Once you’ve secured employment, it is important to continue working hard to maintain your job. The key to long-term employment is to do your job well and maintain a consistent high quality of work.  The following are tips and tools to help maintain long-term employment:    

Performance

Be sure to understand what your responsibilities daily and long-term are. If you are unsure, you can ask your supervisor to put your job responsibilities in writing.

If your supervisor has not already done so, schedule a performance evaluation at the 6-month or 1 year mark. This conversation can help you improve on some aspects of your job, and learn what aspects you are successful at.

Natural Supports

These supports refer to people and systems in place that will help you continue in your career once supplemental supports, such as job coaches or orientations, end. 

Supports can be relationships that occur in everyday life: family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc.

Dress/Hygiene

Don’t get too comfortable at the office. Make sure you understand the dress standards and always present a professional appearance every day.

Coworkers and Supervisors

Create meaningful connections with others. Connections will help you gain more supports in the workplace and ease any problems that might occur with other employees.

Have an open dialogue with coworkers and supervisors to explain your needs for effectively communicating and working.  Having an open dialogue will also open up communication for any problems that may occur in the work place.

It is important to advocate for yourself.  If you feel that you need a reasonable accommodation to help become more efficient or if you are experiencing discrimination in the workplace, speak to your supervisor about it.

Respect your boss and coworkers. You may think that there is a better or simpler way to do something, but you should still follow established rules and procedures. If you feel like something in your work environment could be improved, suggest it to your boss or supervisor in private.

Self-Regulation is the ability to control impulses and actions to either stop doing something or start doing something, even if you are not inclined to do so. Self-regulation is important as it will help you to follow the rules of the workplace and help create relationships with coworkers and supervisors.

Customer Service

When working with customers, it is important to remember that they always come first. Customers are how your company makes money, so it is important to keep them happy so that they continue to use or buy your product.

Do not argue with customers. If you have a misunderstanding and are having difficulty communicating with them, ask a coworker or supervisor for assistance.

In many situations, it is okay to disclose your disability (if you and your employer agree). Disclosure can help break down the communication barriers between you and the customer and even let you explain to more people what an autism spectrum disorder is.

If you are working in a store or for a company that involves interacting with the public, it is important to learn and understand customer service etiquette.

Know the laws that protect you!

Section 504 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination of an individual due to a disability and allows for reasonable accommodations and modifications to the environment.   

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.

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