Employment and the Neurodivergent

Employment. It seems like a simple thing for most but for the neurodivergent, it can be a challenge. This requires executive functioning. Executive functioning allows people to plan, organize and complete tasks.

For the typical it seems simple. You have a to do list, you get it done and go on to the next one. For people like myself, its no easy task. You need help.

My first job was great. I was a cashier at a grocery store. The people there watched me and helped me with my executive functioning. I was a teenager and I felt safe there. Met the best friends of my life. I thought all employment was that good. I worked there throughout high school. Unfortunately, I was really wrong.

After I moved away from home, I worked in different stores. My executive functioning dysfunction, took over. I never lasted at a job for more than a year. I was always fired for no good reason. It was horrible for my self esteem. I thought there was something really wrong with me. I usually tried to work in stores, because that was what I was comfortable with.

When my husband and I were living together, he suggested doing something different. So we went into the security field. At first it was great. I did different things. I was helping shipping out different tractor trailers. I did the paperwork before the truck drivers took their load. Met a lot of different people. Then I was allowed to go on the computer system. That is when it went wrong. I found out I am dyslexic and I read a lot of the numbers wrong. The manager came and took me off the schedule.

After working for different companies, it was no use.It was the same when I was working for different veterinary hospitals. I was yelled at for making lists. I needed to get over my quirks. It was depressing. Working for different people was a cause of major stress.

Then my husband had an idea of starting my own pet care company. It was the best thing I ever did. I did not have to answer to anyone else. I was in different places and nothing was ever the same. My clients became like family. One even gave us some gas for a generator when we were without power for eight days after hurricane Irma. After I was doing this for a while, then I learned that I am autistic and this was not my fault.

A lot of times autistics do better when they work for themselves. When you are stressed out about your job, please remember this. You were born to be the boss. When you find a field that you are passionate about, run with it. You will be glad you did.

One thought on “Employment and the Neurodivergent

  1. Hi, I came across your post after researching things. Felt like leaving my own thoughts. Hope you don’t mind 😊
    I’m glad you found a place for yourself in the world. Many strive for this.

    Why should we work “full time” anyway?
    Who can fit in personal wellness, live sustainably (manage own consumption and limit waste), care for and bring up children effectively, engage in social activities, learn new skills and be the creative humans we were born to be, whilst also leaving your life 40+ hours each week just to pay for the privilege to try?
    Only those who can afford to outsource, will be successful under such a model. The rest of us will be forced to compromise. Which is fine, except society tells us lies that we should be ‘living our best life’ whilst also largely restricting most people’s abilities to do so. Then telling us it’s our own fault for not making good choices.

    People who have managed to achieve this, judge others for not, instead of checking their own privilege. Directing their frustrations at other humans is a neat trick for those in power, as it deflects the accountability away from them.

    Personally think the gap here is felt by those who can feel it…. Often the more ND population (more association with empathy, too) and the level of awareness and education required to identify the source of discontent and make informed choices is largely sidelined in favour of rote math skills, fronted adverbials and “do as you’re told”, in almost every primary school environment in Britain. By the time most young people make it to secondary education, large swathes of children have already switched off and that creates a barrier to anything a secondary provision has to offer, let alone further education. Those who navigate it successfully become successful consumers and workers. Not successful humans.

    Those who do succeed often gather costly coping mechanisms that are marketed to us freely. Netflix shows, food, clothing, home decoration, games and technology. Shops like B&M, whose target customers are those who are looking for bargains, design their shops to encourage people to buy things they don’t need. Buy now pay later is marketed to people whose are never taught to budget. Anything and everything has an invisible paywall, so those with skills capitalise on those who do not. From cooking to plumbing. Which incidentally provides a trapped workforce. In such a case, ignorance really is bliss. Those who are more aware and empathetic will constantly frustrate at the manipulation and oppression, despite success. Whilst those who are not, will think they are thriving and perpetuate the cycle.

    It’s intentional. By the people who are in power. Terrible. But intentional.


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