Be the Boss Over Cancer

I have been employed as a licensed , " Professional Patient Care Giver" for more than ten years, I thought I understood  my clients well, until now, when " I became the patient ", undergoing treatment for " Breast Cancer " .   I learned that I need to " grow in advocacy " and navigate a career path that supports " Advocacy " within the medical professional community.  My question is,  What are the steps to get on this career path ?   I still have restrictions from my plastic surgeon,  such as lifting,  I am also facing one or two more surgeries over the next six months, so it makes , going back to a regular job difficult, as if I am " hired "  I would work for a " month or two " then, will have surgery so would have to take six weeks off, which is definitely not going to be  "acceptable"  to any new employer.  I am married with one child, my husband is working, but  expenses have added up over the " past year" of my cancer treatment.

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  • Sarah Goodell

    Sarah Goodell on Mar 24, 2014

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Winnie,

    Thanks for reaching out! I've sent your question off to our career coaches who will be in touch soon. In the meantime, if you haven't already, I would recommend checking out our new Job Search Toolkit which has information on all aspects of a job search and career transition. The publication can be ordered or downloaded for free here: http://www.cancerandcareers.org/publication_orders/new

    Best,

    Sarah, Cancer and Careers Associate Manager of Programs

  • Winnie O.

    Winnie O. on Mar 24, 2014

    Thank you Sarah,  I am reading over the publication  http://www.cancerandcareers.org/publication_orders/new    from the job search tool kit, it is very helpful.  Winni

  • Julie Jansen

    Julie Jansen on Mar 24, 2014

    Career Coach Comment:

    Hi Winnie,

    The good news is that you have identified an exciting new career path! I agree with your assumption that it would be hard to start a new job and then tell them that you need six weeks off. 

    I suggest that you start networking with patient advocacy professionals on LinkedIn so that you expand your contacts in this area. Also, why not approach some non-profit groups who advocate for patients and ask to intern or volunteer for them? This way you can gain some relevant experience that you can add to your resume. Is there a class you can take on-line or at a community college or university?

    Typically it takes a number of months to find a new job so I would update your documents (resume and LinkedIn profile) now and you can also work at getting informational meetings now before your surgery.

    If you do all these things, you will be ready to launch a successful job search after you have recovered from your surgery.

    Good luck!

    Take care,

    Julie

  • Winnie O.

    Winnie O. on Mar 26, 2014

    Thank you Julie for the excellent advice, " you are right,". I am on the right path, I am starting to "advocate " for myself by networking with other, patient advocacy professionals, building my profile on LinkedIn, creating my own "creative and unique resume " that will stand out and express my professional confidence and skills, Volunteering, I am back, " in" . , volunteering my time at my son's Elementary and Sunday school classes. It really does feel good, to be experiencing " Life after Breast Cancer ". Applying these new " acquired skills", will make me a much more skilled professional advocate. Thank you again, Take care, Winnie

  • Julie Jansen

    Julie Jansen on Mar 26, 2014

    Career Coach Comment:

    Winnie,

    It sounds as if you are already doing the most productive things to move you along the path you desire. Good luck!

    Take care,

    Julie

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