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As most of you know, I've been unemployed for over seven years now. During most of that time I was in college working on two degrees, and near the end I'd held a couple of internships for some real world experience. I was also naive enough to think that perhaps all this would at least get my foot in the door with a few employers. Boy was I wrong.

I busted my ass day and night in the hopes that I might be able to make some kind of decent living, but here I am, right back at square one because the outlook for Information Technology for Florida as a whole is bleak at best due to the loss of the shuttle program.

The other thing that seems to be a kicker for me is that I don't communicate too well. I've never been too good at talking to people or telling them exactly what they want to hear because it's just not who I am.

I like to help people with getting things done and assist in solving problems where and when I can. In my experience with hiring managers, though, I can tell you that's not what employers want. They want someone who can make the image of a business look good even when they're at their absolute worst.

That's not who I am either. I don't like to lie or stretch the truth just so the shareholders and CEOs can squeeze a couple more bucks in their checks or bonuses at my expense.

I've tried job fairs, job websites and everything else you can think of, and still, nothing. This also isn't doing me any favors when it comes to stress or boredom, but you get used to it after a while.

I suppose that's what we get for being 'different'.

See you around,

Homer

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

    by Homer177 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 05:21:35 PM PDT

  •  If they won't hire you to do what they want (6+ / 0-)

    you to do, then just do whatever it is you want to do that's within reach of your resources at any given time.  If you can handle working with people well enough that they'll take free work from you, volunteerism looks better on a resume than long employment gaps.  Or just make stuff - be it written works, computer programs, artworks, or things fabricated in in a 3D printer (there are websites where you can upload designs and they mail you the products).  Just a few ideas off the top of my head.  I have Asperger's too.  

    Democracy is a habit, not a circumstance.

    by Troubadour on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 05:39:09 PM PDT

    •  I don't do very well with the artistic stuff.. (6+ / 0-)

      I've also been volunteering on and off over the past few years. I'll be volunteering with my county's school board IT department soon so at least that will be something to do.

      I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

      by Homer177 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 06:32:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hello. (6+ / 0-)

    I'm only a Mom of an autistic young adult.  I don't have any advice really.  Jobs are hard... for anyone at this point.  But I know that you and my son both have skills and qualities that are in high demand.  It's all about selling yourself, being your own advocate.  Which is hard.  And there aren't any easy answers as you know.

    My son is volunteering within a hockey organization.  He's trying desperately to get a job there.  Even a part time gig.  

    Our hope is that he can work there on the weekends and night games and go to school, community college.  But thanks to this administration... Yes, Obama's, the testing for the disabled has gone away.  There are no alternative testings..  So he'll keep trying and trying.  He wants to be in Sports Business.  Statistics and getting information for the team/radio.  

    In his school program - he has only one more year - they do tons of community charities.  Lots of volunteering.  Which looks great on his resume and has given him the skills, experience as well as some confidence.  

    I don't know what the future holds for him or you.  But don't give up.

    Take care.  Keep writing.  You're wonderful at it.  

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 05:53:03 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, I've done a few volunteer and paid gigs. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, Damnit Janet, Eileen B

      I'll probably be doing a few more as time goes on.

      I prefer to show people what I can actually do and let that speak for itself. But since we live in a country that relies more on image than anything else, that's near impossible to do.

      I've also had to deal with neurotic depression since my early teens which doesn't make things any easier.

      I'm not surprised that the Obama Administration eliminated the testing you're talking about. He's just doing what the righties have wanted to do all along and it's pissing them off to no end. Too bad that won't help us one bit.

      I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

      by Homer177 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 06:40:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dealing with SSI is a nightmare. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, Homer177, Creosote

        I can't begin to tell you the troubles he's had with them.  They want you to screw up with the rules by not letting you know any rules at all.  It's a 'wait till you fuck up" deal.

        My son is super scared of his future.  He's worried sick right now about the next hockey season and if he'll be able to be a part of it.

        That's all he wants to do - be a part of the community.  

        Do his share.  Help out.

        There's a place for all of us.  At least there's supposed to be.  It's hard not giving up.  I get so damn mad at the agencies that are supposed to help, be support and all there are just bs.  A barrier to leap around.  

        One thing his teacher said about his on a video in one of my recent diaries about my son is that Wesley is not the type of guy to let you down.  He doesn't give up.

        Keep writing.  You give others the real picture of what's going on.  Which can cause others to take action.  

        Part of it is just getting people aware.  

        "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

        by Damnit Janet on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:13:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Denied ten times in five years. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Damnit Janet

          I had received disability benefits as a child, but was switched over to survivor's benefits after my dad died.

