Identifying the jobs you attend to apply for
It’s important to find a job that suits your strengths and that interests you.
Since the autistic population is such a diverse one, there are different views about what type of job an autistic person is most likely to enjoy and to be most suited to. Some people claim that those that are based on routine and order and have low levels of public interaction are most appropriate, while others insist that autistic people can be happy in any job and that it depends entirely on the individual. Perhaps some compromise might be reached in saying that it is likely that the autistic person will enjoy the organised aspects of any job.
It is also important to find a working environment that suits you. It is common for people with autism spectrum conditions to experience discomfort caused by high or low sensitivity to sensory stimuli, such as light, sound, touch and strong tastes and smells. If these are issues for you, it is useful to be clear about the kind of environment you are able to work in (including those that you would be able to work in with minor adaptations).
It might therefore be appropriate to get support in finding the right job. What support is available can depend on what area of Scotland you live in, and what kind of work you are looking for. There are organisations that can support you to work out what kind of job you might like to do, and some will also help you to look for job opportunities. Some places might also offer training or support to gain skills that will help you work out what kind of tasks you are good at.
Understanding the job market in your locality
When thinking about what jobs you would like to apply for, it is useful to consider practical things such as how far you would be willing to travel for work. There will likely be opportunities for work in your local area, but these may not match up with the kinds of jobs you want – if so, consider how you would travel further afield and whether you would be happy to do this on a regular basis.
Some people like to spend time volunteering before applying for paid jobs, to gain some work experience and learn more about what kind of work they would like to do and what type of environment they like to work in. You can find voluntary positions advertised on the Volunteer Scotland website. On this website you can search by location and by the type of volunteering you’d like to do.
There are also local Volunteer Centres across Scotland where you can go and speak with someone about what kind of volunteering you’d like to do, and they can help suggest places that might suit you. You can search for your nearest Volunteer Centre by clicking here.