Job Searching with Fibromyalgia

I have begun a job search. While I work part-time as an online Community Leader, I am in a position where I need to supplement my income or find full-time work. This is a tough step to take when living with a chronic illness and can feel quite daunting.

Not only do I have my own little negative nellies in my head, I am certain that the possibility is real of a future employer feeling  hesitant about my condition upon discovery. I am a hard worker and a smart cookie, but it doesn’t change the fact that I live with a lot of fatigue and flares now and then. Having the privilege of working from home this last year and a half has really helped me to witness my own strengths despite my illness but it has also sheltered me from some of the daily grind that most people experience.

So, I am searching for jobs with a different perspective than I have in previous years. I look at positions in a different light. With each perusal of the job postings I find myself wondering, would this employer be kind to someone living with a chronic health condition? And I also keep wondering, is there a way I can increase my income on my own from home so that I do not have to put myself under the scrutiny just yet? I have a rather immediate need, so getting out there may be my only option at the moment, and perhaps it will be a good and healthy one.

I also find the job search exciting at times, looking into positions that peak my interests and seem like a great fit for me. But finding a position in which I can really promote health, wellness, and advocacy would be ideal. I would love to find that kind of work that almost doesn’t feel like work because it is so inline with my passions…which is pretty much what working in my current position is like.

So now, to the point of my sharing, I want to create a list of resources or ideas for those who are job searching or defining their career path in spite of a chronic illness like fibromyalgia? Do you know of great websites that give ideas for this? Do you have your own ideas of careers or jobs that would work well for someone who lives with a chronic health condition? If so, please share them here and help me to brainstorm ideas for others who are dealing with the same predicament as I am.

5 thoughts on “Job Searching with Fibromyalgia

  1. I’m in a similar situation in that after being out of the work force for a while (was a caregiver for several years while my chronic illness/chronic pain was both getting worse, then under some control), and I find myself getting nervous just thinking about going through the process again.
    I haven’t come across any sites which deal with job searching and chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia. I think it’s a great idea, and with your permission, I’ll post a link to this post on fb and in my blog.
    I’m sure there are folks out there in the cyberverse with tips, tricks, and website knowledge.
    Good luck with your job search. I have family matters to deal with right now, so I’m only part-time looking for work. I’d love to be able to work from home, and may contact folks I’ve had contracts with before.

  2. I have Fibromyalgia, Sjogren’s Syndrome, some arthritis, Peripheral Neuropathy, and a mental illness, but I work part time. I have found that the past two+ years of working in a call center have been something that went well for me. In a call center (and I’m in one where you don’t sell stuff so there’s not pressure to do sales or anything like that), you have the ability to sit at a desk and minimize your physical activity and pain that can come from doing things that involve more standing. Standing all day is something I can’t do. I had Dysautonomia for years, and I used to not even be able to stand in a line at a grocery store, so originally I knew if I was going to work I had to work sitting down. Also, because I have trouble concentrating, this job, though it does not pay much, is something that work easily for my brain, and I don’t have to worry about strenuous mental labor because I could pretty much do this work with my eyes closed by now. I do use a computer for everything at this job, but if you’re computer literate that shouldn’t be a problem. The only thing I would say that is negative is that I’m not really doing something I enjoy. But if you need a job, a job is a job. I work part time and have a pretty flexible schedule here so that helps. This call center is a at a college, but there are call centers all over the country for all kinds of companies. I have worked in a couple of other ones, because physically I needed something I could do and I didn’t have a college degree. I do have an Associate’s Degree now, but I am keeping this job for the time being because it works well for me.

    Other ideas, as far as looking for a job, Vocational Rehabilitation helps people find jobs when they have a disability. They also sometimes pay for training for jobs, for clothing to wear to a job, for transportation, and even things like therapy for mental health. I did a Google search and couldn’t find a national website for VR, but there are many state websites about the programs in specific states.

    Also, there are other agencies for job training and some that even give you a job if you are disabled, depending one where you live.

    Just searching online, I found this website that says it is a job search engine for people with disabilities: http://www.jobaccess.org/finding-a-job-for-a-person-with-a-disability.htm

    I hope this helps!

  3. I was in a similar situation two years ago. What worked the best for me was being honest and realistic with potential employers as to what you can offer to compensate for what fibro may “take away” from your job performance. For example, on good days I work longer hours and have found a way to keep myself comfortable so I can still come in and function on painful days.

    Best of luck for you and your search. This was a great article with helpful information!

    Amber
    my Fibro Blog

  4. I have fibromyagia myself and am a single mom. Trying to find a way to survive, and raise my children has been a nightmare. I find myself wandering from temp job to temp job.
    One site I found today may be helpful for people who do have fibro. It has to do with “Reasonable accommodations”
    http://askjan.org/media/Fibro.html

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