Changing jobs when you have RA

So I was diagnosed with RA about 6 months ago. So far I have been allergic to all the DMards and am waiting for methotrexate injections.

My work is very stressful and I am looking to change career but I feel very despondent as I feel all the doors are being slammed closed. I am being told RA will make me unemployable if I go for other jobs. I have been looking at retraining but feel like all those doors are closing too. I was considering foot health practitioner roles but my GP said to not think about anything that needs manual dexterity. I am beginning to feel like my life is over and I am only hopefully half way through it

10 Replies

  • I don't know who told you that Rheumatoid Disease would make you employable - but they were wrong!

    Make a list of your qualifications, experience and skills so far. Then look at what you might be interested in doing and what other qualifications you might need for that.

    I always worked - although I did have to give up work at aged 65 due to ill health. I did change the sort of work I did after my diagnosis so that I could avoid night work and too long hours as I found them very stressful.

    There are on-line qualifications that you can work for at a speed that suits you if you want to change course altogether. But you do need to be realistic about your physical capabilities that are going to limit your options.

  • Hi I had to give up work medically in June as i was finding it draining and unable to work as RA and OA took its toll , I might've been able to stay partime but the local authority I worked for weren't interested so I was glad to Finnish up, im glad now as I can plan my day as I please and also get to spend more time with my grand children

  • I feel very much the same but the profession I'm in need your hands for writing and feet for walking miles through the day can walk up to 4 miles. I have never been told I'm unemployable but feel I am.

    I've been forced to reduce my hours which has meant I'm on the bread line. I can't claim any benefits as I earn too much. I've tried PIP and was turned down as I was unable to drive my car as it's a manual. Said I could walk 200 meters therefore can get a bus and which is difficult to get to appointments due to the timing.

    Employers need to be careful as RA is a disability and need to adhere to the 2010 disability Act

    Good luck and you are not in too much pain


  • Thanks I work in social services at the moment and the stress plays havoc with my health. Was looking at retraining as a foot health practitioner but now feel like I can't do it as people are saying my hands will be effected at some point. They are stiff now but I've no joint damage but the college said I should think again :(

  • I feel like so many doors have suddenly slammed shut but I've no idea how my disease will progress. It is an aggressive form but has been caught early

  • What were you looking to do Fleur. May be someone on here already doesn't it?

  • There is no reason you can't do any job once you are controlled. I'm very lucky to be well controlled and I work full time as a Reception Teacher which is very physically demanding. I do have to be careful and make sure I don't do anything that will hurt me. My school is very supportive, especially when I flared last year. Employers need to be aware that RA is classed as a disability and not to discriminate against you for having this disease. As oldtimer said make a list of your qualifications and skills and look atthe types of job you can do. Is there any way of staying with the same employer buy doing a different role? It may be worth waiting until you start the mtx injectionsand seeing how it works before considering a change of job, unless you hate it and it makes you miserable. X

  • Sitting down, office work, I managed it for 22 years, started work 10 years after dx and I have a aggressive form of RA that has knackered all my joints.

  • Hi Fleur - It sounds like you are pretty young. I agree with the others that it would be good if you could find something (maybe even at your current employer) that would suit you better than what you are doing. A systematic approach as Oldtimer suggested would be good to see what you can ferret out. Also, maybe going to a job placement service (I presume they have them in the UK?) might help you structure a career change. Don't lose hope. Every time I think I can't stand any more something better presents itself.. Hugs

  • I didn't have a choice as my marriage broke down a year after Dx. I was a window dresser. I had to give this up straight away as was so ill. I did a couple of collage courses about year after this. After a part time job in a Doctor's surgery, I went on to work full time in an insurance brokers even with erosive RA/lupus.. Once the house was sold I had to buy another with a mortgage as I had 2 teenage son's at home. I moved jobs a couple of times and ended up a a motor claims adjuster till I retired aged 60. Do not give up and you will be proud of yourself. Wishing you luck in choosing something you can do alongside this dreadful disease.

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