I did my best but the room was very small with so many things piled around it and I was interviewed by four people and we sat around a very small table. Not the best environment.
Far too busy with distractions and sitting in suck close proximity to the interviewers was uncomfortable. Thankfully there was a window for me to look out of.
I did own my autism like I said I would. I explained to them that I was not being rude by avoiding eye contact, and that I was simply ensuring that I gave them my full attention. I felt that this was the way to go. I went so far as to tell them that I was actually watching the crows in the trees outside.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have said that, but I feel better having informed them that it was a tactic to help me concentrate and they warmly accepted that. Perhaps it will help them when interviewing people in the future. Or did they warmly accept it? I just don’t know.
So many employers are nervous about autism and have limited knowledge of it. Some of that knowledge will be informed by stereotypes. That makes it our job to say being autistic is great, even on those days when it’s not. It is up to us to tell them why our traits can be an advantage and to inform them of certain traits that can be misconstrued.
I might not get this job, but I do feel better and more confident in myself by owning it. That’s all we can do. It is highly possible that by disclosing my autism that I am hindering my chances of being employed. I’m willing to accept that and have decided to use autism as my unique selling point.
Why hide it? If we do, it will only be temporary, for at some point down the line our autistic selves will surface. If we have been masking and pretending to be an NT, then our sudden change will likely freak some people out.
Today, I owned my autism, and I’m glad that I did. And from this point on, I will no longer mask it for the sake of others. I will be myself and by doing so, it will help to inform others. #autismpower #EmployableMe
Good luck out there.