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We often hear that a cancer diagnosis can be an inspiration for change, but it can be difficult figuring out how to explain such a shift to future employers. You may fear that others will doubt your qualifications or be skeptical of your intentions. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review suggests crafting a compelling narrative as a way to overcome this obstacle.

Creating a narrative helps to make relevant connections between your past and present obvious to others. Try to find transferable skills that highlight how you actually are qualified for this new career. A poetry teacher who wants to try their hand at management consulting? Discuss your strengths with language nuances, connections and patterns. Every job teaches you important skills, it's just a matter of identifying them for your new career path. 

The author also discusses the importance of explaining your trajectory in terms of the value you bring to others, framing the shift as what unique qualities you offer. Whether you're presenting yourself on a resume, cover letter, or in an interview, work on taking the skills you already have and "swiveling" them back to what you can offer.  

For more advice on career transitions, read the entire piece here and CAC articles on changing careers in our Looking for Work section. 

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