Be the Boss Over Cancer


1 year ago, I was extremely blessed to have lived through and flourished after removal of a G2 Astrocytoma brain tumor, and suffered absolutely no side-effects. After just 5 weeks, I was back to work, as a graphic designer. I have been a designer for 20 years now, love what I do (for the most part) and have won several national awards. After the diagnosis and removal, I have started to feel like there is a higher calling for me and I'm finding that I can't see myself sitting in a corporate cubicle the rest of my life. I really have a passion for designing but my current job does not provide a lot of creative satisfaction. I would love to find some way to combine my passion and helping others dealing with cancer.

In addition to my cancer, my wife was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer over 2 years ago. She has been my rock and inspiration through all of this! We both love to talk to other cancer patients and help in anyway we can. Any thoughts on turning this into some kind of career path?

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  • Julie Jansen

    Julie Jansen on Dec 14, 2012

    Career Coach Comment:

    Hi Craig!

    What an inspiration you and your wife are. At Cancer and Careers we hear what you have said in your post so many times. A cancer diagnosis and recovery changes most people's lives along with their attitude and vision about what provides meaning to them. 

    Strangely, it isn't as easy to move into a job or career change in the cancer world as one might think. My recommendation is to target a number of organizations involved with cancer and try to set up some informational meetings to identify the potential opportunities that may exist for you as a graphic designer. Doing this will provide a reality check for you about the field and your ability to earn a living. A second option is for you to make an actual career change where you go through serious introspection and assessments to identify your interests, and transferable competencies and skills. Then you can rewrite your documents (resume, LinkedIn profile, & cover letter) to focus on looking for whatever this career change job is. Finally, you can volunteer more regularly with people with cancer, something you may already do. 

    What I do know about human nature is that if you are motivated, passionate and focused on a goal, you will achieve it. Best of luck and please write back if you have more questions.

    Happy Holidays and a Healthy, Happy and Gratifying 2013!


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