Specialisterne Academy Helped Mathias Gustafson Get a Job
Mathias Gustafson exudes confidence when he speaks of his skills:
“I excel in data processing and I am an expert at pattern recognition.”
His academic background in Physical Geography from the University of Copenhagen has granted him a specialised, but narrow skill set. He is particularly good at crunching quantitative data in Excel.
Mathias now has a full time job at Danske Bank
Despite his skill set, it was difficult for him to get a job after finishing his degree. He finished his final thesis in February of 2021, and was unemployed for more than six months.
Thankfully a case worker from the local Job Services realised that Specialisterne Academy was the perfect opportunity for Mathias Gustafson to get out of unemployment.
Indeed, Mathias Gustafson was on-boarded as a full-time consultant with Specialisterne immediately after finishing his 12 week program at Specialisterne Academy. He now works on site in Danske Bank’s compliance department. In this position, he uses his superb pattern recognition skills to assess the incoming client data and determine if it is correct and above board, legally speaking.
Specialisterne Academy was an essential stepping stone on his path from unemployed to consultant. This is partially due to the honing of his skills using realistic and relevant training exercises. And partially because the 12-week training program pulled him out of the stagnation and isolation that often comes in the wake of unemployment.
“It was a very positive experience to go from just sitting at home, alone, to being together with other people. In the beginning we were all a bit quiet, but now we talk a lot. The communication is purposeful, because we are working on the same project. So it all makes sense.”
Specialister Academy trains the candidates in realistic business cases
At Specialisterne Academy the candidates hone their skills solving recent business cases previously solved by Specialisterne’s team of consultants. This way, the academy candidates recieve training in skills and tasks that reciprocate the actual needs of the companies Specialisterne work with.
To Mathias Gustafson, working on real business cases felt much more relevant and meaningful:
“It was very fulfilling to solve the business cases instead of just doing “busy work”. I was put on the CBS business case almost immediately and stayed there, because it was clearly the best match to my particularly skill set.”
Traditional recruitment processes automatically exclude autistic people
Mathias Gustafson is quite certain that he would still be struggling to get a job, had it not been for Specialisterne Academy. He reckons that being autistic makes it more difficult for him to gain a foothold in the employment process.
Despite being confident in his skills, he finds it quite difficult to “advertise it” in a traditional recruitment setting.
“You are supposed to say the right things to a potential boss, and that is really difficult for me. That is what makes recruitment so difficult when you have an autism diagnosis. When I read a job ad, I take their demands for qualifications very literally. Usually, when they ask for a specific qualification, they don’t actually expect you to be an expert. They just need you to have the necessary foundation skills to learn how to do it in a couple of weeks at the job. But my gut reaction is to assume that I have to be an expert.”
Specialisterne prepares companies to receive neurodivergent employees
To ensure a good on-boarding process for both employee and employer, Specialisterne has created a new service spear-headed by Commercial Director Bina Hjort. She makes sure new consultants like Mathias Gustafson transition smoothly into their new workplace.
”Bina Hjorth functions as an ice-breaker in the initial contact with the company. “In my case, she was really good at communicating my “selling points” to Danske Bank. She knows exactly what the manager needs to hear. She told them about my skills and gave them a step-by-step guide to the accomodations I need to be happy in my new work place.”
An important tool for Bina Hjort is a short training program aimed at the whole team receiving a neurodivergent consultant from Specialisterne. The training program is an important part of the Management Program Specialisterne has created to ensure that companies can fully appreciate the Autism Advantage. In the on-boarding proces of Mathias Gustafson, Bina Hjorth had a meeting with the team and gave an informative speech on team work with neurodivergent colleagues. The meeting between Danske Bank and Bina Hjorth made the on-boarding process down to earth and accessible to the the new team receiving Mathias Gustafson. It is important to remove the trepidations and doubts a workplace might feel in receiving a neurodivergent employee. You can read more here about how Specialisterne can prepare a company for receiving a neurodivergent employee.
How to feel safe in a new job
A new job is hard for everyone. Which is why it makes Mathias Gustafson feel safer knowing that he can reach out to Bina Hjorth and the rest of the team at Specialisterne, should he need to.
“If I feel insecure or other difficulties arise, I can reach out to Bina and get the help I need. She has taught me that it is OK to be at a 30% efficiency in the beginning, and then slowly increase intensity. That is very important, because otherwise I would be inclined to work at a 120% intensity and burn out after three months.”
This examplifies why Mathias Gustafson needs a more explicit alignment of expectations than a regular new employee. And it shows why he needs a little more time than usual to fully land in the on-boarding process. Because otherwise he might end up running on all cylinders until he burns out, just to prove that he is “good enough”.
“I am very stubborn. Too stubborn, actually. Because in the end, I just burn out. In that sense, Bina Hjorth has been indispensable in the process of me and my new workplace getting to know each other. Now both of us know that I need to ease myself into the work tasks and slowly increase the intensity.”
Mathias Gustafson explains that prior to his late adult diagnosis of autism, he was very prone to putting too much pressure on himself. Making striking the proper balance in his work life all the more important to him.
Specialisterne Academy will help you bridge the gap between your expertise and employment.