Being laid off or fired is never easy — for anyone. If you’re a cancer survivor, the experience can be all the more devastating and stressful. However, it’s important to remember that being let go doesn’t mean your career has come to an end. The Job Network posted an article with recommendations for putting your best foot forward after losing your job.
Know it’s okay to grieve.
For a lot of us, our work is a big part of who we are; it can provide routine and stability, which obviously gets disrupted by a layoff or firing. It’s okay to let yourself feel the range of emotions after it happens — feelings such as anger, depression, fear and humiliation. Don’t try to ignore them.
Take it as an opportunity.
Try to find positives in the situation. Although it may not have been on your own terms, maybe now is the perfect time to explore your options — for example, pursue a career change and/or look for a job that’s more conducive to your needs post-diagnosis.
Don’t lie about it.
When you begin interviewing for a new job, you should be prepared to discuss why you left your previous position. If you were laid off, you might consider saying, “My position was eliminated” or “The company I was working for downsized.” Both responses are perfectly acceptable. If you were fired, you’ll want to give a brief, general explanation as to why, then quickly pivot the conversation to focus on the skills and experience you gained from that particular role and why they make you a better, more qualified candidate as a result.
Remember, while you don’t want to (and shouldn’t!) be dishonest, you also don’t need to provide a ton of details, especially if that would involve disclosing your diagnosis. In this scenario a general explanation is sufficient. (For guidance on what to say if you left your previous position on bad terms, click here.)
To read the full article, click here.
If you’re just getting started on your job search, we recommend downloading or ordering a free copy of our Job Search Toolkit. You may also be interested in viewing a recording of a past webinar on career change, from our Balancing Work & Cancer Webinar Series.
Concerned about answering other difficult questions during an interview? Learn how to use our “swivel” technique!