When I was about 15 my doctor sat me and my mother down and told me that there were certain things in life I had to avoid and there wasn’t much they could do about it. After undergoing a childhood filled with numerous allergy test the list in front of him detailed my complete lists of allergens. He also specified a variety of career paths I should stay clear of when considering any future higher-education or job placements. Since water and soap is a big no-no for me due to my skin condition, on the top of the list were careers like swimming instructors and hairdressing. It was an eye-opener for me but the subsequent conversation I had with my mother was more important for my future than anything else. She took a look at the list, then at me- and told me, “O.K Debby- choose something else to do.”
Anyone who has a list of allergens knows all about being careful. By the time they are looking for a summer job or trying to decide which units to take in college - being careful is second nature to them. They are used to checking labels, asking about food items before putting them into their mouth and speaking to chefs or waiters when eating out. Sometimes, however, considering their allergens when deciding a career path is for some reason overlooked.
The first obvious thing to pay attention to, are your allergens- clearly, a person shouldn’t try to take a job where their allergens are widely present. The second issue to pay attention too are your reactions to your various allergies. Consider carefully the various reactions you have to your allergens. If any of them are labelled as serious they should go to the top of the list. If the reactions are more manageable; give careful thought if you would be willing to work around those allergens. For example; if you have a pollen allergy avoid taking a job as a landscaper or lawn care specialist. For adults with asthma or any other inhalant allergy carefully weigh your options before signing up for a job in a bar, smoking-restaurant or casino.
When the issues are food-allergies things may get a little tricker, as food is well- everywhere! Obviously for someone with severe food-allergies that could get triggered when in inhaling the fumes of the allergen being cooked or skin contact- a job at an eatery or restaurant is a real no-no. But how-about working at a camp or in a pre-school environment- although that wouldn’t naturally shout out ‘danger- food environment- possible allergens’- working in such an environment has posed a problem for many a teenager who have food-allergies and are trying their hand at their first job. Speaking about your future careers with your allergist- before putting effort into your decisions might save you a lot of heart-ache.
Teenagers and young adults have joined together to support each other in their job searching journey as well as share the innovative solutions they have found that worked for them. These ranged from office work, working at recreation centres, in retail or in positions that involve HTML coding and graphic design. One smart young-man got an internship in an art studio- where no food was allowed inside the art lessons. Many people sought camp counsellor in camps that cater to children with food allergies. Another important benefit of a position like that is the team of on-site nurses as well as staff trained in the usage of epinephrine.
Finding a job takes time for most people, with or without allergies. Most people will try more than one career path before settling on the right one for them. Some are lucky- but majority of people who find themselves on an easy path throughout their careers have given it a lot of thought right from the beginning, from whether it suits their personality, to if it is something they would enjoy spending majority of their time doing- ending in if the income from the position would eventually be satisfactory for them. Bear this in mind as you begin your journey -job-hunters with allergies have only one difference- something else to consider.
“Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” Richard Cushing
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.
T.G., Philadelphia, PA
"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew. The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”
G.A. Illinois USA