Before I started my online business, I often looked for jobs for people with Aspergers Syndrome, but none of the suggestions ever wowed me. Those job opportunities are basically any jobs that don't require a high level of communication skills. Taxi driver. Factory assembly work. Gardening. Kidding, right? No disrespect to any of those jobs, but would any of us ever look at the list and go, "Wow! Working at a factory! What a good idea, never thought of that!"
Other job opportunities for Aspergers Syndrome include specialty jobs that require certain qualifications. I'm sure they're absolutely possible for young ones, but if you are diagnosed with Aspergers (or Autism Spectrum Disorder - ASD) later in your life, it could take years to learn any complex job skills. Highly technical jobs are out of the window for us.
You don't have to check off a "list of jobs for Aspergers" and find an employment opportunity. You can run your own business. I assume you can read since you're reading this. If you can write, then consider this. Because I'm doing it, and I've never been happier in my life, believe me.
The Signs Were Always There, It All Makes Sense
I'm one of those friendliest guys that you would ever meet. Always smiley and cheerful, I try the best of my best to be nice to anyone I meet. Eye contact - no problem. But I'm not one who comes up with interesting conversation topics one after another. In fact, I've always been staggeringly unsociable, spectacularly good at making excuses to avoid parties and social events.
As I was approaching the age of 50, I started to find it increasingly difficult to get on with my colleagues. I often became less cooperative just because I "didn't agree" with the suggested ideas. Comments that I made would startle others. ("Why, have I just said something wrong?") I knew the problem was with me, not with them.
When my doctor suggested that it may be a form of ASD, everything started to make sense. The signs had always been there the whole time in my life. My personality never fundamentally changed, but I somehow started to show it in my attitude blatantly.
Working From Home - I'm Not Missing A Thing
I was put on a waiting list to see the specialist who could teach me to work around it. Cut the long story short, it's been 2.5 years and I'm still on the list. They referred me to the wrong clinic, then they removed me from the waiting list in error, countless phone calls and letters...this is British national health service for you.
So I've still not been officially diagnosed yet. But you know what? Don't bother. Because my life has taken a pleasantly unexpected turn since then, as I started to earn enough commissions from my internet marketing job. It's not a life of luxury, but working from home for myself - I'm the happiest I can be.
People often ask me if I miss communicating with others face to face - Nope. Not the slightest. And it's not like I've shut myself out of the real life. I have my husband (who's been indescribably supportive), friends and neighbors.
What I Suggest That You Do
Symptoms of the Asperger's and the degree of severity vary from person to person. So all I can do is to tell you what I do and explain why the job proves to be perfect for me.
What I do is "niche" affiliate marketing, specifically through blogging.
An affiliate marketing itself might not sound interesting to you - you promote products on behalf of retailers/manufacturers, and upon sales, you'll get a percentage of the price as a commission. There are roughly two other boring ways of affiliate marketing;
- By networking - contact as many people (friends, followers via social media or via advertisements), and receive multiple levels of commissions by recruiting others for the scheme. You are required to have a flexible and extrovert personality and leadership quality to make a success. I don't like the way they hard-sell by talking others into their business. Definitely not my thing.
- By using paid services (advertisements or traffic service) - they have a simple 3-page website that advertises affiliate products. They pay professional advertisers to get visitors sent to their site. Some of the visitors might buy their products, they might not. The results are hit and miss, and the method is not sustainable. You have to keep paying the advertisers - the moment you stop paying, no visitor to your site, hence no income.
My method is simply by blogging, which is a lot more exciting. Blog posts in various topics allow the website to rank in search engines (e.g. Google) so people from all over the world can find you. The greater the number of posts you publish, the better chance of ranking higher. It's all about building up your website over a long period of time, you see?
Blogging is exciting not because you rank in Google, but because you can write anything you want and as much as you want! Okay, I'll explain what I mean.
Aspergers Are Excellent Communicators
We may have some difficulties in social communications, but we are established as excellent communicators in our own right. Agree?
For example, all my life people have always told me that I am "a good listener". It may be because that was the only way I knew to become friends with others. I've never been good at explaining things verbally. But without a conversation, I couldn't meet and make friends with anybody. I needed to talk, but I couldn't talk - the only way is to keep asking questions. Wow, how did you do that? How long have you been doing that? I see, that must have been very hard for you? Oh, is that where you work? Where do you live then?
Another example, I've always been better at writing than talking. People interrupt each other, and that's what a "ping-pong" conversation is all about. Unfortunately I'm terrible at it, especially with a three-way conversation. When there are three of us, I end up letting the other two talk to each other. I'm a "good listener" again. And when I start to talk, they interrupt me, so I cannot finish. I feel much more liberal when writing because (obviously) no one can interrupt me. I can finish.
