In January 2016 we decided to offer a job to Trevor in our company Consetta Group as our Media Director. In his job as Media Director he is accountable for three lines of business; Trevor's View on Hollywood movie reviews, Trevor Pacelli Photography, and Growing Up Autistic marketing and publicity. As we launched into this new venture with Trevor as both our son and employee, we all recognized that we needed to put some things in place to help Trevor grow, ensure we all stayed aligned on what needed to be done, and also ensure that we keep some separation in his roles as son and employee. In meeting the need, we put several things in place to make this workable for all of us.
As we got into our journey, we realized that some form of time tracking was important for us to do. Not only was it important for us to do to keep us aligned on where Trevor was spending his time, it was also an important step to keep us from micro-managing his work each day. We created a simple excel spreadsheet with four columns:
Based on Trevor's time tracking we generate a time distribution of how Trevor spends his time each month using an Excel Pivot Table. Trevor then creates a pie chart showing a percentage distribution of where his time is spent each month. Below is the time distribution for work done in May (data masked for privacy)
At the beginning of each month, Trevor, Patty and I sit down together and we talk through what got done for the prior month, where he is spending his time, and what he will get done in current month. These conversations get better and better with each month. Our discussions revolve around praise/suggestions for prior month dones, suggestions on how to execute current month dones, and helping him in areas that he needs assistance. Our conversations aren't all rainbows and unicorns as we want him to experience the professional workforce as realistically as possible. We also expose him to the financial numbers for his lines of business so he sees both the revenue and expense side of what he's doing. Even with some of the constructive messages we're able to keep the ball moving forward each month.
While we've had success using this approach with Trevor, there will undoubtedly be some bumps in the road that we will have to address. At this stage in the process, we are encouraged that we are helping Trevor onboard to a fruitful professional career and are helping him to build the long-term skills he needs to succeed.
For more about advocating autism in the workplace check out Six-Word Lessons for Autism Friendly Workplaces.
Lonnie Pacelli is a project management, leadership development, and autism awareness advocate. Most importantly he is Trevor Pacelli's dad. see more about him at lonniepacelli.com
Inspiration for Life with Autism
This blog has a variety of articles about people living life with autism, and topics and ideas that can help in the journey. Guest bloggers are welcome. Inspired by Trevor, a young adult film critic, photographer and college graduate on the autism spectrum.