Be the Boss Over Cancer

In May, I went out for 4 months on worker's comp for work related hand surgery. While I was out, my employer closed up shop and relocated to the east coast. My extended work contract ended in November (long story) and I was subsequently diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. I've completed radiation and have a great prognosis. No chemo. Along the way, I returned to school, earning a certificate in Social Media Marketing and Management and I have refreshed my copywriting skills. 

After reading articles on this site, I'm considering PT work combined with work-from-home rather than return to a FT office position right away. What impact could this have on future employment if I then pursue a FT position? I am in my early fifties, so I fear age is against me.


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  • Margot Larson

    Margot Larson on Feb 25, 2013

    Career Coach Comment:


    I am
    delighted to hear about your positive prognosis.  Celebrate each day and the sense of normalcy as
    a gift! 

    type of work were you doing before the work-related injury?  I would like to see how it relates to the new
    certificate you obtained.  I applaud your
    expanding your skills and knowledge to broaden your marketability.  Your goal to blend PT work and work from home
    is a good one and probably more popular among potential employees than
    employers in most parts of the country. This could be a greater challenge than
    your age.  You must also be weary of so
    many scams that relate to “work from home” recruiting.  

     If you
    choose to work PT and from Home are you prepared to do so as  an independent consultant vs an employee? That
    carries a lot of tax ramifications that you need to be aware of.

    believe that I can make some helpful suggestions and offer some resources once
    I know a little more based on the answers to my questions. 


  • Jeriann F.

    Jeriann F. on Feb 25, 2013

    I was in customer service, call center in the wireless industry. Doing phone work is not my first choice for many reasons. 

    I have also worked in marketing, sales, and the travel industry.

     I am also a writer with a degree in communications and have done copy writing. I still write fiction. I was on email correspondence teams. 

    CRM seems the best fit once I have my cert but I can also do other things such as search engine marketing. I'd read that social media journalism is a good field because of the need for writers.

    Thank you.

  • Margot Larson

    Margot Larson on Feb 26, 2013

    Career Coach Comment:


    This additional information tells me that your background is
    not far removed from where you want to take your career step. If you are
    considering a blend of PT employment in Social Media Marketing, Copywriting
    along with some free lance work, then I suggest that you create a small
    business that will allow you to act as a free lance agent.  This will help bridge any gap on your resume
    should you decide to accept a FT position later on.  Your local SBA or SCORE or Women’s Business
    Enterprise Council can provide you with the information you need to start a
    small business. 

    To obtain both a PT employment role as well as secure free
    lance work, start working your network of contacts in the industry.  I suggest that along with gearing your resume
    to this desired career, you also develop a One-page flyer outlining and
    promoting your knowledge and experience that relates to the type of work you
    want.   You can pick up helpful language and
    competencies from browsing similar job postings and job descriptions.   Plan your flyer carefully as it will be representative
    of what you can bring to the job. 

     You probably know that there are several websites where you
    can find listed free lance projects that you can bid on.  You can also post your availability and interest
    in specific projects.  If you have
    presentation and training skills, you could offer a brief workshop to local
    chamber of commerce, or a webinar that might provide you with a captive
    audience for your skills.   Also consider
    volunteering your services with local non-profits to build on your network and
    give you further visibility. You might even be able to barter some work in
    exchange for an ad in local publications or programs.

     Be sure to visit our Looking
    for Work
    resources and avail yourself of 
    the information on building a good resume and resume review.

     I hope that you find these ideas helpful.  I wish you success in your exploration.


  • Jeriann F.

    Jeriann F. on Feb 26, 2013

    You are the 3rd person who has suggested I start a small business. Maybe I will start listening! Thank you,

  • Cheryl B.

    Cheryl B. on Mar 20, 2014

    I was employed by a small company as an event planning development fundraising associate. I was terminated from my job once I disclosed my illness. I am 7 months post stem cell transplant for a rare blood disorder. I

  • Sarah Goodell

    Sarah Goodell on Mar 20, 2014

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for reaching out. It looks like your question was cut off here, could you please resend it to us? Please submit your question by clicking on the green button that says "Post Your Question" on the right hand side of the screen here:


    Sarah, Cancer and Careers Associate Manager of Programs

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