Understanding your Skills and Abilities

Just as no-one is defined by their age, race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or by  religion, no-one is defined by autism and no two people will experience it in the same way. Although autism is generally characterised as impairment of social imagination and communication, this characterisation ignores the facts that each autistic person will develop her or his own ways of dealing with these issues – and that many autistic people will have developed skills that others do not have.

The majority of employment is based on an employer choosing to pay you for your skills and abilities. The competitive employment process means you need to be able to explain the skills and abilities that you have to offer.

It is not always easy or obvious to know your own skills and abilities. Some people are clear about one or two specific skills, but need to understand and describe a broader mixture, including skills and abilities that are not yet developed to their full potential.

Below you will find some links to some points to think about when developing an understanding of what your skills and abilities are.

Click here to see some points to think about

Some of these questions will help you to think about some of the skills that you have but haven’t yet recognised.

  • What tasks do you undertake that require very little thought?
  • What tasks give you a sense of satisfaction?
  • What do other people highlight or identify as things you do well?
  • Are there difficult tasks that you know you are capable of, despite them taking thought and effort?

Knowing what is involved in securing paid work

Securing paid work is based on a potential employer having the confidence to choose you as an employee.

Much of what is involved in securing paid work is about how you create that confidence for the employer. Understanding yourself and finding ways to communicate that are crucial parts of the process.

Securing paid work also requires knowledge of the practicalities of how jobs are advertised, who is involved in the process and what you need to do at each stage. Much of this information is provided on this site, either through explanations here or by linking to information that already exists on external sites.

If you can’t find the information that you are looking for, please contact us to let us know.

Click here to see some points to think about

  • If you find it difficult to describe and explain who you are, be careful not to overlook this aspect of securing a job. It’s important to develop these skills before you are trying to fill in application forms and attend interviews.

If you would like further information about any of the above, or would like to know more about what support is available to you, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss this with you.

You can also visit our Useful Links and Documents page to find further information about autism and employment.