An Autistic Woman’s Career Challenges
English was my favorite subject in high school and I did well. I learned to drive, went on to college, and completed my bachelor’s degree in English in 1999. After a series of negative work experiences, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2011. I met Rich Davis in 2017 and he coached me and my family through our Comfort Career Audit.
My diagnosis helped and I found a job where I could fit in. However, I continued to struggle to earn enough money for self-sufficiency.
I have always had a difficult time obtaining and retaining employment because the workplace is often very ASD-unfriendly. My diagnosis helped me understand myself but because I used neurotypical job-hunting techniques, I continued to struggle. A lot of job-hunting advice tends to be filled with systemic ableism and does not consider my unique needs. I have also had problems keeping a job because I do not always understand the rules or workplace culture. Jobs seem to wear out my body and discount my brain.
With Rich’s help, my Harrison Assessment Career Navigator helped me identify careers that I would enjoy and that would use my Aspie Superpowers. I am comfortable disclosing my invisible disability to employers and Rich has taught me job-search methods that go beyond searching the want-ads and applying online. He has helped me understand myself more clearly, see my strengths, and accept my character traits that can get in the way of my success.
I have a career plan and don’t feel helpless and lost anymore. I’ve found a new employer that hires people with autism and appreciates their strengths. Through Rich’s coaching and my networking, I identified a staffing service that specializes in helping autistic candidates connect to employers. They hired me and I currently work with a major corporation. With my Comfort Career Audit, I feel more confident and empowered so I can help others understand me and fit in better in the future.
Team member’s perspective – written by Meg’s father
Rich has worked with my daughter and me for several years. He has guided Meg and her family members to better understand the reality of our situation and make good career choices. His familiarity with and use of the Harrison Assessments Career Navigation System and reports have enabled objectivity that would have been difficult to develop otherwise. Further, he has been willing to push back and disagree occasionally with my thoughts and suggestions; this is especially appreciated. I value the individual attention that Rich has provided and look forward to working with him in the future.