Patrick Taylor: Author, Animator and Digital Marketer

A published author and skilled animator who holds two diplomas and a rewarding digital marketing job, Transition to Life graduate Patrick Taylor has a lot to be proud of. With a number of years of post-Transition to Life success under his belt, we sat down with Taylor to talk about work, life and what he has taken away from his experiences so far. 

Taylor arrived at Transition to Life a fresh-faced 18 year old. Reflecting on his experience now, he says he was looking to get a number of things out of the course, most notably job experience. Prior to his involvement in Transition to Life, getting past the interview stage had proven difficult – a fact Taylor contributes to a lack of preparation.

“I hadn’t really prepared for the questions that they were probably going to be asking me,” said Taylor, explaining that he was caught off guard by the hum-drum interview style case study questions of “what would you do in this situation?”

“Holding eye contact was also a problem with the people I was interviewing with,” he added. 

Taylor understood what he needed to work on, and came ready to his Transition to Life course. With the help of his instructors, he practiced possible interview questions that were likely to come up and strategies for maintaining eye contact. Armed with these new tools, Taylor applied and got his first ever job at Cineplex. It is an experience he credits with helping him navigate the job market since. 

“I think that there was definitely a lot I learned that helped me succeed in that job interview that I have used in all my job interviews since,” Taylor said of the course reflectively.

The Transition to Life course Taylor was enrolled in had taken place at Conestoga College that year. Serendipitously, Conestogo is where Taylor would go on to earn diplomas in Design Foundations and Advertising and Marketing, honing already proven skills in written communications, animation and an assortment of capabilities necessary for work in the modern multimedia industry. 

Having graduated, Taylor got his first job in his field of study doing marketing communications for the Waterloo Regional Police Service. Since then, he has worked for a number of organizations, steadily gaining responsibility as he has graduated to more senior positions. He now works as a Digital Marketing Coordinator, a position he describes as creating, facilitating and helping to “publish all the major and minor website design, presentations, video, emails, social and blog posts across the company.” It is a position he enjoys for its consistent challenge and new day-to-day experiences. 

Through his experiences in a variety of jobs, he says he has come to better understand what makes up a healthy work environment that empowers him to thrive, as well as how best to recognize the signs.

“When you’re interviewing for a job, you will definitely learn to notice the green flags to look for and the red flags to avoid,” he explained. “So eventually, after you’ve worked your third or fourth job and you’re going into your fifth job, you know what you need to succeed in that job. And that’s one of the most important things I’ve learned over these past few years.”

While he has continued to thrive in his professional life, it hasn’t been all work and no play for Taylor since his time in Transition to Life. In his downtime, he has written a follow up to his first novel Minority, has improved as an animator and taken up running – finishing a half marathon in 2022.

These successes, both personal and professional, are something he passionately ties to his autism. 

“I’ve seen a lot of stuff on the internet asking the question, ‘would you give up your autism for the social benefits it would give you?’,” said Taylor. 

“And my response would be ‘for social reasons, yes’, because I’d be better at eye contact, general communication and would not be perceived as awkward or anything like that.” 

“But,” Taylor pauses to add, “for everything else, no.” 

“I would never give it up because I would never be able to accomplish the things that I have without it. Without it, I would never have been able to do the marathon, the book writing, or the animation.”

“Attention to detail, focus, thinking outside the box – these are all things that autism has given me,” said Taylor. “I am definitely glad I have Autism.”

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