Jim G. on December 3, 2021
Resume Building and Writing,
After going thru all the Radiation, Chemo, and Bone marrow transplant. Still dealing with chronic bone pain and Fatigue. I was employed at a Major big ten University for 26 years. (Quick snapshot)
I'm really struggling with this after being an Executive Chef for over26 years and 36 yrs experience in the industry.
Now I have to reinvent myself all over again. I have submitted a copy of my resume for your review and advice on how I can market myself. With my work restrictions, I'm basically good for a sedimentary job Grr. Per my LTD insurance company.
All my life I have always had a plan A and a Plan B. I currently do not have that right now.
If at all possible please help.
Nicole Jarvis, LMSW
Dec 6, 2021
Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:
Thank you for reaching out to Cancer and Careers. I have passed your question along to our career coach and anticipate they will be posting a response here shortly.
In the meantime, I did want to address some of your question. It sounds like you have been through a great deal! Your chronic pain and fatigue are unfortunately long-lasting side effects we’ve heard about from many survivors. This often does require a change in lifestyle and profession. Having had such a physical and in-the-moment job as an executive chef, I can imagine it is a much unwelcome and disappointing shift to have to go to something less intensive. Despite this change, now would be a good time to do some research about how you can use your intimate knowledge and skills towards something a bit less labor intensive. Can you oversee some sort of food programs in a different role? Perhaps there are positions that are more menu planning focused without the execution aspect? Teaching? Mentorship? I know these are not necessarily ideal and may sound like a regression from the work you’ve been doing, but sometimes the alternatives, though they may sound less appealing initially, can lead to gratification by being able to contribute to the work you love in a different capacity.
I’d suggest taking a look at some of the job search resources we offer to help you brainstorm next steps and direction:
I hope the above resources are helpful! As I mentioned, a career coach will respond to this post soon, and your resume should be reviewed within the next few weeks. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com.
Best of luck with the job search!
Nicole Jarvis, LMSW
Assistant Director of Programs
Cancer and Careers
Dec 14, 2021
Career Coach Comment:
I reviewed your resume recently and am happy to see that you are taking advantage of this coaching service as well. I know that you are upset and frustrated with the fact that your long-time career is something that you cannot do anymore. It is true that most people choose to change careers because they don't find what they have been doing meaningful anymore. So, it is especially painful that you are being forced to stop working as an Executive Chef because of the side effects from cancer and treatment.
What I also know to be true is that many people learn to enjoy and find gratification from work that may be very different from what they have done. As Nicole mentioned, the first practical step is to think about cooking and hospitality in different ways to see if you can identify a new path that is related to what you know so well. I know how hard it can be to look at jobs or careers that seem to be a step down however your needs and values have changed since you started building your career years ago.
This is why I often suggest to clients that they closely examine their values first, those things that imbue your life and work with meaning. Examples are making a difference, creativity, autonomy, health, learning, etc. Whatever your values are, it is crucial that your new work path fulfills as many of these as possible.
The next thing to do is take an inventory of your skills and competencies. Most, if not all of these are transferable and it's also important to remember that you do not need to continue using skills that you have. And perhaps you can even develop new skills.
Once you have done this, I would start doing research on-line and Google jobs that align with your skills and values. I would then create a short list of job titles and try to find people on LinkedIn to network with who do these jobs.
I can imagine that this all feels so overwhelming and changing your career takes some time. I actually wrote 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. It's like a workbook that spells out the process of changing careers very clearly. And there are plenty of other resources available too.
Jim, please write back if you have any questions about this.
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