Is there a job recruiter for weirdos?
September 16, 2019 6:24 PM   Subscribe

In NYC, looking for a recruiter/headhunter to help me find a job, but I really don't fit into normal categories, nor do I know what kind of job I'm looking for or how to find it.

I'm 35, have a bachelor's degree in science, I've had a smorgasbord of jobs in New York, but never anything that's established a career track or built skills that show up on paper. The staffing/recruiting agencies I've looked at seem not to know what to do with me. Most recently I've spent the last few years founding, running, and eventually closing an artisan food business, but after that experience I really want something that's basically the opposite, by which I mean I want structure, a set schedule, and to work with a team (and to not be broke).

I'm on the autism spectrum, and this presents two big issues: I can't narrow down things with complex options (i.e. "what field are you looking in?", "what is the job title you're looking for?"), and I have a hard time getting the "tone" of job interviews right (but never am I inappropriate). It also means I'm not the best with sales/fundraising-type jobs were I have to do cold calls. I score very high on IQ tests and other performance measures, though. I have a broad range of knowledge and am great at solving problems.

Trying to find and apply for jobs myself brings out the worst in all my mental health symptoms, and currently my rate has been three days of suicidal self-hatred and total lack of social and household functioning per one application sent out. It's kind of impractical. This is why I'm hoping to find someone to help me do it, or someone who can get a feel for me and understand what value I can bring, and have the relationships with companies/hiring managers/etc to say something like "this guy might seem a little off, but he's really talented".

Is there a thing that can help me?
posted by Spock Puppet to Work & Money (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
built skills that show up on paper

anything shows up on paper if you write it down.

a good resume writer/editor who knows how to ask you the right leading questions will be able to condense your history into a couple of confidence-building pages. You have a degree and you've been doing some kind of work for a decade or more; this can be put on paper in a way that makes you sound employable. this is the step to do before getting hold of a recruiter. You need a document --maybe several--with structure and specificity to refer back to when talking to hiring managers and recruiters. (You may already have a working resume, but if it leaves you at a loss when people ask what kind of position you're looking for, it needs radical revision. you can pay people to do that for you.)

I really want something that's basically the opposite, by which I mean I want structure, a set schedule, and to work with a team (and to not be broke).


in short: a job. you can get a job.

I can't narrow down things with complex options (i.e. "what field are you looking in?", "what is the job title you're looking for?")


it may help to remember that you don't have to give the same answer to everyone who asks, and shouldn't. they may ask what is THE job you want, but all they want to know is what is A job you want.

do not panic over a history of having jobs rather than a career. most employers are offering jobs to their new hires, not careers, so they have no room to criticize. you have wide and varied experience that proves your adaptability, resourcefulness, and ability to learn new skills and systems. you need to back this up with specifics, but if you've had a lot of unrelated jobs, you do certainly have the specifics in your history somewhere.
posted by queenofbithynia at 6:58 PM on September 16, 2019


Have you talked to the New York Department of Vocational Rehabilitation? In my state, they're working with me and employers to help find work that can fit with my skills and education, as well as the various accommodations I need. Basically, they have a variety of resources, including 'the relationships with companies/hiring managers/etc to say something like "this guy might seem a little off, but he's really talented."' A lot more information is available here.
posted by katra at 7:35 PM on September 16, 2019


Nth Katra above.

A good quality temp agency should be able to do this. I rather liked temping for getting to try out different types of work, environments, office cultures etc. They also got to see me at work. You can say you prefer temp to hire, but I was actually offered an adjacent role from a temp position that wasn't (wasn't temp to hire). Direct experience takes the pressure off the interview process, and sometimes you can skip it entirely.

There are several mefites who do resume editing and the like - MeMail me or post it on mefi jobs. This might help you figure out what you're looking for and get your resume ready to take to an agency of some sort.
posted by jrobin276 at 5:41 AM on September 17, 2019


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