Trying to find a job that fits can be tough. For those with neurodiversity, the challenges of finding work and keeping it are even harder. Thankfully it is getting easier as awareness and understanding in society improves and stronger support networks grow. Employers are also embracing the benefits a diverse workforce can provide.
What is “Neurodiversity”
Neurodiverse is a broad term that encompasses people with a variety of mental health conditions and disabilities. Neurodiversity is about celebrating the differences within each of us and how our minds all work in unique ways. These differences can result in unique strengths which can benefit the right work environments.
Benefits of diversity
There are many benefits to hiring a diverse team including greater job satisfaction, and a stronger, more connected team. A workforce that includes those with neurodiversity can also lead to significant improvement in creativity, innovation, and problem-solving within teams.
Financially it makes sense too. People with a disability tend to stay with the same company for longer and take fewer days of absence than their peers
Jobs for people with autism
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD or ‘Autism’) is a complex neurological condition and how it affects people can differ greatly. People with Autism can have a variety of differences in the way they communicate and relate to people. They can also have restricted or repetitive behaviours or patterns and intense focus in areas of interest.
While these behaviours represent challenges to potential employers the advantage of neurodiversity can provide competitive advantages for forward-thinking companies. The intense focus that people with Autism have when it comes to areas they are passionate about can mean a perfect fit for the right job.
Some fields that might be a good fit for people with Autism:
IT – Many roles within IT are all about problem-solving. For people that may prefer focusing on a puzzle to interpersonal communication, this might be a great fit. Another benefit is the large focus on processes that drive jobs in this area. The black and white nature of these processes might make for a more comfortable fit.
Manufacturing – This industry can provide great jobs for Autistic people, particularly those whose behaviours have an element of repetition. The focus required for success in this industry also gives an advantage to neurodiverse employees
Research – Science-related roles or jobs where research and analysis play a large part can be an excellent fit. A strong passion for the subject matter coupled with a formidable focus and knowledge of the subject are all crucial to be effective in research jobs.
Animal-related – Many people with Autism find great affinity with animals and find they can be calmer and more focused around them. For those that find it difficult interacting with people, this could be a fantastic industry with many entry points within the industry.
It is important to keep in mind that the skills and abilities of every person are unique and these suggestions above are in no way definitive. In many situations the jobs for people with autism are limited not by the individuals’ lack of ability but by the attitudes and perceptions of those in the workplace and the availability of appropriate supports.
Supporting autistic people in their jobs
A report released by Amaze, a Victorian Autism advocacy group, has shown there are still ongoing issues that people with Autism face in the workplace and barriers to gaining meaningful employment. The report shows there is much that can be done by colleagues and employers to help support their neurodiverse colleagues within their jobs.
If you are looking for assistance with making your team more inclusive or talk about how a neurodiverse employee can benefit your team, get in touch with our team
If you are looking for a job and live with a disability you can learn more about our services below