This is the first in a 4-part series on self-employment for people on the autism spectrum.
Part 1: The Self-Employed Aspie
The majority of people with Asperger’s are either unemployed or underemployed. For an adult aspie, this is a scary statistic. It’s easy to hear it and feel like the deck is stacked against you.
In some ways it is. A job interview is heavily weighted in favor of social skills. Employees are generally expected to be team players. Often, getting ahead in the workplace is as much a matter of who you know as what you know. All jobs have rules, both written and unwritten, and employees are expected to follow them.
So much of what happens in a workplace is second nature to neurotypicals and a complete mystery to the average aspie.
Or at least I assume it is. My last workplace was a McDonald’s. I was eighteen.The expectations were low. As long as you didn’t steal from your register or hold the place up at gunpoint they didn’t fire you. I’m not exaggerating. Those were the only two things people were fired for in the year that I worked there.
So if you’re looking for advice about getting or keeping a traditional job–with or without Asperger’s–I can’t help you.
But if you’re curious about being self-employed, I have a lot of experience. I’ve been the owner or co-owner of a business since I was 19. I lucked into the first business–it was something my husband started around the time we got married. It made sense for me to help him out rather than going out and getting a job. Continue reading The Self-Employed Aspie