Do these examples make me a bad communicator? In a social environment, most definitely yes. But I can communicate, by writing. Emails. By using blog spaces. And I'm good at it. I may not be a good writer, but I'm a good communicator.
If you think you are exactly like me - there's no way you should not be blogging to show who you are AND make money from the space.
How Can You Start Blogging?
To prove that, pick one thing that you have a great passion for. Or something that you're obsessed with? It can be your hobby, it can be something academic, or even something that you're good at but meaningless. It can be a TV series or heroes. Fossils, metal detecting, tarot cards, chess rules... It can be about Asperger's Syndrome itself. It can be a specific history, political issues or social movement. Something that you know a lot about.
You can build your website and start writing about the subject that you've picked in your own words, in your own style. You may have learned about the subject from other websites, Wikipedia or books offline. But a website - blogging - is all about showing the way you communicate with others. So it's important to write it in your own way. You never copy any sentences from other publications and paste them onto your web space. Otherwise no one will find your uniqueness.
When you've decided what it is, then think about 10 x topics that you can write about. If you can come up with 10 topics, then you can publish 10 blog posts. If you can come up with the first 10, then you can come up with the next 10 and so on.
For example, I was a huge fan of Paul McCartney. If I was to build a website and write about him, then it would be easy to find blog post topics;
- After The Beatles, Sir Paul has released 25 studio albums, 7 live albums and 99 singles so far. I could publish 131 blog posts in total, each one of which focused on one album/single (the detail, episodes and my personal review/memory).
- His support for vegetarianism (I'm also a vegetarian).
- About Linda McCartney and her legacy.
- My trips to Liverpool, what it's like now and what it was like then.
- Any Beatles-related topics.
Needless to mention, there are thousands of other bloggers who have already written about Paul McCartney and his music. The subject is extremely competitive. But if I was to create my own Sir Paul appreciation site, I would be creating my unique, special one just by being myself. I would check other sites and Wikipedia for more information, to make sure I'm not writing something wrong. But if I gave a piece of slightly wrong information in my site, so what? Someone would contact me to correct me. Then that would create another communicative gateway.
If you don't think you're good enough as a writer, look at me. I'm not a good writer. Far from it. English is not even my mother tongue, though it's my main language. You don't have to pretend to be someone else. In fact you'll have to be totally yourself in your blogging space. People would love to see real you. As long as you don't write anything that's illegal, unethical or damaging to anybody.
...And Make Money As An Affiliate
The idea of monetizing your website is very straightforward. Because almost anything that you can think of in the world can be linked to merchandise, and you can promote related goods on your site as an affiliate. For example;
- If you write about a running/marathon, you can promote running shoes, clothing and fitness tracker watches.
- If you are obsessed with chemical elements, you can promote periodic table related products and books.
- If you are specialized in a certain illness, you can promote related guidebooks, herbal remedies and any other equipment that's said to be useful.
- If you write about Paul McCartney, you can promote his music!
When your site visitor clicks the link and makes a purchase, you will receive a commission from the retailer. Here are the first few steps to take (there are other things to do but these are the main steps.) You need to;
- Join an affiliate program. It's usually free, and your application will be approved within a day or so, as long as you have a website.
- Learn to place your own affiliate link to your webpage. It won't be difficult, I tell you!
- Learn to find good keywords and how to write effectively using the keywords, so that your webpages will start ranking in Google and people will find you. Not exactly easy, but you can take as much time as you want to improve your skills (and enjoy!)
Or Sell Your Own Goods
If you are an artist/creator, you may have already been selling your own works through some e-commerce sites. But did you know that it wouldn't be difficult to build your own e-commerce site and sell your stuff directly? When you have complete control over your business through your site, some extra work may be involved such as packaging and shipping yourself, sending dispatch notes, etc. But there are benefits such as;
- Brand awareness - display your logo on your site, design your site in any style you want, and start building up your subscribers (=your fans!)
- You can write anything you want - what inspired you to create each of your works or what inspires you generally, what you admire the most in life. Other topics that are related to the products that you sell.
- Make extra affiliate income - along with the income by selling your own products, by placing some advertisements on your website, you can also make affiliate income.
These benefits may sound like fantastic things to do, but it's the bunch of blog posts you publish that will find the buyers "organically" - through search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Without blogging, your e-commerce website will be forever unknown to anyone, unless you continuously advertise it across social media, or use paid advertisement services. But again, blogging is definitely something that you can do. Remember, you don't have to be an excellent writer. Keep writing, and that's what counts.
Perfect Jobs For Aspergers – Work Online
People with Aspergers can run their own business by working online just like I do. You will not succeed overnight. It will take time to establish yourself as a niche affiliate marketer/blogger. But comparing to all sorts of problems that you've battled with so far in your life, this is going to be easier and exciting. You can take all your fun with you, and make money. If you want to start learning, join me from the link below. Any questions, leave a comment!