Every day I wake up in the morning, I think to myself “How lucky I am that I’m doing the things I love every day!” It’s not an easy path I have taken and with good reason, I enjoy achieving my goals the hard way because I would have faced some form of adversity along the way.
For most of my 21 years, I have had Asperger’s Syndrome which means that I struggle with my social skills. As my confidence has grown through sessions with my speech therapist as a child and the support network I have developed as I have gotten older, I’m more comfortable attending events and speaking to people but as Asperger’s is a invisible disability, it makes it difficult to identify the challenges I face on a daily basis.
In all honesty, I never see my Asperger’s as a daily challenge I face, but an opportunity to showcase my potential to friends and industry professionals as I find my first job in the media, analytics and Higher Education industries. It’s hard to change people’s views and opinions, but by opening up and documenting it, audiences are more aware of the challenges individuals with Asperger’s face on a day-to-day basis.
The opportunities I have taken in education and my personal life have been for a reason, to get outside my comfort zone. I don’t do the easy way as its not my style, but by taking the hard way, it helps me to grow as an individual and worker. When I’m presented with something that makes me uncomfortable and uneasy, I embrace it because I want to see how that task can be completed.
Most of the things I have discovered as my hobbies such as data visualisation and learning statistical software such as R, SQL and Tableau excite me because its an opportunity to learn something new but engage with the community on social media. You have to be willing to embrace change and take on jobs, tasks and new skills that are meaningless at first, but often necessary to achieve your ambitions and dreams.
There have been occasions where I have thought with certain things “I should not be doing this” but have stuck with it because of the potential I see if I keep grafting away at it. This has been the case with my graduate job search and facing knockback after knockback with the application and interview, it has forced me to up my game and think outside the box when it comes to applying for more jobs.
It is those situations that make you realise how your personality resonates with people. I could say I’m one of those people that never gives up and it’s true that I never quit, but if there is no evidence to prove that you have undertaken things that have taken you outside your comfort zone, then your audience will not take you seriously for making a bold statement.
My advice to anyone who is still trying to find their first graduate job or is struggling with their hobby, always take the hard way. It’s the only way you will feel a sense of achievement and pleasure when you have gone through numerous sleepless nights and countless people doubting your ability only to achieve your goals in style!