Thinking about finding work for the first time can be overwhelming and for those on the autism spectrum, it can present a significant challenge. The good news is that there is support available to help you make a smooth transition into the workforce. Meet Sam …
Sam’s journey to securing his first job
Sam* first visited CoAct Service Partner, Interact Australia with his Mum, Jenny. He was keen to find work but with no employment history, work experience or career goals he was unsure about how to go about it.
As the recipient of a Disability Support Pension there were no compulsory requirements for Sam to work, but he felt that finding a job would make a difference to his quality of life.
Unfortunately for Sam, finding work after leaving high school had been a struggle. As well as his autism, Sam was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) which impacted his reliability for keeping appointments. Lack of follow up from his psychologist and social worker at the time had also done little to improve matters.
Now in his early twenties, Sam and his mother approached Interact Australia with the hope of increasing his chances of getting a job.
Job seach and opportunities
Employment Consultant, Lisa took the time to find out as much as she could about Sam to help him identify the type of work he would be interested in. Through their discussions it became clear that Sam was attracted to more autonomous roles where he would have same daily routine. Together he and Lisa decided that applying for jobs in factories working as a picker packer would be ideal.
Understanding the challenge for Sam was sticking to appointments, Lisa set about designing a program broken down into manageable stages with achievable goals.
Within just a few months there was a noticeable change in Sam’s behaviour. He was attending his appointments regularly and clearly wanted to follow through with looking for work.
Employment support and skills development
Interact Australia, one of CoAct’s Service Partners, was able to further support Sam in securing a job, through:
• Resume editing
• Interview techniques
• Mock interviews
• Referrals to suitable roles
• Link to NDIS
• Link to Ability2Drive
To help increase Sam’s confidence, Lisa also spent time helping him learn how to travel to the office by public transport, so he could show up for appointments independently.
Fast-forward six months and Sam has found a purpose and is on track to securing his first job. Interact Australia will work with Sam to prepare him for any interviews he is offered as well as accompany him on the day.
“It has been wonderful to see Sam’s commitment to the program and the confidence he has gained as a result,” Lisa said.
“Mum Jenny is thrilled to see the progress Sam has made as he becomes ready to enter the workforce. He really is ready to take on the world.”
Ongoing post-placement support
Interact Australia will continue to support Sam once he starts work. His Employment Consultant Lisa will check in with Sam every fortnight to make sure everything is okay and that he has everything he needs to keep him on the path to success.
If you’re looking for a supportive employment services provider who takes the time to listen to your individual needs and is with you every step of the way, why not try one of CoAct’s Service Partners, like Interact Australia.
Find your nearest provider here.
*Candidate names changed to protect the privacy of individuals.