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Finding a New Job

Posted 12/16/2016

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  It is rarely easy to look for work, and trying to do so after cancer may be even more challenging. The additional issues may be related to your own changing values and perspectives; perhaps you now want to do something different in your work life than you did before your illness. You may also have needed to cut back during treatment and have found that your job is not what it used to be. I have also known some people who were eager to find a new office where they weren't always identified with cancer.

  Many of the same guidelines that apply to any job search

 are relevant here. One useful tip relates to how to explain any gaps in your resume. If you worked through treatment, this won't come up, but some people need to take time away or even leave a job to fully recover. In that case, here is my best advice: Don't wait for the interviewer to notice the gap and maybe or maybe not say anything about it. Instead, take the lead and say something like this: "You will see that I have been out of work for the past year. There was illness in my family that required my time and attention, but all is well now." This is the truth.

  A wonderful resource is Cancer and Careers. Their website has almost any information that you may want about work.  I listened to one of their helpful podcasts yesterday, and the most useful tip was network, network, network.

  And this is a helpful article from CancerNet:

3 Tips for Finding a New Job After Cancer

For cancer survivors, going back to work after treatment ends can offer social and
financial benefits. For some survivors, having a job is a way to tell people that you are not
defined by your cancer. In fact, their cancer experience inspires many survivors to consider
new career paths or find a different work-life balance. No matter which direction you choose,
starting any job after cancer is easier if you know your goals and prepare for new interactions.
Here are 3 tips to get you off on the right foot.
1. Find Your Direction
As you re-enter the workforce, you might return to a familiar field with a renewed sense of purpose. Or, you might need a change. For instance, you may want to go from a corporate workplace to a nonprofit or move away from a physically demanding job. If your diagnosis drives you to enter a new field or to start a new business, you might worry about how to make the change.

Start by answering these questions about what is important to you and what is still missing:
What are my new goals in working? For example, do you want to help others with cancer? Am I interested in going back to my previous job? Am I able to physically do the work? What financial needs do I have? What skills do I have for my new job interest? What skills do I need to learn? What other things are preventing me from finding a new job?

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