Ever feel like you’ve done everything right and still end up like it all went wrong?
Where you’ve mastered every facet of your work, acquired new skills, checked the boxes, and yet — failed?
When you look around and realize, while you may do everything better than everyone else, you are not the best?
This is a hard lesson in life, even harder in The Life Autistic.
“There should be logic to this,” we think. “The whole should consist entirely of the sum of its parts — that’s how it works!” we plead.
That’s not how it works.
Early in my career, I thought that mastering my current job would be the gateway to the next level up. Surely, being a top Advisor would open the doors for me to manage, right? (Don’t laugh.)
But it took a different set of skills (like coaching, motivation, leadership, organization) to progress.
“Ah, so that’s it — it’s all about the DIFFERENT skills!” we think.
As I picked up skills that helped me move beyond to organization leadership, I was motivated to “learn all the things” and fortify every deficiency for success.
Forecasting and staffing? Check.
Employee engagement? Check.
Reporting? Check check check CHECK.
Hopefully your neurotypical minds figure out what took my autistic mind too long to discover, only after I’d stalled.
It’s not about the skills.
It’s about attributes.
Respect. Tact. Diplomacy. Patience. Approachability.
Not just what you do, but who you are.
I was dismayed. I’d done so much, and I thought I could solve it all by doing. But as it turns out, it’s about being.
Your success must go beyond your skills.
In The Life Autistic, it’s so much easier to do, do, do. The idea of being is not impossible, but it’s tough! To practice things that would normally be just someone’s personality – that’s difficult.
It still doesn’t always make sense to me.
But I’m still making sense of the world. Making better sense of me and people like me to the world.
3 thoughts on “The Life Autistic: Why Your Skills Can Only Go So Far”
That seems to be my situation. I achievel a lot in terms of academia and knowledge, but lack the other elements that are required to turn it into a career. Thanks for that post.
I know the feeling in a sense; I thought I was going to graduate and become a professor, writer, or at least something with wordsmithing – definitely didn’t pan out that way (and that was OK!) Hoping you’re finding a fulfilling path, even if it’s very different from your academic domain.