Finding employment can be a challenge for most people. For a young person with ASD it can present with more challenges. If you have undertaken work experience through your school, you may already have had help to get you organised with things you need to consider. If you haven’t had the opportunity to do work experience as yet but would like to try to get a part time job, then there are some things you need to think about.
First any employer is going to want to know about you. This requires you to create a resume. A resume contains your:
- Personal details- name, address, contact details
- Personal attributes- reliability, commitment, honesty
- Skills- practical, technology
- Experience- prior work in the area or similar through volunteering
- Referees- usually two to three people that an employer can contact to verify the information in your resume and to ask further questions
The next step is to search for a job. Many teenagers hear about jobs through their friends and other jobs such as in retail are often advertised in shop windows. Another way is to ask to leave your resume at a place of employment that you are interested in, in case a job comes up in the future.
If you need to apply for a job there maybe be specific criteria that you have to respond too in your application. This may need to be done online or in a hard copy application. In this instance you will need to attach a covering letter that introduces you, sets out why you have applied for the job and why you are a suitable candidate for the job.
Once you have applied for a job you may be asked to attend for a job interview. For the young person with ASD this is a critical step as first impressions are important. This could also be a time of high anxiety for you and being aware of this beforehand and putting into place your strategies to calm yourself will be very important.
During your interview you may meet with one or more people who will ask you questions about why you applied for the job and what skills you will bring to the job. An employer may be looking for a person who can follow direction but also work independently, a person who can work as part of a team or alone. There are many more skills that an employer will be wanting that may be specific to the job.
Once you are successful in gaining a part time job you need to get organised so that you can manage your school work and part time job commitments. Remember that we don’t always succeed in our first attempts so you may need to try a number of times before you are successful in getting a job. If the opportunity arises when you are not successful, ask the employer if they could give you feedback on your resume, job application and interview to help you get organised and improve your opportunity next time.