What jobs do people do?

emsjane Member Posts: 351
Hi All,

I haven't worked since last May and would really like to get back to work, maybe just part time!

I was a teaching assistant in a primary school for 5 years and towards the end i was finding it increasingly more difficult to do my job. ie, getting down on the floor with the children and then back up again! Display boards for the teacher, try getting drawing pins out of a board with a screwdriver (that the teacher gave me to help!!!!), I just felt like i can't keep telling her i can't do stuff as it hurts too much. Then there was all the walking around, playground duty, helping kids do up tiny buttons, doing up shoe laces and helping the kids to gets shoes on and off. I could go on..... Anyway, it all became to difficult to do.

So, im now looking for something different. But each time I think of a job, i think it may be too difficult for me!! I have lots of pain in my finger joints, hips, toes and my right knee is starting to hurt now too.

The only job i think i may be able to do is some sort of receptionist. But then i think, what if they have stairs and i need to take messages up and down the stairs all the time and if i have to do filing and it starts to hurt my fingers too much. So then i get put off!

What jobs to do people do on here and how do you manage?

Many thanks



  • petals
    petals Member Posts: 217
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi emsjane,

    Well I used to be a fish monger until RA struck. I found that lifting the heavy ice buckets and handling the sharp knives became harder and harder until it was impossible for me to continue. Shame tho because although I cant stand fish I was quite good at that job (if I may say so myself)

    Now I work as a merchandiser, this still involves a degree of lifting and lots of bending and picking things up off the floor. Some days I can manage ok (ish) but some days I could cry with frustration as I know what I want to achieve but it takes me so long that I feel like a failure.

    I work 4 days a week and am seriously considering cutting down to three days as I get so tired by the end of the day. This desease is really starting to get in the way of my life and I am getting peed off with it.

    Even hobbies are affected by RA, I used to love gardening and would spend a whole week end working on my garden, now I'm lucky if I last 20 minutes.

    I do worry now that if I am unable to keep doing my current job how I would manage. I am the main bread winner (single parent) and don't claim DLA or ESA (I just took one look at the forms and put them away again lol)

    I too would like a nice easy job with no lifting or bending, oh and lots of sitting down would be nice.

    Petals x
  • mrbear
    mrbear Member Posts: 29
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi emsJane,

    I really do understand where you are coming from. I am a teacher in a secondary school and think about giving up most weeks. However my Leadership team have (mostly) been very supportive. I have had time off during flare ups, appointments and blood tests. I also asked for a referral to Occupational Health which gave some legal back up to my needs and asked the school to change a few things to help me meet my duties.

    I know I am fortunate that my school does listen and this is not always the case with less understanding employers. I am also lucky because more or less I can cope at school, although the constant tiredness is not easy to cope with.

    I wonder if you could go back to being a TA but perhaps in a secondary school and part time. I'm sure there would be less time on the floor. And, of course the best bit, you are never more than six weeks from a holiday; not many jobs can say that.

    Whatever happens, best of luck. I am lucky and I hope you will be too.

    Best wishes

  • CJHunter
    CJHunter Member Posts: 1,038
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi , I was out of work for 2years, I worked in mental health and worked over 40hrs a week. It nearly killed me and I became so unwell.

    After finally having to leave I did not look for work for some time. Initially it was tentative steps, volunteering for my local Parent Partnership service.
    I was lucky enough to get an interview and get a part time job when one came up and i love it. I now offer telephone support to parents and careres who have special educational needs children.
    Have you thoughtabout getting in touch with your local service and ask about volunteering. You will have worked with these families as a T.A so why not give it a go.

    Good luck, something will come up.xx
    Clare xxeyeore-1.jpg
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Emdjane,

    Sorry that you've had to walk away from a job you enjoyed. I teach in Y1 and am struggling with RA, so I guess I understand lots of your struggles-ended up in tears last week when I couldn't get the top off a high lighter pen to mark their literacy books- and sadly my lovely TA had gone home. I just work 3 days a week now and struggle with that, but Oc Health say I'm fit for work between flares of RA and chest infections from my Bronchiectasis

    I wonder if you enjoy the school atmosphere whether you couls be a learning mentor in a school supporting individuals, or perhaps in a school office doing admin?

    What ever you decide on-hope that you get understanding from your colleagues and satisfaction from the job.

  • emsjane
    emsjane Member Posts: 351
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks everyone!

    I do have to work because of finances unfortunately! Id like nothing
    better than to be at home and not to work and I find that I can manage my arthritis better, as I can pace myself and if im having a bad day I can just rest up. But when you're working that is impossible!

    I will just keep looking and hope that i find something that suits me soon! ;o)