

Why is retail the obnoxious hypocrite of 'be flexible for us but we cannot be flexible in any way?' If the position says 'part-time' and I list my availability as 'part-time', then please give me the job. Especially because it's a branch of the same company which I worked for so long. Perhaps my autism is obvious in interviews? My resume has work gaps, because of burnout and change of life and location, etc. I seriously don't understand. Even a part-time job of stocking shelves (organization with little chance of running a register--my bane!) has 'qualifications for which I am unsuitable.' Seriously? Is it really that much of an issue that I'm available only mornings? I really honestly don't get it.

When I worked for the same company a few years ago, I was expected to be on call all the time because they never gave me enough hours for part-time; I seriously remember one week that I was scheduled for just one eight-hour shift during one week. I was stressed because we needed to pay bills, and I felt a ton of pressure. But now that I want and need a job...I just know that I cannot in any way work an eight-hour job. Being away from my home for too long causes me to enter shut-down.

End rant, I suppose. Are others in the same situation? I have applied for SSI/SSDI but that's a huge can of worms on which I'll elaborate later.
Have you considered an entry-level health care position? More specifically, medical assistants are in very high demand not only in hospitals but even more so in the outpatient world. Working in a private practice office with a pediatrician, obstetrician, specialty clinic (cardiac, pulmonary, etc.), and many of these jobs are part-time, flexible hours, etc. Sure, there are full-time, 12hr shift positions in hospitals, with full benefit packages, but I am thinking what you may be looking at are the 4-8hr shifts, a few days a week, perhaps no weekends or holidays, and those positions are certainly available. My wife runs an outpatient pulmonary clinic and she has openings for about 5 medical assistants, but literally no applicants. She's desperate for help. Some of these jobs are on-the-job training, others may require a 1-year certification program. Something to consider.
 
Have you considered an entry-level health care position? More specifically, medical assistants are in very high demand not only in hospitals but even more so in the outpatient world. Working in a private practice office with a pediatrician, obstetrician, specialty clinic (cardiac, pulmonary, etc.), and many of these jobs are part-time, flexible hours, etc. Sure, there are full-time, 12hr shift positions in hospitals, with full benefit packages, but I am thinking what you may be looking at are the 4-8hr shifts, a few days a week, perhaps no weekends or holidays, and those positions are certainly available. My wife runs an outpatient pulmonary clinic and she has openings for about 5 medical assistants, but literally no applicants. She's desperate for help. Some of these jobs are on-the-job training, others may require a 1-year certification program. Something to consider.
Thanks for letting me know! I appreciate that; I'm not sure how I'd fare in a hospital or medical setting, though. I've got to keep in mind that I'd still tire of people eventually.
 
Send off your CV/resumé to as many local job agencies as possible. Let them do the leg work in finding you a job.

Ed
 
So much depends on your skill set.

But, welcome to the corporate MBA mindset where all workers are fungible and are to be kept insecure. Rarely is experience valued except in highly technical fields and even then only sometimes. Of course in the past there were unions to curb such abuses. It has been such an amazing con job by the Chambers of Commerce to convince the generations after mine that unions are evil.
 
So much depends on your skill set.

But, welcome to the corporate MBA mindset where all workers are fungible and are to be kept insecure. Rarely is experience valued except in highly technical fields and even then only sometimes. Of course in the past there were unions to curb such abuses. It has been such an amazing con job by the Chambers of Commerce to convince the generations after mine that unions are evil.
It sometimes makes me ill to think that I lived through that transition. When employers and employees no longer had any semblance of a symbiotic relationship. A decision of accountants, directors, officers and shareholders. Those who decided that unnecessary downsizing causing unemployment was a good strategy to continually generating shareholders equity and lowering the prospects of the labor force. Making loyal employees into pawns to be sacrificed at a corporate whim.

- The Eighties. Making looking for a job even harder unless you were a skilled communicator who excelled at superfluous "dog-and-pony" shows, aka the job interview. :mad:
 
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It sometimes makes me ill to think that I lived through that transition. When employers and employees no longer had any semblance of a symbiotic relationship. A decision of accountants, directors, officers and shareholders. Those who decided that unnecessary downsizing causing unemployment was a good strategy to continually generating shareholders equity and lowering the prospects of the labor force. Making loyal employees into pawns to be sacrificed at a corporate whim.

