Volunteer Services are a great way to prepare for work in the real world. Volunteering can be a sort of head start program for Aspies. Here’s why:
1. It gets you out of the house and interacting with people in a positive way that benefits you and your community.
2. It’s a non-threatening way of finding out what kind of work you like, what kind of hours you can handle, and how long you can stand to be part of a work place interaction.
3. If you don’t like it, you can quit. You will still give notice so that someone can cover your shifts, but if you find the co-workers snarky, or the clientele is too much for you to handle, well, no harm done.
4. You will learn to schedule your responsibilities. You have to make a commitment. You have to show up when you say you will. You have to be good at what you say you are good at. You have to know that you can get there (public transit, walking or bicycling) on your own.
5. You will learn to be reliable and punctual. You will get good references if you do,.
6. You will learn to work with other people of varying ages, professions and education levels. You will become part of a team. You will learn how to interact with them in a non-abrasive way.
7. You will learn to understand heirarchy–how people rank in an organization, and how they fit together.
8. You will learn to follow orders–to listen carefully, to ask questions if you don’t understand or are not sure of what is being asked of you, and to find out what special tools or equipment is to be used in the carrying out of these orders.
9. You will develop different skills, to varying degrees of competence. These skills do count on a resume.
10. You will experience limited rejection–most organizations are more than happy to greet new volunteers.