Before I talk about job searching, we have to talk about sources of discouragement that an Aspie might run into. For instance, I once had a psychologist tell me that I was doomed to sort letters in a post office and would never fit into any workplace ever because I was “too awkward.” Yet, I did hold a job for 1 ½ years. It led me to the conclusion that any psychologist’s job is to help you find your limits — but not set them (more on this in another entry).
On to job searching: In this economy, I have found that it is not realistic to say that your goal is to “Get a job.” “Getting a job” relies on too many things not in my power, and to assume that I can simply “get a job” just like that will lead to frustration. Some of these factors that are beyond my control are the economy, automatic filters for résumé banks, experience, the person doing the interview, and so on.
So, my focus is to do what I can, and not set a goal on something that is beyond my control. Instead of “getting a job,” I say “apply to 30 jobs a month (or as many as are available and fit my strengths and weaknesses).” That is something that is measurable and is something I can do myself. Instead of “Ace interview and get a job,” I say, “Go on interview and do the best that I can.” I also say “write résumé and cover letters,” “find jobs with my experience level,” “read up on Aspie job tips,” and so on. This is because these are things that are within MY control. I do not have to have someone write my cover letters, go on interviews, or apply to jobs FOR me; I can do it myself.
This thinking helps me. As long as I am hitting my mark, it matters little if someone else hires me based on their criteria — someone will eventually hire me because I happen to fit, not because I made them hire me. In fact, thinking like this in daily life (“go to city” vs. “make a friend”) is not only helpful — it is empowering!