Last week an article appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times that showed how quickly things can change at work after a cancer diagnosis, sometimes for the better, in this case for the worse. Margaret Walsh had been in her position at a community college for four months when she got an ovarian and abdominal cancer diagnosis in February of 2009. The school then gave her 3 months of unpaid leave, after which she returned to work part-time.
Less than a month later she was told she would have to return to work full-time. However, she then became seriously ill and had to take another unpaid leave. It was at that point that she received a termination letter from the college.
When something like this happens, our first suggestion is always to suggest the person contact a lawyer (we refer to the Cancer Legal Resource Center), however sometimes there isn't really a legal issue on the table. See below for some tips on what to do after you've lost your job.
- Get back on the horse and start looking for new jobs in your desired field. If you are still in treatment you will want to consider going on COBRA until you have secured a new position. For more information on COBRA visit: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm.
- Worried about how to handle employers questions about why you left your previous position? There are some great tips on our career coaching site (scroll to the bottom of the page): http://www.cancerandcareers.org/en/looking-for-work
- Having trouble securing interviews? Networking is a great option, and most jobs are found this way. See our networking tips here: http://www.cancerandcareers.org/blog/networking-even-after-losing-t.
- Don't forget about our Job Search Tools, which are free and easy to use: http://www.cancerandcareers.org/en/looking-for-work/job-search-tools
If you want personalized assistance with the job search, please contact our career coaches here: http://cancerandcareers.org/career-coaching/.
For more information on Margaret Walsh situation's see http://chicagoemploymentattorneysblog.com/2010/05/woman-claims-she-was-fired-because-of-discrimination-of-disability.html