Be the Boss Over Cancer

Hello,  I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago and went through the entire process including chemo.  I went back to work at my existing job 7 months later in outside sales. 5 months later I received an offer for a mangement position making a lot more money and closer to my home and I took the job.  Several months after starting my new job, I started to get sick a lot and over the course of 5 months my immunse system was so low that I was not able to perform my work and I was diagnosed with chronic bronchotis and put on one weeks rest . Now I am unemployed and I decided to go back to school at University of Phoenix for a BS in Business Management, and I have been looking for a job and have been having a tough time finding anything.  I been out of work since May 2013, however, with it being such a short time at that job, I am not sure if I want to put this down and have to explain the reason for leaving


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  • Sarah Goodell

    Sarah Goodell on Sep 10, 2013

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Ana,

    I'm posting our career coach Julie Jansen's response to your question.

    Please let  us know if you have any further questions.


    Sarah, Cancer and Careers Program Coordinator

    Dear Ana,

    I am sorry that you have had such a difficult time.

    While being unemployed since May seems like a long time, it
    really isn’t in today’s work environment.

    You didn’t say what kind of job you are looking for? It sounds
    as if you really feel strongly about not wanting to have to share your personal
    situation with prospective employers which I totally understand and respect.
    This said you will still likely get questions about the gap on your resume and
    you can either say that you decided to earn your degree full-time without
    working or that you had a personal situation while going to school which is now
    resolved. Whatever you choose, it’s important that you internalize and get
    comfortable with your story.

    Please do remember that you have had a successful career and you
    have amazing experience and skills. Moving forward, I recommend focusing on
    what you have to offer to an employer and how you can solve their problems.

    Finally, having worked in sales, I know you are aware that most
    leads are through people you connect with on LinkedIn and networking. Making a
    career change isn’t easy but very doable, so growing your network, going to job
    search support group meetings and joining and participating in LinkedIn groups
    will definitely bring you results.

    Good luck!

    Take care,


  • Judi Swedek

    Judi Swedek on Sep 10, 2013

    Career Coach Comment:

    Hi Ana,

    I agree with what Julie has shared, being out of work since May is really not a long time so you should not feel concerned in that regard. I'd also suggest,however, that you use years (e.g. 2012-2013) on your resume rather than months and years which elminates some of the question around when you left your last job.

    In terms of job search, the most effective way of finding a job is through networking. Use your contacts, LinkedIn,  and networking meetings to open doors and uncover opportunities. There are also many employment support groups that you can join. Not only does networking open doors, it also helps you feel more accomplished in terms of your approach.

    Also, keep in mind the Summer is typically a slower period of time to find a job. Things pick up in September and October so it's an excellent time to be in job search.

    I wish you much success in this next chapter of your career and education.

    Kind regards, Judi

  • Ana D.

    Ana D. on Sep 10, 2013

    Thank you all, I appreciate the input and I certainly am doing all as recommended.  I am moving on with a positive attitude. 


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