Finding a Job that is Arthritis Friendly

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I am often asked by parents about what jobs might be suitable for their arthritic children who are looking to enter the workforce. My response is usually there is no job in particular that I would recommend.

My advice is to break it down into what it is that you enjoy doing (this is true for everyone regardless of whether or not they have arthritis, if you love what you do it makes it so much easier to get out of bed in the morning).

Assess the job criteria. Is there manual labour involved? Are there long periods of inactivity (for example sitting at a desk for hours without moving around)? Are the hours varied? (Shift work such as hospitality can be hard for those with chronic fatigue.) What tools are required to complete tasks? Do they put extra stress or strain on already sore and fatigued joints and are there modified tools available which may make these tasks easier?

Over my working life I have tried many different types of jobs. I am up for giving almost anything a go and I love learning. My jobs have included veterinary nursing, rendering houses, hospitality, pad printing, retail sales, property management and at the moment it is website development.

The work that I have done at various stages of my life has been largely dependent on which joints the arthritis was most active in at the time. When my back is particularly bad I find that hospitality works well for me as I am up and moving around, when my legs are an issue I opt for an administration position.

If you are unsure as to what you would like to do I also recommend work experience. Most employers that I have spoken to are happy to have people do work experience with them, they get a few hours of free labour and you can find out whether:

1. You like the job
2. It is suited to your abilities
3. How much modification (if any) would be necessary for you to perform the tasks required

A website recently started up called Enabled Employment. This is brilliant for those that have computer skills. Check them out here

Speaking with an occupational therapist may also assist you with finding suitable career options, an OT can also assist employers with workplace modifications and apply for funding to assist with paying for these for those eligible.

I hope this helps 🙂

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