Twenty-year-old Ryan Lowry, a soon-to-be graduate, has been flooded with job offers across industries.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 17, 2021. It has since been updated.
Ryan Lowry, who's autistic, made a rather unique pitch to potential employers as he began his job search. The 20-year-old is a soon-to-be high school graduate. Lowry posted a handwritten note to LinkedIn asking employers to take a chance on him. He went on to add that he might not learn the job the traditional way but added that he has his own methods of learning quickly. Lowry's post resonated with many and highlighted the issue of employers often screening out candidates such as Lowry. "I realize that someone like you will have to take a chance on me, I don't learn like typical people do," wrote Lowry in the letter, reported CNN.
Ryan Lowry is a #gifted, 20-year-old with an #excellentmemory & #retentionskills. Ryan recently posted a letter to #LinkedIn to his “future employer” on how he would #appreciate his #autism to be seen and heard in the workplace. https://t.co/JUbhs4G69M pic.twitter.com/bjYOXJKdgY— RoseBud App (@RoseBudApp) March 15, 2021
He said he had a unique way of learning things. "I would need a mentor to teach me, but I learn quickly, once you explain it, I get it. I promise that if you hire me and teach me, you'll be glad that you did. I will show up every day, do what you tell me to do, and work really hard," wrote Lowry. The 20-year-old hails from Leesburg, Virginia. The letter was posted on the job search site and was captioned: Please see my letter to future employers. Lowry is set to complete a post-graduate high school program for special needs children.
He currently works at SimplyBe, a coffee shop but is set to end his time there once he graduates. His dream is to work in the animation industry. He had initially planned to type out a note. "He was going to do it on his computer and his younger brother thought, 'Why don't you write it?" suggested Ryan's father, Rob Lowry. Rather than mailing the letter to different people, they decided to post it on his LinkedIn page. The post gathered much traction with his post receiving thousands of likes and comments and reactions including a few job offers, said his father.
Lowry is now spoiled for choice with many companies reaching out to him. However, the one that he's leaning towards is an offer from Exceptional Minds for a three-year program designed to teach autistic people with autism about animation. Lowry is excited about his next job and is readying his resume and portfolio. He's excited about his next career opportunity, said his mother, Tracy Lowry. "I'm in awe and never thought this would happen over one written letter," said Tracy Lowry. "I'm overwhelmed with joy for Ryan and for it opening a whole topic of conversation among employers to helping ... people other than Ryan."
His post was flooded with positive comments. "Ryan, Every person on LinkedIn has been hired by at least one person that took a chance on him or her. I love your letter, attitude and self-awareness. Your experiences and talents will make you uniquely qualified for the right opportunity," wrote Jim Lambert. Another LinkedIn user, Tyler Cameron, called on employers to do more to accommodate those on the spectrum. "The unemployment rate for people with autism is upwards of 85 percent. The reason is simple — they have the skills to do the jobs, but employers screen them out, either with "personality tests", which have a heavy preference to neurotypicals or with BS interview practices (surprise panel interview, ridiculous questions like "how many jelly beans can you fit inside of a 747"). As a sperg, I get an overwhelming sense of "we don't want you here" at almost any interview I go to," commented Cameron. "This letter from Ryan really touched me, also because my sister in Texas teaches Autistic children and teenagers. So it's close to my heart. Sending over loads of positive vibes to you and everyone here," wrote Warren Fernandez.