Indra, diagnosed with autism as adult, finds work that stacks up to what she loves
Indra was diagnosed with autism at the age of 45. Describing herself as an introvert at first, Indra always felt a little different growing up, emotionally and socially; she was relieved to learn of her autism later in life and felt everything pieced together.
Indra has worked in a variety of jobs from a supermarket to housekeeping at a hotel. It wasn’t until she became unemployed for six months, that Indra experienced some challenges.
“It was awful trying to find work. I struggled to write my CV and didn’t respond well to rejection. It was my doctor that said ‘you need to go to WISE’ as they are up-to-date with how to position me and my CV in light of my diagnosis. So I did, and since then it’s been great,” said Indra.
Through WISE Employment Ringwood, Indra met Anita, her case manager who has been an ongoing support.
“Anita helped me with my CV when I started to believe I didn’t have a chance to get a job anywhere and found me somewhere to work where I also have an interest in the product – I love stationery and there’s plenty at Officeworks!
I was ecstatic the job at Officeworks in Chirnside Park was a job that I could do and work on my own. It involves stacking shelves, directing customers to where the product is and helping with stocktake. It is repetitive work which is good for me. It means day in and day out I can finish a job I started which meets the criteria I need to keep me satisfied in a job,” explained Indra.
Brett, Officeworks’ Senior Store Manager has enjoyed seeing Indra flourish so soon in her role, especially her drive and commitment to Officeworks.
“Indra’s work ethic is really strong – she is keen to be in store and works hard when here. Her attention to detail is second to none and she is always wanting to do a great job. Indra has already expressed she wants to be here for many years to come – she is happy in her role, keen to learn and remain on what she’s doing. Indra enjoys being in a secure role,” said Brett.
Brett has seeing a few candidates from WISE Employment and his message to employers looking to hire someone living with a disability is clear.
“Absolutely do it. Based on our experience and hires, they work hard and take great pride in what they do, as witnessed with Indra. Her willingness to work and complete tasks sometimes is challenging to find in other employees every day. Indra is a true example of not wanting to let herself down or the employer down,” explained Brett.
Today, Indra works 15-20 hours a week due to her limited work capacity. She continues to work hard on the job and on herself, especially in teaching herself to look at staff and customers in the eyes more.
“I’ve got better at interacting with people since working at Officeworks. Once I know people, my playfulness comes in. I also get to see Anita from WISE as she shops where I work. I always say hi and help her, like other customers, with what she needs”.
“I’m happy to be working and want to show other people that if you are diagnosed with autism later in life, it’s never too late to find what you love.”