Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Jobs for Aspies; Project Management

This new series will look at a range of jobs which may be suitable for people with Asperger's Syndrome and will discuss the positive qualities they could bring and the challenges they could face.

Project Management is a field which requires both good time management and meticulous attention to detail. These are qualities that some people with Asperger's syndrome possess in abundance.

Of course, if you have an ADHD co-condition, then project management is not going to be a suitable career choice because good organisation is critical.

There are many different types of project management roles and many of these are in common "special interest areas" such as computing, engineering, transport, law and even simply in documentation such as standards and compliance. Provided that you join a project management team in an area close to your special interests, you should have no difficulty maintaining attention to detail.

Most project management roles will require tertiary education (a degree) and a bit of experience in the field, so it's not really an ideal first job unless you can find an internship.

Project management often involves high-level thinking and the ability to see both detail and the big picture at the same time.  This is an area where people with Asperger's syndrome have a distinct advantage.  There is also quite a bit of logic and procedure in project management - and charting too.

The hardest part of project management for people with Asperger's syndrome tends to be on the social front. It's quite common for project managers to need to attend lots of meetings and to deal with a lot of people.  Don't give up though because depending upon the types of projects you're engaged on, you may find that someone else in the team is more willing to take on that part of the role or that much of the project can be accomplished via other means of communication such as email and collaborative writing solutions.

Project management is not for everyone but it is a role in which many people with Asperger's syndrome can excel.