Posts Tagged ‘shy’

Need career advice

Lately I have been facing two major problems in my life. My loneliness that I’ve mentioned before and problems in my career and the possibility that I will have to leave my current career over something that may be a result of me having Asperger’s. Both are causing me sleepless nights and I’m facing some very hard times as I figure out solutions to both problems if there happens to be problems. For the loneliness unfortunately there isn’t a solution that offers a guarantee of a resolution to my lowliness. For example, I could leave Utah to find a state with more diversity but there is no guarantee that this will help with my loneliness. In fact, initially I would be more lonely as I will be leaving my family base here in Utah. There doesn’t seem to be a resolution for my career either as it seems that all information technology jobs require me to have a skill (Oral Communication) that I cannot seem to master so even if I were to get another information technology job I will be in the same boat. There really isn’t any IT jobs that doesn’t require oral communication skills. I could change careers but I will have to take a big pay cut and be even more limited in my career options. Plus there doesn’t seem to be anything other than IT that I have any talents in.

My employer has a grading scale of 1 through 5 with 1 being unacceptable, 3 being average, and 5 being extraordinary. The average employee scores 5’s in all categories but my overall score has been a consistent 3 ever since I started. Some of it had to do in the past with coming to work late and missing deadlines, falling asleep at work which I haven’t done in a long time. My biggest issue is Oral communications. My boss keeps saying that he use to be shy but was able to not be shy but this isn’t so easy for me and it appears that Asperger’s is a factor in my case. My boss told me that when he first took over our unit he thought that I couldn’t talk. As a result I am stuck where I’m at and would like to move up the ladder.

I mentioned this problem to my therapist and she claims that I could make an Americans with disabilities claim but I don’t think this is the case. Reasonable accommodations doesn’t inlcude eliminating a skill requirement for the job. For example, a person who is deaf or hard of hearing can be supplied with assistive technology such as closed captioning, having someone who know sign language sign, etc for meetings but they cannot completely eliminate the requirement that they have to have good listening skills. Through assistive technology, someone deaf or hard of hearing is able to participate in the workforce and listen to meetings and co-workers.

I’m trying to decide if I should leave the Information Technology field altogether even though I have a college degree in Computer Science and it pays more than most jobs or try to find an IT job that doesn’t require so much oral communication skills if such a job exists. Also should I leave my current employer? I’ve been working at my current employer for over 25 years and have seniority. I didn’t work in IT my entire career though. I started out in data entry making a little more than minimum wage, moved to a job mailing out notices, and finally getting a job in IT. It would be a difficult change for me and there is the risk that I won’t do well at another employer and end up jobless. If I do decide to leave IT, where should I go? First of all, I don’t have very many talents and computers is my primary skill and it was my dream job to go into IT. I enjoy my job in IT but don’t like scoring 3’s out of 5’s and being unable to move up. I’ve tried many approaches to develop oral communications and not be shy but all my attempts failed and lacking oral communications is the main reason I’m scoring so poorly at my job.

It bothers me especially reading many sites that say Information Technology is a great job for shy and introverted people when in my case it is an okay job but I am getting nowhere since I am shy and lack oral communication skills. Due to being shy I don’t participate in meetings as often as others which hurts me when it comes to my evaluation and I’m stuck getting 3’s. I was thinking of this one sleepy night when I suddenly remembered one of my college professors saying that if you are introverted that Computer Science/Information Technology isn’t your field and you should consider a different major if you are shy and introverted. It seems some people feel IT is the perfect field for introverts while others don’t and looking at a lot of IT jobs from other employers they also mention good oral communication skills are a must. Can anyone offer me advice on what to do?