          After I graduated high school I lost even those benefits and spent five years fighting tooth and nail to get them back. I tried everything. Legal counsel, writing to representatives and senators, everything and I was still denied.

          I figured that if I went to school and tried to make myself marketable to employers, I might have a chance at making a half-way sustainable living, but that was never how it worked. Not ever. That's just a lie they tell you to keep from questioning the social order.

          Trust me, I know your son's situation with the SSA all too well. They won't do the right thing until they're backed into a corner and it's complete bullshit.

          I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

          by Homer177 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:30:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  My advice is to forget ANY sort of corporate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Homer177, BlackSheep1, Creosote

    environment.

    Your comments make it clear that that environment is completely wrong for you and any competent HR person is going to pick up on your animosity.

    Are there non-profits in your area that do work that interest you? Have you considered hiring a head hunter to work on your behalf?

    Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

    by Morgan Sandlin on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:28:37 PM PDT

    •  By the way, I want to thank you for your diaries. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZedMont, Homer177, Eileen B, Creosote

      They have inspired me to not only do research but also to have some wonderful and enlightening conversations with three individuals that I know with the syndrome.

      Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

      by Morgan Sandlin on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:37:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Glad I could be of service. nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eileen B, Creosote

        I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

        by Homer177 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:45:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's worth looking into. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Morgan Sandlin, Eileen B, Creosote

      I'll have to look up non profits where I live. I'm sure there are a few.

      I have an employment specialist at a local place that is supposed to help people with disabilities, but it feels like they do more harm than good.

      I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

      by Homer177 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:44:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I suggest it only because I met one of the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZenTrainer, BlackSheep1, Creosote

        individuals I referenced above because she works with a community non-profit that my husband and I support.

        She went the "volunteer" route at first but after showing what she could do was placed on the payroll. An impressive young woman and definitely an asset.

        Non-profits may be more willing to think outside of the box..a good thing.

        Good luck and I'll keep reading your diaries.

        Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

        by Morgan Sandlin on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 08:01:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Are you good at programming? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Homer177, Eileen B, Creosote

    You certainly seem to have the brains for it.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

    by Neuroptimalian on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 08:24:43 PM PDT

    •  I majored in database administration. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eileen B, Neuroptimalian, Creosote

      Many of the courses were programming related with html, xml, sql and OS administration for Windows and Linux both on the client and server side.

      I've also had some GIS experience on the side.

      Linux was a good bit of fun and I like the concept a lot. The only problem I have is not many apps can be used with Linux.

      I've also got some books on C# and C++ I need to get back into so I can keep my skills sharp.

      I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

      by Homer177 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 08:52:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Given your background, then, ... (0+ / 0-)

        you might look into dB admin for medical offices and the like.  With the mandatory conversion to digital record keeping, many are over their heads.  

        Someday (soon, I hope) I'm going to need a dB whiz to help me with a major genealogy website I'm planning.  If you're interested, I'll keep you in mind.

        My nephew (13) has mild Asberger's, so I have some idea of what you're trying to deal with.  He's a math whiz who hates writing with a passion; that's a major hump in the road I'm trying to help him with.

        Good luck!

        "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

        by Neuroptimalian on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 10:32:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's more or less what my last internship... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neuroptimalian

          was all about. We were converting the county's watershed inventory to a digital database. I was the top guy during the project and got glowing references for my work.

          I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

          by Homer177 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 05:03:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  looks to me like the problem might be Florida (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Homer177

    the Space Coast isn't hiring ... but are there wind farms or power plants that might be, for GIS skills specifically?

    This little search showed openings all over Texas:
    http://workintexas.jobs/...

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 10:28:01 PM PDT

  •  The problem is Florida. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, GoGoGoEverton, Creosote, Homer177

    The market's awesome here in Silicon Valley for anything IT, and most places are paying for relocation.  Employers are paying for outsourcing the entry level jobs for a decade now that he boomers are retiring.

    The biggest thing you can do, more than anything else, is start programming something.  Anything.  Contribute code to an open source project.  Put code samples up along with your resume.  Anything you can show as recent work with your name on it.  If you can code, you can always have an updated resume, even if it's not paid -- it'll at least start getting you the phone screen on jobs that do pay.

    Then, make sure you update your LinkedIn.  Startups post on Craigslist quite a bit.  Dice is great for finding contract work.  If nothing else, you can hit up ODesk or eLance for project work -- again, something to have recent work on the resume.

