Be the Boss Over Cancer

I have two questions:

1.  How do I request that once I return to work after treatment, I'd like to change my status from full-time to part-time?

2.  I am an attorney and would like to change practice area to survive as an advocate for cancer patients.  Where can I look for employment?  Can you provide me with contact information for Joanna Morales?


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  • Rosalind Joffe

    Rosalind Joffe on Apr 2, 2012

    Career Coach Comment:

    Hi Mitchelle

    I'm struck by the language you used:  "How... " do you request this change in schedule?  I'm unable  to respond because, after the obvious (why not just ask for it), I don't know enough about the situation to give you my thoughts.  If you want to write in with more detail explaining what about this request makes it challenging for you to make, I can address it more fully.  

    As to your second question, I think that someone else from the office is addressing this.

    My best,  Rosalind

  • Mitchelle P.

    Mitchelle P. on Apr 3, 2012

    Hi Rosalind:

    Part-time arrangements are not favored at my place of employment.  Staff cuts have occurred and our department is forced to do more with less.  First, I'm concerned that the response is no to such a request.  Second, if granted, how do I deal with resentment from colleagues, pressure to perform well, etc.

    With respect to my second question, I did receive a response.  

    Thank you.

  • Rosalind Joffe

    Rosalind Joffe on Apr 3, 2012

    Career Coach Comment:

    Dear Mitchell,  

    These are always complicated situations and I  don't feel comfortable offering 'advice', since there is there is no 'right' way to approach this.  So, what I'll try to do is ask you more questions that I hope you form a clearer idea of what is best for you.  

    My thoughts/questions: Do you have a clear idea of why you want to work part time versus full time?  Do you have a clear purpose for why you want to ask for this in your current employment? do you know your own priorities regarding this situation - e.g., what matters most, somewhat, least?   The more you know about your own intentions and values here then the more able you are to take action.  It sounds as if your workplace is not predictable and that you cannot predict the response you'll get to such a request.  But you can be prepared for the consequences which puts the 'power' in your hands, not theirs.

    As I said, this is complicated and a larger 'coaching' issue that cannot ethically be answered in this context because I don't know you or your situation enough to go beyond these questions.  I hope that his helps you start to figure out your next steps and your response to the responses of others.



  • Cancer Legal Resource Center C.

    Cancer Legal Resource Center C. on Apr 18, 2012

    Hi, Mitchelle,

    Reduction of hours from full time to part time could be an example of a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA").  A great resource when figuring out how to request reasonable accommodations, or to find out more information about the ADA, is the Job Accommodation Network (JAN).  Their contact information is here:

    Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
    West Virginia University
    P.O. Box 6080
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6080
    (800) 526-7234 or

    Of course, for more information, you can also always call the Cancer Legal Resource Center's National Telephone Assistance Line at (866)843-2572 or get more information online at

    Take care!

    -The CLRC

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