Sarah Gleason, RD, LD, CEDRD
What is your current position?
I am my own boss. I have had a private practice for 10 years and work exclusively with people who have eating disorders.
How did you get started in your career?
Just after graduation I just wanted a job. For five years I did assorted work in hosptials; working on the ENT floor, Diabetes Self Management Training, Med/Surg floor etc. I worked in a gym as their dietitian. I also worked in a nursing home as the food service administrator. None of those jobs fit me or my personality. I like to sit down and chat with clients. It was quite difficult to do that right after a patient had a CABGx4! I moved to Tucson in 1999 and quickly found a job at Sierra Tucson a psychiatric rehab hospital, there were are about 10 beds dedicated to people with eating disorders diagnosis. I fell in love with the job immediately. It was hard. I had a very steep learning curve. I had to ask many questions. But, it just felt right and I haven’t looked back since then. Over the last 20 years I have worked in residential, either as a full-time RD or PRN, and I started my own office. In these last 10 years I dove head first into volunteering for local and national organizations which has been time consuming and such a learning experience.
What advice would you give to someone new to the field?
- Get involved. Volunteer for local or national organizations that speak to you. The more people you meet the better your connections to getting your dream job.
- You will likely have more than one job that doesn’t suit your dreams. That is what I hope for you. Those are the jobs where you will learn about yourself, your tenacity, your spirit. You will learn about you.
- When at a conference, ask a question to the speaker, even if there are 250 people in the room. Start it with “Hi, I am (fill in your name) from (city, state).” You will stand out from the crowd.
- Get a supervisor if you are working with or want to work with clients who have eating disorders.