Be the Boss Over Cancer

The Harvard Business Review recently published an article on setting boundaries on the sacrifices you are willing to make for work. While this is obviously important for all employees across the board, these boundaries can be especially necessary for cancer survivors. Setting these boundaries can not only help you avoid stress and burnout, but can also assist you in staying focused on recovery and health. 

The HBR article explains that, while always remaining on and constantly working may seem like the way to get ahead or in some cases, prove yourself, in reality your "performance may suffer if continued sacrifice leads to less personal energy." Especially for those working through treatment or returning to work shortly after, it is imperative to be aware of how much you can handle and at what cost. Author Bill Barnett had several suggestions for those interested in setting stricter boundaries when it came to sacrifices for their careers:

  • Ask your employer about the hours and intensity that are actually required for the position - don't assume that a certain level of commitment is necessary or unexpected when in fact it isn't. 
  • Think about and inquire whether your schedule can be organized to work from home certain days a week. 
  • Identify the boundaries that are most important to you, whether they be time with family, dinner at home, long walks during your lunch hour, or 8 hours of sleep a night.

For more suggestions and advice from the article, please read the entire post here.  Additionally, Cancer and Careers offers several resources that help survivors in balancing work and cancer, including relieving workplace stress, managing side effects at work, and getting back to work after treatment


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