Employment: Autism support for job readiness
For many people, finding employment can be challenging and confronting. If you have autism, you can call on a lot of support. Knowing what this looks like, what autism employment services exist and how to prepare yourself for the transition to the workplace, will all help.
Autism and employment
Neurodivergent employees have a wealth of skills and talents to offer workplaces that are unique to them, but due largely to a lack of employee awareness of autism, gaining and maintaining employment for adults on the autism spectrum can sometimes be challenging.
Getting support and planning ahead can be very helpful in navigating employment.
Start planning by considering the following:
What opportunities are you looking for?
Spend some time thinking about why it is important to you to have a job, the type of work you’d like to do and what an employer is looking for in an employee. This will fuel your enthusiasm and help you to identify the steps you need to take to achieve your employment goal.
Before even looking at what positions you may like to apply for, it’s wise to develop a transition plan. This will help you prepare for what’s to come and how you can be supported.
Entering the workforce for the first time, or switching jobs to a new one, is a big change to daily life and so, planning for this transition will help you to feel more comfortable and confident.
The earlier you start to think about this transition, the better. For instance, if your ambition is to become a software developer when you leave school, then you may like to visit a tech company to get an idea of what this work environment is like, or you could chat to people you know who do this job about how they got there and what the role involves.
If you haven’t thought about a transition to work plan until now, don’t worry! There is a lot of help at hand.
There are many great resources to help you with planning out the steps to getting employment and preparing yourself for the realities of work.
The Get Ready Top Tips Workbooks by the University of Western Sydney is a great place to start. Here you’ll find practical activities which you can complete electronically which help you identify your skills (or how to develop the ones you need), where to find autism employment support, how to get organised for job-seeking and how to prepare for entering the workforce.
Autism employment law
The Disability Discrimination Act also makes it against the law to treat you unfairly because of your disability. This means that if you have a disability, the Act protects you against discrimination in many areas of life, including employment.
This can be to do with applying for a job, getting a job, the terms and conditions of that job, training, promotion and also, being dismissed. Learn more about the Disability Discrimination Act and your legal rights.
Autism employment support
If you are an NDIS participant and have employment as a goal, you can also access funding as part of ‘Capacity Building’. This funding can be used for services to assist you with finding and keeping a job.
You can connect with Independent Support Workers through Mable to help you to identify and achieve your employment goals. For example, they could work with you to nut out the steps you need to take towards the job you’d like, assist you with applying for work and writing a resume or cover letter, practising interview skills and driving you to the interview if you require transport.
Jobs for people with autism
Just because you are an adult on the autism spectrum, doesn’t mean you are limited to doing certain types of jobs.
That said, you may be interested in job listings by employees seeking neurodiverse employees. These are organisations that value the contributions and talents of autistic people. Check out how Xceptional does this. Another organisation, Specialisterne, assists businesses in recruiting and supporting people on the autism spectrum.
Autism employment services
The Australian Government also has a range of disability employment services to help you find suitable work. Job Services Australia helps job seekers with their employment goals, providing training or support to help you get and keep a job, such as developing a resume and improving interview skills.
Specialist assistance to job seekers with a disability who require ongoing support to find and maintain employment is also available through Disability Employment Services (DES).
You’ve got this!
Try to think of all those job preparatory steps, applications and interviews as training for landing the right position for you. Making yourself feel job-ready will help you to transition easier into the workplace. Knowing what autism employment services and support is available to you, will also assist you in getting there.
Find and book an autism-trained support worker through Mable today to start this exciting new chapter of your life.
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