People with autism can often be incredibly hardworking when they put their minds to a task – whether this is a full-time job, or just a hobby. A lot of the time they don’t like to rest until the job is completely done, and often have a great eye for detail (more on this in a later article) Even though there are a lot of issues regarding people with autism and employment, -in terms of not enough autistic people being in work – there are actually a lot of positive traits autistic workers can bring to any job. The simple fact of being hardworking is probably the most basic of these.
Often the way the brain functions when somebody is autistic can be ideally suited for work. Being able to spend a large amount of time doing one task, having the ability to think logically, and also being able to stick to a routine are all things that many employers don’t think of when deciding whether to hire somebody with autism or not.
Despite the fact that there aren’t that many autistic people in employment at the moment, some of those that are have stated that they do get complimented on how hard they work. Depending on what type of employment the person is in, their reward for this could simply be a compliment, or a sense of achievement, or it could be a promotions, or a raise. It seems that autistic people may be high-up in companies, or in lower paid, more menial jobs – but not a huge amount in between. This might have something to do with the fact that if somebody is very high-up, or very low down, they might not have to interact with people as much as if they were in the middle. And it could also be to do with the fact that once somebody with autism puts their mind to something they will do everything they can to achieve it. They may decide that they are happy in the job they are in, and simply want to work as hard as they can to do the best they can, or they may plan to gain promotion and climb up through the ranks.
Like anybody else, they are not guaranteed success, but they are likely to be focused and committed. It is not unusual to see somebody with autism working for themselves, specialising in an area in which they have great knowledge and skill, and in which they work incredibly hard. The down-side to people with autism being so hard-working is that they can put themselves under immense pressure to get the job done on time, and it has to be perfect. Clearly this can cause stress, and anxiety for the person with autism.
It goes without saying that the ability to be a hard worker is not something that is unique to autistic people, and again it is something that is valued in anybody, whether they are autistic or not. But it is surprising that there is such unemployment among autistic people, when often the very thing that works against them – having autism – is the very thing that could bring so many positives to all kinds of jobs.
Disclaimer: The first thing that needs to be said is that people, whether autistic or not, are all different. Whenever something in the articles refers to people with autism, it means many autistic people, and not all. Also, every positive trait in this series of articles has been put forward by multiple people with autism for inclusion. There is so much negative coverage of autism in the media that most autistic people want to see some representation of the positive aspects that it can bring to their lives.