Dealing With Job Pressure As an Aspie Can Be Hard
A lot has been said about people with Asperger’s syndrome and school, bullying, and so on. Many people have touched on these kinds of subjects over the years and made an effort to provide helpful information. However, there is a part of our lives that I find lacks attention and that is when we Aspies grow up and start to be part of the adult world.
What happens when we enter the larger world? What is it like to be an Aspie in an office and deal with new, bigger and heavier responsibilities that have almost nothing in common with those of our school days?
The sole thought of getting out of the comfort zone is scary enough for anyone, as taking into consideration how important it is to feel comfortable for us, one could initially be inclined to think that getting and keeping a job would be impossible. Nothing could be more wrong. It is a fact that we have it hard when it comes to dealing with pressure and anxiety is a common issue to be faced, but as long as someone with Asperger’s does something he/she enjoys doing, there’s nothing to worry about.
One of the main characteristics of having this syndrome is the obsessive interest we experiment, which is misunderstood by many. The important thing when searching for a job and keeping it is that this has to be related as much as possible with our interests.
If you like what you do, enjoy it, and it satisfies you at any stage, then responsibilities will never become a burden or a problem. That could be very general advice for anyone, autistic or not, but for Aspies, it’s almost a must in order to feel confident and comfortable.
The problem arises when you have no options that fit that description and still need to get a job. Life would be perfect if we didn’t need to pay the bills, we could dream all we want, but we will have to take whatever we find in that case. That’s mine right now.
The best we can do is to get along as much as we can with coworkers and find a second option or maybe add something to the job in order to make it more bearable. In my case, since I’m working in an office and have to deal with a lot of people, I always have some music playing on my computer, which helps me to relax and focus on what has to be done on time.
Either way, we also have to keep in mind that, just like in school, there will be good days and not too good ones, times when we’ll want to scream and shout and rant and hurt someone. The key not to do any of those things is to get out of the office as soon as you can or simply ask people for some silence. I usually go to the bathroom or to the staircase in front of my office in order to breathe a little, calm down and cope with whatever I feel at that moment.
Click here to find out more
You will also like to keep in mind that, at some point, your coworkers will note something’s different about you, so you’ll most likely have to tell them. I did it since the first day, explained a little and asked them to let me know if I did something wrong I was mixing things up. They may be sick of hearing me say “If I understood correctly…” “So you’re saying that…” but that’s my way to make sure my ideas are clear and will not make a mess of my responsibilities.
Try always to take the experiences as a learning process, an opportunity to discover and learn something new that could feed your main interest and could be of use in the future, and if not, maybe there’s someone in that job you’ll get along very well with. Who knows? It is always good to get out of the comfort zone.
However, and if you reach a point on which you cannot handle the pressure, you do not enjoy what you’re doing, or simply cannot feel confident and comfortable in that environment, start searching for something else. There’s not a single reason to deal with a toxic experience if you have another option, which is perfectly fine and has nothing to do with Asperger’s syndrome.
Alan D.D. is a writer, journalist, and blogger from Venezuela. After years of thinking he was just introverted and shy, he discovered he had Asperger’s syndrome while doing what he loves the most: reading. Since then, he writes about the topic whenever he can, and when not immersed in a book of his own or from his favorite authors, he can be found most likely at the movies or playing Heroes of the Storm.
This article was featured in Issue 80 – Conquering Challenges With ASD