The main piece of advice that I would give to other people with autism is try to get experience that is as wide as possible to gain awareness and see what field you would fit in to

Luke - Civil Service Intern

Find a mentor: This is someone you trust who you can ask for advice regarding how you best demonstrate your skills and abilities to people who might employ you. A mentor is someone who knows you well and wants to help you grow your career. The best mentors aren’t necessarily friends or family (although they may become friends over time) as they need to be able to advise you without some of the emotions that some of those you’re closest to might have. Examples could be a former colleague, someone who supported you at school or college, or perhaps a friend of the family

Be yourself: You want to find work that allows you to be relaxed and comfortable. You also don’t want to have to pretend to be something you’re not, as having to do this for long is bad for both your mental and sometimes your physical health.

Be happy to talk about your hobbies: Your experiences and what you enjoy outside of work may have given you skills which you can use at work. Be proud of your interests and hobbies. If people are amused by your passion, that is a good thing - and remember to be yourself!

Research different types of jobs: Go online and read and watch videos about different types of jobs. Talk to other people who do that job already. This can help you to understand what you want to do and just as importantly what you don’t want to do. The National Careers Service has information about a wide variety of careers and jobs.

Research different companies and industries: As well as deciding the type of work you want to do, you also need to decide what type of company or sector you want to do it for. Size of organisation and the sector a company operates in can create very different jobs. For example, you could decide you want to work in accounts because you love spreadsheets and the fact that maths is very logical. There are lots of different types of accounting roles, but even if you decided you wanted to work in billing (the department that generates invoices and collects cash from the businesses customers) working in billing for a small charity, is very different to working in cash collections for an engineering company even though the job title might be the same. 

Relate your life experiences to work: Throughout your life you will have developed skills and lived through experiences that can help you in the workplace. You might have raised money for charity, you might have organised a society at school or college, you might have put on a show as part of your drama group.

All your experiences are chances to show how you have used your initiative, worked as part of a team, spoken in public and other great competencies that employers are looking for

Prepare a Curriculum Vitae (also called a CV or resumé): A CV contains a description of the experience and skills you have to offer an employer. It usually has information about your education, qualifications and previous jobs. It could also contain information about your personal interests, especially if this is relevant and uses skills appropriate to the job you are interested in. It should highlight the things you are best at.
Make it easy to read and simple to find important information such as your qualifications and experience. You might also include links to your social media profiles and include your email address and other contact details.

Talk to people in work: Express an interest in what other people do for work and what their companies do, particularly if you know people who either do what you’d like to do, or who work for the types of companies you’d like to. But even if you just talk to people about what they like about their job, it will help you increase your understanding of what work is like, so that you can be better prepared for interviews and eventually starting work.

Create a profile on LinkedIn and keep it up to date: LinkedIn is a social media platform, a bit like Facebook, that people use to manage their careers and to engage with the people they know through work. A lot of recruiters use LinkedIn to find people to fill their roles and they will look at your profile – especially if its good and highlights what you can do - and may contact you.

Keep all posts polite and tactful on social media: Think about what you put onto social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: Everyone can read what you write, and no employer wants to be embarrassed by something you say online.

Practise the skills you need for the job: Relevant experience is always good. If you are great at IT, make sure you have skills with current software and processes and that you have included them in your CV and LinkedIn profile if you have one. You can think about work experience or being a volunteer to develop your skills.

Always be learning: So that your skills continue to develop and so you can show your future employer that you’re keen to learn.

The world of work changes fast and one of the most important things employers look for in job applicants is a willingness to learn and develop themselves