"Be prepared to learn new things about yourself, even if you've done this kind of work before. Changes occur that you didn’t expect. Rosalind is extremely supportive. More importantly, she understands chronic illness and it’s impact--it sets her apart from other coaches. I initially hired Rosalind to deal with specific career issues decisions. In addition to help in this arena, my self confidence has grown tremendously, improving many aspects of my life. Working with Rosalind allowed me to sort out my thoughts about my disease and it’s impact on my career so MS doesn’t get in my way. She helps me connect the dots so I can see my next steps clearly and confidently take them!”"
Myron E., Sr. VP Manufacturing, Sjogren’s
"I was afraid to work with Rosalind because I didn’t want to spend money on myself, especially since my working future seems unpredictable. I wanted someone who specialized in me, not a typical career counselor, who has walked the walk, worked in corporate world and reinvented herself and created a life of balance. Her background is highly desirable to professionals like me."
Colleen M., V.P. Sales, Elhlers Danlos Syndrome
"The biggest surprises in working with Rosalind have been the insights. And then learning what I could achieve with that new information."
Melanie P., Elementary School Teacher, Chronic Depression
"Rosalind provides great focus, objectivity and compassion to her coaching. I like that she has a great sense of balance about life and work issues and provided good accountability in working towards my goals. On a personal level, Rosalind is very honest and supportive and understanding about working with chronic illness. Her ability to balance accountability with flexibility is a great skill in a coach. I highly recommend Rosalind to those both with and without chronic illness."
Melinda M., Senior VP Financial Services, Seizure Disorder
"Working with Rosalind allowed me to sort out my thoughts about my disease and it’s impact on my career. She asked the tough questions, challenged my thinking, helped to connect the dots - allowing me to see my next steps clearly and confidently take them! In the last few months, I've started a home business to support myself and signed up for professional training in a new field. For the first time in years, I am thrilled and excited about my life, despite all the challenges!"
L.G. senior VP Manufacturing, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
"I appreciated the thoughtful yet systematic approach to the career change process. Each week I achieved concrete steps, while thinking deeply about my preferences. This helped me feel I was progressing while revealing patterns that shaped my career path."
Sandra S., Social Media, Young Adult Parkinson’s Disease
"Rosalind fills a need for those of us who may never get well, have come to terms with that and want desperately to learn how to function productively in our careers. I’ve learned that I can indeed work but it might not be the way I wanted to. She asks questions, reframes what I say so I hear it and I love her homework. Unlike others who do this work, she’s willing to offer her own ideas when I’m stuck on such things as how I can prioritize and conserve my energy."
Nancy M., PhD., Director, Science Research Lab, Chronic Pancreatitis
"Rosalind helped me to think clearly about what I have to get done. I felt less anxious and helped me to stop thinking negatively and think more productively. Rosalind is very professional and can help you --if you want to work at it. It's worth every effort. It could change your life – it did mine."
Nina C., Retail Operations Coordinator, Multiple Sclerosis
"Working with Rosalind, I’ve learned when and how to stand up for my needs at work. I learned to think in terms of me and my illness, and ways to work with it-- not against it so I could develop a more healthy attitude about my MS. I learned how to talk about how I was feeling so others could understand, and I could feel less isolated. I learned ways to deal with co-workers, job and personal issues from someone who has been through what I am going through."
Jackie V., Teacher, Multiple Sclerosis
"I feel better able to define what I am interested in doing at work in the future and to ensure that the work is within my abilities and my limitations."
James B., Chronic Pain, Physician
"Being able to talk through some of the issues I was dealing with at work really benefited me. Working with Rosalind during recovering from hip surgery and living with the chronic pain while searching for a new job was very beneficial. From this process, I learned that the culture of my workplace is very important. I learned skills that have helped me to take better care of myself so that I can function better."
Andy S., Lawyer, Fibromyalgia
"Rosalind is extremely supportive. She understands chronic illness and this alone sets her apart from other coaches. Her own experience with what I was going through this made all the difference. The weekly small assignments kept me actively engaged in seeking change and, I believe, helped me get clear and put the pieces of the puzzle into place."
