Lupus Awareness Month: How Avanade supports my wellbeing through my chronic illness

  • Posted on May 23, 2022
  • Estimated reading time 2 minutes

May is Lupus Awareness month and around this time of year I find myself reflecting upon my health and how far I have come since first being diagnosed with lupus in 2015. This year has been especially different since I started working at Avanade.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks itself. The systemic nature of the disease results in varied symptoms from person to person and may not have any visible signs, making it hard to diagnose. For me, my lupus flares show up as extreme fatigue and joint pain.

Prior to joining Avanade, I had an entirely different career. I worked as a registered nurse for 8 years. I loved being in the medical field and directly helping people. At around the same time I was diagnosed with lupus, I became interested in the intersection of healthcare and technology. What first started as me taking online courses for fun turned into me pursuing a degree in IT while simultaneously working full time as an RN. The physical demand and stress of nursing coupled with the increased academic load took a toll on my health.

After finishing up my degree program I spent a year searching for and applying to jobs. As an experienced professional with no history of working within the technology sector I struggled to get any interviews. An Avanade recruiter reached out to me and immediately recognized that my unique background would bring diversity to the workforce and saw my nursing experience as an asset.

I have come to realize through my involvement with the DiversAbility Employee network that the same values that my recruiter shared are echoed throughout all of Avanade. The DiversAbility Employee network seeks to promote an inclusive culture and work experience where each employee's unique capabilities are embraced and celebrated. As some one with a chronic illness, it is reassuring to know that there is a community within the workspace where I can share my personal perspective and learn about the opportunities and challenges that my coworkers face.

Working at Avanade has positively affected my health and wellbeing. The opportunity to work remotely, working shorter days, and removing the physical demands of my previous job allows me to bring my best self to work each day. I am excited to continue growing and learning in an environment where diverse abilities are celebrated.

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