i autistic » Adult Life » Employment Success with Freelance Jobs

To parents who want their adult autistic children to get a full-time job: it is a misconception that job security is best found in full-time jobs.

Employers especially dislike hiring people with special needs as full-time staff as these might be hard to fire should they not meet performance expectations or create unexpected problems at work. Until we can successfully change society’s attitudes, the pragmatic choice is to accommodate these employers’ concerns.


Working freelance for multiple anchor clients using one’s specialised skills can allow one to earn more money, stay employed even if one client pulls the plug, and become fully employed more easily because there is no need for employers to commit long-term.

Freelance work offers a better work-life balance, freedom from office politics, and no unnecessary social expenditures such as expensive lunches and wedding invitations [for instance, it is customary to give money as a blessing to newlywed colleagues when attending their wedding in parts of Asia].

Since autistics are unlikely to succeed by being promoted into supervisory and management roles, there is no need for a full-time job to get career advancement opportunities. Rather, it is easier to promote ourselves by raising our rates over time, learning new niche skills and finding new clients who are willing to pay more.

Why should autistics compete with all the NeuroTypicals using NeuroTypical strategies based on NeuroTypical definitions of success? Since we can’t copy NeuroTypicals properly even if we try very hard, why not strive to create alternative success strategies instead?


Freelance work is not as financially unstable as most people think it is provided that:

1) We have savings to tide us over periods of low business.

2) We have anchor clients who keep calling us back for repeat business so we don’t keep having to network and look for new clients. Social networking is our Achilles’ Heel.

3) We have specialised skills, or a large collection of useful skills, that are unlikely to be found in other potential competitors.