Be the Boss Over Cancer

Oftentimes at Cancer and Careers, we hear stories from survivors about the ways their cancer journey influenced their professional lives. For some, they were touched by the care and generosity of infusion nurses, bone marrow transplant staff, patient navigators or community support groups. For others, they might be looking for something more aligned with their values, even if it isn't in the health, wellness or nonprofit sector. No matter the reason, mental health experts agree that cancer survivors have a unique awareness of mortality, resulting in an overall reassessment of their life pies.

We recently came across an inspiring piece, "Woodbridge Cancer Survivor Keeps on Running with Coaching Business," highlighting Shannon McGinn's story. Upon completing her second year of law school, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Having always had a passion for running, McGinn was worried that the diagnosis would hold her back. It turned out quite the opposite - running helped her manage fear, anxiety and stress. Feeling inspired and wanting to help connect others with this positive outlet, she created a business and now, in addition to practicing law, helps others achieve their goals through movement. McGinn experienced her cancer journey and created meaning within it, feeling a strong calling to help others.

If this resonates with you, definitely peruse the Ask a Career Coach section. You'll find that you aren't alone in seeking out a career shift after an experience with cancer. Entries from those seeking more fulfilling careers following a cancer diagnosis, like those from Jacqueline, Byron and Linda, will likely ring true with you and may even provide some guidance. And if you are inspired by your individual cancer journey to make a career change, there are a few things to keep in mind. Look before you leap and read our info on cancer as an inspiration for career shift.

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