Any advice for finding a job for an introvert autistic who has trouble with pressure?
Well, to be honest, this is a question that I am not well suited to answer.
So I am going to leave this question up to the experience of Dr. Temple Grandin Ph.D. She is a professor at Colorado State University and in on the Autism Spectrum. In 1999 she wrote about choosing the right job for people on the Autism Spectrum.
Jobs need to be chosen that make use of the strengths of people with autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Both high and low functioning people have very poor short-term working memory, but they often have a better long-term memory than most normal people. I have great difficulty with tasks that put high demands on short-term working memory. I cannot handle multiple tasks at the same time. Table 1 is a list of BAD jobs that I would have great difficulty doing. Table 2 is a list of easy jobs for a visual thinker like me. I have difficulty doing abstract math such as algebra and most of the jobs on Table 2 do not require complex math. Many of the visual thinking jobs would also be good for people with dyslexia.
The visual thinking jobs on Table 2 put very little demand on fast processing of information in short-term working memory. They would fully utilize my visual thinking and large long-term memory. Table 3 is a list of jobs that non-visual thinkers who are good with numbers, facts and music could do easily. They also put low demands on short-term working memory and utilize an excellent long-term memory. Table 4 shows jobs that lower functioning people with autism could do well. For all types of autism and Asperger’s syndrome, demands on short-term working memory must be kept low. If I were a computer, I would have a huge hard drive that could hold 10 times as much information as an ordinary computer but my processor chip would be small. To use 1999 computer terminology, I have a 1000 gigabyte hard drive and a little 286 processor. Normal people may have only 10 gigabytes of disc space on their hard drive and a Pentium for a processor. I cannot do two or three things at once.
Some job tips for people with autism or Asperger’s syndrome:
Jobs should have a well-defined goal or endpoint.
Sell your work, not your personality. Make a portfolio of your work.
The boss must recognize your social limitations.
It is important that high functioning autistics and Asperger’s syndrome people pick a college major in an area where they can get jobs. Computer science is a good choice because it is very likely that many of the best programmers have either Asperger’s syndrome or some of its traits. Other good majors are: accounting, engineering, library science, and art with an emphasis on commercial art and drafting. Majors in history, political science, business, English or pure math should be avoided. However, one could major in library science with a minor in history, but the library science degree makes it easier to get a good job.
Some individuals while they are still in high school should be encouraged to take courses at a local college in drafting, computer programming or commercial art. This will help keep them motivated and serve as a refuge from teasing. Families with low income may be wondering how they can afford computers for their child to learn programming or computer aided drafting. Used computers can often be obtained for free or at a very low cost when a business or an engineering company upgrades their equipment. Many people do not realize that there are many usable older computers sitting in storerooms at schools, banks, factories and other businesses. It will not be the latest new thing, but it is more than adequate for a student to learn on.
In conclusion: a person with Asperger’s syndrome or autism has to compensate for poor social skills by making themselves so good in a specialized field that people will be willing to “buy” their skill even though social skills are poor. This is why making a portfolio of your work is so important. You need to learn a few social survival skills, but you will make friends at work by sharing your shared interest with the other people who work in your specialty. My social life is almost all work related. I am friends with people I do interesting work with.
Table 1: Bad Jobs for People with High Functioning Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome: Jobs that require high demands on short-term working memory
Cashier – making change quickly puts too much demand on short-term working memoryShort order cook – Have to keep track of many orders and cook many different things at the same time
Waitress – Especially difficult if have to keep track of many different table
Casino dealer – Too many things to keep track of
Taxi dispatcher – Too many things to keep track of
Taking oral dictation – Difficult due to auditory processing problems
Airline ticket agent – Deal with angry people when flights are cancelle
Future market trader – Totally impossible
Air traffic controller – Information overload and stress
Receptionist and telephone operator – Would have problems when the switch board got busy
Table 2:Good Jobs for Visual Thinkers
Computer programming – Wide-open field with many jobs available especially in industrial automation, software design, business computers, communications and network systems
Drafting – Engineering drawings and computer aided drafting. This job can offer many opportunities. Drafting is an excellent portal of entry for many interesting technical jobs. I know people who started out at a company doing drafting and then moved into designing and laying out entire factories. To become really skilled at drafting, one needs to learn how to draw by hand first. I have observed that most of the people who draw beautiful drawings on a computer learned to draw by hand first. People who never learn to draw by hand first tend to leave important details out of their drawings.
