Reports

Thomas’ ideal work scenario


Reported by Thomas Marston

Published on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Employment
Reports

Thomas’ ideal work scenario


Written by Thomas Marston

Published on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Employment

As a person with Autism, I find that a lot of barriers are put in my way when I look for jobs. These two cartoons explain what my usual job-hunting experience is like and what I would ideally like it to be like. With some adjustments here and there, I could show employers what I am capable of and I could hold down a job.

I am currently doing my job searching at home and am having trouble finding suitable entry-level jobs. Most of the jobs available (i.e., in admin/data entry) are for people who have several years prior experience in these fields.

cartoon about job search

Having a job coach would allow me to find a suitable job faster as the coaches would be able to contact companies directly and could also suggest suitable jobs for me based on my CV.  It would be beneficial for the job coach to continue working with me too as they would frequently check that I was doing well in the workplace and they could deal with any problems that arose.

Having work trials instead of interviews would also help me because I would get the chance to show employers what I can do if I am given the opportunity- i.e. using a specific software if given the training.

For example I was briefly hired by the Wellcome Collection for 7 weeks in the summer of 2019 to scan photographs and slides onto a database using a specialist software. I was given a brief lesson on how to use the software and I quickly proved that I was capable of doing the job.

But during job interviews my speech disability prevents me from providing convincing reasons why the employer should hire me and this is why I am always unsuccessful. This is demonstrated in the first cartoon above where it says “Thomas can you provide a reason why we should hire you?”  My response to this would be silence or “errr”, which would not satisfy the person interviewing me.

In my ideal work scenario my colleagues and manager would be aware of my impairment (Autism + Aspergers syndrome) and the fact that I have difficulty communicating with people. They would praise my work and I would feel like a valued member of their workforce. That’s how it would be in my ideal situation and really that’s how it should be.

Written by Thomas Marston


My name is Thomas and I have had autism and speech and language difficulties since birth. I am involved with both the CDA leadership course and the Community Journalism project. I am passionate about campaigning for Disabled people to be in work, which includes supporting employers to understand the value of employing people with autism like me. I have produced a cartoon that shows the difficulties I have had finding employment and have shown it during various online meetings. I worked for a cosmetics company called Clarity for 6 years, doing various jobs including moving boxes around the factory, labelling products and screwing caps onto bottles. Unfortunately, I lost that job when people were laid off during the pandemic. It’s the only job I’ve ever had that gave me regular employment. This year I have been participating in the CDA leadership programme, which started in April and runs until March 2022. Its aim is to support Disabled people to become leaders in their chosen field. Me and another Leader are focusing on employment. By the end of the course, we will have developed a presentation that will be used to explain Disabled people’s employment challenges to Camden Council, local employers, schools and other significant groups. We plan to also work with those bodies to find solutions. My hobbies include dancing and exploring London which help me relax.

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