Work experience can occur while you are still at secondary school or may not happen until you complete school. Work experience is a way to participate in a number of areas of employment in order to get an understanding of employment options that you may be interested in. This will help you to get a better idea of what you might want to do and what you now have to do so you can achieve your goals. In order to get the most out of this experience you will need to consider your ASD and what impact this could have for you in different work environments.
Work experience usually happens in two ways. The first is through a school organised experience or you may have already organised your own part time job. When students turn 16 years of age or are in the later years of high school, careers or transition teachers will have discussed options with you and work experience will be organised. Alternately if have already got yourself a part time job and started getting experience in a field you are interested in or just to earn some money to help you towards becoming independent this is great!
It is a good idea to use this work experience to help you understand more about yourself and the type of future work environment that is going to suit you. Start planning by considering:
- What are my skills
- What other skills do I want to learn
- What am I interested in
- What subjects do I need to consider future work in this area
- How can I learn more about this
- Are there many jobs in this area
- What impact will my ASD have in this area of work
- Does this job have an apprenticeship
- Do I need to do further study
- What is the next step to making this happen
- Who can help me
- How can I set some goals to help me
- Can I get a part time job in this area
- Does anyone have contacts in this area
If your work experience is organised through school, it may be a good idea to keep in touch with your teachers during this time so you can discuss any potential issues that may arise while in the work environment. If you have found your own part time job talk to your parents and let them know what is working well for you and what you might need some help with.