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Planning Your Career Through Intense Interests

A Guide for Autistic People

Planning a career around your special or intense interests is possible and, in fact, easier than you might think! If youre wondering how you can turn your love of animals, intense fascination of transportation or passion for information technology (and much more!) into a fulfilling career, that you will never get bored of, youve come to the right place!

Yenn Purkis and Barb Cook are leading autistic advocates, employees and business owners and are using their first-hand knowledge and the power of special interests to help you plan your future in this book. By straying from the conventional paths and thinking differently, Yenn and Barb could help take your passion for outer space and help transform you into a budding astronomer or even aerospace engineer!

Full of helpful advice and activities, including goal and vision setting, identifying your skills and personality attributes, looking at what makes a positive workplace, common attributes of autistic employees and business owners and challenging assumptions to name just a few, this book will help you to find work that you truly enjoy and thrive in the workplace.


Yenn Purkis is an autistic and non-binary advocate, author and presenter. Yenn has a Masters degree in Fine Art from RMIT University. Yenn has given a presentation for TEDx Canberra and has been a frequent keynote presenter at autism and disability events for several years. Yenn has a number of awards, including the 2016 ACT Volunteer of the Year award and a number of other awards for community leadership including being nominated for the Australian of the Year award in 2017. Yenn has worked full-time for the Australian Public Service since 2007. They have facilitated a support group for autistic women and gender diverse folks in Canberra since 2011. Yenn has featured in media interviews for many years and was one of four autistic adults featured in the ABC TV documentary Alone in a Crowded Room. Yenn lives in Canberra, Australia.

Barb Cook is a Neurodivergent Developmental Educator and holds a Master of Autism degree from the University of Wollongong. She is a published researcher on autism and mental health, and recent projects of self-determination and self-advocacy for autistic adults and youth suicide prevention. Barb is a prolific writer, speaker, and advocate on neurodivergence, and is founder of Spectrum Women Magazine, NeuroEmploy and the NeuroDiversity Hub, based in Gympie, Australia.

•Barb Cook and Yenn Purkis are well known authors and advocates who are very well respected in the community, they both have a particular investment in employment - they are very well placed to write and promote this book

•This book covers a topical issue surrounding disability and employment especially in young people


"This highly practical book will be really useful for autistic teenagers and young people to support their successful transition from school or higher education to the world of work. The authors have brought their lived and professional experiences together to ensure that the advice is useful and easy to implement."

- Dr Emma Goodall, author, researcher and autism consultant.

"Autistic adults often face challenges navigating the job market, but Planning Your Career Through Intense Interests offers a fresh perspective on leveraging our unique abilities. By tapping into our intense interests, autistic individuals can craft fulfilling careers that align with our passions. Yenn Purkis and Barb Cook provide practical advice and real-life examples to inspire readers. Apart from empowering autistic individuals, Planning Your Career Through Intense Interests should be embraced by parents, business leaders, educators, service providers, and anyone with an interest in seeing autistic people thrive. As someone who coaches autistic individuals navigating the job market, and as an autistic person myself, I highly value this book."

- John Marble, Founder of Pivot Neurodiversity.

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