    Also, learn something Linux.  Everyone knows Windows because that's what the colleges teach and that's what's on the desktops.  The Web and it's APIs run on Linux though.  There's far more LAMP (Linux, Apache, PHP, MySQL) stacks serving content than IIS/ASP.  The big data technologies are all running on Linux.  

    But seriously, relocate to CA if there's any way you can.  We're a mostly-socially-awkward lot in the IT sector in Silicon Valley.  Asperger's-wired people fit right in.

    I pull off being normal around here well enough, anyway.

    •  I was trained in Linux and SQL programming. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Technomancer

      It's a shame the college I went to didn't offer more training with Linux. I like the concept.

      I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

      by Homer177 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 05:09:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  College is a problem for web-scale work. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Homer177

        Namely, no college teaches you what you need to know, even at the Masters/doctoral level.  College budgets have been ravaged, so whatever gear and software get given to the school is what gets taught, so it's mostly Microsoft-related technologies, with some Mac on the desktop/laptop level.  There's very few colleges dealing with Linux at anything more than an "Intro to Unix Programming" level.  Nobody's giving away $500k/each NetApps, or $15k/each database spec HP Proliants, or the high end Cisco networking gear, and many of the technologies that power services on the massive-scale/big data end of things are still so new that classes haven't even been developed for them outside of corporate training, like just about all of the NoSQL databases (MongoDB does some free online courses), Hadoop, etc.

        On one hand, that's a boon if you're able to teach yourself these programming languages and technologies, since proof you can do it matters more than a degree, and slightly more than how many years you've spent doing it.

        Given the relative rarity of people skilled with these technologies, companies can't afford to toss out resumes of people that can prove they have skill in a needed technology, even if they don't meet the requirements listed on the job requisition.  Get five years of experience under your belt, even via 5-10 short term contracts, negotiate smartly for salary (remember, in this market, they need you more than you need them, no matter how desperate your personal situation is -- ask high and let them talk you down because they WILL negotiate), and you won't even have to apply for jobs anymore -- headhunters will start sending you jobs.

        On the other hand, however, that's part of the reason why workers get put out to pasture so quickly in this industry -- if you aren't constantly keeping yourself trained on the latest and greatest, either out of your own pocket or on the company's dime, you will fall behind, and the lack of organized training due to how fast the technology moves puts those people that lean better in a structured class environment at a disadvantage.

        •  So I noticed. Just look at Windows 8. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Technomancer

          I had no experience with that until recently and boy do I despise it. It's a good thing the Windows + R trick still works when you need to get someplace, because I had a hell of a time trying to navigate that nightmare of a start screen.

          The other thing is, as another poster mentioned above, I hate the corporate environment with every fiber in my being. I'd rather help some local businesses here modernize their infrastructure so they can do better business.

          I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

          by Homer177 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:06:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's another Silicon Valley perk. (0+ / 0-)

            There's a ton of smaller IT-related shops that don't function like a normal corporation.  There's a ton of non-IT related businesses in the area that aren't using digital records or scheduling for their business -- there's quite the market for people that enjoy doing that sort of thing.

            Me, I did my time at two big corporate shops (Citigroup and Apple), and used those resume bullets to do what I really wanted to do -- work in the video games industry, and doing so at a place where I know everyone.  Hated working for large corporations because I hate not being able to see how what I'm doing affects the overall health of the org I'm devoting over a third of my life to (as the 40 work week in programming or systems administration is completely dead).

            Given your social tendencies, I'd definitely recommend trying out some six-month remote work contract gigs if you can get your hands on them.  They don't pay a ton, and you do have to live frugally since there may be some space between contracts -- at least until you can reliably get interviews at smaller shops where you'll function better.

            I really can't reiterate trying to move here enough, though.  Life seriously sucked until I moved to an area of the country where how I'm wired in the brain was an advantage, not a disadvantage.  Having a wife that's patient and caring and knows that when I lash out or I get overloaded and go into antisocial asshole mode, it's not because of her and it's a sign that I have sensory overload and need to get the fuck away from people is a boon.  Working for companies that are willing to overlook my social flaws because they're so common out here reduces a lot of my stress -- I know that if I do something socially stupid, it'll get forgiven or even laughed off.

            Yes, it's expensive as fuck out here.  Yes, sometimes it even hurts my liberal bleeding heart when I see my tax bills.  On the other hand, that money I'd save living somewhere cheaper wouldn't even be close to worth how amazing it is to live in a civilization where my abnormalities are an asset to be prized and bid on rather than marking me as some kind of "other" to be wary of...or worse, pitied.

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