...for a job that is.
Being unemployed is distressful for anyone, but at least most of us could take a job that an Aspie would have a very hard time enduring.
Yes, I said enduring.
We all have a bad day at work now and then, maybe a bad week. And we all have coworkers that we might not get along with very well, or even dislike intensely. But difference between we neurotypicals and our Aspie colleagues, is that we can recognize that the occasional bad day (okay, okay, or month) at work is just that--a bad day that is probably entirely out of our control. And when someone is out to get us, we usually recognize it.
Aspies, not so much. High or low, Aspies have a very hard time when things are not under their control. When a coworker acts in what I consider an irrational way, well, I can shrug my shoulders and go about my business. Erudite Aspie cannot, at least not easily. She used to ask me "Why don't they see that they are doing it all wrong? If they would just listen to me they would do it right!" Even though she now knows better than to ask the question, she still can't help but feel that way.
And nobody likes some extremely bright know-it-all telling them what to do, even if they are right.
Add to that the difficulty Aspies have recognizing when someone is out to get them, and you can see how many job situations are untenable for even high functioning Aspies. EA's last job was within her ability to cope right up until they put her in situations that she could not handle (or understand once she finally recognized it for what it was): a vindictive supervisor who used physical and emotional intimidation tactics, too much time on a public desk where she was subject to abuse by the patrons, and absolutely no support from management in general. The last two years of her employment there were brutal, and I was so glad to see her shake the dust from there.
But the reality is that she needs a job, she wants a job, but she's getting very frightened about ever having a good one again, not only because of the horrible job market, and not only because her skill set is fairly limited (she's a librarian. 'nuff said), and not only because her last job was so horrific that she's actually afraid of getting into that sort of situation again, and not only because she's and Aspie, but...
...oh, wait...it is all of those things. Sorry, my mistake.
What she needs is a job that plays on her strengths de-emphasizes her weaknesses. Yeah, everyone needs that, but it's much harder for people on the Spectrum. What does she need? Little face or voice contact with unknown people is very important. She's extremely intelligent, so even if she doesn't know much at the outset, she will before long because she learns quickly and delightedly. She reads fast and comprehends much. She knows her way around the Internet, and she writes very well, so written communication--unlike spoken--is easy for her. She is extremely organized and can find the easiest, most efficient way to do a job with great glee. She would like to be respected for what she can do, which actually is a lot, and would love to have a job where her intelligence was admired rather than envied. And if she could do it at home, score.
Not a lot to ask, except in this job market, where it is. I hate to see her like this because it 's so very frustrating for her and there's nothing I can do to help her. To parents of Aspie kids, beware of this. If she'd known 20 or 30 years ago that there are just some things she will have a hard time doing, she could have made career choices that were a better match. But but we didn't know, and she didn't.
And here we are.