How Stack Recruitment helped the fantastic Ellie, an autistic adult, find meaningful employment.
Emily here! This blog is all about Ellie and how she gained meaningful employment with a bit of support from us at Stack Recruitment.
The start of Ellie’s job search…
Ellie messaged Stack in October 2019 as she wanted to kickstart her job search again. She was made redundant a year previously and had applied for many roles, but had unfortunately had no luck.
I met Ellie on a chilly day in Reading, where we headed for a coffee to share stories and make a plan of action to help her find meaningful employment. She told me that she found applying for jobs stressful as an autistic adult, especially with the anxiety associated with the interview and feeling like she had to mask her autism to appear ‘neurotypical’. This really impacted her self esteem and meant she couldn’t go any further with her job search.
We spoke about her ideal career, skills and experience and I could automatically see she had a lot of potential but needed a bit of support to bring her confidence back. We decided to create a plan to match her to a fantastic job and get her job search started.
Ellie gets hired!
Fast forward to November and Ellie has landed a job interview! This is amazing as the job is the perfect number of hours and an ideal commute, meaning she can still be close to her family.
We arrange a phone call to help her prepare. This involves ensuring she’s getting the right reasonable adjustments to reduce anxiety and to make sure she’s comfortable.
She absolutely smashes it and gets the job!
“They were extremely sensitive to my needs, they even got the supervisor to show me some machinery in action to ensure that it was ok for me. Thank you so much for your help. And guess what? I can wear my Doc Martens and jeans!”
“Omg!!! I can’t believe it! I feel so happy but choked up, a weird feeling! Thank you so much, I just can’t believe someone would say something so nice about me!”
Visiting Tea People’s newest employee!
I went and visited Ellie in her new role at Tea People in January to see how she was getting on. On arrival, I met Ellie’s employers, Vishaka and Neeraj, who are also the founders of the business.
After sampling some of their award winning tea, I learnt all about Tea People, their commitment to helping those less fortunate and hiring neurodiverse employees.
Tea People are a fine speciality tea company that develop and produce hundreds of fine tea blends. As well as this, they are a social enterprise that helps address the educational development of impoverished areas in India.
Ellie works in the operations side of Tea People where she does everything from receiving orders, sorting through stock, packaging items within a small team and providing excellent customer service.
It was clear to see Ellie was flourishing in her new role! It was great to see her confidence levels had increased since we first met and the smile on her face when she was working.
Changing the attitudes of employers
I had a great time visiting Ellie and meeting the founders of Tea People. Seeing her happy and flourishing in her new role is rewarding, however another huge benefit of what we do is when we see employers realise the benefits of hiring autistic talent.
“Initially we we’re concerned about hiring an autistic individual, however we are so pleased we did as Ellie is an asset to our company”
Neurodiversity can be such a huge benefit to employers, and with the right support they can create an inclusive workforce.
Thanks to Tea People for having me and showing me your wonderful business.
How Stack Recruitment can help you
Here at Stack, we help employers hire autistic talent through our specialised recruitment agency model. All you have to do is to get started! Or,if you’re an autistic adult looking for work, just Register and Submit your CV and we will support you finding a job.
Hello my name is Hazel and I was diagnosed with autism when I was 15. My story doesn’t have the best start from being deemed a ‘dumb’ child and found it difficult to make friends my own age. When I transitioned to secondary school it was tough. I couldn’t settle in and got bulled because I was different. I became so unhappy with school that I would fake stomach aches to stay at home. It got to the point where my attendance was down to 85%.
I was determined to fit in and decided to change my physical appearance to do this. I started dieting which turned into me starving myself. My parents sent me to CAMHS, the child adolescent mental health service. I was diagnosed with anorexia and spent 10 days in hospital.
After leaving hospital, the months that followed got worse. I couldn’t attend school and got angry at myself. Spending time at home got too much for me and I was sent to a psychiatric ward where I spent 10 weeks building myself back up again. When I left I started preparing myself to go back to school. I still found eating a challenge but I was finally on the road to recovery.
In 2013 I started back at school part time. Doctors were investigating my eating disorder and toyed with the idea that I might be autistic. By late 2013 I was diagnosed with ASD. I wasn’t surprised at all as it explained why I did certain things. My school were informed and I was moved to a SEN department. I received one to one help with my GCSE’s and concentrated getting 5 ‘C’ GCSE’s to get to college. At college I was able to make it to the higher course for art and design and really enjoyed it there.
When I left college I got my first job as a seasonal sales assistant at a retail store. My first day was on the busiest retail day of the year, black Friday. I’d had no training apart from a 10 second demonstration on how to use the tills. It was so busy so I was unable to ask for help from anyone, including managers and colleagues. I had to figure out how to use the till and do the role on my own. As well as this, the queues were building up, which meant customers were often rude and impatient. I felt invisible and that everyone viewed me as a ‘lower human’. I quit after just 4 days.
My second job was with a fabric sample business. The hours were long and the job was very repetitive. It got to the point where I asked management for a different task and they said no. It felt like the walls were closing in around me, as the building had little light, no windows and I was completing the same tasks day in day out. This led to a breakdown at work and I asked the manager if I could have a 5 minute breather outside which is when my manager became angry telling me I didn’t want to do my job and I was ‘slacking off’. It was almost like I was a young child being told off by their Mother. I was able to speak to another manager where I was able to explain why I was in such a state. He was empathetic as no one had told him about this, and let me go home. He said he would keep the job open if I wanted to go back, to which I didn’t.
My third job a seasonal job at a resort. I went along to an audition and felt very out of place. Despite this, I got the job and was given a chance. The long hours and requirements of the role took its toll on me. I had breakdowns every day and found it really tough. However, the staff tried their best to support me as much as possible which was really refreshing, as no other employer had given me a chance before. I was then moved to a customer service role which put much less pressure on me. I was able to work with customers with ease and it felt more natural. I had no breakdowns and really enjoyed it. Everyone I worked with was really nice and empathetic. I left there with a more positive view on my abilities and motivated to do a more creative job.
Despite my experiences, I now feel like I understand myself better. I have a passion for theatrical makeup and have been doing makeup for 5 years. It started because I hated my appearance, but turned into a love for treating my face like a colouring book and expressing myself. I’m able to create makeup looks that represent certain things, and recently completed a look to channel my emotions that helped me gain confidence to be myself. Id love to make this my career.
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