Wanda B., Lupus and Crohn’s, Healthcare Administrator
"As a young professional with a toddler, working with chronic illness requires managing energy, time and tasks. Rosalind taught me to be intentional about my actions and mindful of pain and energy."
Jake P., IT consultant, Young Adult Parkinson’s Disease
"Thanks to this, I will always make my health a priority by making career path adjustments as needed without abandoning my ideas or dreams."
Teneisha A., Social Work Student, Multiple Sclerosis
"Working with Rosalind allowed me think about what I want to do and could do – instead of always focusing on what I can’t do. And that’s what I needed so I could make a difficult decision."
Alicia A., Professor, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
"By the time I contacted Rosalind, I was completely discouraged about being able to keep working. With her help, however, I figured out several ideas for using my training and experience. It took a while to launch something but now I’ve got my own business. I’m not earning what I did but I’m happier, more satisfied and a lot less anxious."
Amy S., IT specialist, Psoriatic Arthritis
"Rosalind uses inquiry to guide without telling me what to think. She is compassionate and I never feel judged. I feel confident because her knowledge comes from personal experience and working with so many who are in a similar situation to mine."
Karen S., Professor/Lab Director, Psoriatic Arthritis
"Although we haven’t met face to face, I feel great rapport with you. I trust your judgment. You wait until I’m ready to push me into new places. The benefits I receive from work together are much broader and more widely applicable to many areas of my life than I initially expected."
Sally S., Historian, chronic asthma/sleep disorder
"Since working with Rosalind, I have learned how to not let illness define who I am and what I can do. "
Sharon A., Physician, Ovarian Cancer
"Illness changed my world and my effectiveness. Working with Rosalind taught me to communicate my challenges effectively with coworkers and patients. She served as my cheerleader as we prepared for meetings with difficult people and negotiated situations."
Jen B., Practice Manager, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
"I knew I couldn't continue to work in the same manner, but had no idea how to make the change I desperately needed. Rosalind has given me the confidence and the tools to define work and life patterns that are fulfilling and sustainable. Now I control my work rather than the other way round!"
Lisa C., UK, chronic pain and fatigue
"Thinking about finding a career conducive to living with chronic illness, I needed to put my health first. I chose to work with Rosalind because she had firsthand experience with career change and the challenges of working with chronic illness. Her ongoing support, ideas, and motivation gave me what I needed to build a fulfilling and enjoyable new career that gives me the flexibility I need to manage my health."
Sara B., Publishing, SLE.
"I have gotten back some of the confidence I'd lost. You helped me see that my instincts are usually right and that I am capable of the things I'm trying to do. I feel stronger and more prepared to continue my job search and land the job I deserve to have."
Alicia T., scleroderma
"I’m keeping this by my desk at work so I can refer to it on the tough days. You’ve taken the tough ideas and made them simple."
P.S., multiple sclerosis, Physician
"This is stuff I’ve wondered and worried about. I don’t know how you make it so clear– but you do. I feel much better prepared to talk about this now."
J.W., Crohn’s disease, VP, Telecommunications
"I read this and only then realized why some of the jobs I’ve had over the years have been so much more difficult than others. I wish I’d had this at the beginning of my career – and illness."
E. B., lupus, VP Corporate Strategies, Retail Organization
"This is substantial stuff. With my schedule, I don’t have time to read lengthy information. I read each booklet in 15 minutes – downloaded on my blackberry – and found one reminder to help me better manage my illness at work and in my personal life. These booklets are more than just “quick tips” – they’re thoughtful – provoking and actionable. This is fabulous."
Director, Human Resources, Blue Cross Blue Shield MA, fibromyalgia
"Read inspiring accounts of women who challenged themselves and their bodies to remain actively employed. Women whose stories recognize the importance of work, have found creative ways to balance work and chronic illness, and have done it all with determination and commitment."
Steven W. Nissen, MS, CRC, National Multiple Sclerosis Society
"Rosalind and Joan are intimately aware of the extra complexity that having an autoimmune disease can introduce into one's life and work. Together they provide a roadmap for those facing such challenges, marked off with ample real-life stories, personal reflections, and sound professional advice. Underscoring the value of staying at work, they also help women think outside of the box in their career planning to maximize job performance and satisfaction. This book is a find for anyone looking for the motivational boost to keep working."
