A job search can be grueling, frustrating, and cause many to question their abilities and talents. We’ve all been there. It’s not uncommon for job-seekers to focus so intently on what they represent to a company, that they lose sight of the fact that the employer needs to prove itself to them as well.
If you’re looking for work, be sure to consider not only what you need (i.e., a job), but also what you want, which can depend on your work style, personality and more. Often cancer survivors feel so desperate for a job that they ignore some clear warning signs about a company; but it’s important to remember that the interview process is a two-way street. Keeping in mind that you are an asset to potential employers and that not all of them deserve your talent can help ensure that you land a job with a company that will respect you as a professional and treat you as one.
Forbes released a list of 10 signs that suggest an unhealthy work environment. Below, we’ve listed three that are particularly relevant to cancer survivors returning to the workforce:
1. You interview at a company, but you can’t get a read on who is in charge, who your manager would be or what the actual job is. This indicates a lack of structure and cohesion. A workplace like this may prove challenging in terms of being able to have good communication with higher-ups, whoever they may be. As a result, a cancer survivor may feel stuck if he/she finds they need support.
2. It feels like you can’t get access to information about the work space or potential coworkers; nor can you get your hands on a copy of the employee handbook to familiarize yourself with company policies, etc. This is a major red flag for a survivor returning to work. It is important that you understand the work environment and the benefits that will be offered by a company, so that you’re able to plan how to be successful if you need to be out of work for additional treatment down the road.
3. After receiving your resume or application, the employer reaches out, but there is no clear-cut process and you are asked to complete unexpected tasks with immediate deadlines before being granted an interview. This can suggest a major lack of organization. You need to know that the company you work for will be trustworthy and you will not be saddled with responsibilities that were not mentioned during the interview process.
Overall, it is important to remember that when looking for a new job post-cancer, you focus not only on how much you can do for the company, but also on what that company can do for you. Trusting your gut and keeping an eye out for warning signs are great ways to ensure you don’t end up in a toxic work environment.
For more information on finding the right fit after cancer, including the many aspects of job-hunting, order or download our Job Search Toolkit — for free.
The Exploring Your Options section of our website offers articles on various points to consider when searching for work after cancer.
And be sure to read our tips on Interviewing, so that you are prepared to answer challenging questions and pose some of your own to help you get a sense of the company.