At times, the job-search process can feel complicated and taxing, particularly when you are also managing a cancer diagnosis. That’s why it’s important to be able to anticipate, recognize and overcome some of its most common obstacles. An Idealist article highlights particular challenges that people face when looking for work (ones that we often hear about from patients and survivors) and ways to effectively address them:
- You never just need a job.
It’s rare to hear people say that they’ll take any job as long as there’s a paycheck. Most people want to be engaged in work that is personally and professionally fulfilling; but that doesn’t always represent the full story. It’s important to reflect on what you’re feeling and experiencing throughout your job search, so you can tap into factors that might be hindering your success. Are you feeling insecure, anxious, stressed? Acknowledging and addressing such feelings will ultimately influence how you conduct your job hunt, and will give you insight into which industries and positions might be the best fit for you.
- Ageism is a concern.
Age discrimination is prevalent in the hiring process, but often it can be hard to prove. So while this may be a legitimate reason to get discouraged if you are older, try to minimize how much those feelings become a part of your inner dialogue. When you’re fearful or anxious, it can manifest in physical and non-verbal ways that hiring managers can sense. Finding ways to re-direct an interview away from topics that might reveal your age is key. Preparing and practicing possible responses to questions in advance can help.
- Worries about burnout.
Thoughts of job burnout can sometimes occur before you even get an offer! Past professional and personal experiences that were stressful might be informing your future outlook. That’s why it’s important to develop a self-care routine while looking for a new position. Not only can this help with the search itself, but it will be beneficial as you start your new job. Our webinar on Managing Long-Term Stress has some great tips.
- Reassurance and support are critical.
Always remember that you are not alone in your worries and insecurities; many others are struggling with similar issues. There are communities that will offer and provide support during your search, so be sure to seek them out!
Cancer and Careers offers a number of resources to help you during your job search: