Autistic minefield: Changing jobs scares me

It’s a different world these days.

Applying for jobs has become an exercise in understanding employer motivation and desires as well as the sometimes baffling job descriptions and qualities required, rather than a straightforward study of your qualifications and an interview.

Now it seems like an assault course with numerous obstacles you have to overcome to reach the interview stage. There seem to be a number of barriers of increasing complexity.

I used to be a Civil Servant.

One of the questions I was asked at my interview was how I felt about working with a man who had the power to launch a nuclear missile. My reply was “That’s his job” or something equally banal and the offer of a six-week casual role became a 23-year career.

But these days it’s all about competencies and setting what you’ve achieved against certain artificial standards. I must admit that I no longer recognise roles that are advertised and they are couched in such bizarre terminology that I wouldn’t know what to apply for or how. I have absolutely no idea how I measure up against the requirements.

I’m completely baffled.

Someone I know went for an interview. Of the seven questions asked they had to ask the interviewer, four times, what exactly they were asking. They admitted that the language used was totally alien to them and that the interviewer was deliberately obtuse and wordy in an effort to intimidate the interviewee. How terrifying.

Being Autistic I cope best with clarity. I cannot commit to something I do not understand. I cannot answer a question if I do not understand the motivation behind asking it; its purpose and what I am expected to demonstrate in my response.

So applying for jobs terrifies me. My CV terrifies me because there’s such a lack of achievement both academically and employment wise so I have zero confidence from the outset. I have been, at best, a solid, dependable worker whose civil service reports now sound fraudulent and false. I don’t recognise the person described in them. The praise seems forced and over emphasised and the errors amplified and highlighted.

I have no idea what I am good at. I have no idea what I am suited for. My dream jobs are just that, dreams which will never come true.

I find myself out of touch with the job market and suffer from such a chronic lack of self-esteem and self-belief that I don’t know why anyone would employ me in the first place.

I have to leave. If we move, then I leave anyway but being here is destroying me. It’s not the people per se, it’s the job, the mind numbing constant drone of the telephone, the noise of the open office, the lack of communication; that’s destroying me.

And I think, slowly, its killing me.

I’m Autistic. I am Autistic and terrified and I have nobody I can talk to so I can only express that terror through this blog.

It’s a different world out there.

And I am scared.

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