When CreakyJoints Blogger Leslie Rott submitted a post about her current job hunt, we asked her to also provide a short job description and resume. Finding a job is hard for everyone but it can be downright daunting for those living with chronic illness. If you know of anyone in the health advocacy field, please pass along Leslie’s resume.
And if you are living with chronic illness and looking for work, please pass along your resume to CreakyJoints. If there’s interest, we can start a job seeker blog. Together, we can network! 


When I made the choice to get a second Master’s degree after I got my PhD, I mainly did it because I craved the applied experience that came with it, and not just solely the teaching and research experience that came with a PhD.

What it also meant is that I felt like I had a really good chance of getting a job after I had gotten a Master’s degree, in which I had completed several internships.

Nothing in life is guaranteed.  But I counted on internships and school connections to facilitate the process.

And that hasn’t been happening.  I’ve been applying to an average of twenty-five jobs a week.  It’s a soul-sucking experience.

It’s also frustrating because right now, I am healthy enough to work.  I want to work.  I don’t want to sit around my apartment all the time.

It’s also scary because my insurance was through school and only goes until the end of August.

If I don’t have a job by then, I have no idea what I am going to do.  I won’t have insurance – or money – which means I won’t be able to afford my medications or my doctor visits.

I will probably have to go on Medicaid, and I’m not sure what my healthcare will look like if I have to do that.

I get that the job market is hard, but I think there’s a lack of understanding about the degree to which people depend on jobs to not be destitute, and if you’re chronically ill, to maintain your health.

I am trying to be open-minded about the job search process, applying to illness and disability-related organizations, medical homes, hospitals, and teaching jobs.

I’ve had several interviews, but not enough to make me not feel discouraged about my situation.

I have a lot of skills and expertise, and I actively try to highlight that.  I’ve had some help polishing my resume, and I have had several recent experiences that have added to my curriculum vitae.

The one thing that is hard to know is when to lead about my illnesses.  For some jobs, their requirements force me to disclose because I have had writing and social media experience, and that has been mostly related to blogging about my health.

I know it just takes one place to find you attractive and you have a job.  I wish that one place would find me already.

Like I said, I want to work for the sake of it.  But I also need to work because I need money and insurance if I am going to maintain my health.

I think this is a big problem for chronically ill people.  Some chronically ill people aren’t well enough to work.  Others are, but it can be hard to hold down a full-time job nonetheless.  Others of us have too many degrees for own good, and are struggling to find where they belong in the world of work.



Let’s help Leslie Rott with her job hunt! Together, we can network!

Here’s the type of job Leslie is looking for:

I’m interested in patient advocacy, broadly defined.  I want to apply advocating for patients in a variety of environments, including hospitals, primary care clinics, non-profit organizations, illness-specific organizations, and institutions of higher education.  The patient is at the center of everything I do, and whatever job I do will reflect that principle.
Here’s an edited version of Leslie’s resume. (A full resume and references are available from Leslie upon request):

Leslie M. Rott

E-mail: [email protected]

[email protected]_______________________



Hospital for Special Surgery                                                       2014-2015       Patient Advocate

  • Helped patients navigate their care at the hospital
  • Supported patients having difficulty with access to or quality of care
  • Worked to address complaints and problem-solve with a variety of hospital departments, including both direct care and administration
  • Managed a case load of, on average, 20 to 30 patients at any given time


Office of Disability Services, Fordham University             2014               Intern

  • Created promotional materials for students with disabilities


Global Healthy Living Foundation                                          2014                Intern

  • Researched and contacted disease-specific organizations to partner with the Global Healthy Living Foundation
  • Investigated the status of various health-related pieces of legislation and created a database to manage updates


The Partnership For Palliative Care                                       2013-2014       Intern

  • Created a blog with diverse content to bring palliative care into the mainstream
  • Created and managed both a Facebook page and Twitter feed for the organization


RheumatoidArthrtis.net (Health Union)                             2013-present   Blogger          

  • Produce original content for a general audience of people with rheumatoid arthritis on a variety of topics
  • Help moderate comments and posts on the website and Facebook page


CreakyJoints                                                                                    2013-present   Blogger

  • Write a variety of posts for an audience of people with autoimmune arthritis, specifically focusing on issues of chronic illness and higher education


HealthCentral.com                                                                       2011-present   Health Guide

  • Produce well-written and researched content on assigned topics for people living with rheumatoid arthritis


WEGO Health                                                                                2011-present   Health Activist

  • Created educational videos on how to live life with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Nominated for a number of blogging awards by my fellow bloggers


University of Michigan, Department of Sociology             2007-2013       Primary Instructor

  • Independently taught undergraduates
  • Experienced in public speaking and group instruction
  • Created course curriculum, syllabus, and assignments


University of Michigan, Department of Sociology             2007-2013       Teaching Assistant

  • Taught undergraduates in a variety of courses, both beginning and upper-level courses
  • Worked collaboratively with a team, which included the professor for the class and other graduate students



2015                            M.A.    Health Advocacy                       Sarah Lawrence College, New York

2013                            Ph.D.   Sociology                                   University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

2010                            M.A.    Sociology                                   University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

2007                            B.A.    Sociology* and English**        University of Michigan – Ann Arbor



Capstone Title: “On Not Getting In On The Ground Floor: What A Hospital-Based Program Can Teach Us About Supporting Chronically Ill Students In Higher Education”

Capstone Site: Charla de Lupus, Lupus Program, Hospital for Special Surgery, NY



Dissertation Title: “Stretched to the Limit: Organizations for Short Statured People and the Management of Stigma”

Dissertation Committee: Renee Anspach (chair), Raymond De Vries, Sandra Levitsky, Karin Martin, and Shobita Parthasarathy

* With high honors

** With distinction