Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Autism...An Employment Advantage?

In this difficult job market, employers are looking for skills that separate potential employees from all the others applicants.  A question that I am going to raise in this blog post is this: can high functioning autism, PDD-NOS, or Aspergers Syndrome be used as an advantage during a job interview?  It is true that there are many barriers that need to be overcome in order for those with autism to function in the working world, but perhaps that is exactly the point.  In order to break through the many barriers caused by autism, those on the high functioning end of the spectrum develop perseverance, determination, and stamina in levels not found in those off of the autism spectrum.  This popular quote rings true: "Whatever doesn't kill me only makes me stronger."  By facing challenges on a daily basis from a very young age, those on the autism spectrum truly do become stronger.

I have an interview for an internship tomorrow morning.  This interview is for The Director of Social Media Marketing for a food chain.  My skills as an intern reporter for The Oakland Press and the role that Facebook plays in marketing my blog posts makes me a strong candidate for this position.  If I do end up discussing my autism during this interview, I will say something to this effect: I have had to break through many barriers in my lifetime that many people never have to face.  By doing so, I have developed many strengths that I can use to benefit the company (I am interviewing for).  What was once a hindering weakness is now a something I use to help others, through my strong skills is a writer.

Do you think that high functioning autism can be used as a potential strength during a job interview?

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