I am a freelance journalist in Los Angeles with quantifiable success but having trouble getting help moving into a new and more lucrative career, because I am too advanced for a lot of the disability focused state funded services and not successful enough for conventional headhunters and job coaches.
Job advisors I have worked with–both aimed at neurotypical clients and people with disabilities–tell me I am hirable but then abruptly drop me because nobody knows what to do with me.
I was the kid who was told to not set my sights too high. My parents were told that I would not be able to survive in a regular university and I should be targeted to vocational/factory type careers. We did not listen, and I have a Masters and BA to show for that. Before 2001, I spent my young adult life being bullied and fired at a variety of PR companies, and when I graduated, my university placement services would not help me get that important first job.
After a rough 18 months where I went through five jobs, and was told teaching was my only option because of my spotty job record, In 2002, I got lucky and found several freelance writing jobs that led to a freelance career, and supplemented my income with work as a substitute teacher. I got bullied and fired from one of my two districts this past year, but have no recourse and may lose my credential if the woman who fired me plans to place a spurious report with the California Teaching Credential office on why she fired me (this woman is known for trashing past employees and getting away with it, and she breaks a lot of state labor laws and gets away with it). I am still in good standing with another district which I have been with a lot longer, and can probably get good references there.
I tried out for and got turned down for several media jobs, because of my age (46) and the editors admitted to me younger people are more appealing for their looks and willingness to accept low pay. I have reached out to all kinds of Autism and Asperger’s organizations and university programs and nobody will do anything for me unless I pay thousands of dollars I do not have. While friends encourage me to apply for disability, lawyers in the field tell me I will probably not be “disabled” enough to qualify.
My 86 year old father is pressuring me to go into a business though he cannot articulate what that business is.
There is shockingly very little information on good mid career options for journalists looking for more stable work. I was advised paralegal may be a good option, but am not sure if this is another inherently ageist field, and cannot get any help or direction.
If you can offer ideas or suggestions please let me know.