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I have mental illness and have worried all my life if i will ever be able to get a job. Will I?

I have autism ADHD and anxiety will I be able to get a job when I'm older? #k-12-education #jobs #first-job

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Subject: Career question for you
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Kim’s Answer


As you age, you will acquire various coping skills to help you a little with some of your conditions. Also, new and better medicines constantly come along, with fewer side effects. That being said, even without any better coping skills or medications, there are employers who actively recruit jobseekers who are on the spectrum! They have found that people with disabilities make better employees for certain types of work! Please see this article: https://www.verywellhealth.com/top-autism-friendly-employers-4159784

The other thing to be aware of is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Just like the various special education programs available in school, people with disabilities are also afforded certain protections in the workplace, and, even in the job search process itself. For example, the fluorescent lights over my desk bothered me, so I had the lightbulbs removed, and used a desklamp as needed for reading. If you need certain accommodations during the interview, let the recruiter know that. Also, if you have trouble learning a new job, there are job coaches available. Hopefully you will connect with the Disability Services agency in your state and receive some assistance as you transition to the working world.

One thing you will want to understand about looking for work. YOU have worth. You may not have the particular skills or knowledge to do a particular job, but, you are willing to learn. And you are very dedicated to any project that you undertake. Remember when you interview that you are trying to decide if YOU want to work for THEM. Sure, we are all desperate to get our first job, but, if you have to fight just to get the interview, everything will be a fight from that point forward. They do not deserve YOU. Keep looking.

I hope this helps!

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Danny’s Answer

HI Hannah. My son has Asperger's so I can give you a perspective as a parent. To put this in perspecitve, my son is very much like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, except for the PhD! :) He can be socially awkward, has difficulty picking up social cues and developing relationships. On the positive side, he has a great memory, drives, has a full time job, finished high school and went to a specialty trade school for cooking, and is improving his social skills all the time.

I can't speak to the help that is available to you as I am in Canada, but one thing we had available to us was Employment Supports. There are various agencies that help those with Autism in terms of interview and job seeking. In our case, the organization had relationships with large Canadian and international companies that operate in Canada. The company would actually join my son on his interview to provide coaching.

The other thing I might suggest is go on company websites and look for their 'Diversity' or 'Inclusion' information.

Finally, don't sell ourself short. I love the earliet comment - YOU HAVE WORTH!

Good luck!!

tx Danny

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Stephen’s Answer

Hey, Hannah!

100% agree with Kim and Danny on this one. Kim's point about willingness to learn even if you don't have all the skills right off the bat is very true. When interviewing people to join my team, their answers about how they learned in the past made the biggest impact, especially since marketing is a field that's forever changing. Highlighting your strengths, like Danny's son did, goes a long way.

I know you'll make a positive impact in the workplace when you are looking for your first role! Believe in your worth -- interviewers will see that too when you apply.