Michelle Freshman MPH, MSN, APRN, BC, MSCN, Newton-Wellesley Hospital Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Coordinator
"Rosalind Joffe and Joan Friedlander have created a much-needed field guide to navigating the workplace with a chronic illness. The book is clear, down-to-Earth, and extraordinarily helpful."
Amy Tenderich, Journalist/Blogger, DiabetesMine.com. Author, Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes, 2006 Winner, Lilly for Life Achievement Award for Diabetes Journalism
"The book is frank and honest, and it spoke clearly to me, a creative career woman exhausted by the perplexing unpredictability of my illness. I have read many chronic illness books. This one is very special because of the premise that career is so fundamental to our identity and to our healing. I was inspired to revisit fundamental issues related to my career plan, my outlook on life, and my responsibility to be my own ally and advocate."
Diana Murray, pancreatic and biliary disease, Associate Professor in biological sciences, Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University
"Rosalind Joffe and Joan Friedlander are armed with a unique blend of engaging writing style, workplace savvy, gender awareness, and most helpful of all, personal experience in navigating the challenges of chronic illness. The book is a must for working women also dealing with chronic-pain issues, whether or not they are related to autoimmune diseases."
Paula Kamen, Author of All in My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable and Only Slightly Enlightening Headache
"Thank you for this message and for the wonderful work you do. "
Melinda S., LISCW
"Great article– I am seeking career options that allow me to manage my pain when necessary. Me, a formerly fearless, high achieving, ambitious type, now feels paralyzed with the fear of “getting in over my head”, and afraid to commit to ANYTHING! I continue to search for options. I do appreciate your inspiring articles! "
"I’m proud to be part of a group of fighters that are fighting invisible battles all the time. And thanks to you for giving us a platform to encourage others in their daily challenges as well."
"Thanks– I can be a Lone Ranger when my symptoms are bad .It’s easier to shut off rather than be exposed to others’ non-understanding. I need to be reminded it’s not helpful."
"Thanks, Rosalind. I really needed to read this. I’m feeling great and just am STUCK at work. I don’t know why and don’t know that it’s specifically what you wrote of, but I do know that I’ve lost my identity. It’s frustrating. Thanks for being so timely. "
"Rosalind — you offer such good advice. There are no one-size-fits-all answers for people with a chronic illness."
"Another great thought-provoking article! Your ideas and motivation should be required reading for anyone facing a chronic diagnosis."
Patti Corbett Hansen
"Thanks for sharing this. When some days it seems that we’re just existing in chronic illness or pain, it’s great to see that even in those days we can still accomplish something worthwhile if we set our mind to it."
"I always enjoy your newsletter. The New Year's resolutions you cite should be mine and your clients."
"I really love your emails. Please keep sending them. They're so helpful. I am battling various chronic illnesses and your articles help me get back to work."
"I love your blog! It helps me through my Lupus, APS and Pulmonary embolisms. I’m sometimes a Debbie downer and your emails and blog help me see that I am not the only one suffering."
"Thanks so much for 'Is anyone listening to your pain?'. What an extraordinary piece of writing! It’s valuable to both patients and practicing physicians and I’ll pass it on – a lot!"
"You continue to be an inspiration to me in your written words (book, blog, email). Thank you, so much, for taking the time and energy to pass them along."
Lynda Chick, Sjogrens
"Since working with you, I can define what I want to do in the future and to ensure that the work is within my abilities and my limitations ."
Justine A., chronic lyme disease
"You reframe and gently suggest alternatives. Most importantly, you understand the corporate culture I work in and the health issues."
Stephanie P., Web Media Sales Manager, rheumatoid arthritis
"Increasing numbers of Americans must figure out how to have a good life while coping with chronic illness. The practical guidance offered by coaches like Rosalind Joffe is exactly what the doctor ordered (pun intended). This series will help people avert needless job loss and keep them participating in life."
Jennifer Christian, MD, MPH, Chair, Work Fitness and Disability Section, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine; and President, Webility Corporation
"Working with chronic illness is as much about managing energy as managing time or tasks. Rosalind taught me to be intentional about my actions at work, always being mindful of pain and energy levels. Pain has caused me to quit three jobs. I gladly report that I've now worked full-time for three years, certainly a relief as a young professional with a toddler."
