Be the Boss Over Cancer

About six months ago, I had to leave a position and relocate my family for family reasons on my spouse’s side. As fate would have it, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer within a month of the move following a routine physical.
My health was a priority as I needed to do surgery and treatment.
As I’ve been unemployed over six months, to what extent should I be transparent in the interviewing process about time off? My prognosis is positive.


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  • Sarah Goodell

    Sarah Goodell on Dec 24, 2012

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Gregory,

    Thanks for reaching out! I wanted to let you know that I have just sent your response off to one of our career coaches. Our offices are closed for the holidays through January 1st, so the response may be delayed.

    Best regards,

    Sarah, Cancer and Careers Program Coordinator

  • Julie Jansen

    Julie Jansen on Dec 24, 2012

    Career Coach Comment:

    Hi Gregory,

    I am glad for you that your prognosis is positive! 

    We receive this question quite often and typically recommend that you address the reason for your unemployment in a way that is comfortable for you. However, in your case candidly, I don't see the need for you to be transparent about your cancer diagnosis and treatment as you did relocate. So many people have been unemployed for periods of time for so many reasons including the millions of people who have been laid off for economic reasons. This said, employers are quite accustomed to seeing gaps on resumes and the negative bias that once existed is much diminished. If you choose to mention your illness, you do run the risk of the interviewer making false assumptions about your health. I hope this answers your question sufficiently. 

    I hope this helps and happy holidays!

    Take care,


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