Tuesday, April 15, 2014

At work on the spectrum

Being on the spectrum poses both gifts and challenges in the workplace. For some, interpersonal skills aren't one's forte, but they may excel in independent work with computers or research. Others may be social butterflies, however struggle with the more invisible social aspects, or the executive functioning related tasks.

I fall into the latter of the two examples. I have a natural talent for establishing a rapport with others, especially in the mental health and developmental disabilities fields. I find that people in both fields are very genuine, accepting people who aren't quick to judge, and something just clicks right away in my interactions with them. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that I fit into both categories, could it? ;) I see this as a strong skill.

On the flip side, I miss things that most people notice. I need things pointed out to me that most people don't. I'm constantly developing methods to make sure I cover all ground without missing a step. I don't always pick up on the hidden social cues due to my literal thinking and not being abke to read between the lines. I find myself puzzled at times when my coworkers are joking with me, and others don't always recognize when I'm trying to make a joke. It's important to have a supervisor who is willing to help you anywhere you need it! For this, I'm very thankful.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to ALWAYS try your best, and ask for help when you need it. It never hurts. Some people need a little more than others. Put forth the effort, and you will go far!

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