Friday 18 February 2011

Set in my ways?

Welcome back to Adventures with Autism Works. The adventure has been very busy this week as I have had so many tasks on the go, including further developing our business plans, completing funding application forms and assisting with putting together the application form to the Testing Manager position to be offered by Autism Works this week. For me, being involved in recruitment procedures represents a major step into the unknown.

Looking at the variety of different tasks and responsibilities that my role has involved this week has been one of the most apparent signs to me as to just how huge a change this role is in relation to my previous role working in local government since I started at Autism Works, especially since there is so much in this role that is done off my own time management and initiative. Though I have previously worked in a role run off my own time management when working as an academic research assistant, re-adjusting to such arrangements has been equally hard since when working to a timetabled routine within a structured and largely hierarchical environment in local government I had become very 'set in my ways'.

So often, we don't realise how and when we can get set in our ways and routines. As a person with Asperger's Syndrome, often my natural preference is routine and predictability, but mindfulness practice helps me to notice more when I am getting stuck in my ways. In my role at Autism Works, with all the variety as well as how the company is developing I am finding that it is difficult to become stuck in a routine, and where initiative is needed is where I am finding that there is so much I need to un-learn as I need to learn, particularly when it comes to developing recruitment tools as well as managing different tasks. Again, in relation to how my Asperger's Syndrome affects me, multi-tasking doesn't come naturally, but to cope with the challenges that this and other aspects of the role present, it helps to observe where possible the qualities in what I am doing and how I do it.

In the past, I have gone through the phase of being a 'perfectionist' in relation to my Asperger's Syndrome, wanting to 'get it right' and succeed. Though I really want to succeed in my role here at Autism Works, I am finding that, especially when entering for me what is unknown territory in being involved in a recruitment process, it helps to be wary that because it is a new venture for me as well as it is for the company, mistakes may be made somewhere along the way. The other stumbling block that we have regarding recruitment practices, in addition to my lack of experience here is that Peter is also first to admit that after over twenty years of recruiting candidates through conventional methods, there is much he needs to unlearn, so much that various language used in job descriptions and person specifications that at one time was the norm now reads like nonsense!

However, Peter and I are convinced that in say about two years time, by when hopefully our practices and policies are more developed, such issues will seem trivial and we will be thinking 'did we really go through such nonsense back then'. Who knows, perhaps by then much of what is described in this and other blog entries will seem trivial by then? In the meantime, be sure to keep following Adventures with Autism Works for further developments.

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