Victoria W. on May 5, 2020
This is my second round with cancer and I am so done with working a job that is highly stressful. My body can’t take it anymore. I have a great place of employment and all the people I work for and with are the best. However, my job is very stressful. It is not my soul’s work at all. Having cancer for a second time has shown me that I need to do something else.
What is my next step? What would I love to do that is fun? I don’t know. Going back to school is out of the question: Large amount of student loan debt which also adds to the stress.
I could really use some help on how to sustain myself when going back to work while looking for my passion. Lastly, how do I find my passion and the “how-to” to get.
I seek referrals to career coaches who could help me out.
Nicole Franklin, MPH
May 7, 2020
Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:
Thanks for writing to us. It’s totally understandable that you’re interested in a finding a job that is less stress-inducing while you balance your medical and health needs. It’s wonderful you’re taking time to re-evaluate and think critically about what you want to do moving forward. Many cancer patients and survivors say that their experience has served as a catalyst for change in their lives and are eager to find a job that is more fulfilling personally and professionally. Since you are currently employed, that should give you a little more time to reflect and plan on your next steps and how to achieve them. Even if you’re ready to move on from your current job, it allows you the invaluable opportunity to figure out what you want to do while having an income and some sense of security . You may want to think about setting up virtual information interviews with people in positions and/or at companies that spark interest or passion. Even though there are many unknowns on the social and economic front right now, there are still plenty of opportunities to network and boost your skillset. One of our recent blog posts, “Don’t Give Up on Your Job Search During the Coronavirus Pandemic”, highlights effective actions you can take during this time.
I’d also encourage you to register for our Job Search Strategy During COVID-19 webinar next Tuesday, 5/12, which will offer a lot of great tips and advice.
I've sent your question to our career coaches for their insight, but in the meantime, I would suggest checking out the following resources:
I hope this is helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com or 646-929-8032.
A coach will be in touch soon!
Nicole Franklin, MPH
Senior Manager of Programs
Cancer and Careers
May 7, 2020
Thank you for these great resources.
May 8, 2020
Career Coach Comment:
I am sorry that you are experienced another round of cancer. I wish I knew what type of job you have now. However, the process of finding different type of work whether it is a dramatic career change or a shift is the same. It is important for you to take self-assessments and go through some introspection about the following:
- Your personality type (Take the MBTI at personalitytype.com)
- Your interests
- The skills you have and still are willing to use
- Your core values that bring meaning to your life
- And the type of meaning you are seeking
I am the author of a book called I Don't Know What I Want, But I Know It's Not This: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Gratifying Work and there are short assessments for all of these.
You will also need to be clear about your needs and preferences regarding compensation, format of work (part-time, freelance, 100% virtual, etc.) and the level you are willing to take.
Next, you will want to do research on industries, functional areas, and companies to see what aligns with who you are and what you want to do. As Nicole mentioned, scheduling some informational meetings with people is an important step because they are more reliable than internet research.
And hiring a career coach for a few sessions is a good idea. Ask your friends and network for referrals.
While you probably have a sense of urgency, this process takes a reasonable amount of time particularly during COVID. So, if you can somehow negotiate your current situation in a way that is less stressful, I would do this.
Please write back if you have additional questions or comments.
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