Kathleen M. on April 2, 2018
I was diagnosed in 2010 after only a couple semesters in college. Two Stem Cell Transplants, associated chemo, and 6 full body treatments of radiation later, I can hardly retain fiction books. My body and brain have been struggling for the last 8 years with the initial cancer and the following side effects of all the treatments. I have been diagnosed with Chronic Graft Vs Host disease and chronic pain.
Since Sept 2017 I have driven for Lyft with my 2007 car, however i am on thin ice as my car is "too old" now that it is 2018, and could be cut off any day now.
I used to be a receptionist at my brother's used car lot, and loved it. It was slow paced, I got to interact with customers, dress casually/comfortably for my various chronic skin lesions, and I didn't feel like I had to stress myself out in order to keep my job.
I had to move Jan 2017 from Dallas to Baltimore, and therefore am out of work besides Lyft. I need to find something that will allow me to still make my multiple weekly doctor appointments. Im not a sales person. I don't learn well by reading anymore. I can't stand more than 15 min at a time. I don't have a degree in anything. What do I do?
Nicole Franklin, MPH
Apr 12, 2018
Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:
Thanks for reaching out to us! I’m sorry to hear you’ve had so many challenges since your initial diagnosis. Trying to figure out the best professional path forward while dealing with ongoing treatment side effects is an issue that we hear about a lot from our community. Job searching can be stressful and exhausting, especially when there are a lot of physical limitations to what you can do, but it’s great that you’re actively trying to find a position that is better aligned with your current needs.
Since you have experience as a receptionist (and enjoyed it), you might consider finding a position that allows you to do similar work from home. Today, it’s not uncommon to find administrative or customer service positions that are home-based. Also, telecommuting full or part-time could be a possible solution to helping manage your side effects like chronic pain and not being able to stand for long periods of time, allowing you to rest or lie down when you need a break. It could also help with focus and concentration issues since there will be less distractions than you might find in an office environment. I would recommend you check out FlexJobs (https://www.flexjobs.com/). It’s a useful resource to learn about flexible/remote jobs and the companies that are hiring for them. They also have a very robust job board that is fully vetted and focused on those types of roles. It is membership-based, but you can explore everything before you commit. If you decide to join you can enter the code CANCER when you check out to receive a 50% discount. (And if you have any concerns at all about the fee , please let us know and we will try and work something out for you.)
Also, if you’re interested in expanding your professional skillset, CAC has a Professional Development Micro-Grant program that provides cancer patients and survivors professional development opportunities to enhance existing skills or build new ones. Although the application period for the 2018 grant year has closed, we would be happy to notify you when the 2019 application period opens! More information can be found here: http://www.cancerandcareers.org/en/resource/micro-grants
I’ve reached out to one of our career coaches to offer some additional insights, but in the meantime, the following resources might be of interest:
http://www.cancerandcareers.org/publication_orders/new (features advice on improving resumes, cover letters; interview and networking tips and other useful tools to help you during a job search)
I hope this is helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-929-8032.
A coach will be in touch soon!
Nicole Franklin, MPH
Manager of Programs
Cancer and Careers
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