Monday, May 17, 2010

How to Apply For a Job

This past weekend my son and I went for a walk toward our local downtown area, and stopped at several places along the way to inquire about summer jobs. We discovered that most were not hiring, but he left applications anyway; three took online applications; and one suggested that he come back during the week. Later I went grocery shopping and put in an online application on his behalf at that store, where I was told they might still be hiring for the summer. In addition, he left a voicemail message for the person in charge of hiring umpires for our town’s youth baseball program. My son had worked in that capacity for six years and it was great experience for young people.

Here is the script we were following:

First, know that you can ask just about anyone about jobs, and they will always be happy to say: Let me find out; or let me get the manager.

Walk in and say “Hi – I was wondering of you are hiring either full or part time.” Whoever you ask might say, “I’m not sure; let me check with the manager.” Another possible response is, “Yes, let me get you an application; [or] “Yes, you can apply on line at www…” Finally, they might give the dreaded answer “No, I’m sorry. We’re fully staffed right now.” We also got one response of “I’m not sure, please stop back during the week.”

Having done that, the hardest part is over (for a while). Once you have the applications in front of you, either print copy (WRITE NEATLY!) or online, you can just fill it out and send it – electronically, in the mail, or go back and drop it off. Although it might be disappointing to get “No” for an answer, there should be no more anxiety-producing requirements until you hear back from a company that would like to interview you; a bridge we will cross when we get to it!

I don’t know whether my son will get any of these open pursuits, but I am very proud of the way he handled it. It is very difficult for neuro-typical people to cold-call for a job. He discussed it with his Dad and they came up with the idea of a little extra help. My son asked if I wouldn’t mind going with him to these establishments. Neuro-typical people might be nervous about walking in and asking about employment; but it is likely that they would know more-or-less what to say and how to say it. For my son, our one hour walk was just another coaching session, and I think he got a lot out of it in terms of how to approach this demanding undertaking.

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