The Asperger’s Effect – Walking in my shoes

We have reached the halfway stage of The Asperger’s Effect series of articles and it was only right that I would try to explain as best as I can about how it feels to be walking in the shoes of someone who has Asperger’s Syndrome.

Applying for tens of opportunities at small and large-scale companies as a Media Graduate can be overwhelming for me. The reason why is I’m looking to get that foot in the door which can be extremely hard when breaking into the media industry, but I have been open to working in other industries such as analytics and big data.

Explaining what a usual day for me is difficult because my day for the most part is unplanned. I make my day as I go along unless there is something important I need to do in which I would need to schedule my day around those important commitments I have lined up. As a Freelance Journalist that is looking for my first job, you have to be open to anything even that means straying away from your chosen profession in the short-term.

There are days where I want to isolate myself and go to Rubery/Rednal. I can handle knockbacks and disappointment far better than I used to years ago, but it was dependent on me not overthinking the slightest of issues which would result in me having a breakdown. I must admit, I am a perfectionist and if one thing does not work out, then I start to overthink things.

I have always thought that I was different from an early age, someone who never followed the crowd. Having being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at three-years-old, everything started to make sense and whilst I have improved with social skills and social cues, I always look to improve on various aspects such as eye contact and handshakes. My Asperger’s is not a disability, but I do things differently which may be frowned upon by the general public.

Has that made me conform to their opinions and stereotypes? No! For me, stereotypes and opinions are background noise that does not need any attention to be paid. If you allow yourself to accept what people think of you, they are only making you more insecure to walk inside your own shoes rather than staying true to who you are as an individual.

I have learned over the past several months with applying for my first job is to not expect anything to happen immediately and its important advice for recent graduates with Asperger’s Syndrome. It may take weeks, months and years to secure your dream job, but a bit of elbow grease and networking will pay dividends over spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week applying constantly for jobs.

If you can show employers why you are employable through your own initiative, particularly in the media, that first job will come sooner than you think. I blog as much as possible, as well as create data visualisations and dashboards in Tableau and generate multimedia content because all that hard work will pay off if you continue to practice your craft day-in, day-out.

Don’t listen to the voices inside who doubt you will make a career in your chosen industry. I believe being patient, persistent and kind goes a long way than being a pest that is desperate to make a breakthrough with their first job. Never ever feel insecure about having Asperger’s Syndrome because it’s important to remember that you are so capable of achieving great things when being able to put your mind to what you can achieve.

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