- The Eighties. Making looking for a job even harder unless you were a skilled communicator who excelled at superfluous "dog-and-pony" shows, aka the job interview. :mad:
Exactly! In the 70s the corrupt Chicago School idea that corporations should only be run for the benefit of shareholders started to dominate. That killed any residual Social Contract and introduced wholesale distortions into the economy. It created gazillionaires because previously with high marginal tax rates to accumulate wealth one needed to invest in labor, plant, and actual innovation (research). To see where that has brought us, look at Boeing. Under the bean counters of McDonell Douglas, Boeing went from an Engineering firm that built high quality aircraft to a has-been which cannot manufacture safe planes. This is typical of MBA crapification.
 
The whole employment thing just strikes me as really strange right now. But I admit I'm out of touch, I've been self-employed for years now.

During the last recession, companies didn't want to hire staff, which is understandable, but they were facing pressure to employ people because unemployment was up, so they pretended to be hiring. They listed jobs with qualifications that were not physically possible, for example, requiring 5 years of experience with something that had only been in development for 2. Listed jobs that didn't exist. Held interviews, then came up with excuses not to hire people.

Fast forward to the pandemic aftermath and most companies, sectors and industries are apparently desperate for staff, but yet I still hear stories like yours OP, of how people can't even get a job in retail. Then we get to figures being massaged and terms being changed, like the BBC no longer uses the term "unemployment is up" they have switched to "employment is down."


There's a reason for this, it's what I like to call the "accreditation scam." Dodgy companies approach other companies, or the government, offering them training and certificates, for a fee of course. But the "training" involves Powerpoint presentations and self-described experts. Pay them £500 per person to go on a made up course and get a made up certificate at the end. The same thing happens with Autism, pay £500 to go on a 1 day course, watch a presentation from an "expert" and now everyone is an expert on Autism in the workplace!
Would you say autism training in the workplace is pointless? Really? Most training programs teach the importance of being proactive in understanding how to support the employee, as well as the importance of consultation/assessment prior to puting in place support as every person on the spectrum is impacted differently. It’s a common experience for an incorrect assumption to be made of the person’s capability based on stereotypes. And a workload is reduced which really isn’t fair on either the employee as they could perceive the treatment as discriminatory, or the employer due to reduced productivity
 
Would you say autism training in the workplace is pointless? Really? Most training programs teach the importance of being proactive in understanding how to support the employee, as well as the importance of consultation/assessment prior to puting in place support as every person on the spectrum is impacted differently. It’s a common experience for an incorrect assumption to be made of the person’s capability based on stereotypes. And a workload is reduced which really isn’t fair on either the employee as they could perceive the treatment as discriminatory, or the employer due to reduced productivity
I'm just deeply skeptical of these things. I would like to think that you are correct and that most training programs are of high quality, maybe even with Autistic people delivering parts of the course.

But I just sometimes feel, rightly or wrongly, that Autistic people are being boiled down to a Powerpoint presentation so a company can look good on paper, rather than give meaningful support to staff.
 
Sometimes they want you to take evenings, because day shifts go fast. Sometimes tthey are working with a temp company, so they go there first before they hire directly. Or they are waiting for the quarter to end or tax season to end so they have monies to allocate to hire.
 
I'm just deeply skeptical of these things. I would like to think that you are correct and that most training programs are of high quality, maybe even with Autistic people delivering parts of the course.

But I just sometimes feel, rightly or wrongly, that Autistic people are being boiled down to a Powerpoint presentation so a company can look good on paper, rather than give meaningful support to staff.
Your views are valid too. I think your view on intentions about appearance is true in many cases.

However I do believe that training is incredibly helpful in challenging stereotypes and advising employers not only on legal obligations but also on good practice to reduce the likelihood of conplaints from employees on unfair treatment etc etc.I’ve worked in a startup i won’t name, where trust me, i was subjected to a lack of opportunity as a consequence of their knowledge of my diagnosis. The employee thinks they’re supporting you whereas you feel like you’re being refused opportunity unfairly. Proper consultation and assessment can avoid all of this.
 
On the topic of training for employers, two relatively recently free online Canadian mini-courses developed with input from autistic persons include:

Autism and Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Supporting Autistic Mental Health in the Workplace

The former has a mix of reading (including links and additional resources), hands-on-exercises, in addition to video clips from autistic individuals and employers.


I will agree in general that some employers do have a tendency to, for time purposes, bring in a speaker for an hour on a certain topic, but such short "lunchtime" sessions usually only have sufficient time to give a quick overview of something, and I agree that they should not, in any way, be substituted for a more in-depth study. Even the two courses mentioned above can be completed together in a standard work day, and so if an employer is motivated to better understand how to support present and future autistic employees, it's just a matter of letting staff take a bit of time to explore the free resources already available to them.
 
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