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Article | 01 Apr 2016

Embracing diversity: my name is Jess

Posted in Motivation & inspiration, Learning,

My name is Jess, I am 22 years old and around five years ago I was self-diagnosed as mildly Aspergic. Although I am not severely autistic, there are certain aspects of my life that it effects.

I often find it difficult to communicate or read social situations. However, I don’t let that get in the way when it comes to finding work.

In September, after nearly three years of a full time job as a waitress, I left to focus on what I really aspire to do - using media to help people on spectrums, and I am now a Social Media intern at The Work Crowd.

I sometimes find it hard to introduce myself to new colleagues or even pick up a phone call when I first start a new job but those aren’t the only important things in a workplace. I excel in other areas and tasks, for example, I can follow instructions and orders to a T. I may come across as shy at first but once you get to know the real me, you will realise that I am personable and have a lot of valuable ideas and opinions to offer. I can find it hard to adjust to changes like a new routine, however given enough time to adapt and I will come to see and understand that some changes can be good and aren’t as scary as I first thought.

I am one of the lucky ones. I’m only mildly Aspergic. There are thousands of people out there who are so much further along the spectrum that they struggle to even speak. It’s as if they are trapped in their own ‘zone’, to others they can appear as a recluse. This is why I feel like I need to stand up and speak out for them because in one way or another I can relate to them. I know where they are coming from.

The world needs to know that these people are special; they are unique, bright, and creative and undoubtedly have the capability to work in an everyday 9 to 5 job. Where we may struggle socialising and communicating, we will strive to focus on completing a task effectively. Don’t look at us as being ‘different’ in an incapable way. Step back and look at the bigger picture, look at us being ‘different’ in a positive way.

Difference and diversity can be a beneficial contribution to a company. Companies such as Microsoft have openly started to hire autistic adults. Research shows that many adults on the autistic spectrum see the world from a different point of view and are proven to be more creative in the way they speak, think and do.

We are still human and should be treated as equals. Our brains work differently and our ideas can be logical and creative. Businesses should start accepting us and our ideas into their workplace.

So what’s my strength? What do I bring to a company? I am an expressive artist. I love poetry, music, design and media. I have an eye for detail, I am a visual learner and logical thinker, I’m loyal & honest and a hard worker and I will use these to my advantage when I can.

In today’s society, there are nearly 700,000 people in the UK who have autism and only 15% of autistic adults are in full-time employment.

At The Work Crowd everyone is accepted, which helps us attract top talent. To find out more on how embracing diversity can help you attract top talent please read our previous blog post here.