Antoni Bohdanowicz, Senior Customer Service Representative, shares his experience working for BP as an employee with Asperger’s
Being neurodiverse has had a huge impact on me and career. I view my professional journey as an ongoing learning curve. It has really helped me in many situations, and I feel that as an employee with Asperger’s I have a lot to offer to my employer. For Open Access Government readers, I am going to share insights into my career, working as a senior Customer Service Representative for BP, as well as the benefits which I feel neurodiverse employees bring to organisations.
I’ve had a range of jobs, having worked in sports journalism, communications for a sport governing body, running my own esports platform and working in marketing for office buildings. All of these were located in Poland – it was ultimately the offer of a new job for my partner that led to me to move to Hungary and join BP.
The ability to re-programme
I credit my Asperger’s with allowing me to have a varied and interesting career. I feel that I have a unique ability to quickly re-programme my mind and move into new areas of interest. All I need to do is connect the dotted lines! For example, when I studied at university, I studied an array of subject areas, from Theology to History. When thinking about what neurodiversity means to me, I sometimes think that my mind operates more like a computer. Compared to others I may not have certain software installed, like emotional recognition, but there are many benefits! I can think in a different way, and come up with unique, different ideas – something that has helped me throughout my career. Overall, I feel that this diversity of thought is of great benefit to employers, providing that they know how to nurture neurodiverse employees.
A unique perspective with regards to problem-solving
In my current role, problem-solving is an important aspect of my job – I help my clients to identify and resolve issues on a daily basis. I realised when working in marketing that I have a different approach to solving issues – on occasion, my brain would generate fully-formed solutions before my clients had even entered the room! But, what I like about working at BP is that I have the opportunity to play to my career strengths as well as develop new skills. For example, when I first joined BP I immediately jumped on the working group to aid our office move. Using my previous experience, I offered to run the communications approach. Looking forwards, I can see paths that I’d take to learn more about green energy, amongst other areas.
Valuing a structured approach
Prior to joining BP, I was always resistant to joining the corporate world. I was told that I’d like the environment due to my Asperger’s, that I’d like the structure and process. I didn’t believe them, but I must confess, they were right – I’m now eating my hat! I like the strong emphasis on the creation and following of standard operational procedures that work in the interest of company. The policies are there for a reason, and we should go by them. This means that everyone has clear responsibilities and can take ownership of particular areas of work. Of course, no company is perfect and we are always looking to develop and improve our processes.
Getting the required support
I can speak from my experience, and I feel that neurodiverse employees do have a lot to offer their employers. I can confidently say that I’m a good fit for BP, I like the process that the company has in place, alongside the opportunities that they offer me. In tandem, I feel that they benefit from my alternative way of thinking and willingness to adapt and try new areas of work. It isn’t always easy operating in the working environment with Asperger’s. But, since I’ve worked at BP I’ve been provided with a lot of support. I often brief new teams that I’m on the spectrum and that I won’t be offended if sometimes they tell me that they don’t have the time to talk. Everyone has been so supportive at BP – there is a real commitment to creating the right culture.
Antoni Bohdanowicz is a Senior Customer Service Representative at BP, based in Budapest. Originally from Poland, Antoni began his career in sports journalism and TV, subsequently joining the Polish Motorboat and Water-ski Association as a manager. From here, he joined marketing and events agency DNA Group as a creative director, and set up his own esports agency, which he sold to ESE Entertainment just before joining BP in 2019. Antoni is passionate about sport, and is also the founder of The Warsaw Rugby Festival – the largest social rugby tournament in Central and Eastern Europe, which attracts teams from all over the world each year to raise money for charity.
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