Jeffrey K., Business Consultant, fibromyalgia
"When I started my transition back to work, I was 'fighting the illness'. The techniques and strategies we worked on taught me to slow down and follow a process versus rush through so I could just find a job. The result is that I know how to work successfully again while living with illness."
Sue M., Sports Entrepreneur, mitochondrial myopathy
"Your presentation to our patient group was great! Thanks again for everything. I can't wait to work with you again."
Jennifer Tamberino, Area Business Manager, Biogen Idec
"We take great pride in having eminent speakers like you for our Patient Services Program Series. Thank you for your inspiring and informative presentation."
Pat Johnsen, Executive Director, Scleroderma Foundation Delaware Valley Chapter
"It was a pleasure to have you speak at our conference and we thank you for your perspective and experiences!"
Sara Cook , Manager, Occupational Medicine, Mayo Clinic
"I attended an MS seminar last evening where you spoke. I just had to write and tell you that your story was very inspiring and encouraging. You gave me renewed hope for my future. Thank you, and keep up the good work!"
Marie R., New Jersey
"We collaborated with Rosalind on an initiative related to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). From the feedback we received, it was clear the insights and perspectives Rosalind brought to the program were so very meaningful for not only people living with RA, but also for broader audiences in helping to educate about the true impact of what it means to live with a chronic disease."
Brian Kenney, Senior Director, Global Immunology, Pharmaceutical Communication & Public Affairs, Johnson & Johnson
"I can't begin to tell you how much your talk was appreciated by those who attended the event last week. They are still talking about it today. You were a true inspiration."
Pia D’Urbano, V.P. New Products, NA Sanofi-Aventis
"You provided an interesting, informative and unprecedented learning opportunity for our 1,200 attendees. A majority of attendees ranked this year’s Symposium as excellent and one of the best meetings they have ever attended. This is in no small way due to the generosity of time and intellect of people like you. We are indebted to you indeed. "
Joe Ternullo, JD, MPH Associate Director, Partners Center for Connected Health
"Working with Rosalind made me think about what I want to do and could do — instead of always focusing on what I can’t do. In this program, I pushed myself and was more focused than I’d ever been around this issue. And that’s what I needed so I could make a difficult decision. Working with Rosalind showed me my options and helped me make the best choices for me."
Jennifer P., lupus
"I found that the day-to-day navigation of a chronic illness was tricky and assumed I would have to muddle through on my own. Then I heard about Chronic Illness Career Coaching. By the end of the first session with Rosalind, I was hooked. She knew the questions to ask, but more importantly, she knew when to listen. A year later and I still use the skills and techniques I learned in coaching on a daily basis. "
Dan L., IT manager, pyoderma gangrenosum
"I do not believe I would have been able to manage a very troubling situation at work without Rosalind’s guidance. Her clarity, empathy and commitment to my success were exactly what I needed."
Sam P., Lawyer, crohn’s
"Ladies, it's time to get out of bed and back to our lives. Women, Work and Autoimmune disease: Keep Working, Girlfriend! was obviously written by authors who have been there, who live and thrive with a chronic disease, and who know the pitfalls. Rosalind and Joan have encouraged me to see the possibilities for reclaiming a dynamic career and have helped me to believe these possibilities apply to me as well, despite my illness."
Sandy Lahmann, multiple sclerosis, recipient of Adaptive Athlete of the Year award, 2007
"When you are diagnosed with a chronic disease, it changes your life. Rosalind worked with me to create a career plan for the next phase of my life. This has enabled me to remain employed in a position where I can thrive. I now have the skills to develop my own strategic plan. This was an outstanding experience that helped me elevate my career and develop personal assessment skills that I use everyday!"
Ginny M., multiple sclerosis
"Rosalind is acutely aware of the unique challenges chronic illness patients and how it impacts our careers. Working with Rosalind gave me the tools to crystallize my values, motivators and strengths and to take charge of my professional life. I strongly recommend Rosalind’s coaching to anyone with a chronic illness who wants to focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t do in your career path."
Alex M., IT Analyst, psoriatic arthritis