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Transitioning to a New Job as Someone With Autism

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Let’s say you have worked at a job for a lot of years as a person with autism. You have been very successful at that job. You like your work environment, your job description and your coworkers. However, you are thinking about moving on to a new job. It might be because you’re tired of the same job. You might want a new challenge or a new skill. Or you might even be tired of your coworkers after all.

Transitioning to a new job can be hard for someone with autism. From experience, I transitioned from warehousing to a call center collections job because I was tired of getting dirty at a warehouse all day long. A lot of people with autism don’t like to be dirty, and I was one of them. It was a risk, because I was doing decently at a warehouse for three years and decided to do something very different I wasn’t sure I’d be good at. I did the transition and I liked a lot about my next job, including pay, benefits, coworkers, my boss and the clean environment. It was a long commute, but that wasn’t the problem. The work was the problem. I hated calling people up for eight straight hours and asking them for money. It took a huge toll on me mentally and I didn’t last six months.

If this is ever you, I would recommend talking to your friends, family and job coach about potential new jobs. They know you best and they can guide you based on your skills. You should always be willing to try it, but be careful, especially if you have a family to feed, rent to pay or high bills. Make sure you leave your previous job on good terms and give two weeks’ notice — if the new job doesn’t work out, they might take you back.

However, your goal is a new job. Think about what you would like or not like to do in a job. Would you like to work with customers? Would you not like to work with customers? Would you like to do demanding labor like warehousing? Would you like to do janitorial work? Visualize the person you think you are and what you think you can handle while looking for a new job as someone on the autism spectrum. Good luck!

Getty image by Bernard Bodo.

Originally published: February 5, 2020
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