I went for a job last week. I didn't entirely fancy it as it is in a part of the country that is somewhat uninspiring and I didn't like the interview format much either.
I got there and the candidates were being interviewed on a gradual basis throughout the day. If you passed once stage you were invited to stay for the next; if not, you were told then and there that you were no longer required.
It was all a bit like the X Factor and I really felt for the two candidates who were rejected: I didn't feel that they were treated very sensitively.
I was retained and was the last interviewee at the end of the day. As I was the last candidate I was strolling around the grounds of the organisation thinking: "I hate these interviews and have had enough of going through all this!"
I was so tired, but when I got into the interview seemed to find some extra energy and became quite invigorated. Because I was not desperate for the job I was just myself and got on with the interview.
It's been put to me before that I am not a "team player!"
Naturally integrating and mixing is, of course, not something that I do naturally, but I have always thought that I have tried to be part of the groups I work with. I may not do it innately but I always make the effort.
Another thing that I have been accused of previously is that I try to do everything myself. This has, occasionally, led to accusation of "knowing it all" or being "arrogant".
That is never my intention: I feel uncomfortable asking other people for help and don't want to appear dependant or relaint on others.
I have been doing some temporary work over the last three weeks whilst I look for a full-time position. It came up at the last moment and, as I wasn't entirely sure whether I should take it given that I hadn't precisely done the work that I was being asked to do previously, was persuaded to take it.
As previously posted I applied for a job recently which ticked - I thought most of the boxes that I have been looking for in terms of career progression.
I went for the interview Friday but, unfortunately, was not successful.
The feedback was that there was another candidate who had more experience. Nothing much you can do about that actually, but they - the organisation - did say that there would be other vacancies appearing shortly and they would encourage me to apply which I took as a positive.
I was a bit deflated when I learnt the news of course; not least because it means that I will have to go through yet more interviews going forward. I find them awfully artifical and, because of my AS, quite difficult to deal with the formal, artificiality of the situation they present.
Still, no point in looking back. I've learnt that the sooner that you look ahead to the next and prepare the easier it is, so that is what I am going to do.
I have an interview for what could be a very good job this coming Thursday.
It ticks all the right boxes: right type of role, right type of organisation, my experience and background are highly applicable and it offers the chance to really develop personally. It is also in a nice part of the UK and would enable me to get out of London.
I have done a lot of work preparing. I also have a personal contact in there who has guided me very helpfully. I feel that I have done most of what I could and needed to do.
It has been a while since I submitted the application and heard that I have an interview. I find the waiting quite hard.
When I first started to work on the preparartion it was all new, fresh and I was enthused about the whole thing. I would liked to have gone for the interview there-and-then as I was motivated and up-for-it having done all my preparation!
I have posted recently about the two temporary jobs that I have been doing whilst I apply for full-time positions.
I haven't been paid for the first tranche/period of work that I have done for one of them so last week I dropped the CEO a line to inquire when I might get paid. She wrote back requesting a meeting last Monday.
We met and she informed me that they had been let down by a supplier and were struggling with cash-flow. However she assured me that I would get paid in a couple of weeks and asked if I could wait/support her until then.
I didn't feel that I had much option... Against that I got the feeling that she was genuine and other temp workers who have had the same problem said that they had always been paid. I said that I would be prepared to be conciliatory even though it wasn't ideal for me. Its in my - Asperger - nature to be like this of course.
We'll see what happens.
The temp jobs I have taken whilst I look for a more permanent role are going OK.
I think what is happening is that I am beginning to get used to them and settling into a different routine. A lot of this is about changing my mental approach or perception of the situation.
Its only two days a week and, as mentioned in previous blogs, it is paying the bills. I am fortunate to have this because I know that, if I were not in a position to do this, it would cause me a great deal of stress and anxiety. Because of my AS this is the last thing that I would want!
Being only two days a week it not only provides some cash but it also gives me time to look for other roles; I am not tied up in a full-time position with all the attendant responbilities that that affords.
I am also working with a very experienced, semi-retired person. He too is part-time and takes it all in his stride.
I went back to Nottingham University this week to participate in a forum with a student with Asperger syndrome.
There were 50+ people there and I supported the student with my comments as he gave an overview of his life and AS. He did remarkably well and it couldn't have been easy to stand up in front of a large group people in a big auditorium.
The debate inevitably started to revolve around the lack of assistance for people with AS in general: at school, university and in the outside world. People kept asking whay this is and what they could do to change the situation.
This was my Q.
I explained the Transitions Programme that the Careers Advisor at Nottingham and I had put together for students with Asperger and how we had had trouble getting students to sign up. I went on to explain that a significant problem is getting someone with Asperger to break out of their own world and seek assistance/start to address issues before issues started to appear.
The admin assistant in the new place that I am working as a temp struck me initially as a strange fish.
I also thought that she was a bit stern. I found her attitude initially unhelpful and started to feel distant toward her.
Its quite clear also that the organisation is at best going through a chaotic time; more accurately it is in a mess and may even be in some kind of trouble financially. As the admin person all the initial contact goes through her as she is the first point of call.
It suddenly struck me today that this may be why she is acting the way she is as she may well be under a lot of pressure.
I have to work late on Friday and came back into the main office after I had finished. She was still there!
I've started a new temporary position. It's only for a day a week for eight weeks and it provides some welcome cash whilst I look around. I'm very grateful for this.
Its not a place that I am enjoying working in very much though. The culture is not very collegiate and the working conditions far from ideal for someone with AS. I don't have my own office, PC or virtually any space to store my things..
Being under the gaze of others is not, of course, something that I like. It also means that I don't have any privacy to work on new things which, when this involves mental exertion, can be very stressful for me.
The office manager is also not very approachable. Being new and not totally aware of the systems does mean asking occasionally.
Back to the job search routine which I have been through many times before. Its very frustrating, but it cannot be avoided.
I have started some contract work and will shortly commence some part-time work also. None of it is ideal and neither organisations are with whom I would ideally like to work for, but it is money and I am already quite enjoying being with some of the customers I work with. They seem to like me also.
I am going to try and take the time out that this break affords me to think about what I'd really like to do. I have done this before and, to be honest, I have not been able to successfully resolve this. I am at a stage of my life and career however, that makes this both worthwhile and necessary to re-visit.