Commercial art – Advertising and magazine layout can be done as freelance work
Photography – Still and video, TV cameraman can be done as freelance work
Equipment designing – Many industries, often a person starts as a draftsman and then moves into designing factory equipment
Animal trainer or veterinary technician – Dog obedience trainer, behavior problem consultant
Automobile mechanic – Can visualize how the entire car works
Computer-troubleshooter and repair – Can visualize problems in computers and networks
Small appliance and lawnmower repair – Can make a nice local business Handcrafts of many different types such as wood carving, jewelry making, ceramics, etc.
Laboratory technician – Who modifies and builds specialized lab equipment Web page design – Find a good niche market can be done as freelance work
Building trades – Carpenter or welder. These jobs make good use of visual skills but some people will not be able to do them well due to motor and coordination problems.
Video game designer – Stay out of this field. Jobs are scarce and the field is overcrowded. There are many more jobs in industrial, communications business and software design computer programming. Another bad thing about this job is exposure to violent images.
Computer animation – Visual thinkers would be very good at this field, but there is more competition in this field than in business or industrial computer programming. Businesses are recruiting immigrants from overseas because there is a shortage of good programmers in business and industrial fields.
Building maintenance – Fixes broken pipes, windows and other things in an apartment complex, hotel or office building
Factory maintenance – Repairs and fixes factory equipment
Table 3: Good Jobs for Non-Visual Thinkers: Those who are good at math, music or facts
Accounting – Get very good in a specialized field such as income taxes Library science – reference librarian. Help people find information in the library or on the Internet.
Computer programming – Less visual types can be done as freelance work
Engineering – Electrical, electronic and chemical engineering
Journalist – Very accurate facts, can be done as freelance
Copy editor – Corrects manuscripts. Many people freelance for larger publishers
Taxi driver – Knows where every street is
Inventory control – Keeps track of merchandise stocked in a store
Tuning pianos and other musical instruments – can be done as freelance work
On Thursday night, Trump implied via Twitter that he’d had his first victory in the war to keep jobs in America: Ford Motor Company would continue manufacturing cars in Kentucky instead of Mexico. However Trump wants to spin this news, the reality is that Ford was never moving a “plant in Kentucky” to Mexico.
While science fiction and technophobes envision a dystopian destiny
in which artificial intelligence does our thinking for us and robots
take our jobs, the future of manufacturing that’s already coming into focus is one where highly-educated people are the real power behind the machines.
Whatever image you have about the industry, these futuristic jobs will make you rethink manufacturing entirely. Read more
Ideal Careers Based On Your Zodiac Sign -- Aquarius
Aquarius - January 20 - February 18
Aquarians are true, free spirits. But don’t mistake this for flighty workers—they’re hardworking, albeit with an out-of-the-box attitude (i.e. you will tackle a project in the middle of the night if you can’t sleep, only to want to nap in the middle of the day because you already “did the work”). You’re social but also kind of a loner, making you adept at handling team assignments as well as working on your own. You tend to come up with ideas that at first thought are “wacky” before being deemed “brilliant”, and you tend to never state the “obvious"—which make you bad in project discussions, since you’re 2 steps ahead of everyone else. Take it from Fox: "Your unusual methods can be quite appealing to those who enjoy being near your personal brand of creative genius.” Meaning, not everyone is going to “get” you.
Ideal careers: Science or tech (if you can explore new theories or applications), graphic design or photography, and even project management—if you get to explore new ways of doing something. You’re also an ideal entrepreneur or independent contractor, as you rebel against corporate culture and work best on your own schedule.
Researchers expressed concern over the future of climate science.
“With a climate skeptic as President and a creationist as vice-president, scientists can only be worried.” —Albert Descoteaux, a biologist studying host-parasite reactions at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
“President-elect Donald Trump’s stance on global warming is well known. Science cannot expect any positive climate action from him. The world has now to move forward without the US on the road towards climate-risk mitigation and clean-technology innovation.” —Hans Joachim Schellnuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact in Germany, in a press statement.
“The kind of work we are doing here [at the United Nations’ COP22 climate meeting] today takes a new importance right now. Political events do not and cannot change the reality of climate change.” —Philip Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
And some scientists had more existential worries.
“Unlike the day after the EU referendum vote, when I was bitterly upset, I just feel numb today. I don’t know if that is a kind of despair settling in because despair is precisely the wrong type of reaction to Trump winning the presidential election. Throughout the campaign he showed himself to be a facist and racist, who bragged about his mis-treatment of women. He showed scant regard for truthfulness and espoused denialist views on climate change. It seems unlikely that the scientific and research prowess of the USA will flourish under such a president.” —Stephen Curry, a structural biologist at Imperial College London.
Thousands of researchers and government contractors like me, here in DC, are going to lose our jobs!