Workplace Soft-Skills Quick Tips
- Always be on time. It is critical to build a toolbox for your organizational skills so that you are able to be punctual and present at all jobs. If you are late, don’t avoid discussing it with your superior. Be brave, go talk to them about why it happened.
2. If you have a challenge with eye contact, have your “elevator speech” ready. There is NO shame in not wanting to engage in direct eye contact with people. Neurotypical employers often interpret a lack of eye contact as a lack of interest. We both know this could not be FURTHER from the truth, so it’s important you have a sentence or two in your pocket to explain your style of interaction. An example is “Please don’t take my lack of direct eye contact as a sign of disinterest. As an autistic/anxious/insert anything person, I can focus better when my eye contact is indirect.” Be proud of your neurodiversity.
3. Respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner. A good time frame for responding to emails and phone calls is within 24 hours. Even if the priority of the sender doesn’t necessarily feel like a priority to you, it helps to build trust to be responsive and reply quickly.
4. Find a place for your personal flair! While it isn’t probably the best idea to come to a corporate office in your favorite ninja outfit, it sure makes the day feel better and more authentic to bring pieces of yourself into your corporate wardrobe. Wear those rainbow socks, a Dr. Who neck scarf or your favorite Doc Martens. While it’s important to adhere to dress codes, it’s always a good idea to wear something to remember yourself and ground yourself during the day. What makes you special makes you strong.
5. Your neurodiversity is your GIFT! It is part of why you are working where you are working: your employer LIKES what they see in you. Use all of your amazing interests and personality traits to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to share your unique ideas…believe it or not, employers love to hear ideas from passionate employees. It’s worse to try to mask or hide your real self. Just remember to always take turns when talking, don’t ever talk over anyone while they are sharing their great ideas and always be respectful.
6. Under promise and over deliver. This means don’t promise your boss something you can’t be SURE you can do. If you have a data entry assignment, give yourself PLENTY of time to finish your task in a way that will make you feel proud and limit your anxiety. While it feels good to
7. Self-direction: If you CAN figure out an answer by googling or by just pausing to think of the answer, that is a great first step. That said, self-direction (being in charge of your own work, body, workspace etc.) does not mean you should suffer in silence if you have TRIED to find the answer. Always ask if you can’t figure out an answer yourself.
8. Be confident! You are capable of doing the job for which you were hired. Share your talents and know that you are a valuable asset to your team.