Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition which affects a person’s ability to process the world in the same way as others. This may include difficulties socialising, interpreting information or understanding the feelings of others. Autism is not an illness and cannot be ‘cured’, rather people often consider being autistic as a fundamental aspect of their identity.
People with autism may experience varied difficulties, sometimes referred to as a spectrum. Careers with Disabilities aim to provide people with autism, and their employers, with the advice and resources they need to achieve a successful career.
Careers advice for people with autism
Having autism does not limit career opportunities available to you, but it can sometimes make the process of finding and maintaining employment a little trickier. Careers with disability aim to provide you with the advice, support and resources you need to achieve a successful career and reach your future potential.
- If you are currently employed, try speaking with the HR team to see if there are any accommodations the company could make to help you thrive in your workplace. These adjustments may be simple changes, such as providing instructions and tasks in a written format to avoid the reliance on verbal instructions.
- If you are currently unemployed and seeking work, take the time to explore our guide on career opportunities that may be suited to your skills, qualifications and interests. Employers are required to adjust the recruitment process for people with disabilities, including autism. By disclosing you have autism during the application process, the company may be able to offer accommodations which help to ensure you excel during the interview or assessment process. If you need help getting started, use our document library to find tips and advice on writing a stand-out CV and cover letter.
Advice for employers
As an employer, it is a common misconception that autistic people do not have the skills and experience necessary to make great employees. Many people with autism have expectational skills and qualifications that enable them to thrive in the workplace.
There are numerous reasons why employing a person with autism could benefit your business. As well as their individual strengths and talents, many people with autism demonstrate above-average skills in:
- High levels of concentration
- Reliability and punctuality
- Accuracy and attention to detail
- Technical abilities, such as IT
- Excellent memory skills
To help support an employee with autism excel in their role, there are several measures your business could take.
- Provide clear, concise instructions: Many people with autism will benefit from being given brief and precise instructions. Avoid using unnecessarily complicated language, metaphors, sarcasm or colloquialisms.
- Create a well-structured working environment: Many people with autism work best when given a structured and predictable routine. This may involve organising tasks into weekly activities and breaking down larger tasks into smaller steps. Some employees may appreciate being given precise information about start and finish times and may benefit from having the same lunch and break routine.
- Be patient: An employee with autism may need a little more time to get used to their new role, duties and responsibilities. Give your employee the time they need to process instructions and complete tasks, checking their progress regularly.