Saturday, June 25, 2011

You don't need great emotional intelligence to make sure you keep your job, even with ASD,

Here's a story for you. Recently a major bank decided that one of its smaller divisions needed to be let go. About 200 people needed to find a new job. The bank was cool and most found a job elsewhere in the bank in a new role. A few of the sales people moved to a competing bank. Only one person was unable to find a new job in the bank; they were given two weeks severance.

To put your mind at rest they were NT; they did not get let go because they were ASD. They had a degree, a few years of experience and the bank even needed people in that role in other divisions. This person was let go because they were so disagreeable as a coworker no one spoke up for them. Even the HR person assigned to help this person find a new job finally threw up her hands and said "I can't work with this person any more".

The person in question was so hard to work with, burned so many bridges that even though rescue nets were in place to cushion or even prevent the fall everyone let go. To make the story even worse is that this person's reputation spread to other companies. Their phone was silent. You see in addition to pissing off everyone they ever came into contact with their work was, well, crap. Useless.

So what is the point of this depressing story? As an ASD person our social skills are often a weakness and cause us issues in the workplace. The thing is that we do not necessarily need to be perfect or the best, just not the worst. And it does not necessarily mean going well out of our way to pass as NT or kiss up. Doing nice things and avoiding a few well places traps will make sure you are in the same boat as everyone else rather than left to sink or swim your own.

Bring in candy to put in a bowl by your desk; speak pleasantly to others; don't gossip; limit meltdowns; do good work. You don't need a high Emotional IQ or a silver tongue and it will make sure you get the fighting chance along with everyone else.

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