Be the Boss Over Cancer

I have a neck issue from surgery and my vocal cords were damaged. Talking is difficul and my background was as a workers compensation adjuster which requires a lot of talking.The industry is also small so many know. Finanically things as a single parent and dealing with espogheal cancer has been rough. In fact todays issue is car issues. I would like to change careers but I need help.


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  • Rosalind Joffe

    Rosalind Joffe on Sep 11, 2013

    Career Coach Comment:

    Dear Denise,  

    It sounds to me like you're 'spot on' in recognizing the need to make a change.  Once you can no longer do your job successfully, then you will most likely start to under perform, not the direction in which you want to go. I'm  familiar with your industry and I agree that, with your debilitating condition,  there are very likely no work arounds that would allow you to continue doing what you do. 

    That said, you have developed highly valuable skills and I know of several people (colleagues) who have made career transitions with your background.  

    I urge you to seek help with this.  Making a career transition is most likely not in your skill set. Even if it is, in my experience, we all need another perspective when it comes to our own situation.  I imagine that it seems hard to consider spending your limited money on your career now.  But how costly would it be to make an unsuccessful career move or worse, be unemployed?  Do you think that the guidance of  a career coach who understands your challenges and opportunities and knows what it takes to make a successful career change, would be an effective way to maximize your limited resources?  

    I have a career program, Career Change When Living with Chronic Illness, that is designed specifically for people in your situation.  Check it out: . But also, look at other career coaches.  Most work with people who are in transition as well as those who just starting out. 

    I hope that whatever you do, you find success and can thrive again.



  • Sarah Goodell

    Sarah Goodell on Sep 11, 2013

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Denise,

    I just want to let you know that your question has been sent to a few of our career coaches and they will be weighing in with their opinions as well, so that you can get multiple perspectives.

    Please let us know if you have any more questions.


    Sarah, Cancer and Careers Program Coordinator

  • Julie Jansen

    Julie Jansen on Sep 12, 2013

    Career Coach Comment:

    Hi Denise,

     I agree that it is difficult to objectively assess your skills and experience and figure out how to transfer these into another industry. This said, it is important that you make a list of all of your skills, especially those which you still want to use. One way to do this is to take your job description and highlight the skills listed in that. Then, I would start researching functional areas that appeal to you that may require some of those same skills.

    Clearly you are able to understand and explain complex information, you understand benefits, you are a strong communicator (despite your voice), and dozens of other skills and competencies. I would Google things like, What jobs require knowledge of workers comp? and other similar statements. Then you can go onto job boards and look for job openings in that particular area. Then you can reach out to your network and see if you can find a person you know who either works at the company or more likely knows someone who does.

    I would also  research companies in your area that you find interesting and try to identify people who work at those companies. As for making a dramatic career change, I am of the opinion that because of the stress and pressure you are feeling financially and otherwise, it may not be the best time to decide to become a veterinarian or something that different from what you were doing. The reason is because the time that it takes to completely change careers is much longer than finding a job that uses many of the same skills you have used previously. I am sure that this feels overwhelming.

    I would also look for state sponsored career coaching help by calling the Dept of Labor in your state or see if there are resources for career counseling at the college or university you attended. I hope this is helpful and wish you the best of luck!

    Take care, Julie

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