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Declining Job Offer due to ASD

8 replies

Willowcat77 · 22/09/2022 12:09

Hallo, I have ASD and have just had a good job offer but think I will have to decline because the idea of changing to a new job is too traumatic. I have been doing the same low paid but relatively low stress job for the past 11 years, for a worthy charity. I know I could do better career-wise, because I have a first class degree but I have never had a graduate type job because I don't think I can handle the stress.

I did once accept a higher level job but had a severe mental breakdown as a result of the stress which took me years to recover from.

My husband is upset that I want to reject the new job offer, because I worked so hard for the interview etc and I am not fully using my talents where I am, but I am terrified of history repeating itself. I now realise I will probably never change jobs, unless they sack me.

I feel really bad about wasting the prospective employers time and don't know how I'm going to tell them. It was such a good opportunity and I feel like such a loser. But at least my current employers like me and the job is manageable. Can any of you relate to this? Is this sort of thing common with people with ASD?

OP posts:

Tired2tired · 22/09/2022 16:34

I just quit the first job I've had in years today, I was only 2 weeks into it. So I get where your coming from the sheer anxiety of change, not knowing any of the orouritn


Tired2tired · 22/09/2022 16:35

Bloody mn posting too soon! It jumped down to the post button while I was typing and I posted!
Not knowing any of the routines etc, I don't blame you for not changing, your health is important!


Willowcat77 · 25/09/2022 14:35

Thanks @Tired2tired Yes, I'm trying not to feel such a failure about it. At least I have a job, even though I'll never be a high flyer now! Apparently only 22 percent of autistic people are in any kind of employment, so I should be grateful.

OP posts:

LivingMyBestLie · 26/09/2022 06:57

It's amazing that you stepped out of your comfort zone to interview.

I'm a hypocrite saying this, because I'm in a similar situation myself trying to push forwards (in a low paying job with a degree and previous career), but sometimes you have to remember to get off the hamster wheel. Striving for more to the detriment of your mental health isn't going to make anyone happier. And that matters more than money ultimately. Being a high flyer with stress, lack of time etc isnt always something to strive towards.

You know yourself best. If you don't feel you can take the job at the moment, then be true to yourself. Accept yourself and be kind to yourself x


Clarice99 · 26/09/2022 09:56

Willowcat77 · 25/09/2022 14:35

Thanks @Tired2tired Yes, I'm trying not to feel such a failure about it. At least I have a job, even though I'll never be a high flyer now! Apparently only 22 percent of autistic people are in any kind of employment, so I should be grateful.

You're not a failure! I think it's really positive that you have a good understanding of your limitations.

A lot of people (not just autistic people) don't have that grasp and go into jobs that they're not suited to resulting in burn out/stress/anxiety etc.

IMHO, you did brilliantly to apply for the job and undergo the interview process, so give yourself a pat on the back for doing that AND for being successful in getting the job. Declining the job is your prerogative. Your health and well-being must come first.


hoorayandupsherises · 27/09/2022 12:33

At my job, they are creating a new job, which will be large parts of my current job, but would be a promotion.

The thing is it would also involve a lot of managerial tasks - everything that is a nightmare for my ADHD/ASD. I am always on the edge of burnout as it is.

I am getting sick of explaining to people why I will not be applying. If it was a physical disability, I suspect people would accept that a lot more readily.

You are doing the right thing. I've been pushed into other jobs in the past by people saying I should make more of my abilities and it was always a mistake for me.


Willowcat77 · 27/09/2022 20:24

Thank you @Clarice99 @hoorayandupsherises and @LivingMyBestLie I really appreciate your replies. I do feel better now. I now feel so relieved I decided not to take the job. As you said, you can feel pressurised into changing jobs just because of other people's expectations. I did this about 15 years ago and had the worst nervous breakdown of my life. I never totally recovered from it and I still get flashbacks. I just can't risk this happening again.

OP posts:

OneFrenchEgg · 28/09/2022 20:21

I think a lot of us can relate to this.
I (and I assume others) have an almost PTSD like reaction to new or difficult social interactions and I remember being all fresh and excited about work (not knowing I am autistic) and just repeatedly getting knocked down for my personality / never invited anywhere/ annoying people / getting irritated emails or replies etc. Changing jobs when I'm somewhere that tolerates me is a terrifying idea.
It's also really common I think to be extremely well qualified and competent but not to reach that potential in the workplace.

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