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Marc Segar 1974-1997


A Survival Guide for People with Asperger Syndrome

Jobs and Interviews

  • In an interview body language is extra important and you want to look confident and relaxed. You are also expected to sit still with your arms by your side or on your lap and a good posture and this might be an effort for you. You are expected to speak clearly and professionally.
  • First impressions are extremely important.
  • Prepare as many possible answers for as many possible questions as you can but don't over-rehearse or rigidify your answers. It is good to get help at this stage.
  • Know what your skills and talents are.
  • The interviewer will often drop you a few hints towards the end of the interview (using mainly body language) to let you know whether you are likely or unlikely to get the job.
  • There are courses and classes around which teach interview technique.
  • All the same rules apply in the workplace as they do anywhere else but the one difference is that there is something at stake, your job. This means it is extra important to keep a clean slate or you might be a target for scape-goating which is a very nasty threat to your job (see distortions of the truth).
  • If in doubt, keep quiet. This is often seen as a good quality in the office.
  • Like it or not, as an autistic person or someone with Asperger syndrome, some jobs will be more suitable than others. Examples are as follows:

Suitable jobs

Unsuitable jobs

Graphic designer

Computer programmer

Computer technician or operator

Research scientist

Medical research scientist


(Which are respected professions which generally take place in environments with people who tend to be a perhaps just little bit more accepting of the needs of those who worry. Please note that I have specifically chosen to show quite difficult careers here and there are plenty of easier careers available.)




Solicitor or lawyer

Police officer

Doctor, dentist or health inspector

Secondary school teacher

Airline pilot

(All of which can be highly stressful and competitive occupations which involve making difficult decisions and compromises under intense pressure from other people)

  • In the workplace, everyone is usually under a constant struggle to keep their jobs. This means being organised and methodical all the time to avoid confusing situations. Good communication is very important.
  • Sad as it may seem, devious games can occur in the work place and sometimes you might feel great compassion for someone else who is on the verge of losing their job unfairly. However, to defend them can often be putting your own job at risk as well. If you do wish to defend someone against a higher authority, first ask yourself whether it is worth the risk.
  • Be on the lookout for the "authoritarian personality". These are people who tend to be very much bound by the rule-book, very respectful of higher authority, bossy to junior staff and quite hard to reason with. What really needs to be respected is the fact that these people can often be much more cunning than they look.
  • If you are doing your own research, you may find yourself in a situation where you wish to patent, copyright or create proof of ownership of a piece of work you have produced. The easiest thing to do is to make a copy, seal it in an envelope and post it to your home address. It gets the date stamped on it in the post. Don't open the envelope when it arrives but keep it sealed and stored away in a safe place. Recorded delivery may be more reliable and legally airtight. Also, keep any notes you have written whilst producing your work. You now have legal proof that it is your work and should not have to worry too much about it falling into the wrong hands.
  • You tend to meet three different kinds of people in life, meek, assertive and aggressive. Aim to be the assertive type.




Looks down.

Keeps his fists clenched (a closed signal)

Often speaks too quietly

Steps backwards when spoken to.

Has a weak hand shake.

Has an upright but relaxed stance.

Maintains eye contact when listening or speaking (for over two thirds of the time), looking at the face as a whole.

Has a firm handshake but not too firm.

Stands still with a stiff, rigid posture.

Keeps his arms folded.

Shouts and points finger.

Bangs desk or table.

May give eye contact almost the whole time he is speaking (looking straight into the eyes).

Is better at talking than at listening.

Is easily put down by others

Is often angry with himself for allowing others to take advantage of him.

Is shy and withdrawn in company.

Cannot accept compliments.

Says "oh dear!" and "sorry" too much.

Is able to say "no" when needs must.

Can express his true feelings.

Is interested in other people's opinions as well as his own.

Tries to treat everyone as equals.


Likes telling other people what to do.

Thinks his own opinion is always right.

Likes to tell other people they're useless.

Tends to make himself quite lonely because people feel they have to be careful around him

Adapted from Ursula Markham's book "how to deal with difficult people"

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