Be the Boss Over Cancer

I have taught high school English for 28 years. I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. I took time off then to deal with my illness. I even worked during the day and took my radiation treatments in the afternoon after school. Once again I was diagnosed with breast cancer recently and just underwent bilateral mastectomies. I have other health issues added on to this for which I take a number of medications. My district is laying teachers off left and right in this day and age of downsizing and not-so-great economic conditions. Older teachers are being pushed into retirement or made to work under conditions that make them want to retire. I had wanted to keep working at least another 5 years in order to retire comfortably, but I am not sure that is going to happen. The district is on a fault-finding mission to find reason to let go of older teachers who are the top of their game in terms of salary. With what I make, I could be replaced by two fresh-out-of-college teachers. The cancer just adds to this situation. If necessary, I would love to find work that I could do at home using my computer and writing skills. Where do I start? Sincerely, Lori


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  • Julie Jansen

    Julie Jansen on Jul 22, 2010

    Career Coach Comment:

    Hi Lori,

    I am terribly sorry that you are going through this. You must remember that you have had a successful career as a teacher. Many, many people are being forced to "retire" and find a different kind of work however it would be nice if it was your choice.

    You say that you have computer and writing skills so I would do some research on the kinds of jobs that allow flexibility and would enable you to use your skills at home or part-time. I would go to the Department of Labor's Directory of Occupational Titles on-line and review the different types of jobs that exist. Also, visit your local bookstore and peruse the career section to learn about jobs. There are so many wonderful resources available for you.

    Be wary of the "work at home" ads that you see as many of them are scams. One book I recommend is Will Work From Home by Tory Johnson and Robin Freedman Spizman.

    Do this research and then please write again if you need help with the next step of your career transition.

    Take care,


  • Tony R.

    Tony R. on Nov 7, 2011

    Have you considered being a tutor? Clients could come to your home or it  better yer you could do it all online thanks to today's technology. Your biggest challenge of course will be getting the word out. You could start with schools you have worked for or calling parents whose children need help in your particular specialty. You could be a mini 1 person online education ctr. Like Phoenix Online University and you could probably find a free website template and yearly hosting is very resonable. I use

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