Katherine P. on May 6, 2010
I've been unemployed for a little over two years now. That said, I was diagnosed with Stage III cancer during my last job. I worked through it without telling anyone until I was rushed into emergency surgery. Two surgeries back to back, in fact. The doctor gave me six weeks leave for EACH surgery but I returned to work after only 2 days following the first surgery and then 4 days following the second surgery because I didn't want to lose my job. No one even knew I had cancer except my direct boss.
Here's the kicker. Three weeks after healing from both surgeries and receiving a clean diagnosis from the doctor, my job was suddenly "redefined" into three new roles and I found myself unemployed with no severence, no advance notice and no justification. I had perfect attendance, no vacations, no PTO time taken other than the combined 6 days following two emergency surgeries over a period of 6 weeks and had worked over 70 hours a week for over a year.
Understanding that leaving a job after a relatively short tenure can raise questions regarding "cause" (fired???), I chose to put the reason for my departure under the dates worked in an effort to be proactive in alleviating any misconceptions/concerns before they arise. (Two other companies closed due to the economy so this one employer isn't, unfortunately, the only short tenure I've had which is why I decided to include the reason for my departures). As pertains my last job, I wrote "Reason for leaving: Position downsized following winning battle against cancer. Subsequent relocation to ...) in an effort to communicate my perseverence and good health. Some people tell me they think it's a great idea to include the reasons for departure while others tell me to leave such discussions until the interview. The problem is that I'm not getting any interviews and without the opportunity to explain it looks like I was terminated for "cause" or am "flighty". I wasn't and I'm not. What are your thoughts?