Eileen P. on November 3, 2021
How do I find the right career counselor for me? I was in treatment for a year and a half and pretty much lost my small business. Due to chemo fog I have trouble making decisions and am looking for someone to coach me through a very difficult time.
Nicole Jarvis, LMSW
Nov 3, 2021
Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:
Thanks so much for reaching out to Cancer and Careers. I'm sorry to hear about your struggles with brain fog. Unfortunately this is not an uncommon experience for those with a diganosis. I'll pass your inquiry along to one of our career coaches to better guide you on how/where to look for a counselor but in the meantime I'd like to provide you with a few resources that might be helpful as you position yourself to get back to work.
As I mentioned, brain fog, or chemo brain, is something we hear about frequently from patients and survivors. While there doesn't appear to be any magic solution, there are some steps you can take to alleviate some of the associated challenges and put yourself in a position to handle work tasks and decision-making a little more easily. Check our our article on Working with "Chemo Brain" for some initial steps to take and potential solutions to alleviate the stress. Additionally, we have a one-sheet that provides ways to reduce cognitive challenges at work, you can download that here.
I would also suggest looking into speaking with a therapist or mental health counselor. At times like these, where stress feels overwhelming, it can be helpful to have a professional to support you through the process of working through some of those feelings. Oftentimes, with a bit of a shifted perspective, it's a little bit easier to see a path forward and to feel more in control of your situation. You can ask for a referral from your doctor, contact a social worker at your treating hospital or clinic, or reach out to local supportive organizations to see if they have any specific recommendations for those who work primarily with patients and survivors.
Wishing you the best and I hope some of the above mentioned resources and ideas are helpful to you.
Nicole Jarvis, LMSW
Assistant Director of Programs
Cancer and Careers
Nov 3, 2021
Thanks very much, Nicole :) I will check out those links.
Nov 4, 2021
Career Coach Comment:
I am so sorry that you lost your business and that you are suffering from chemo brain. No wonder you are feeling overwhelmed!
It sounds as if you need help weighing your career options, doing some exploration, and making some decisions. These are things that a career coach can certainly help you with!
There are multiple ways to find a career coach. You can Google career coach in your location and see who comes up. I know that a lot of my clients find me on Yelp, Nextdoor, and Facebook. You can also reach out to the university you graduated from and ask their alumni office to make a referral. You can reach out to your network and ask if they know someone. Or you can do a search on LinkedIn.
Typically a career coach will ask you to fill out a questionnaire or interview you, and potentially have you take some self-assessments to identify your personality type, interests, and skills.
A career coach (the word counselor is typically just used in a clinical setting) will be supportive and motivating however I agree with Nicole that a therapist or mental health professional can be a great help too.
post a commentPlease sign in to post a comment