Much to my own surprise, I’ve come back to my own blog. Through my return, I’d like to quickly summarize how the year 2018 has gone for me.
I’ve stayed enrolled in college (much to my own surprise) and have managed to succeed in courses that interest me. As an Aspie, the energy I have to invest in a course is dependent on my interest.
For a course to interest me, however, it must be immediately applicable. In other words, depending on the practicality of the coursework, there’s a strength in the positive correlation between my interest in a course, and how much the interest drives me to complete said course.
While in school, I’ve also been working my tail off to move up within my current store. A fun fact about those with Asperger’s in the workplace is that they are often underemployed, more so than their neurotypical counterparts. Aspie’s simply don’t sell themselves the same way that other candidates do.
In an article published by Professor Temple Grandin, the author notes that an Aspie is to “Sell your work, not your personality.” These words could not be truer. Often, to move up within any company, or to set out on their own, people with Asperger’s such as I have to outperform others by a margin.
Provided this performance factor, there are industries in which Aspies will outperform, while there are others will they will embarrassingly fall short. A prime example of work that those on the spectrum excel in (and one that piques my interest) is accounting. With our natural strength in numbers, detail orientation, and inclination toward routine, such an occupation is a no-brainer.
A strong example of where Aspies will make a fool of themselves is in anything customer service oriented. Retail, food service, restaurants, or anything that involves excessive amounts of contact with people (strangers, to boot) will quickly overload our senses, and our performance suffers consequentially. Along with that, our lacking of conflict resolution skills and social skills, coupled with a displayed “lack of empathy,” certainly places us toward the bottom of the totem pole in terms of keeping the job (let alone a promotion).
I may have mentioned in a previous blog of what it’s like to work in the retail setting as an Aspie. However, what must be understood is that retail is not a permanent career, unless you’re the particular type that can thrive in that environment. Retail is built for more extroverted, adaptable types that can make way through the chaos that encompasses the setting.
For an Aspie, retail is merely set as a stepping stone, potentially into something more promising. Whether that promise is fulfilled through the current company, or an outside offer that simply can’t be refused, the best course of action is for those on the spectrum to make a move.
In brief, the year of 2018 has set a learning curve for me. It’s set this curve for me to truly identify myself, and what my purpose is. Opposed to a lesson learned, this year has made for lessons to be learned.