Must be outgoing

This week, I have a serious problem with recruitment agents. I will soon be job hunting in earnest and, while I prefer to apply to employers directly, I know that many will use recruitment agents as a go-between. Why is this a problem? Well, there are actually lots, but today I’m focusing on their narrow view of humanity in general.

The title of today’s post is a phrase that has appeared in every recruitment agent’s job advert I’ve looked at so far. To give you a context, I’d estimate that I’ve looked at 30-40 adverts over the last week.

And you know me – you know I’m not looking at sales or PR positions. I’m looking at roles related to accounting, which is a large part of what I do now and is what I’m training to become qualified in.

When I was fresh out of uni and and looking to broaden my skill set (and greatly lacking in experience) I accepted several low-paid jobs, customer-facing, requiring me to be “outgoing” and “confident”. I muddled through. I felt uncomfortable every day. Now, working with numbers, I really don’t see the need to be outgoing or socially confident. Yes, I can work well within a small team. Yes, I know how to talk with and email people in a way that is not offensive or too sharp. Yes, I can use the telephone effectively, even though it often still gives me stomach ache. But outgoing? Me? NEVER!!!

And why should I have to be? Why is this word appearing in every sodding advert? Are there no jobs for people like me? Should I just curl up in a corner and wait for death? Should I retire from stress and rely on benefits for the rest of my sad, unproductive days? What a load of crap!

Aspies – do not listen to recruitment agents telling you you need to be different to get ANY job. We CAN do all sorts of jobs. We CAN contribute to society, and to paying our own bills. We CAN function in the workplace.

If you’re using recruitment agents and you’re worried they don’t see you as a complete person, don’t trust them to find you a good job. Apply direct. Think about what skills you really have and how valuable those can be to employers. Don’t feel you have to try to conform to someone else’s narrow perspective. We are real people and we have a role in society.

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