Updated: Jan 29
This is a video interview with Justin, discussing what would enable him to succeed and thrive in the workplace. Below the video is a transcript for those who would prefer just to read the interview.
Edited for clarity.
So my next question though is, so if you could design a workplace, design a world. How would you set it up so you could be successful and use your skills to the backs of them? How can you set it up so you could thrive as adjusted just the way you are?
Ooh. wow. You might have to hold the tape on this one, just so I could think on this one. You know, I think, I think those on the spectrum are bound by the normal eight hour day in some cases. And I hope this is in line with trying to answer your question, but we need to have a little bit, like I did see a post other day, but somebody how we had to react now to, to someone's email and the request for something we need to start understanding and realizing that it might not be just nine to five anymore. And in some cases I'll have thoughts at four in the morning, five in the morning and thought I want to present to you. My mind is always thinking, always going. And I'm sure yours is always, you want to go to sleep,
you want to take notes, et cetera, et cetera. So it would have to be, I think it would be, you know acknowledge and understanding that we're all, especially in these days and times living a more difficult life, our schedules aren't the same as they were transportation. Nothing's the same. You can't get HPE, you can't do certain things. So I think that for now, for me, for basically anyone or for most people is I think we need to have a little more freedoms within the workplace. Time-Wise not be bound maybe by certain time limits, maybe understand certain deadlines. But otherwise, you know, I think in terms of like, as an office set up, there's, it's something like that. You don't want a ton of distractions. I don't think I can be distracted by three or four items, maybe not two. So I guess in some cases I don't want to say stare, like the back of the wall is here, but you know, no distractions freedom, autonomy you know, and, and, and I guess maybe better access to truer information. It's, you know, it's hard to prove what's going on outside there. I guess, you know, I hope that answers your question. You're asking me questions. I really haven't thought of and are really making me think. And I hope I don't have answers that come via email to you later.
No, I would love to hear them because these are the three areas that I think are more critical. I mean, I've been doing research for this area for three years and I have a son with autism and I have a daughter with ADHD, two nephews with autism and I think five or six nieces and nephews on the other side of the family with some form of neurodiversity. So I'm highly impacted by, Oh, and I married a man with ADD, so it's it's, it's, it's everywhere with me, but I do find that we have in challenges that come with with that diagnosis or that those identities, and those are the challenges that we have to deal with every day, but then there's the way they affect our work. So I think that's the way we need to look at it. How does being neurodivergent affect our work?
Let me give you the greatest. Let me give you, this is one huge thing that I've explained that I personally experienced that I'd never understood. And I don't know if anyone else on the spectrum. And I wonder if you're going to hear more about this business and personal, personal, I'm the same person, whether I'm talking to you at a park or in the office doing work for whatever work I could not understand. I'm like, why do we have to separate the two? Why can't we keep, why can't we intertwined business and personal, huge hang up with me. Huge, huge, hang up with me. You're talking about to me, this was, I never understood it. And I, you know, after all I was like, well, a handshake used to be the way we would do a contract. Now it's 18 pages. It's three signatures. It's a process.
So I never understood that as I grew older. And then I started seeing people that they were different in business. And then when you went home and hung out with them on a Friday night, they were different there, you know? So it was like, you're two different people. I'm the same person. I don't know if you oversee that. And I would be interested to know if you ever, if you ever find that we have a tendency just cause we don't care, we're just seeking the general truth, I think. Okay. just a general way of getting things done. So that to me is one thing I wanted to mention to you is that I could never separate the two. And it took me, you know, I don't know, 40 some odd years to separate it, big hangup. I know that affected me. It had to affect me.
Yeah. It's interesting. Cause I find people to that degree or saying, I hate when people ask me how I'm doing, because I just heard at work.
So it's, it is it's extreme. So, but what, what you're telling me is what it's one way or another, you know what I mean? Like it's that black and white of being on the spectrum either. I'm at work and I have my work thing or I'm just me. So you take me how as I am. So I think that's kind of, it goes along with that one way or another, but you're just on a different than somebody else. And that's, I think what we see with people on the spectrum is it's a degree here to a degree here. There's no gray area
There really no, there isn't gray area. It took me 49, 48 years to understand abstract paintings. I was working, I was working as an independent contractor in a guy's place. I never understood abstract. And then it took me 49 years and I go, that's beautiful. And he goes that. He goes, that's abstract. And I'm like, I get it now. I finally get it. We, I think it takes our… in the workforce with us on the spectrum. I know that we can adapt and change. Some of us are, are stuck in a situation where we're obviously more connected or disconnected. Okay. but I do believe like a person like me, I've learned to adapt and change over the years I had therapists that said you've adapted to change real well. You seem so normal. But once you get to know me you realize I'm not, so I'm not “neurotypical” I am wired differently.
To see Justin's interview on Challenges, click here.
To see Justin's interview on Barriers, click here.