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Does anyone know what would be a good job for me?
9 points by MountainMan1312 5 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments

I hate to use this card, but I'm autistic and I'm struggling to think of what kinds of jobs I could apply for. So far all the jobs I've had have just kind of fallen into my lap before I knew I even needed the job.

For the past several years I've been doing freelance carpentry, remodeling, and general handyman stuff. Work was booming for a while, but died out when lumber prices skyrocketed. I haven't had any jobs in months except for little oddball stuff family has me do out of pity (installing a door 2 weeks ago is the highlight of the entire winter season). I really need to find a job if I don't want to end up homeless, but I don't want to "just get a job" and be a mindless laborer.

Before the carpentry stuff, I was a project manager, 3D CAD guy, and SysAdmin at a small industrial metal fabrication shop. I handled over $1M in (gross) sales one year, and I handled the company's 2 highest-sales customers. I was single-handedly responsible for making the company compliant with legal regulations: I wrote the employee handbook, created the SDS books, arranged for annual maintenance on fire extinguishers, etc. I also standardized the company's aesthetic, color palette, document templates, fonts, and all sorts of other "public image" type stuff. I developed an application (in Excel) to estimate the prices of jobs, and they still use it today to price every job. I also re-designed the entire manufacturing process for a particular JIT machine for the automotive industry and cut the time-to-manufacture down by over 50%.

I'm into tech as a hobby, and I've been going to school for InfoSec just for the free financial aid money (because I need money since I'm out of work). I just generally like to tinker and hack on things. I've been into Linux since my early teens, and I've recently gotten into Emacs. I've been script-kiddying with programming since my early teens too, but in the past year or so I've been putting a lot of effort into learning more in the way of programming my own stuff. I've been learning C and Emacs Lisp, and in school I'm taking a python class. I also started building a data center in my bedroom (only 1 rack server so far). Sometime soon I plan on learning more about microelectronics and hardware programming.

I don't have any certifications or degrees. I have massive gaps in employment because I've tried to do so many things on my own.

Does anyone have an idea of a job that would be a good fit for me? I really like to hack, tinker, and take on projects that require me to think a lot and come up with creative solutions. I'm not so good at grinding out tasks that just need to be done. I tend to try to find ways to avoid doing a lot of repetitive nonsense work, which means I usually try to find ways to automate it or negate the need for it. That's what caused so much stress at my project manager job. They expected me to "just get the work done", instead of working on ways to make the work unnecessary. I want to improve things, not just keep mindlessly churning stuff out.

> I'm not so good at grinding out tasks that just need to be done. I tend to try to find ways to avoid doing a lot of repetitive nonsense work, which means I usually try to find ways to automate it or negate the need for it.

Work on yourself, you're like everyone else. One of my boss used to say: if you enjoy doing it, it's not work. And it's kind of true, no actual job comes without annoying things to do. There is always something that you don't want to do that needs doing.

In my opinion, the key to this problem is to try and understand how and why your repetitive and annoying tasks are relevant to a broader "mission". Try to find a sense of accomplishment. Carpentry work is full of these repetitive tasks, but once you finish a project, it must feel pretty good.

The other solution is to take a job that is zero-thinking, pure execution, and do it part time, then tinker on the side. The zero-thinking job can be pretty meditative, if it's physical, can be good for your body too, and it brings some money in, so it can actually be good to reduce the stress level overall, and if you do it part time, you won't have a sense of losing your time that much.

Just some thoughts.


Jerry : If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.

I recommend test automation. There is a ginormous gap between the kind of innovation you are looking for and what most people are capable of delivering.

Ironically being really good at test automation will allow you to become really creative and increase your value. I call that ironic because QA work is otherwise boring and repetitive because most QAs are not capable of developing and most developers are not expected to be creative or innovative at the typical large corporate job.

Seriously, most people super struggle with test automation. They expected it to be done in a certain predefined way using tools they are already comfortable with or they completely panic in a way looks that autistic. The goal is to solve very real business problems and most employers don’t care so much how it’s done as long as you can dramatically lower operating expenses and lower maintenance risk, which is weird because they always expect actual development to be done in a very specific way to conform to established internal norms.

If really want to go crazy do test automation of both Java apps and test automation that executes in the browser. Most people struggle to automate any of that even outside of test automation and frameworks to more than turn on their monitors.

Hello! Work should be fun. It's good when work and hobby are one and the same.

If you like learning PC and automation, try DevOps. You will automate processes with scripts.

If you have good writing skills, sounds like you do and decent technical chops, try finding roles in technical writing. Amazon hires doc writers that need to be technically proficient while having excellent writing skills.

As a suggestion: a person who is responsible for improving internal business-processes at manufacturing facilities. Look for Paul Akers on youtube. Waiting for other comments.

> I want to improve things, not just keep mindlessly churning stuff out.

Do it as a solopreneur/indie hacker. If you have a job you gotta do the job, not what you want

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